Sunday, December 24, 2017

Wolfendale and Transcendentalism

I won't comment on a lengthy but well-worth-the-read post, which is quite personal and explores just as much, put up recently by one Pete Wolfendale, HERE. Titled "Transcendental Blues" it is a personalized exploratory post that takes the reader through topics such as mental health and suicide, neuroscience and logic, and much of Mark Fisher's work.

I've indirectly known Pete for a few years and have only corresponded with him some, but from reading the post I certainly feel for him. Along with Terence Blake and Ray Brassier, Pete has been grouped along with myself in an "axis of address" toward neo-rationalism, pragmatism and naturalism, recent French philosophy and the sciences, and (critically) Deleuze, Badiou, Laruelle, and Meillassoux. But those are not the only reasons I identify with what he has to say (see page 162 and onward which addresses inane comments made by a certain blog kingpin concerning some supposed "neurology deathcult" and "mindless rationalism" that is "brainwashing" poor young graduate students, a deathcult that is best represented by we "rationalist mindslaves" HERE).

Pete has also put up two rather good papers HERE and HERE covering "Transcendental Realism" and "The Value of Art."

To be frank, if I were pressed to label the axis in question (which I'm not, so this is free-form), I would say that my proposed titling of it as a "speculative naturalism" would seem to fit (even for Blake whose discussions often center on scientific methodology moreso than nature per se. Still, Blake should nevertheless be included). But is this axis a "neurology deathcult?" Are "rationalist mindslaves" "brainwashing" poor young graduate students? Hardly. Speculative naturalism just fits so much better and is actually an honest encapsulation of what brings together these four philosophers, as I see it at least.