Nine Theses on Fire Politics

In his Theses on Feuerbach, Karl Marx includes eleven statements expanding on the materialist philosophy of Ludwig  Feuerbach. Marx does not mention the material burning within the German name Feuerbach: the elemental materiality of fire (Feuer). More than 150 years later, Jacques Rancière’s Ten Theses on Politics proposed an aesthetic definition of politics as dissensus (not consensus),Continue reading “Nine Theses on Fire Politics”

Animism for the Anthropocene: A Hyperobject-Oriented Analysis

[The following is a proposal for a paper in a panel on new materialism and its significance for religion, affect, and emotion in the Anthropocene.] Articulating multifarious ways that agency is distributed across all things—human and nonhuman—various theoretical schools are emerging that move beyond the anthropocentrism for which affective agency is solely or most fullyContinue reading “Animism for the Anthropocene: A Hyperobject-Oriented Analysis”

Contra Deleuze: Latour’s Disputes

While I have read everything of Deleuze, I am not always convinced he is so useful in my empirical enquiries. I am impatient in this otherwise beautiful book, What Is Philosophy?, with the way philosophy’s role is exaggerated beyond any recognition, and also by the fact that on religion he has nothing much to say.Continue reading “Contra Deleuze: Latour’s Disputes”

Objects: Between Whitehead and Heidegger

One of the exciting things happening in object-oriented philosophy is a synthesis of Whiteheadian and Heideggerian insights, namely, 1) Whitehead’s pan-experientialist concept of feeling or prehension, which deals a severe blow to human exceptionalism, and 2) Heidegger’s concept of the retreat or withdrawal (Entzug) of things. It’s a mutually beneficial synthesis: Whitehead helps avoid theContinue reading “Objects: Between Whitehead and Heidegger”

We Have Never Been Disenchanted

There are some great essays in The Re-Enchantment of the World: Secular Magic in a Rational Age, edited by Josh Landy and Michael Saler (Stanford UP, 2009).  Overall, these essays are better than most of the usual fare on the topic of enchantment.  Typically, in most accounts, discussions of enchantment end up positing a veryContinue reading “We Have Never Been Disenchanted”