New Materialism

xEvery once in a while I go into the reader and I put in random search terms and see what comes up.

It is interesting to me that in the WordPress search algorithm there is basically zero posts or sites that are associated with “the new materialism”. I imagine that at best the algorithm is picking a bunch of second-bests.It is interesting to me because I thought that the philosophical area of new materialism would at least show up once somewhere in wordPress.


I have been led into The “new materialism” through A series of philosophical detours.

If I might recount my journey, maybe some of you will recount your own:

My first encounter with Philosophy. may have been with Sartre along time ago, in a galaxy far far away. It seems like anyone who is interested in philosophy often finds existentialism first or close to first.

I feel like I must’ve picked up “being and nothingness” at some point in my early 20s and I tried to read it and it just seemed like so much hogwash and nonsense. Even through repeated approaches for probably a decade, it just seemed like pure arrogance and intellectual posturing. I could not make heads or tails about what the hell he was talking about.

So then as I have posted at least a couple times in my blog here, my story of my encounter with Kierkegaard. I won’t recount it here, except to say that somehow not engaging with any philosophy whatsoever for probably something at least seven years, and then coming across Kierkegaard seminal work “either or” kind of by accident, recognizing his name as a name of some sort of philosopher, I didn’t really have an idea of who he was or anything. I didn’t even know that he had anything to do with Sartre. Picking that book out because my graduate student roommate left it on the living room table, I started reading and the whole book made perfect sense to me. I didn’t even have to ponder about what he was talking about; the book literally was it as if I had written it myself and I had forgotten it for years. That was the feeling and experience that I got from reading that book.

That experience made me look into his other books, and then those other books made me start to have to investigate Plato, in particular Socrates, Hegel, Fitche, Schelling, at some point Nietzsche.  Feuerbach eventually. And of course Kant and Hume. These were the main ones, and of course during this exploration I would have a little satellite readings of all sorts of other philosophers.

It was from that perfect understanding of Kierkegaard’s either or that all other philosophers make perfect sense. It is not due to Kierkegaard’s arguments or proposal up about what is true or false or this or that; Rather, it was that I understood what he was talking about. Because I understood what Kierkegaard was talking about, when I read other philosophers I intuitively understood what they were Likewise talking about and addressing, what angle they were approaching this one thing, what tack they were taking upon the philosophical wind, so to speak.

Of course then came Wittgenstein and Russell. And then suddenly, Out of nowhere, Zizek and then Badiou. And, if I had ever questioned it before (my reading of Kierkegaard) , it was this last author that confirmed for me that what I had been understanding this far as philosophy was true.


End game.

Begin actuality.

It is at this point that I started to get online to investigate what other people might be understanding as Philosophy. I entered the Philosophy Now forum, I believe it was in about 2011 ?? Maybe???

And it was after a couple years — again my timeframe is rough — Of going back-and-forth on the Philosophy Now forum, that someone suggested to me that I might appreciate this strange philosophy called “non-philosophy”, by the Philosopher Francois Laruelle. Again, in an odd recurrence, I bought the book “The principles of non-philosophy”, I started reading at the beginning, and I knew exactly what he was talking about.

It was through reading Laruelle that I began to consider that intentionality has nothing to do with what the postmoderns are usually taken or understood to be talking about.

I have to backtrack a bit; at some point when I started reading Zizek and Badiou, Somehow I also became interested in the typical postmodern lineage and critical theory Frankfurt school, Foucault, Derrida, D and G. And particularly Lyotard.

I understood Laruelle’s critique of those post modern authors – or thier typical understandings – that is, I implicitly understood that what most people thought of what those authors were saying somehow did not agree with what the original authors were actually saying. And yet here I was finding philosophers everywhere acting and using references to these authors as if that is what they actually meant. Hence, Lyotard’s “postmodern condition” grew to have significant meaning, ironically. Derrida, eh, his to me still appeared to be stuck in either/or defaults, never seemingly fully appreciating the full implications of teleological suspension. D and G, as well, stuck in the pure transcendence of metaphysical idealism, yet translated into immanence.

It seemed that Kierkegaard’s Philosophical premonition was becoming fulfilled in my sense that intuition does not stem from me. It does not stem only from the human being. It can and does, but only under certain conditions. I began to develop this idea in my writings which begin this blog.

I’m not sure how it happened but somehow I heard of this weird philosophical movement called speculative realism, but in particular, I heard of this object oriented ontology by Graham Harmon.

It is from moving through the significance of Graham Harmons Philosophy in relationship to Kierkegaard and his ironic intentionality (Heidegger-ish authenticity) , that I came upon Donna Harroway. And, once again once again, I picked up her “cyborg manifesto” And I knew exactly what she was talking about. (when I first encountered her in my undergraduate degree I thought she was a wacko! Lol) 

The extension from her work is called “the new materialism”, and, again quite ironically, we find that there is a dialogue between the new materialism and object oriented ontology.

And going forth is history . x

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

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