Angelaki 21 (4):157-172 (2016)

Drew Dalton
Dominican University
According to Quentin Meillassoux, one of the principal aims of speculative philosophy “must be the immanent inscription of values in being.” In this regard, the return to speculation in contemporary philosophy is in many ways a deeply ethical project. This “inscription of values” can only be successful, however, if it can somehow assert an absolute ethical value without, on the one hand, resorting to the kind of dogmatism laid to rest by the Kantian critique; or, on the other, by falling into some form of ethical relativism incapable of grounding universal ethical judgments. Unfortunately, too many of these attempts have failed. The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, to explore the structure and failures of two such attempts through an analysis of the ethical projects of Alain Badiou and Quentin Meillassoux, respectively; and then, secondly, to show how both of these thinkers, and the project of speculative ethics in general, could benefit by turning to the work of F.W.J. Schelling on the concept of good and evil as absolute ethical values.
Keywords Schelling  Meillassoux  Speculative  Realism
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DOI 10.1080/0969725x.2016.1229447
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