Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The continuing relevance of Deleuze


Great article about the continuing relevance of Deleuze by Alex Galloway called "Everything Flows" over at Social Text Online, HERE. A related article titled "Introduction: Control Societies" at the same website though different author can be found HERE.

For the Philosophy of Technology & Organic Being seminar we read Byung-Chul Han and Bernard Stiegler, both who engage Deleuze on the point of societies of control (beyond discipline) through technology.

Monday, December 14, 2020

quote of the day

"…every visible and invisible creature can be called a theophany, that is, a divine apparition. For…the more secretly it is understood, the closer it is seen to approach the divine brilliance. Hence the inaccessible brilliance of the celestial powers is often called by theology 'Darkness.'" 

 – John Scotus Eriugena, Periphyseon

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Updated Syllabus for The Philosophy of Technology & Organic Being (Independent Study and Seminar)


I added a few things to read for January term/winter break as we were caught up and had a few weeks to include original material that I thought I had to cut for the sake of time. As it turns out, we do have the time to include it, thus the updated syllabus.

The material now included comprises a small little section of its own which I call "Relational Being" (this in addition to the first part called "Organic Being" and the, now, third part, called "Technological Being"). It is more a less a transition from the tale end of part one's discussion of desire and need or libidinal drive in organisms and then Deleuze's notion of "desiring machines" to the idea of organisms-as-machines or cybernetics and the union of organism and machine via technical objects.

We begin Part Two, "Relational Being" with Simondon's On the Existence of Technical Objects and newishly translated essay "Technical Mentality." From there we read a few small pieces of Byung-Chul Han's In the Swarm and The Burnout Society to make the transition into part three, "Technological Being" where we go over how technological being affects organic being when (cybernetic, or otherwise) modal entanglement and unions occur as they have in the 21st-century.

Part Three, "Technological Being," closes with some of Bernard Stiegler's Nanjing Lectures and selections from Technics and Time vol. 1, Jason Reza Jorjani's concept of "Prometheism" in Chapter 1 of his book Prometheism, and finally Ernst Junger's Promethean call to heroically march forward into the cosmic technological unknown in his essay "At the Wall of Time" (1959) and The Worker (1932).

The link to the updated Syllabus is HERE. As a side note I plan to begin posting on my YouTube channel recordings of the seminars once January term is over (this way I'll have gone through at least half of the material before posting it). I'll probably discuss it as a long-form series on my weekly Sunday night YouTube live-stream on as well.

Monday, November 30, 2020

quote of the day

Countercultural community was more explicitly thematized in Jünger’s dystopian novel Eumeswil. The title names a petty state in a decadent, post-apocalyptic future, an “epigonic world of languishing empires and degenerate city-states” where history has ground to a halt. In Eumeswil, Jünger writes, “values keep growing more and more shallow,” while the “great ideas for which millions got themselves killed” are no longer thought worthy of sacrifice. The distinctions that once divided populations by race, creed, and class have also “largely vanished.” Eumeswil, we are told, is an “atomized society,” in which only “the gross pleasures” and “the demands of everyday life” are taken seriously. This philistinism is abetted by thinking’s reduction to “purely quantitative terms” and the “decay of language” into vulgarity and slang. Despite its futuristic setting, it gradually becomes clear that Eumeswil is in fact a thinly veiled portrait of what Jünger believed was his own nihilistic, post-historical present.  


The creation of private or semi-private spaces proved appealing to many German writers and intellectuals after 1945 [...]counterspheres were likewise crucial to the search for interlocutors and influence. A good example is the network of relationships that grew up around the disgraced jurist Carl Schmitt. Institutionally ostracized after 1945, Schmitt was nonetheless widely consulted through informal channels—including invited lectures, countless epistolary exchanges, and long conversations at Schmitt’s home in Plettenberg. Counterspheres were also deemed necessary as a means of resistance to “Americanization” by those who, like Schmitt and Jünger, refused to submit to denazification or openly recant their earlier works. Media censorship in the occupation zones—what Schmitt damned as the “licensed public sphere”—fanned resentments about the imposition of liberalism and other supposedly foreign values. In response, Constantin Goschler observed, “radical conservatives developed an alternative to the liberal public sphere, primarily in the form of a retreat into the private sphere, where one could cultivate an arcanum amongst like-minded buddies. This practice contributed heavily to a sharp division between public and non-public or semi-public discourses that emerged in Germany shortly after the war and constituted an important element of West German political culture for some time after.

