On Meillassoux and Finance, and Other Events

For those in London, Elie Ayache (author of The Blank Swan: The End of Probability) will be giving a talk and signing books next Monday. For those who haven’t read it, Ayache’s book presents one of the most interesting extensions of speculative realism I’ve seen yet. Contrary to those who have seen the book as a metaphysics of the market, Ayache attempts to read the market as metaphysics, extracting the contingency implied in the everyday derivatives markets. The result is an impressive contribution to the philosophical understanding of absolute contingency.

October 4, 2010 -6:30-8:00

7City Learning – 4 Chiswell Street (nearest undergrounds Moorgate and Liverpool Street)


Urbanomic is hosting an event in Glasgow:

A new version of Florian Hecker\’s Urbanomic commissioned piece Speculative Solution (see details here) will be performed at INSTAL in Glasgow, Friday 12 – Sunday 14th November 2010.

The event will also feature a discussion between Hecker, Urbanomic director Robin Mackay, and Catherine Christer Hennix, who is also performing at INSTAL.


Alain Badiou will be in London, presenting at ICA:

A talk by Alain Badiou in conversation with Alberto Toscano and Alex Duttmann.

Philosopher Alain Badiou has spearheaded the notion of the ‘communist hypothesis’; in the wake of the financial crisis a truly egalitarian radical politics is now back on the agenda. This is a subject that other prominent thinkers such as Terry Eagleton and Slavoj Zizek are also grappling with. Badiou has also famously said that ‘Marxism does not exist’, which prompts the question: Can you have communism without Marxism?

Such debate takes place against the backdrop of an increasing marginalization of philosophy in academia. Within this context, is it possible for philosophy to claim a meaningful impact on today’s society however insightful its ideas? What are the conditions for the realisation, as Badiou puts it, of a philosophy ‘which helps existence to be changed’? What does it mean to ask from within philosophy: where are we now?


Catherine Malabou is also presenting in London, as part of Kingston University’s Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy:

26 October 2010 ‘What is a Psychic Event? Freud and Contemporary Neurology on Trauma’
Catherine Malabou (University of Paris, Ouest-Nanterre)
Venue: The Churchill Room, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London, WC1N 2AB


Finally, Levi Bryant has word of an interesting conference in the States coming up:

Call for Papers: The Difference of Things

Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, 12-16th April 2011, Seattle, USA.

Session organised by Deborah Dixon, JP Jones, Sallie Marston and Keith Woodward

If difference in the world is not a remainder from or a bad copy of Identity, Ideas or Essences, but is rather the immanent force characterizing all materialities, including words and meanings, affects and perceptions, things and thoughts, then how do we go forth in the world to think and speak in terms of things and their qualities?

In this session we wish to bring together those interested in working though what is being loosely termed ‘object-oriented philosophy,’ or ‘object-oriented ontology’, in emerging areas such as ‘speculative realism.’ Whilst geographers have long sought to ‘ground’ their objects of inquiry in the validating power of the Subject-perceiver-expert, recent years have seen a concerted effort to ask object-orientated questions in ways that neither presuppose such a subject nor presume that ‘things’ conform to the conditions or constraints of human perception or understanding. In the process, such reflections have engendered sympathetic but also at times difficult relations with, for example, Badiou’s subjectless objects, Deleuze and Guattari’s assemblages (agencements), Serres’ Angels and quasi-objects, Simondon’s pre-individual fields and singularities, Harman’s Object-Oriented Philosophy and Bryant’s ‘onticology’, Latour’s ‘democracy of things’, Bennett’s ‘vibrant matter’, Heidegger’s tools, and things ‘in-themselves’ existing before, beyond or beside the metaphysical solipsism of Kant’s ‘Copernican Turn.’

We are especially interested in how geographic terms such as space, place, distance, proximity, differentiation, localization, mobility, and stillness might be re-imagined in this work. What are the implications for technical objects, objets d’art, and ‘assemblages’? How do we attend to and account for the difference of ‘natural’ objects or things-in-themselves? What do notions such as ‘ecology’ mean for object-oriented approaches? What is the refined role of the senses and/or cognition in an approach that seeks to comprehend the mind-independent status of objects? And, how does such an enquiry change or challenge the stakes for theories of emergence?

Thematic objects may include, but are not limited to:

The arche-fossil
Vicarious causation
The democracy of objects
Distinctions between Objects and Things-in-themselves
The changing statuses of the commodity and the money form
New treatments of phenomena and understanding
The return of the transcendental

Abstracts should be sent to both Deborah Dixon (dxd@aber.ac.uk) and Keith Woodward (kwoodward@wisc.ed) by October 15, 2010.

1 thought on “On Meillassoux and Finance, and Other Events

  1. Pingback: We Must Have Messed Up Somewhere « Dead Voles

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