Wednesday, November 26, 2014

my latest book now available!




I am proud to say that my most recent co-edited book, A Philosophy of Sacred Nature: Prospects for Ecstatic Naturalism, is finally published! The book is the result of two and a half years of hard work, but I think the end product was well worth it. Anyone who is interested in a good introduction to the philosophy of Robert S. Corrington - his "ecstatic naturalism" - should pick up this book. The amazon link is HERE. Act quickly as apparently they are already selling out on amazon for a reduced price.

If you are curious about how ecstatic naturalism fits into today's metaphysics of the 21st-century, specifically as an American complement to Continental philosophy, I have posted the first page of our introduction in addition to the table of contents.  Along with Robert Brandom, Nicholas Rescher, and William Desmond, Corrington certainly has a new outlook to bring to the table within Euro-American philosophy (those philosophies that synthesize the Continental and American traditions).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

a new book about Speculative Realism

And it's mine.  I have two prospective titles, actually.  One is Speculative Naturalism: Speculative Realism as an Ecological Metaphysics.  The other is (because the book draws on so many lines of thinking presented here on this blog) After Nature: Speculative Realism as an Ecological Metaphysics.

I am currently shopping around the proposal (copied below) that articulates the scope and purpose of the book while listing the chapters.  There are quite a few chapters that were originally blog posts which  have since been steroid-injected with rigorous citation and scholarship, which really beefs things up into full-blown argumentative essays.  I've spent many weeks combing through blog exchanges that have occurred within the past five to seven years (aeons in blog time) to enhance the research that I pulled from peer-reviewed journal articles and books.  So there is both a formal scholarly element and a digital humanities element.  As well, there are several brand new essays that I've authored which do not appear here on this blog but which also draw rigorously from published texts in addition to blog posts and blog exchanges.

I am making the proposal publicly available just in case there are publishing houses out there who read After Nature and who might want to make an offer for publication.  The only request so far that I have is that the book would appear in paperback print within a year to year and a half (a fair schedule of time, I think).  I am also quite open to open access publishing as that is how I published my co-edited Animal Experience: Consciousness and Emotions in the Natural World through Open Humanities Press and that text has received considerable attention and a very positive reception (and also the radio interview that I did about that open access text is currently nominated for a "Voiceless Media Prize").

So, prospective publishers please get in touch if you are interested!  Overall the manuscript is sound, solid and tight.  Argumentatively at the very least I hope that this manuscript - regardless of how it is published - has as much impact as Wolfendale's first masterpiece has had. The book certainly covers what the other two or three books out there about speculative realism have covered but which, unfortunately, have left out key and influential players in the conversation.  Those are wrongs that this book seeks to right.

In any case, please spread the word.  If you know of a publishing house who might be interested please feel free to pass along this post to them.  Thanks.

***



Book Proposal:

Speculative Naturalism: Speculative Realism as an EcologicalMetaphysics

How might contemporary metaphysics appropriate and transform environmental philosophy and ideas about nature within the 21st century?  Often contemporary metaphysics - speculative philosophy, new materialism, philosophical realism - is centered within the Continental or European philosophical tradition in idiom and topics of concern when it comes to developing new environmental philosophies. Figures such as Merleau-Ponty or even Gilles Deleuze come to mind as resources for environmental philosophy in a "Continental" key.

However, “speculative naturalism”(how I describe my own current philosophical project) draws from the American philosophical tradition as much as it does from the Continental philosophical tradition.

The key ideas for both traditions, I think, when it comes to developing an environmental philosophy that is inspired by recent positions of speculative philosophy in realist and materialist orientation, is that these metaphysical positions are developed so that they are thoroughly ecological.  Thus, "speculative naturalism" is an ecological metaphysics as much as it is a realist and materialist metaphysics.

The line of argument running throughout this book’s collection of essays is twofold.  First, nature is not always beautiful.  It can be downright ugly or grotesque as much as it can be sublime and breath-taking. We must abandon a certain form of romanticized nature as something utterly conducive to human needs and desires if we are to conceptualize nature in a way that honors its full range of complexity, value, and reality. Nature always has the last vote, and in its sheer scope, complexity, and power demands humility as humans realize they are but one of many actors in avast network of others.  So contrasts of aesthetic value make for a canvass of nature that is as much bleak as it is bright.  Thinking about nature then requires one to think “after” nature – that is, after the notions that come along with an inherited notion of romanticized nature.  This form of naturalism would be both fully“naturalized” and speculative (metaphysically open to the “outside” and its full range of value).

Second, human beings need to rethink how things are related in the world. There is no super-order or container of "Nature."  There are, however, agencies and networks, or better, agents and relationships within a vast processural domain of activity, process, and value creation.  We must be careful in recognizing these relationships, though.  We shouldn't state that nature is just "natured" actors on the stage; that is, inert objects that one ought to orientate their ontology toward.  Rather,we need to rethink how the innumerable agencies of the natural world relate and come to be.  So we must ask the question of generativity.  This without importing telic dreams for whatever agencies are in question. Extinction is certainly an option for all of these agencies, for all oflife as we know it.  Or as Whitehead said, "Other cosmic epochs are possible."  Thus the essays presented here discuss why a relationless universe, one without real consequences for or various affects upon the agents of the world, cannot be.