Monday, November 9, 2020

quote of the day


'We comes to terms with the fact that mankind has led the earth into a new age by intervening in nature, thereby threatening its own survival. The “apocalyptic mood,” according to Jünger, is “a sign that we have reached a stage where the fate of the earth as such is in doubt.”'
- Ernst Junger, Gerhard Loose

Thursday, October 22, 2020

"Kant, the Old Racist" (Telos Press article)

Thought-provoking article posted by Telos Press, "Kant, the Old Racist." These excerpts below in particular were interesting. Link below.

Political correctness is spreading to thought itself and deep into history. In this connection, the hatred for old white men is now concentrated on old wise men. This is surely the most extreme form of cultural revolution since Mao. Steadfast, the guardians of virtue replace thinking with intolerance and self-righteousness. The victim status renders with its pathos of indignation any argumentation superfluous. 

As though the past were still unfinished, history is being rewritten. Children’s books are being expurgated or censored; a gender-sensitive Bible frees God of the stain of being a father; streets are being renamed, holidays corrected, and statues toppled. 

The fact that it is now Kant, philosopher of the Enlightenment, who has fallen victim to the tribunalizers, should make it clear to everyone that the fate of occidental rationalism is at stake here. One can put Kant up “to debate,” without reading him. For reading Kant is very exacting—and this is something that even with the best of intentions can be avoided. After all, the tribunalization of the past has an important alleviating effect. A label is stuck to a great mind, and one no longer needs to deal with him. “Putting up for debate” replaces studying.

Link HERE.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Updated Syllabus and Course Materials for "The Philosophy of Technology and Organic Being" (Research Seminar and Independent Study)

Updated Syllabus can be found in the course folder HERE, along with most of the readings/texts required for the class. I'm planning to post the lectures on my YouTube channel if I can realistically be consistent in recording them.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Quentin Meillassoux news, links, and quotes

View from driver's seat while traveling from Dubuque, Iowa to Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, Fall 2011.
Internet thugs thought that they had killed me - but some "objects" never die. 

Since my mp3 audio download from a week or two ago was so popular, as was the collection of links provided in the post before it, I have decided to report that Armen Avanessian has posted an introduction to, and translation into German of, Quentin Meillassoux and the well known essay "Time Without Becoming," and link that HERE (I've also posted about this some time ago, HERE) and post some Meillassoux links as well. 

I haven't spoken to Quentin since 2014 (see HERE) when we were attempting to bring him over for our Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy, which resulted for me a chapter in THIS book (also much thanks is due to one Ray Brassier for making much of that and several opportunities possible). You  can hear my opening remarks from that summer school HERE. John Caputo wound up graciously delivering the seminars, which you can download HERE. He discusses Meillassoux quite abit and in depth.

Perusing through After Nature blog one finds many, may posts covering Meillassoux. Some of which will appear in the (hopefully, one day) forthcoming Speculative Naturalism edited and polished into essays. This year I have a book review and two chapters in edited books to finish first though - so Speculative Naturalism keeps getting pushed back, and has been for at least three years now. In any case, you might find some of the following interesting, followed by some interesting quotes.

Some quotes:

"The authentic tradition of immanence resides in the Platonic divine, and in the gods of Spinoza and Hegel, not in the 'philosophical atheism' of Heidegger." 

 - Quentin Meillassoux - The Divine Inexistence

"The most underrated thinkers in the history of philosophy are Reinhold, Jacobi, Maimon: the German thinkers who formed the junction between Kant and Fichte. With these philosophers, we draw close to the edge of what would soon become the volcano of German Idealism. It is a volcano that would not have been able to erupt without them, even though Schelling and Hegel esteemed them lightly."

- Quentin Meillassoux

"Speculative realism is an appellation designating in itself nothing important but with which I have become associated.  It does not quite correspond to my enterprise since it also comprises the option that I seek to counter."

- Quentin Meillassoux

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Not "New Wave," not "Dark Wave," not even "Cold Wave." No, it's...

"Tragic Wave." Here's the band, Drab Majesty with "Too Soon," from the "Demonstration" LP. First some Wikipedia though. Link's below the embedded video. 

From Wikipedia:

Drab Majesty is an American, Los Angeles-based musical project, founded by musician Deb Demure (Andrew Clinco) while working as the drummer for the band Marriages, in 2011. The project's first record was the 2012 EP Unarian Dances, first self-released and then re-released in 2014 on Lolipop Records. Since signing to Dais Records, Drab Majesty has released three albums - Careless (2015), The Demonstration (2017),and Modern Mirror (2019). 

Drab Majesty combine androgynous aesthetics and commanding vocals with futuristic and occult lyrics, a style Demure refers to as, "tragic wave." To create his imposing stage presence, Demure employs costumes, makeup and props to accompany his lush, '80s-influenced soundscapes.


Some After Nature music posts about dark wave, cold wave, no wave, ummmm... you get the point: