Thursday, November 17, 2016

Agent Swarm on Pluralist Metaphysical Research

PLURALIST METAPHYSICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMMES: Feyerabend, Deleuze, Laruelle, Zizek, Serres, Stiegler, Badiou, Latour

My long-term philosophical project is the critical analysis of the differing pluralist French Continental philosophies, those of Deleuze, Laruelle, Zizek, Serres, Stiegler, Badiou and Latour, as competing alternative metaphysical research programmes (in the sense proposed by Karl Popper).

I describe, analyse and evaluate these diverse metaphysical research programmes in terms of a loose partially overlapping set of criteria:

openness, pluralism, testability, realism, diachronicity, apophaticism, and democracy.

These criteria were originally derived from Paul Feyerabend's later philosophy (as outlined in the articles collected in CONQUEST OF ABUNDANCE). They give us useful descriptive and evaluative categories for dealing with contemporary French pluralism.

Feyerabend is often associated with a destructive criticism leading to an anarchism that flouts every rule and a relativism that treats all opinions as equal. This negative stereotype is based on ignorance and rumour rather than on any real engagement with his texts.

Feyerabend's work from beginning to end turns around problems of pluralism, ontology and realism, culminating in the outlines of a sophisticated form of pluralist realism. The still largely unknown ontological turn taken by Feyerabend's work in the last decade of his life was based on eight strands of argument: ontological difference and pluralism (ineffable Being as distinct from the multiple manifest realities), realism, testability, cosmological criticism, the historical approach, the quantum analogy (complementarity), and the primacy of democracy. See: Feyerabend's Cosmological Pluralism

My past advisors on this project were Alan Chalmers, Jean-Toussaint Desanti, and Jean-François Lyotard. I learned much from attending the seminars of Michel Serres, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Kenneth White. More recently I have profited from exchanges with Charles Spinosa, Bernard Stiegler and Bruno Latour.

A useful first approach to my project: IS ONTOLOGY MAKING US STUPID? (2012):


My most recent publication (2016), evaluating Bruno Latour's AN INQUIRY INTO MODES OF EXISTENCE from this perspective:

De-briefing Aime Project


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