Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism: The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy (Diaeresis)
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Adrian Johnston’s Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism, planned for three volumes, will lay the foundations for a new materialist theoretical apparatus, his “transcendental materialism.” In this first volume, Johnston clears an opening within contemporary philosophy and theory for his unique position. He engages closely with Lacan, Badiou, and Meillassoux, demonstrating how each of these philosophers can be seen as failing to forge an authentically atheistic materialism. Johnston builds a new materialism both profoundly influenced by these brilliant comrades of a shared cause as well as making up for the shortcomings of their own creative attempts to bring to realization the Lacanian vision of an Other-less, One-less ontology. The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy yields intellectual weapons suitable for deployment on multiple fronts simultaneously, effective against the mutually entangled spiritualist and scientistic foes of our post-Enlightenment, biopolitical era of nothing more than commodities and currencies.
intimately involving the external mediation of the "objective spirit" of the big Other as symbolic arder (i.e., transindividual social, cultural, linguistic, institutional , etc . , mediators constitutive of the parlêtre with its unconscious) . Although certain Freudian-Lacanian considerations require being somewhat sympathetic to Nassif's emphasis on the particu lari ty of analyses, neither Freud nor Lacan would be wholly comfortable with leaving things at that. In this vein and once again
impossible as inaccessible Real forever after obscured and obliterated by the genesis of "mind" as symbolically mediated subjectiv ity. As noted previously, 1 have elaborated in detail on other occasions how a properly materialist and secular Lacanianism can and must articu late a theoretical account of ontogenetic subject formation grounded, in part, on the life sciences (primarily the neurosciences and evolutionary theory) .69 But, in order to go to the end, to finish the j ob thoroughly, the
mathematical rather than poetic terms, to be analyzed through lenses of crystalline conceptual clar;ty rather than evoked through resonant associations glancing off the edges of the ineffable. In Badiouian terms, Badiou counters the Heideggerian tethering of ontology to poetry with an alternate tethering of it to mathematics. However, what follows below involves a plea for on tic impurity that aims to challenge the very possibility of simultaneously being a materialist (as Badiou professes to be)
philosophical engagement with properly scientific handlings of physical reality) as weil as the ideological and institutional stakes of the practices of politics (speculative materialism/realism seems, at !east th us far, unconcerned with these sorts of practical dimensions) . 19 In fidelity to the materialist tradition inaugurated with Marx's 1 845 "Theses on Feuerbach," this intervention insists upon keeping simultaneously in view the different praxes of the really existing natural sciences and
rigorously consequent extensions of the speculative materi alism (with its central concept of hyper-Chaos) of After Finitude. These very extensions arguably bear damning wi.tness against the project of this book-After Finitude has many striking virtues, especially in terms of its crystalline clarity and ingenious creativeness, and deserves credit for having played a role in inspiring sorne much-needed discussions in con temporary continental philosophy-at least for any atheist materialism