Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with by Adrian Johnston

By Adrian Johnston

Due to the fact Bacon, Gallileo and Descartes within the early seventeenth century, the kinfolk among technology and faith in addition to brain and physique have remained risky fault traces of clash. The controversies surrounding those family members are as alive and urgent now as at any element over the process the prior 4 centuries.

Adrian Johnston's transcendental materialism deals a brand new theoretical method of those concerns. Arming himself with assets supplied via German idealism, Marxism, psychoanalysis, the lifestyles sciences and modern philosophical advancements, Johnston formulates an account of subjectivity that, even though being either materialist and naturalist, does complete justice to humans as irreducible to usual topic by myself. while he argues opposed to relapses into idealisms, dualisms and spiritualisms.

Adventures in Transcendental Materialism elaborates Johnston's place via severe engagements with a few of today's most crucial thinkers together with Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Catherine Malabou, Jean-Claude Milner, Martin Hägglund, William Connolly, and Jane Bennett.

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Extra info for Adventures in Transcendental Materialism: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers (Speculative Realism)

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Non-dialectical materialisms (as “contemplative” à la the first of Marx’s 1845 “Theses on Feuerbach”30), which have been around for as long as the perennial mind-body problem itself, enthusiastically help themselves to contentious (pseudo-)solutions of a reductive variety, unreservedly dissolving subjectivity into bodily matter in mechanical motion. The challenge for a contemporary materialism faithful to the anti-reductivism of the dialectical tradition is to preserve intact the reality of the subject while nonetheless avoiding relapses into idealisms, dualisms, or spiritualisms.

2 Hölderlin’s brief 1795 fragment “Über Urtheil und Seyn” (“On Judgment and Being”)3 as well as the lifelong endeavors of Schelling and Hegel (with their objective and absolute idealisms respectively) are the reflections of this youthful vision of a rapprochement between a monist ontology of the substantial and a transcendental theory of the subjective as radically autonomous. 4 Likewise, I am inclined to label transcendental materialism “the latest system-program of German idealism” insofar as, partially through a materialist re-reading of German idealism informed by a number of post-Hegelian developments (in particular, Marxism, psychoanalysis, and the life sciences of the past several decades), it seeks to fuse monistic material being(s) and transcendent(al) 23 24 Adventures in Transcendental Materialism s­ubjects in a singular systematic fashion (admittedly, recasting Hegel’s corpus especially in light of historical/dialectical materialisms and subsequent scientific developments apparently at odds with his commitments demands a sizable amount of interpretive labor in order to be executed in a satisfactory scholarly and philosophical manner – something I attempt elsewhere5).

Transcendental materialism, as, in large part, an account of the emergence of self-determining, auto-reflexive transcendental subjectivity out of asubjective substance, also fairly could be depicted as a genetic, temporally elongated (meta-)transcendentalism. Specifically as I conceive it, transcendental materialism starts with a decision to commit to an axiomatic positing of the real existence of subjects as transcendental, autonomous, and irreducible free agents of negativity nonetheless immanent/internal to the physical realities constituted by material bodies (in this respect, it can be viewed as a materialist recasting of the methodology and starting point of Fichteanism27).

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