By Adrian Johnston
Because Bacon, Gallileo and Descartes within the early seventeenth century, the relatives among technology and faith in addition to brain and physique have remained unstable fault strains of clash. The controversies surrounding those family are as alive and urgent now as at any element over the process the previous 4 centuries.
Adrian Johnston's transcendental materialism deals a brand new theoretical method of those concerns. Arming himself with assets supplied through German idealism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, the existence sciences and modern philosophical advancements, Johnston formulates an account of subjectivity that, even though being either materialist and naturalist, does complete justice to humans as irreducible to common subject on my own. even as he argues opposed to relapses into idealisms, dualisms and spiritualisms.
Adventures in Transcendental Materialism elaborates Johnston's place via severe engagements with a few of today's most vital thinkers together with Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Catherine Malabou, Jean-Claude Milner, Martin Hägglund, William Connolly, and Jane Bennett.
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Additional info for Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers (Speculative Realism)
The phrase “no illusions” is here endowed with several senses which will clearly come to light over the course of the ensuing elaborations. ” That is to say, as per one of the several intended meanings of the dictum from the preface to the 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit according to which “The true is the whole” (Das Wahre ist das Ganze),32 philosophies (or, more broadly, worldviews in general) fall into the nullifying untruth of self-induced dialectics when they opt to dismiss select features and facets of things as purely epiphenomenal, fictional, illusory, ineffective, unreal, and the like.
33 However, the no-illusions axiom of transcendental materialism by no means entails a monotone ontology in which everything is repeatedly said to be equally actual, situated on the same unidimensional surface of being. In other words, recognizing that everything possesses some degree of ontological gravity as a weight, however minimal, demanding acknowledgement by non-one-sided philosophy is not tantamount to endorsing an agenda of radically de-hierarchizing the inventory of real beings. Renouncing recourse to the concepts and categories of epiphenomenalism (such as that of “illusion” qua sterile unreality) does not automatically lead to endorsing a vision of all realities and existences as on a par with each other, as leveled down to a single stratum of ontological parity.
Geist as minded “spiritual” subjectivity, arising from natural substance thanks to this substance’s “barred” status, is a desubstantialized negativity nonetheless immanent to substantial nature itself9 (“spirit is part of nature”10). ”15 That is to say, “naturalizing” subjectivity affects not only images and ideas of it, but also those of nature in and of itself. 16 Despite being comrades-in-solidarity on these points, Žižek and I indeed do diverge from each other in a number of respects. To begin with, whereas he adamantly assigns quantum physics pride of place as the alpha-and-omega scientific discipline on the basis of which materialism today is to be rethought,17 I consider quantum physics by itself to be insufficient to serve as the sole or ultimate referent in the natural sciences for a materialism engaging with these sciences (for more on this disagreement, see Part II below).