This book seeks to think through the various aspects of a philosophy of nature, an environmental philosophy and philosophical naturalism, that is metaphysically ecological in light of 21st century developments in philosophical materialism,realism, and speculative philosophy (or those taken together, Speculative Realist philosophy). The result is a position which I am calling “speculative naturalism”– an ecological metaphysics for the 21st century that presents a new way of approaching environmental philosophy and metaphysical speculation and thinking.

Throughout the course of the book the essays develop the position of speculative naturalism vis-à-vis new speculative and realist philosophical positions, whether new materialism,speculative materialism or realism, neo-vitalism, transcendental materialism or naturalism, neo-rationalism, or Accelerationism.  Traditional methods critiqued by some of these schools of thinking (methods such as phenomenology, for example) are re-evaluated in light of alternate resources available for the creation of anew line of speculative and naturalist metaphysics.  Resources not only from speculative materialisma nd realism but pragmatism, Accelerationism, non-correlational phenomenology,process philosophy, and philosophical ecology are drawn upon in order to critique ontologies that fail to explain nature or reality and then offer an adequate ontology in place.



Speculative Naturalism: Speculative Realism as an Ecological Metaphysics

Table of Contents

  1. “How Does Speculative Naturalism Relate to the New Metaphysics?”

  1. “Speculative Realism’s Relationship to Phenomenology”

  1. “The End of Phenomenology? Not Quite: From Husserl to C. S. Peirce, Charles Hartshorne, and Alfred North Whitehead”

  1. “Non-correlationist Phenomenology: Is it a Possibility?”

  1. “Transcendentalism and Correlationism”

  1. “Things versus Powers: Rediscovering Existentialism as 21st-century Agentialism”

  1. “Process-relational Philosophy and Value Experience: A Response to Adrian Johnston and Ray Brassier on the Axiological Question of Creative Addition”

  1. “Latour’s Natural Religion and Processes of Pluralization”

  1. “Latour’s Gaia Theory and Plato’s Deep Ecology in the Timaeus

  1. “Why a Relationless Universe Cannot Be”

  1. “Are All Relations Internal?”

  1. “In Defense of Relations”

  1. “The Ruthlessness of Metaphysics”

  1. “A Characterization of Speculative Naturalism and Bleak Theology”

  1. "A Speculative Rationalist Approach to the Problem of Realism and Relativism in Pluralist Ontologies"

  1. “Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's Pluralist ‘Universal Relationism’ and ‘Multinaturalism’”

  1. “Francois Laruelle’s Speculative Ecology of Man, Animal, and Plant”

  1. "Right and Left Accelerationism"

  1. "NRx: Reading Ernst Juenger and Nick Land as Accelerationists"

  1. "Skirmishes and the Online Blogging ‘Cold War’: Speculative ®ealism™ versus Speculative Realism”

  1. "Speculative Realism and the Politics of Exclusion: The Misadventure of an Experiment in Online Philosophy" 

Appendix A:

Interview with Ray Brassier

Interview with Iain Hamilton Grant

Appendix B:

Book Review: Object-Oriented Philosophy: The Noumenon’s New Clothes by Pete Wolfendale

Book Review: The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism by Steven Shaviro

Monday, November 24, 2014

Nick Land on Interstellar

A great write up with some very interesting thoughts expressed - ending with just a fantastic line:

"It might be human triumphalism that sells Interstellar to its audience, but this is a movie aligned with the distant Outside."

Click HERE to read his full post.

Attention Economy versus Attention Ecology

Some very good points in a nice post covering Yves Citton's Pour une Ecologie de l'Attention, HERE, by Unemployed Negativity Blog.

"Why We're All Addicted to Texts, Twitter and Google" (article)

From Psychology Today, HERE.

On the Romantic Absolute (3:AM interview with Dalia Nassar)

HERE.  I've posted HERE a link to the NDPR review of (and bought, recently) her book The Romantic Absolute: Being and Knowing in Early German Romantic Philosophy.

It's among my favorites of recent books on the subject in addition to the related Hegelian Metaphysics by Robert Stern (see HERE for my take and HERE for Stern's 3:AM interview).

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Still: Journey with a free diving philosopher, into the beautifully alien world of the living ocean" (Aeon Magazine video)

Not technologically savvy enough to embed THIS highly recommended video courtesy of Aeon Magazine.
Carlos Eyles is a a 72-year-old ocean photographer, author, and free diver. In Still, we accompany him into the ocean, as he describes his intimate relationship with the marine world. Reflecting on a realm that is still within the province of the unknown, Eyles illuminates how profoundly wondrous it is to live within the great scheme of life.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

short-listed for a prize in the Voiceless Media Prizes

The producer of the ABC National Radio program The Philosopher's Zone informs me that the episode "The Emotional Lives of Animals" - featuring Stephanie Theodorou and me (both of Immaculata University) - has been short-listed for a prize among ten others in Voiceless Media Prizes.

