Audio from “Here Comes Everything”: A Speculative Realism Panel @ CIIS (4/8)

Conference put on by the Interdisciplinary Dialogue Forum, a student group in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS.

The History of Access: An Introduction to the Speculative Turn – Sam Mickey and Adam Robbert

Ganga – River, Goddess, Thing – Elizabeth McAnally

The Astonishing Depths of Things – Sam Mickey

Objects in Action: Promiscuous Applications of an Ecological Realism – Adam Robbert

SR in 3 minutes – Sam Mickey

Wizards, Corpses and Ferris Wheels: The Ever-Weird Frontiers of Enlightened Activity – Aaron Weiss

Schelling’s Naturephilosophy: Platonic Lessons for Speculative Realism – Matt Segall

Participatory Realism: Two Cheers for Meillassoux – Keynote speaker Professor Jacob Sherman

Final Q&A

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Zak says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these speeches. I have been trying to use realism to justify my argument for the correspondence theory of truth and this has been extremely helpful.

  2. mary says:

    Hi matt,
    I have listened to the audio of the sessions several times now and first of all I commend everyone on such an interesting and lively symposium. Everyone was just wonderful and lucid, bringing together a culmination of much effort that was truly educational. The clarity of the presentations was so heartening especially for non-scholars such as myself, but yet able to follow why Speculative Realism is so important to move philosophy beyond the deficient rational (Gebser) which promulgated the problem of Access since Kant. Sam and Adam were great.
    I have often thought, while reading Gebser’s account of evidence for manifestations of the aperspectival ( perhaps another way of saying that nothing can be explained away by any other thing.. things are irreducible( Latour)…in 20th century painting, that if Gebser could have recognized the turn to the medium itself as a “content” in its own right, as opposed to Gebser’s own rationality presenting him with the abstractions of the content/composition and how the content presented degrees of the overcoming of 3 dimensions, as Gebser did so brilliantly with Cezanne, the new use of the paint itself, for example the immediacy of the brushwork and the paint in the fauves, the post-impressionists (Van Gogh, Gauguin,etc.) ….Gebser could have seen how the idea was embodied in the actual presence of the paint itself, and thus revealed the supersession of dualism, in the object itself, not its mere content. I wonder if this would have hastened a comprehension of a revision of Access by affirming the immediacy of things in themselves as overcoming the bonds of three dimensions by the meaning of their nature in the inorganic realm (Grant). If Gebser could have seen that the emphasis in modern art in a revival of the “earthiness” of a visceral and tangible flesh of paint also overcame the “fallacy of misplaced concreteness” by its actual body immediate as integral to the work of art, could that insight have also supported Sam’s “philosophy of touch”? But, I only wonder.

    Elizabeth McAnally’s presentation about her work focussing on the Ganges River framed through Latour (actor-network theory) I found very meaningful in a far more personal way because I am involved in a local organization to preserve the water quality in several major creeks and streams in my part of the county being developped very rapidly with growing and shifting populations from farming to residential,…I think i have mentioned this before. Also, on a more global scale, yet still local, members of my family have founded an organization Amman Imman (Water Is Life) which serves to bring wells to the Azawak region of Niger, Africa.
    http://ammanimman.org/
    We have had many discussions about the impact a simple well can have on these nomadic tribes and what future impact availability of clean water will have on the changes in the politics, ecology, and religious practices of the people in the region. One immediate effect is that the children now have time to go to school instead of spending a day finding water. Many of our discussions have centered around the assumption of a definition of “progress” enacted in such an undertaking, just as Elizabeth unpacked in her session, with an emphasis on Aaron’s mindfulness grounded in praxis.
    Matt, I really think your question during the session is worth quoting in full here:

    “Do you think that the way Latour allows us to see that not only that science can be reductive through its abstractions, but that spirituality and culture can reduce some object (the river) through its abstractions?…Do you think the way the river withdraws from any of these abstractions it then allows us to relate to mystery that is even beyond even what a religious tradition could provide for us and re-minds us that there’s something there of the noumenous and allows the object (river) to be in some way ‘spiritual’ beyond any of the abstractions that human beings could assign?”

    As I am listening to you ask that question, I am out in the noosphere answering “yes!” The irreducibility is necessary so the “thing itself” CAN think (De Chardin).
    I think I may have written enough of a comment , eh? Please thank everyone for their generosity and again, this was very valuable and much appreciated!

    sincerely,
    mary

    1. Mary, Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve passed it along to the other panel members. What you have to say about Gebser is especially interesting…

      I don’t think you’ve heard the last from this panel : )

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