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Among the leaders of the established generation, this new focus takes numerous forms. All of them elaborate a positive ontology, despite the incompatibility of their results.


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Meanwhile, the new generation of continental thinkers is pushing these trends still further, as seen in currents ranging from transcendental materialism to the Londonbased speculative realism movement to new revivals of Derrida. As indicated by the title The Speculative Turn, the new currents of continental philosophy depart from the text-centered hermeneutic models of the past and engage in daring speculations about the nature of reality itself. Held at the University of London, Goldsmiths College, the conference featured the four philosophers listed above—Brassier, Grant, Meillassoux, and Harman.


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Significant differences exist amongst speculative realists, but there is a common and unifying resistance to all philosophies of human finitude, as inspired by Kant, in both the analytic and continental tradition. According to speculative realism, both the philosophies of access and correlationism are forms of anthropocentrism. In brief, the objective of speculative realism, in all of its modalities, is to overturn certain forms of idealism dominating contemporary philosophy, which, for instance, privilege human being over other forms, and replace them with their specific form of realism.

Within speculative realism there are four primary variations, corresponding to the significant philosophical differences amongst the four primary members of the school: speculative materialism, as developed by Meillassoux; transcendental materialism or neo-vitalism, as developed by Grant; transcendental nihilism or methodological naturalism, as developed by Brassier; and object-oriented philosophy, as developed by Harman.

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Following Heidegger, he contends that readiness-to-hand involves the withdrawal of objects from their human purposes, be they practical or theoretical, and into a reality other than that of their human use or deployment. Elimination has become the very tool of power. One does not have to subscribe to any particular school of realist or materialist thought to see that our current circumstances urgently call for new ways of thinking the real; to broaden the scope of analysis from discourse and ideology to the actors — human and non-human, individual and collective — in our world and its becoming; to go beyond critique, and begin to build.

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The Speculative Turn is an important step on that journey. Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. Thanks for that. Very interesting. Just wondering, though, what you see as the prospects for these debates to escape from the academy.

Speculative realism - Wikipedia

How is this to be overcome? It may be, for instance, that the cuts to universities in the UK, and the occupations that have taken place as a result, will radicalise the student body, form a sense of solidarity with workers also suffering from the cuts, and start a new dialogue between theory and praxis. I agree with Joshua — the reunification of radical theory and practice will likely come after a period of struggle, whether that is inside or outside the university.


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  8. The Speculative Turn marks something of a watershed in the history of philosophy: I believe it is the first work of ontology ever to crash a website. Apparently the free PDF was so popular it crashed re. Scientists argue about methodological issues as much as folks in humanities — this idealized picture of brave scientists forging ahead is naive and false , and one often finds it precisely among non-scientists.

    Scientists needs to show how they know what they claim to know epistemology as much as anyone else. As an intruder here E.

    After the "Speculative Turn": Realism, Philosophy, and Feminism

    Neither Micro or Macro more how many calls from this Speculative crow!? Thanks for your suggestion. The point I was making is that, in the process beginning with Kant but intensifying during the 20th C, questions of interpretation, subjectivity, perception dominated in such a way as to obscure the point of inquiry.

    This is not to say that epistemology is unnecessary, merely that not every question should be reduced to an epistemological one.