Master Specialisation Course Theoretical Philosophy (6 ECT): The Contemporary Speculative Turn to Realism
Post-Kantian critical philosophy focused almost exclusively on discourse and consciousness as what constitutes our access to reality. Since reality appears only as the correlate of language or thought, the world as it is in itself is unknowable. Yet, in recent years various philosophers within the existential and phenomenological tradition turned again towards reality 'in itself'. This new school of thought is known as Speculative Realism.
Speculative realists reject the post-Kantian idea that we only have access to the correlation or interplay between thinking and being, and never to one of them considered apart from the other. The adjective ‘speculative’ might suggest a return to pre-Kantian metaphysics. But this is not the case. Speculative realists purport to think the 'in itself' again, but without going back to pre-critical thought.
One also want to overcome the Kantian presumption that our human access to reality is somehow privileged. In this sense the target of philosophical reflection is shifted away from the human-world correlate as well. In the master course we will study texts of leading speculative realists such as Quentin Meillassoux ('speculative materialism'), Graham Harman and Levy Bryant ('object oriented ontology') and Tristan Garcia (‘flat ontology').
- Quentin Meillassoux, 'After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency',
- Graham Harman, 'The Current State of Speculative Realism' in Speculations, 'Meillassoux’s Virtual Future' in Continent and 'The Road to Objects' in Continent,
- Levi Bryant, Nick Srnicek, and Graham Harman (eds.), 'The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism',
- Tristan Garcia, 'Form and Object: A Treatise on Things'.
VU Amsterdam, Week 6-11, Tuesday and Thursday, 14:30 - 17:15