Deleuze and the Naming of God Now Available

This is just a quick announcement that my book, Deleuze and the Naming of God: Postsecularism and the Future of Immanence, is now out. Which is to say that physical copies have appeared, that it’s available on Amazon (at least in the US and the UK), and so on.

The introduction is available online. The cost of the book is rather prohibitive, as it’s being published now only in hardback. If you’re able, though, it’d be great if you could ask your library to order a copy. This might aid the eventual publishing of a paperback version. Also, EUP would no doubt distribute review copies.

radical alternatives to radical empiricism: an InterCcECT mini seminar with Joshua Kates

From systems theory to object oriented ontology, the post-human to the multitude, empiricism and its latent historicism underlie the most orthodox (and most contentious) questions and methods in the humanities today. In Historicity and Holism,  Joshua Kates plumbs the depths of this radical empiricism, proffering an experimental absolutism as its most resourceful alternative. InterCcECT is delighted to host a mini-seminar with Professor Kates, focusing on “Radical Empiricism Revisited,” an excerpt from that project.

Join us Friday 22 November, 3pm, at our frequent host The Newberry Library, room B-91.

Contact us to request the reading.
Abstract:
“Radical Empiricism Revisited” stages a major invention in contemporary theory, by grouping together work around Deleuze, Latour, Luhmann and others as a form of empiricism inflected by Kant, and contrasting this to a more innovative and experimental relation to the absolute found in Derrida and the early Foucault. My treatment is an outgrowth of possibilities opened up by my current project, Historicity and Holism (parts of which have appeared or about to appear in differences and diacritics), as well as those I explored in my previous two books on Derrida and phenomenology, history of science, and philosophy of language.

As always, write us to propose or announce events, check out our calendar for recommendations like Hegel’s Critique of Kant,  and connect with us on Facebook for frequent links and commentary.

past dialectics and future destructions: Malabou’s plasticity

Catherine Malabou has rapidly elasticized possible futures for Continental Philosophy by reorienting our understanding of Hegelian thought around the notion of plasticity, “a capacity to receive form and a capacity to produce form.”

In her recent short work Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction, Malabou considers writing as a scene of plasticity and model of political and ethical action. Join InterCcECT for a reading group on these crepuscular illuminations of Derrida, Hegel, Heidegger, Freud, Levi-Strauss, and Levinas.

Thursday 17 October
3-5pm
Department of English conference room
UIC, 2028 University Hall
601 S Morgan St, 60607 (Blue Line: UIC Halsted)

Text available to Chicagoans upon request.

Mark your calendars now for our upcoming miniseminar with Joshua Kates, “Radical Empiricism Revisited,” at which we’ll explore the Kantian inflections of empiricism in Deleuze, Latour, and Luhmann as they oppose Derrida and early Foucault. Friday 22 November, 3-5pm, location TBA; paper to be pre-circulated.

What’s happening in theory this fall?  Send us your event proposals and announcements (interccect at gmail), check out our calendar for recommended events, and connect with us on  Facebook for frequent links and commentary.

Posted in blog posts, Deleuze, Derrida, Hegel, Heidegger, Interccect, Malabou. Comments Off

Forthcoming Book

Just a quick announcement that a book of mine — on Deleuze, in connection with many things, including Adorno, religion/secularism, and metaphilosophy/nonphilosophy — is coming out with Edinburgh UP in December. I’m happy to be able to post the cover at this point. Read the rest of this entry »

Clayton Crockett on Deleuze

I wanted to bring to the attention of readers a new book by AUFS affiliate, Clayton Crockett. As the title suggests, Deleuze Beyond Badiou presents an account of Deleuze’s philosophy by taking as its occasion Badiou’s polemical reading of Deleuze. The account that emerges will be very useful to many readers of Deleuze. Though I am not here offering anything like a proper review, I should say that I found particularly compelling the way that Crockett emphasized certain concepts or themes — most notably the interstice, the three syntheses of time, and the time-image. Read the rest of this entry »

the material real

In his forthcoming Lacan and the Concept of the Real, Tom Eyers argues that “by rooting our understanding of the Real within the logic of the signifier we may begin to recognise the materiality of the immaterial, and the stubborn opacity of the material itself. Lacan’s claim that it is through the signifier that this materiality is revealed to us should not be taken as a concession to any standard brand of anti-realism or hyper-textualism; on the contrary, Lacan’s aim is to render superfluous any neat separation of the ideal from the material, from the representative to that to which it ostensibly refers.” Psychoanalysis thus makes it possible, in a different idiom than deconstruction, to question philosophical binaries like material / ideal and subject / object.

