Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back

Ray Brassier - That Which is Not

Ray Brassier, doing his family history - one is surprised he didn't cite in the references! - tracing a lineage he flatters to be intellecually royal somehow:


Knocks on Nietzsche, Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze and Latour along the way, to boot.

I'll flatter myself till my dying days that he wrote it just to piss me off.

It is, however, very well conceived and executed, and his articulation of contemporary dialectical materialism - ala Badiou - in the terms of 'a formal dualism of eidos (idea) and soma (body), rather than a substantial dualism of mental and physical,' or that between the phenomenon and the noumenon, is slick. Far slicker, one might say, than Frank Ruda's clumsy 'idealism without idealism,' which reads more like the confession of a liberated cult member than a philosophical program.

I'll come back to this sometime when I have the time to do it justice, but I still think a. as with Badiou's (though importantly distinct from it) it is an unbeleivably generous, idiosyncratic, and convenient reading of Plato and b. if correct it simply mollifies Plato into the position of a kind of John the Baptist to Sellars and himself - as the arbiters of post-Kantian rational 'truths' - somehow philosophically announcing their coming - 'they will arrive! . . . just as soon as you dig yourselves out of the 2300 some-odd year metaphysical clusterfuck I'm inaugurating!'

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