Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hip Philosophers: The Short List for 2015

Back by popular demand in its third year: "Hip Philosophers: the Short List." This is, of course, *tongue in cheek* relax. Don't freak out. It's "snarkiness" mode "lite." Enjoy!

Hip Philosophers: The Short List for 2015

1. Pete Wolfendale. Out of the rising young stars of philosophy Wolfendale has recently overtaken all French or Italian "peddled goods" by delivering a true masterpiece of critical philosophy from the UK. Hailed by some as building something of a "cathedral" when going out to "shoot a lame dog," a masterpiece was born. Add a postscript by one Ray Brassier and Wolfendale takes the number one spot.

2. Terrance Blake. Another newcomer to our list, Blake has popped on the scene in a very visible way within the past year despite him working his way up the ranks of good philosophers for many years. Publications in Theoria as well as a very prominent journal covering Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Blake takes number two as a philosopher to watch out for. Plus, outsiders have placed him in the Wolfendale/Brassier/Niemoczynski/Blake axis, which increases his visibility as a bonus. All in all Blake is writing about some of the hottest topics today and taking no prisoners. Read him!

3. Eduardo Viveiros de Castro. de Castro has idled on breaking the top five but this year appears at #3. His "multinaturalism" has impressed many outside of his own circles of anthropology by heading toward the realms of philosophical naturalism and pragmatism. The fact that he typically draws from William James and John Dewey is a plus. And he graciously linked one of my posts about his work HERE, which was a nice gesture.

4. John Caputo. Caputo has straddled the speculative blogosphere while lecturing on "speculative realism" in the form of seminars at Syracuse for about three years or more now. He takes the number 4 spot due to his Insistence of God publication which rocked the world of radical theology, but also that of speculative philosophy. Adding to that he presented two seminars this past year at the Philadelphia Summer School for Continental Philosophy. One on Meillassoux and Brassier, the other on Malabou and Latour. He's still relevant while being a mover and shaker for many.

5. Adrian Johnston. This was a tough one as Nick Land was hot on the heels of breaking into the list. (Land is a phenomenal philosopher who is bringing something new to the table.) Still, Johnston's working with Malabou and pushing forward with a number of books through Northwestern UP earned him a spot. Yet he slips to number 5 by publishing, again, in Speculations where recently that journal features the same people over, and over, and over, and over again ad nauseum. You can literally count on one hand the same folks who publish there, and its abit stale. Why not add fresh voices?

Runners up:

1. Nick Land may very well grab the number one spot next year. His posts at Outside In are just, well, interesting. Probably the most interesting blog of all year. NRx, love it or hate it, is hot right now and everyone is talking about it. (Accelerationism still has serious momentum too.) Land is an intellect to watch out for, and I think a venture into the philosophical realm in a more direct way rather than on the periphery (perhaps in bleak theology?) would be welcome, and extremely awesome.

2. Philippe Descola Stylish, but...meh. Too "Latourish" this year; while Latour fades from popularity it appears the same is happening for Descola. New non-peddled voices please.