Eyers puts this “weird materialism” to work in his project to rethink the opposition life / structure in contemporary French thought. “Living Structures: Canguilhem, Deleuze, and the Question of Life”, tomorrow 6pm, Gallery 400.

InterCcECT puts it to work in our ongoing Lacan reading group on Seminar 3: The Psychoses. Next up: Chapters 3 and 4, 5pm 14 June, at our salon in Bucktown.

Questions? Proposals? Other materials? Write us!

Be sure to check our calendar on a regular basis for upcoming events like the 16 July book discussion of Adam Kotsko’s Why We Love Sociopaths.

A response to Graham Harman’s “Marginalia on Radical Thinking”

First let me say that, while this post will likely come across as confrontational, I do have a respect for Harman, particularly for his intellectual energy and literary output. I’ve never met him and can’t count him a friend, but I have corresponded with him on a few occasions. I must admit that his philosophy and politics (or lack thereof) leave me cold. A bit of context: my dissertation of 2001, which became my first book in 2004, is an analysis of networks as political systems, so I feel I have a lot to say about the topic of objects and networks. I’m also a computer programmer and, similar to someone like Ian Bogost, have actually coded the kind of object-oriented systems that OOO describes. (To his credit Harman rejects this association, claiming that “his” OO has nothing to do with computer science’s OO. But that’s a flimsy argument in my view, particularly when the congruencies are so clear. As Zizek might say, channeling Groucho Marx: if it’s called a duck, and quacks like a duck, don’t let that fool you — it really is a duck!) Read the rest of this entry »

New Issue of Political Theology

The newest issue of Political Theology is now available. I bring this to your attention as it contains excellent articles by some of our own — see Brad Johnson’s “Doing Justice to Justice” and Anthony Paul Smith’s “The Judgment of God and the Immeasurable.” Check them out.

New Issue of SubStance

There is a new issue of the journal SubStance entitled “Spiritual Politics after Deleuze” that includes articles from myself and Daniel Barber, as well as Philip Goodchild, Rocco Gangle, Joshua Delpach-Ramey and quite a few others.

Posted in Deleuze, philosophy. Comments Off

Some Deleuze Anecdotes

I am, as I noted in a previous post, making my way through Dosse’s dual biography of Deleuze and Guattari. Dosse treats Guattari’s pre-Deleuze life first and then turns to Deleuze’s pre-Guattari life next. Reading about Deleuze’s early childhood and his time in university was interesting. Apparently he and Michel Tournier spent their nights reading Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and felt that his famous “Existentialism is a Humanism” speech to be a betrayal of the passion they felt for that book. It also details his early writings, which he “renounced” in the official bibliography, one of which launched a polemic against Christianity and the interior life seeing it lead up to the modern society of the bourgeoisie. This was obviously a reaction against the spiritualisme that reigned in French philosophy prior to World War II, yet his admiration for Bergson appears to have been in place as early as 1948 when he defended him against François Châtelet and Olivier Revault d’Allonnes while they studied together for the agrégation.

All of this was interesting, but I already had a vague knowledge of these events as one can pick all of this up from his writing and from snippets of his biography you can find in books here and there. His family life was more interesting. I knew from his L’Abécédaire that he had tensions with his family because his father held right-wing views and hated the France of Léon Blum’s Front populaire that allowed workers to encroach on the political and social territory that the petite bourgeoisie had enjoyed. I didn’t realize how pathetic this class hatred was considering that Deleuze’s parents, while enjoying some privileges, were precarious business owners themselves as his father, an engineer, only had one employee and produced some airplane parts. Apparently a major cause of this familial tension had to do with something Deleuze himself never spoke much about in public: the murder of his brother, a resistance fighter, by the Nazis while being transported to a concentration camp. Apparently, “the wrong son died” in his parents’ eyes.

It was disappointing that there was so little discussion of his wife, Fanny, and literally no discussion about how they met (whereas pages and pages were devoted in the Guattari section to his marriage and subsequent affairs). What’s the point of reading a biography if you don’t get any sexual gossip! There was, however, a story about a very strange phobia Deleuze had. Apparently, after passing his agrégation he finally had the economic independence to move out of his parents’ home (he was living with just his mother as his father had passed away some years prior). Dosse goes on to tell us, “He kept from conflictual relationship vis-a-vis his home life a phobia towards every food product with milk, which surprised his friends: [Olivier Revault d'Allonnes explains that] ‘We had invited Gilles to have dinner several times. He always asked the mistress of the house if there was the least drop of milk in the dish and if that was the case, he would not want to eat (Dosse, p. 124).'” Usually one encounters stories about how oddly long his fingernails were, but this phobia has to be the strangest story I’ve read about the man.

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