Paul and the Plea for Contingency in Contemporary Philosophy: A Philosophical and Anthropological Critique

Open Philosophy 3 (1):625-656 (2020)

Abstract

Our purpose in this study – which stands at the crossroads of contemporary philosophy, anthropology, and religious studies – is to assess critically the plea for radical contingency in contemporary thought, with special attention to the work of Meillassoux, in light, among other things, of the symptomatic presence of Pauline motifs in the late twentieth to early twenty first-century philosophical arena, from Vattimo to Agamben and especially Badiou. Drawing on Aristotle’s treatment of τύχη and Hilan Bensusan’s neo-monadology, we ask what is missing in such plea, from a theoretical standpoint. Next, we examine the relation between radical contingency and worldlessness in dialogue with Leroi-Gourhan’s theory of biocultural evolution, Lévi-Strauss’s structural anthropology, Pierre Clastres’s ethnography, Heidegger’s philosophy of language, and contemporary authors like Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Patrice Maniglier. These two parallel lines of inquiry help us explore what radical contingency, in turn, prevents us from thinking: the intersection of ontology, cosmopolitics, and modality.

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Carlos Alberto Segovia
Universidad del Salvador

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