The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism

The Universe of Things On Speculative Realism From the rediscovery of Alfred North Whitehead s work to the rise of new materialist thought including object oriented ontology there has been a rapid turn toward speculation in philosophy as a way

  • Title: The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism
  • Author: Steven Shaviro
  • ISBN: 9780816689262
  • Page: 494
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the rediscovery of Alfred North Whitehead s work to the rise of new materialist thought, including object oriented ontology, there has been a rapid turn toward speculation in philosophy as a way of moving beyond solely human perceptions of nature and existence Now Steven Shaviro maps this quickly emerging speculative realism, which is already dramatically influencingFrom the rediscovery of Alfred North Whitehead s work to the rise of new materialist thought, including object oriented ontology, there has been a rapid turn toward speculation in philosophy as a way of moving beyond solely human perceptions of nature and existence Now Steven Shaviro maps this quickly emerging speculative realism, which is already dramatically influencing how we interpret reality and our place in a universe in which humans are not the measure of all things.The Universe of Things explores the common insistence of speculative realism on a noncorrelationist thought that things or objects exist apart from how our own human minds relate to and comprehend them Shaviro focuses on how Whitehead both anticipates and offers challenges to prevailing speculative realist thought, moving between Whitehead s own panpsychism, Harman s object oriented ontology, and the reductionist eliminativism of Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier.The stakes of this recent speculative realist thought of the effort to develop new ways of grasping the world are enormous as it becomes clear that our inherited assumptions are no longer adequate to describe, much less understand, the reality we experience around us As Shaviro acknowledges, speculative realist thought has its dangers, but it also, like the best speculative fiction, holds the potential to liberate us from confining views of what is outside ourselves and, he believes, to reclaim aesthetics and beauty as a principle of life itself.Bringing together a wide array of contemporary thought, and evenhandedly assessing its current debates, The Universe of Things is an invaluable guide to the evolution of speculative realism and the provocation of Alfred North Whitehead s pathbreaking work.

    One thought on “The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism”

    1. Philosophy is permanently in the condition of renewing itself through new quests with different methodologies and different perspectives. No doubt, recent developments in philosophy produce new forms of thinking which endow one with the means to assess the reality in alternative ways. In this context, The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism elaborates on a recent philosophical school called speculative realism, which involves unique conceptualizations despite the intellectual differences [...]

    2. Shaviro is one of the more rigorous of speculative realist thinkers, and I've always particularly enjoyed his reading of Whitehead and Deleuze. This book focuses almost exclusively on Whitehead, a thinker who is under-appreciated among current American theorists. While I probably slightly favor Deleuze's becoming over Whitehead's philosophy of organism, I still see Whitehead as one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. I'm less interested in Shaviro's engagement with object ori [...]

    3. About a year ago I had asked someone to pick up a book on speculative realism - a relatively new movement in philosophy (introduced in 2007 by Meillassoux, Harmon, Brassier, and Grant) that is particularly focused on rejecting the post-Kantian notion that the world is inaccessible from human being and thought. That is, we must go beyond Kant's notion to the world-without-us that can extend beyond his 'correlationalist' trap of the world perceived within our minds and not as an object in itself - [...]

    4. The Universe of Things, through the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, engages with what the discipline of epistemology might look like after postmodern correlationism. The new discipline is known as Speculative Realism and like most epistemology in the postmodern world it is difficult to penetrate and more problematic to understand. That being said, The Universe of Things is an interesting effort to explain the philosophy of A.N. Whitehead through the lens of Speculative Realism. This is cer [...]

    5. I am extremely into speculative materialism and this is both a good analysis of the differing perspectives in the emerging school of thought but also a work of analysis of trends in its won right. I find myself mostly with the author and the Thacker/Brassier side of the discussion as it is, but this helped me quantify why that is.

    6. Shaviro responds, with usual aplomb, to developments in speculative realism and OOO. Although I rarely find myself too interested in speculative realism, Shaviro's Whiteheadian approach always convinces me, and his argument about speculative aesthetics at the end of the book duly leaves me wanting more.

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