Tuesday, February 10, 2015

another telling review through NDPR: The Allure of Things: Process and Object in Contemporary Philosophy

This time in a review of The Allure of Things: Process and Object in Contemporary Philosophy, HERE.

Colapietro (Penn State) gives a fair review, and it's telling.  Political ties and the fact of writing about a faddish topic in no way shields the text in question from Colapietro identifying and reporting this book's obvious shortcomings.  Such was the case with Sparrow's book reviewed on NDPR which I comment upon HERE.

I didn't bother to obtain this book (or ask for it for our library) simply because, once again, I knew well in advance the politicized agenda of the editors.  Sadly this is becoming more of the rule rather than the exception in the publication of texts covering Speculative Realism.  Again, Speculative ®ealism™ takes hold.  True, the conference happened before the whole "process versus object" debate happened online, yet nevertheless in retrospect the book could have corrected obvious loopholes within its edited essays before its publication which took over five years.  

Sometimes Faber has things right, see HERE for example.  Other times not.

In strong agreement with Vincent Colapietro I cannot recommend this book.  As a scholar of process philosophy I must admit that the book's approach is simply unimaginative.  Rightly he calls out the "superficial engagement" present in the book.  A "lack of engagement" is putting it nicely.  Agent Swarm blog can tell us all about withdrawal.  Because there is no real engagement beyond the confines of the Speculative ®ealism™ inner circle, a sort of scholasticism is taking place.  Other process philosophers out there are light years beyond what this book seems to be putting out there, but because of agendas the conversation simply won't happen.  The result is a generation of younger philosophers or young graduate students who miss the boat entirely.

In short, to cite Colapietro, "[A] respectful yet critical exchange between champions of process metaphysics and those of 'speculative realism' mostly failed to occur."  Delete mostly and this review hits the nail on the head.

We're still here...writing and advancing and developing process metaphysics from within Speculative Realism.  That's been happening for years.  Yet where is the other side?  Writing essays directed to the inner circle of approved "friends" who aren't even in the same volume?  It's sad.  Just, sad.