Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reza Negarestani and Guerino Mazzola, presented by Glass Bead in NYC

Charles Sanders Peirce, <i>Labyrinth</i>. From Charles Sanders Peirce papers, MS Am 1632 (1537). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Charles Sanders Peirce, Labyrinth. From Charles Sanders Peirce papers, MS Am 1632 (1537). Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Reza Negarestani and
Guerino Mazzola, presented
by Glass Bead

Reza Negarestani: “What Philosophy
Does to the Mind”
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 7–9pm
Guerino Mazzola: “Melting Glass Beads—The Multiverse Game of Strings and Gestures”
Friday, April 25, 2014, 7–9pm
e-flux311 East Broadway
New York, NY 10002
T 212 619 3356

Link HERE.

Friday, April 18, 2014

interview with Adrian Johnston

Adrian managed some decent responses despite some, well, rather "mundane" (and at times just disappointing) questions. In any case the following has me perplexed.

Where do Bennett and Connolly "hypothesize the Infinite" and "chant endlessly" about natura naturans? When asked about current vital materialists who are claimed to be "monists" (really?), Johnston supplies the names of Jane Bennett and William Connolly, saying that they and other "neo-Spinozicists" are his target.

Who exactly is he referring to? (He was asked to be specific.)  Who specifically are these "neo-Spinozicists"?  Bennett and Connolly?  If so I am not recognizing them in his caricaturization.

Link: HERE.



some forthcoming publications

I'll have a number of things appearing soon that After Nature readers might be interested in, and I'll add things that have recently appeared as well as upcoming talks and interviews.

Forthcoming (most by summer or early fall)

Animal Experience: Consciousness and Emotions in the Natural World (Open Humanities Press "Living Books About Life" Series) 

A Philosophy of Sacred Nature: Prospects for Ecstatic Naturalism (Lexington Books)


"Meillassoux' God and Process Theism" in Philosophy & Theology


Entries on "The Divine Inexistence"; "Irreligion"; "Potentiality"; "Resurrection"; "Spectral Dilemma"; "The Child" for The Meillassoux Dictionary (Edinburgh University Press)

"Speculating God: Meillassoux's Divine Inexistence" in The Future of Continental Philosophy of Religion (Indiana University Press)

"Speculative Naturalism: A Bleak Theology in Light of the Tragic" in Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture


"Aesthetic Value in Peirce's Theistic Naturalism" in The Peirce Quote Book: Semiotics, Communication, and Cognition (Mouton De Gruyter)


"Speculative Realism," entry for The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (I am going to actually post this to my blog this summer before it is finished in the editing process; it's still under review but I am guessing should appear by fall)


Recently published

"21st Century Speculative Philosophy: Reflections on the New Metaphysics and its Realism and Materialism," in Cosmos and History

"Physics of the Idea: An Interview with Iain Hamilton Grant" in Cosmos & History


Review of Charles Hartshornes' Creative Experiencing in American Journal of Theology & Philosophy


Conferences, appearances, talks

I'll be appearing on the radio program The Philosopher's Zone (ABC Radio Australia) with the other co-editor of Animal Experience.  We go into the studio May 7th at WXPN to use their satellite link.  Not sure how long after that the interview will appear.  I am hesitant to link my radio interviews - I did a number of radio appearances back in 2010 and 2011 (and one or two I think in 2012), and because I cringe at the content I was discussing at the time (I had a blushing romance with an "object oriented" philosophy that actually turned out to be a crap form of philosophy in the long run), thank God I did not link/upload those interviews.  So, if you can find them more power to you.  Otherwise I think the ABC Radio Australia one should be easy to find when it goes online.  

Tripp Fuller mentioned the possibility of a Homebrewed Christianity interview on his podcast.  So, tba.  I need to follow up with him about that.


Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy (August, date tba)


P.E.S.T. (annual summer symposium, August, date tba)


I am also planning to start creating/recording my After Nature podcasts, hopefully by late this summer.  But that idea is still up in the air.  I am noticing that with alot of the above, my projects take some time to unfold, whether a year, or even two years in some instances.  Funny, but even with all things online the research/writing/publication pipeline tends to move at its own pace.  I suppose that's a good thing, because then I get a few months of hindsight while things are appearing to determine what shape my research profile will take in the future.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Global Center for Advanced Studies Seminar "Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion" (VIDEO)

Video of the live feed on Google Hangout, seminar with John Caputo and Peter Rollins on "Contemporary Continental Philosophy of Religion" for the Global Center for Advanced Studies.

the times they are a-changin' - Terrance Blake finally getting the acknowledgment that he deserves

HERE.  This refers back (somewhat) to some thoughts that I've made public about the situation, HERE.

I can't tell you how many emails I've answered from upset or shocked, but generally mostly disgusted graduate students or younger faculty when it comes to folks intentionally blackballing others in the attempt to clutch spots, put themselves over at the expense and excision of others, or define things how they want them to be defined.

It's one thing to miss someone on an honest oversight, but it's completely another situation to intentionally ignore someone as a slight or as some form of punishment that hides under the cover of, "Well, they aren't offering something fair or useful so I'll give them zero acknowledgment."  Boy, do I have some stories about those claiming to be "fair" and how in reality behind the scenes these goons and kingpins (yes, that is exactly what they are) are far from "fair."  In my link above I've given the list of hoops that Terry was made to jump through (and he jumped through all of them) to no avail.  He's not giving up on this "cold war," nor should he.

Here's the latest email I received, a portion of it, from just last evening actually.  [Update: this email wasn't from Terry, it was from someone else.  FYI.]
They want to control information. They want only their interpretation to be how SR is defined.  You are a threat. I think you are a double threat because you have opened it up to religiosity, and the atheists do not want SR to spin in that direction or toward anything that resembles mysticism.  As it gains interest, the level of attempt at control increased.  It's cult behavior plain and simple. It is not a community of interpreters.
Like I said, even though there's hopes that we'll just "magically disappear" - I can assure you that we *are* (and will continue to be) a part of the conversation for a long, long time to come, whether you like it or not.

We are here to stay, and we know the world is listening.  That's exactly what you fear.  Folks listening to a voice other than you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Massumi on relations and relationalism versus interactionism and the problem of novelty/change (VIDEO)

I've always agreed with this critique: if we try to go with "interactivity" we are at a loss for how there is change and genuine novelty in the universe.  Additionally, it seems that outcomes must in some sense be "certain" if always already formally individuated particulars/agents "interact" on a scale of pre-individuated essential/formal natures rather than relate between partially unspecified natures, whose potential for change is informed by the capacity to mutually participate in an ever-becoming reality.

Things/agents/particulars are defined by participation in such a becoming reality.  If novelty and the potential for change is true, then things are indeed exhausted by their relations (as Massumi points out); that is, things are exhausted by the relation of mutually relating to an unspecified future.  So it is the indeterminacy of the future which "trumps all."  Agentially speaking, however, there is an upside to this indeterminacy: the freedom of things.

An unspecified future means that things - individuals - can be otherwise than what they are, i.e. self-determining.  If this were not true the inner power for things/agents to self-determine would mean nothing.  In this way not only are relation and change ultimacies, but freedom, too, becomes an ultimate metaphysical category.  Here a long-lasting truth of existentialism, construed in the form of modern agentialist metaphysics (Stengers, Latour) but also found in process-relational philosophy (Whitehead, Deleuze), rears its head.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

quote of the day

Reason liberates its own spaces and its own demands, and in the process fundamentally revises not only what we understand as thinking, but also what we recognize as “us.”
- Reza Negarestani

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy

I am very proud to announce that as of today we've officially obtained approval to host the first annual "Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy" at Immaculata University this coming August. This is fantastic news and I am elated to be co-organizing this year's event!

Details will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, including our main school "leader" and the specific topic that we'll be studying.

