Speculative Realism

Mar 29, 2007 by

Speculative Realism
A One-Day Workshop
1–7pm, Friday 27 April 2007
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London SE14 6NW

Participants: Ray Brassier (Middlesex), Iain Hamilton Grant (UWE), Graham Harman (American University in Cairo), Quentin Meillassoux (Ecole Normale Supérieure)

Contemporary ‘continental’ philosophy often prides itself on having overcome the age-old metaphysical battles between realism and idealism. Subject-object dualism, whose repudiation has turned into a conditioned reflex of contemporary theory, has supposedly been destroyed by the
critique of representation and supplanted by various ways of thinking the fundamental correlation between thought and world.

But perhaps this anti-representational (or ‘correlationist’) consensus – which exceeds philosophy proper and thrives in many domains of the
humanities and the social sciences – hides a deeper and more insidious idealism. Is realism really so ‘naïve’? And is the widespread dismissal of
representation and objectivity the radical, critical stance it so often claims to be?

This workshop will bring together four philosophers whose work, although shaped by different concerns, questions some of the basic tenets of a
‘continental’ orthodoxy while eschewing the reactionary prejudices of common-sense. Speculative realism is not a doctrine but the umbrella term
for a variety of research programmes committed to upholding the autonomy of reality, whether in the name of transcendental physicalism,
object-oriented philosophy, or abstract materialism, against the depredations of anthropocentrism.

The workshop will be held under the auspices of the Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process at Goldsmiths and chaired by Alberto
Toscano (Sociology, Goldsmiths). It is co-sponsored by the journal COLLAPSE. Relevant articles by the four speakers will be posted on the
CSISP website in advance in order to facilitate debate.

1-1.15 Welcome
1.15-2.30 Ray Brassier
2.30-3.45 Iain Hamilton Grant
3.45-4.15 Break
4.15-5.30 Graham Harman
5.30-7.00 Quentin Meillassoux
7.00-8.00 Drinks

ATTENDANCE IS FREE BUT PLEASE REGISTER BEFOREHAND BY EMAILING a.toscano@gold.ac.uk / www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/csisp

(h/t: Ray Brassier)

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