The Voiceless Media Prize recognizes the most accurate and influential reports on animal protection and ethics.  Winners will be announced in December where there is a $15,000 reward.

For more information see the below copied post from earlier this summer.

***


Animal Experience: Consciousness and Emotions in the Natural World has now been published in the "Living Books About Life" series through Open Humanities Press.  The book is open-access, free, and online for you to read. 

ANIMAL EXPERIENCE, edited by Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou (both at Immaculata University, US)
http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org/books/Animal_Experience
or
LIVING BOOKS ABOUT LIFE
http://www.livingbooksaboutlife.org



Additionally Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou appear on ABC National Radio's The Philosopher's Zone promoting the book.  Direct link to MP3 DOWNLOAD HERE (11.2 MB). 

A link to the radio program's webpage where you can listen to or download the program: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/the-emotional-lives-of-animals/5547048

A link to an article about us with snippets from the program and links to closely related topics: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/science-and-philosophy-probe-the-emotional-lives-of-animals/5554776 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Critique of Creativity and Complexity

Process-relational philosophy is often critiqued for its "relational" component in that relations are taken either to be not as "real" as things related (or to the defense of the opposing view that William James defended: relations are just as real as what's being related), or that things somehow "exhaust" their relations (or to the defense of the opposing view that Whitehead and Hegel defended, no thing can be a "thing" unless it is related - so the notion of relation is inherit to being a thing).  Thus in defense a basic Fichtean-Hegelian move whether that relation is to be found between things or even at any things' constituting heart and center of negativity, the self-positing I as not-I, etc.

This book titled A Critique of Creativity and Complexity looks very interesting because even though process-relational philosophy is not to be found in it -at least not directly and upon a cursory glance - it does the job in defending that other notion that is often seen as a major component of process philosophy, and that's the (ultimate) category of creativity.

Also of note perhaps is the book's concern with order despite radical contingency or chaos, pace Quentin Meillassoux.  It discusses in other words how it is possible for order, or harmony, to emerge despite radically chaotic transcendental conditions.  Insofar as process-relational philosophy goes, C.S. Peirce, Charles Hartshorne, and Alfred North Whitehead were all interested in this question.

A free preview (73 pages!) of the book is available HERE.  Definitely worth a look at an often cliched subject: creativity.

Monday, November 17, 2014

quote of the day

Apropos the social media rage of today and the fact that we exist as personal "brands" and not much else.

"The pure form of servitude is to exist as an instrument, as a thing. And this mode of existence is not abrogated if the thing is animated and chooses its material and intellectual food, if it does not feel its being-a-thing, if it is a pretty, clean, mobile thing.”

- Herbert Marcuse, One Dimensional Man

"Neuro-livestock" was how it was best put, recently.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Call for Papers: Ecstatic Naturalism 2015


2015 International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism

This is a call for papers for the 2015 International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism to be held on April 10th and 11th on the campus of Drew University in Madison, NJ.  The theme this year is the connection between American philosophy and ecstatic naturalism.  However, papers on other topics in American philosophy and the philosophy of nature are also welcome.  Interested parties only need to submit a 250 word abstract for the proposed article.  The deadline for abstracts is January 15th.

Please submit your abstract to:  Leon Niemoczynski at lniemocz@mail.immaculata.edu.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Process Thought From a Continental Perspective

An article that contains the below very interesting tidbit:
In certain respects, the interest of European philosophers in the thought of A.N. Whitehead has proven often to be (after the title of a recent popular movie) a "Fatal Attraction." (I owe these stories to George Lucas.) In 1956, Professor John E. Smith of Yale University paid a visit to the venerable Martin Heidegger. Their conversation lasted for three hours, during which time Heidegger expressed his passionate interest in turning toward a new, post-Hegelian pursuit of a philosophy of nature. Smith responded that in America A.N. Whitehead had already spawned such a movement. Heidegger was most pleasantly surprised and interested, and expressed a desire to read some of Whitehead’s philosophy. It was, in fact, at Heidegger’s request that the tremendous project of translating Process and Reality (PR) was begun at Suhrkamp Verlag (Frankfurt). However, before the translation could be made available to him, Heidegger died.
 
Link to the full article HERE.  A book possibly of interest HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Caputo, Catherine Keller and John Cobb

Courtesy of Homebrewed Christianity blog at the AAR.  A panel bringing together (for the first time) John Caputo, Catherine Keller, and John Cobb.  The panel will be broadcast live in the form of a podcast. Friday, November 21st from 7pm until 9pm

More information and link to the live broadcast of the event HERE.

Thanks to Marilynn L. for the tip.  This looks like it will be very exciting!