Wednesday, November 16, 2011

why Brassier is both right and wrong

After re-reading some of Nihil Unbound, I began to ask myself if perhaps Brassier may be mistaken concerning he notion of a "dead" form of Being which can, one day in the distant future, take on a finalized state "at the close of the universe," what is called "Being with zero degree" (a main thesis of his book).  

When it comes to some of Brassier's more critical comments concerning the majority of the "speculative realist" blogosphere I think he is generally correct.  But I think he might be incorrect on the topic of Being with zero degree as a final state or ultimate end in death of sorts.

To hit just one high point.  Being with zero degree, to my mind, cannot be a state where reality dies to the extent that Brassier says it would.  If I take our (physical) universe to be the only reality, then that spells the sort of trouble and doom that Brassier says, true.  However, it occurred to me that 1.) a multiverse theory, if true (and according to contemporary physics it likely is) would prove Brassier's cosmological thesis of being with zero degree as a dead state to be incorrect  and 2.) being with zero degree, rather than a dead state, could be a generative state of "bare nothingness," to use the phrase from both Peirce and Schelling.

In fact, Peirce even speaks of the "logic" of zero Being as a creative state, not a cold and dead one that admits of no furtherance ontologically or cosmologically (see CP IV and V).  And, along with Whitehead, if there are cosmic epochs, then wouldn't it be too "optimistic" to try to claim that our physical universe is the one that happens to get the honor of getting darkened out of existence forever with no others to arise from it?  In short, does the death of the universe presuppose and absolute end?