Speculative Realism and the Im/possibility of the Divine [UPDATED]

Aptly following upon the last post, we’ve been notified of a conference entitled “The Grandeur of Reason: Religion, Tradition and Universalism” to be held in Rome in September. One of the panels (“Speculative Realism and the Im/possibility of the Divine”) will feature Quentin Meillassoux, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Dustin McWherter (Middlesex) presenting, with John Milbank as a respondent. The conference also includes Slavoj Zizek and Giorgio Agamben (who’s not necessarily a speculative realist, but is certainly a notable speaker!), among many others. All the information for it can be found at this website: The Grandeur of Reason.

[UPDATE:] Apparently, Francois Laruelle will also be making a presentation at the conference, judging by the new conference poster! (h/t: Daily Humiliation) For those (i.e. most of us) who can’t make it, there will also reportedly be video and audio made of the conference – which we’ll be sure to post here once we receive it.

(Conference Flyer: click for larger image)

(via Michael)

5 thoughts on “Speculative Realism and the Im/possibility of the Divine [UPDATED]

  1. Glad you guys are sharing this work with the world. I’ve recently began looking at Laruelle as a way of trying to overcome the agon between Aquinas and Spinoza and am now posting some of that over at my blog (An und fur sich). Mostly, at the moment, on the possibility of something like a non-theology to work out my own frustration towards what could be called the theological decision (though, if one is to develop this further, there would have to be a new set of concepts created from theological material and not simply pilfered from non-philosophy – still one borrows when one begins). Would be very interested in your thoughts if you have time or care to share.

  2. “if one is to develop this further, there would have to be a new set of concepts created from theological material and not simply pilfered from non-philosophy”

    I think this is a good point, but does it seem to you that with non-philosophy all these ‘new concepts’ would share the same formal structure as every other non-philosophical concept? This gets at my question of ‘what can non-philosophy do’ that I raised on your blog – so far as I understand non-philosophy (which is fairly minimal), it seems like one just repeats the same gesture of cloning and derives a new axiom that purportedly describes the Real without constituting it. But, each of these axioms is cloned in the same way formally, despite the varying philosophical material.

    I think this is what Brassier is getting at too, in Nihil Unbound, when he laments Laruelle’s cursory work on ethics, Marxism and mysticism (132-3). So the question for me is, if Laruelle’s non-philosophy is a repetitive gesture of cloning, then what it is good for? Why keep repeating the same formal method?

  3. “it seems like one just repeats the same gesture of cloning and derives a new axiom that purportedly describes the Real without constituting it.”

    If non-philosophy were a discourse about the Real then you’d be right. However, the point of cloning and the axioms that describe, but do not constitute, the Real is not a point about the Real at all. It’s about something else and that is what has to be articulated. I think Laruelle does this (at times in Futur Christ he certainly did, but those times seemed to be very much against Brassier’s reading of Laruelle as Laruelle seems to want something like a radically different future – a truly utopian political project, etc.) but it is far from clear in the stuff I’ve read so far. Maybe the Principles book will help with this.

  4. That’s true – I think my problem is that I’m at a loss as to what this ‘something else’ is all about right now. I like a lot of Laruelle’s specific arguments and the general direction of his project, but I’m still not sure what it accomplishes at the moment. Even Laruelle’s essay “What can Non-Philosophy do?” was unfortunately not much help in answering this. No doubt, the absence of almost all of his work in English makes it even more difficult to answer. But even Brassier seems to say non-philosophy doesn’t “do” much, and his attempts at suggesting how non-philosophy can resist capitalism seem rather weak (despite the brilliance of the rest of his dissertation). Which is maybe why he drops the capitalism stuff from Nihil Unbound?

    Anyways, I look forward to your own response on your blog; maybe you could shed some insight on this, having read more of Laruelle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s