CONTRA BADIOU: Althusserian “New” Materialism

Thanks Terrence. You are always on point.


There is an interesting-looking blog event organised around Geoff Pfeifer’s book “THE NEW MATERIALISM: Althusser, Badiou, and Zizek“. So far, the discussion has been slow getting started, and for the moment has turned around the rather strange consensus that Badiou’s philosophy represents a regression compared to Althusser’s on the questions of structuralism, materialism, scientificity, the […]


Awareness: part 2

Some one posted a comment to this post of mine, to which I replied, but then I made it into a new posting.

You can check the comments of the original post  here: 

“We will find, inevitably, as a kind, that the only things that change are the objects of our view, and not any ‘essential mode’ of being human. Humans do not change; only its world changes. There is no’grasp’ that links these forms, but that of a present faith, a present sort of ideological religion.”

…and here’s my new post: 
Yes. That is one type of essential reduction . Thank you . The furthering question is what is happening that this is not apparent; that is, as it often has to be taught. And more: That it sometimes doesn’t have to be taught. 
The reason why I say ‘one type’ is because there is only a certain type of reasoning that would say that an experience has any essentially true relation to words, which is to say, terms. Where there is an essential linkage, there we find an essential agency, a sort of ‘central and foundational’ effect. But in truth, any word (term) can be found to uphold the same tenants of being. I can say ‘consciousness’, but any term could be used and find the same types of meaningful organization, a same typeof scheme. The example is the Copernican universe. It is not that the sun’really’ exists at the center of the solar system; this is just a mathematical convention that makes easy sense. In fact we could construct models that place any point-object in the universe at the center. Hence, this means that there are only objects. 
The problem with saying ‘consciousness’ and or ‘awareness’ is that one usually tends to associate these discursive foundations as meaning actually foundational and essential things. Hence they are directed toward more a ‘use’ and ‘practicality’ than what should be otherwise an actual truth. For people who need or want a way to mitigate the mental and emotional issues such as anger, fear, and general life difficulty. It is proper then that we can say they are Real,because reality has to do with essential practical linkages of meaning. 
But a more deeper sense finds that there was s no ‘foundational’ or central ‘thing’ that is ‘me’ or ‘my consciousness’ behaving in any way unto itself, that is, as a sort of ‘spiritual being’ that is sufficiently segregate from some world to be able to ‘have’ an effect upon or within some world.

The fact is s that in the consistency that is an unsegregated being, there is still the apparent world there, no matter how I might come to terms with it, no matter what experiences I have about some truth. Ina certain sense, this is what Samraj is saying about consiouness, but if we don’t stop there, we might find that it is not really consciousness at all. 
This then brckons an investigation beyond the mere phenomenon. Because now, all that is left, is being here now, and the doing of it. 
There is a return that occurs though. Once we get beyond that fantastic experience of some intervening deity, move past the awakening of the divine center, we are left with an experience that is somehow more than the experience, what can be said to ‘exceed’ what could considered human experience. 
But we must be careful here: What most often and typically occurs with this move of excess is an impossibility of meaningful reconciliation. Rather; usually all one is left with is a back pedaling to either (now) Real Things, aka empirical science , ‘speculative’ imagining, or a kind of spiritual fundamentalism. But both of these as part of the same move, or the move of the same, mere reenact the repetition of the terms of theoretical discourse, and will end again at the same points.
Hence, what is actually excessive is a kind of historicity where two routes of the knowing human being are exposed, two routes that do not reconcile in reality for a ‘more real’ or ‘more true’ truth.  

Oligarchy Disguised as Democracy

I am not convinced that we can diffuse the motion with the Internet: The Internet is a money-power machine upheld by moves for power. 

Here’s The repost: 

He who says organization, says oligarchy. So wrote German sociologist Robert Michels during the formation of Europe’s big tent ‘people’s parties’ a century ago. According to Michels—a committed realist, as we shall see—even the most radical and progressive of these new parties would eventually succumb to what he termed ‘the iron law of oligarchy’. Source: […]

The Reality of Discourse

It is good to get this without having to search in your books. Thanks Mr Bryant. 

I appreciate the flat ontology; yes.

My question, if you are reading this (you removed the comment option on your blog) is how are we able to notice this flat reality if we are indeed occurring within the same flat plane?  

Maybe that answer is deep in one of your books? Could you direct me (us) to it? 
And I’m sorry: your B- knot does not escape the Correlational limit; while it is an interesting model, it is only post-Correlational in the sense that there is an further removed agent that is now defining an agent part. The point of correlationalism is that the ever-positing of systems such that we may have a ‘post-‘ whatever, merely depends upon an agent user of discourse that always removes itself from the subjectivity involved in the system posed. Harman makes  better point. 
Again; I’m sorry you are unable it seems to get beyond the avoidance of your privileged intuiting position.

—here is the repost folks: 

In response to a post I wrote a number of years ago, someone asks: Dear Bryant, perhaps you have already heard/read Michael Pollan’s book ‘The botany of desire’. If not, please do read it… I have been trying to develop a new metaphysical perspective in which ‘entities’ do equally exist yet differ from each other […]

Reflections on Philosophical Methodology

Thanks Levi.

I’d say that I use no method, and that the question shows their ignorance.  😝

Recently I was asked what my methodology is.  This was the second time I’ve been asked this question and I confess that on both occasions it stopped me in my tracks.  On both occasions it was at speaking events devoted to disciplines outside of philosophy.  I suspect I was being asked a question about whether […]

Matter-Nature-Bodies (Material Feminisms)

The feminist effort is always a gravity that brings the object back to in itself. Always the meaning that accounts for transcendence as a non- religious posture, which is to say, as merely real, essential ideological subjects. 

Edited by Stacy Alaimo and Susan Hekman and published in 2008, Material Feminisms reads something like a group manifesto. Contributors include Alaimo and Heckman, along with Karen Barad, Claire Colebrook, Elisabeth Grosz, Donna Haraway, and others. With philosophical roots in phenomenology and post-phenomenology, the project is to return feminist theory “back” to the thing itself, […]


“We will find, inevitably, as a kind, that the only things that change are the objects of our view, and not any ‘essential mode’ of being human. Humans do not change; only its world changes. There is no’grasp’ that links these forms, but that of a present faith, a present sort of ideological religion.” 

‘Absolution’, out soon. 

My latest book “Absolution: The Moment of Decisive Significance” will be out soon.

This book offers an alternate reading of the Gospels.  It is not necessarily a spiritual  interpretation, but instead offers a meaning that requires no fantastic or supernatural recourse for its sense. It suggests that the Gospels offer insight into the nature of consciousness as a universal thing in itself. 

Release probably February 2016.