Alien theory : the decline of materialism in the name of matter

Abstract

The thesis tries to define and explain the rudiments of a 'nonphilosophical' or 'non-decisional' theory of materialism on the basis of a theoretical framework provided by the 'non-philosophy' of Francois Laruelle. Neither anti-philosophical nor anti-materialist in character, non-materialism tries to construct a rigorously transcendental theory of matter by using certain instances of philosophical materialism as its source material. The materialist decision to identify the real with matter is seen to retain a structural isomorphy with the phenomenological decision to identify the real with the phenomenon. Both decisions are shown to operate on the basis of a methodological idealism; materialism on account of its confusion of matter and concept; phenomenology by virtue of its confusion of phenomenon and logos. By dissolving the respectively 'materiological' and 'phenomenological' amlphibolies which are the result of the failure to effect a rigorously transcendental separation between matter and concept on the one hand; and between phenomenon and logos on the other, non-materialist theory proposes to mobilise the non-hybrid or non-decisional concepts of a 'matter-without-concept' and of a 'phenomenon-without-logos' in order to effect a unified but non-unitary theory of phenomenology and materialism. The result is a materialisation of thinking that operates according to matter's foreclosure to decision. That is to say, a transcendental theory of the phenomenon that licenses limitless phenomenological plasticity, unconstrained by the apparatus of eidetic intuition or any horizon of apophantic disclosure; yet one which is simultaneously a transcendental theory of matter, uncontaminated by the bounds of empirical perception and free of all phenomenological circumscription

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Author's Profile

Ray Brassier
American University of Beirut

Citations of this work

The End of What? Phenomenology Vs. Speculative Realism.Dan Zahavi - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (3):289-309.
Concepts and Objects.Ray Brassier - 2011 - In Levi R. Bryant, Nick Srnicek & Graham Harman (eds.), The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. re.press.
Educational Non-Philosophy.David R. Cole - 2015 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (10):1009-1022.

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