Alain Badiou, Deleuze, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Things

Minor note on the newness of the new beyond/below Badiou

While reading Hans Jürg Rheinberger’s already seminal Toward a History of Epistemic Things – he is becoming something of a hero to me these days – I couldn’t prevent myself from constantly highlighting the Badiouian touch of his arguments. That is, I was struck by the fact that so many of Badiou’s themes (at least those which could be consider his most important; everything between and inside the mathematics of being and the laws of appearing) come to the fore when Rheinberger discusses what he calls an ‘epistemology of time’ that is to answer the question how – in the context of scientific experimentation – we can speak of history without invoking origins and grounds. As he formulates it: ‘Are they looking at a past that is the transformation of another, foregoing past? Or are they looking at a past that is the product of a past deferred, that is, of a future present?‘ (p. 176).
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An Epistemology of the Concrete, Deleuze, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Intensive Science, Manuel DeLanda, Virtual Philosophy

Reading DeLanda and Rheinberger at the same time is hard..

..mainly because DeLanda’s Intensive Science, Virtual Philosophy and Rheinberger’s recent (and rather brilliant) Epistemology of the Concrete show so many exciting points of convergence – or; possibilities of taking a philosophy of science’ reading of Deleuze a step further. Continue reading

Caspar Bruun Jensen, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Radical Philosophy, Stengers, Steven Shaviro

‘History Flows Through Some Problems’, a review of Isabelle Stengers’ Cosmopolitics I (and more)

This recent review of by Michael Halewood gives a nice and concise overview of Isabelle Stengers’ quite dense Cosmopolitics I. Steven Shaviro’s lenghty summary of the book (+ a response of Stengers herself) can be found on his Pinocchio Theory blog here. My own attempt to deal with Cosmopolitics has still been somewhat undetermined; I find it hard to deal with her mixture of the innumereable complexities of science studies’ research of scientific experiments and a Deleuzian, Whiteheadian conceptual rigour. At the same time, I’m well aware that the book does (perhaps together with Hans Jürg Rheinberger’s work and Caspar Bruun Jensen’s recent publication) provide one of the most daring (indirect) attempts to try to sort out, to develop what might be called the ‘ontology’ of science studies (i.e. perhaps somewhere between Graham Harman, Bruno Latour and Manuel DeLanda). In other words, the next few weeks of my holidays will be dedicated firstly, to the Dutch translation of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition and, secondly, to an effort to theorize Stengers take on both Deleuze, Whitehead and its relation to object-oriented ontology’s affiliation with actor-network theory.

Agency and Politics, An Epistemology of the Concrete, Bruce Braun, Hans-Jurg Rheinberger, Object Oriented Ontology, Sarah Whatmore, Speculative Realism, Toward a History of Epistemic Things

An Epistemology of the Concrete // New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency and Politics

Just recently discovered two great new books published by Duke University Press; Hans-Jurg Rheinberger’s An Epistemology of the Concrete and New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency and Politics edited by Diana Coole and Samantha Frost.   Continue reading