I'll post an official CFP here at After Nature. But until then stay tuned and please help spread the word about what I hope will prove to be an exciting and fruitful gathering and exhange of ideas!

Monday, April 7, 2014

What is mathematics about?

Interesting article, HERE.  Some highlights below:
To the question: ‘Is mathematics about something?’ there are two answers: ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Both are profoundly unsatisfying. 
The ‘No’ answer, whose champions are known as nominalists, says that mathematics is just a language. On this view, it is just a way of talking about other things, or a collection of logical trivialities (as Singer claims), or a formal manipulation of symbols according to rules. 
Nominalism might have a certain down-to-earth appeal, but further reflection suggests that it can’t be right. Although manipulation of symbols is useful as a technique, we also have a strong sense that mathematics makes objective discoveries about a terrain that is in some sense ‘out there’.  
It seems as if pure mathematics reveals the topography of a region whose truths pre-existed investigation, even language. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

some afternoon reflections and an interesting interview with Kadmon ofAllerseelen (Natur Spiritualität part 3)

Kadmon / Allerseelen
Interesting interview with Kadmon of the Austrian electronic/neo-folk experimental band, Allerseelen.  HERE.  Youtubing some related projects as well.  The music herein speaks to my interest in, and passion for, "natur spiritualität."

I think my most "philosophical" connections to forests and mountains, for example, took place while I was in Heidleberg in my early twenties, traveling, listening to lectures by Gadamer shortly before he passed away, and researching the likes of Ernst Juenger, Martin Heidegger, and German romanticism and idealism.

There along the banks of the Neckar River, along the Philosophenweg - where Goethe, Hoederlin, Jaspers, Juenger, and Heidegger all walked - I became transfixed by the philosophical power of nature as I came to appreciate it from the romantic perspective, informed by my studies at that time.  Of course, at a much, much earlier age - in my teens and even before - my "spiritual" love for nature was fostered while growing up in the Pocono Mountains (mostly in Cherry Valley, which is now a nature preserve), taking hikes with my sister or even sometimes going alone into the forests simply to sit in silence and think quietly.



From an early age, I learned, that if anything, the power of nature, its utter and absolute indifference and stubbornness, at times, affords its sublimity and lines of religious insight.

Leon / After Nature in Heidelberg in the late '90s.
To that end I remember how I actually came to first have that thought as a philosophical kernel for future work. I was enticed by the romantic and dare even I say mystical-idealist moments of Plato and Hegel, but also the German Romantics (German romanticism, mostly Schiller, influenced the American pragmatists, especially C.S. Peirce - as Peirce adored Schiller's Aesthetic Letters).

I remember Gadamer once saying that he believed that it was nature's ability - its aesthetic ability - to disrupt our most deeply held convictions and beliefs - that made the understanding and unification of nature and art through dialectic a spiritual exercise (Gadamer was influenced by Plato and Hegel alike). Reading a natural semiotic, then, this occurs in a sort of environmental "saturation."  While in Germany that stuck with me mostly through a cultural lens of course, but the romantic notion of it is something that I've kept since.  Reading or encountering a natural semiotic, that is, nature as semiotic, is as much a spiritual exercise as it is an aesthetic one.  And vice versa. 

Thus, here I am along the "Philosopher's Path."  A far off land and time, but the fixation and immersion, the natural love for, the world of nature remains the same.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a correction for PhilJobs appointments

It's "East Stroudsburg University." I am not sure why they inserted "State" into the official title of the school. Also, Loras was my last position, not my current one (so Immaculata and Loras should be switched in the timeline).

Still, I am relishing the title and am excited to be a new VAP come fall. Just waiting for paperwork.

10th International Whitehead Conference: Seizing an Alternative: Towardan Ecological Civilization | June 4-7th, 2015 @ Claremont

The conference website is immense. I can't help but chuckle to myself when I see the size of the website and then think of that now infamous line, "process philosophy is yesterday's rallying cry."

Either these conference goers are severely misled or Whitehead and *process* philosophy is alive and well.

http://whitehead2015.wordpress.com/