Peter Osborne, Radical Philosophy, Zizek

More than everything / less than nothing

Today I came across Peter Osborne’s brave review of Slavoj Zizek’s heavy-weight magnus-opus Less Than Nothing in Radical Philosophy. The review reads like a true ‘Everything you were always uncomfortable about in Zizek (but were afraid to proclaim)’ with numerous passages like the following:

‘That said, Less Than Nothing is carefully, if some­what gauchely structured, as the story of a seduction. It begins with ‘The Drink Before’ (Part I): some emblematic, fast-forward philosophical prehistory -Plato, Christianity, Fichte. It progresses to ‘The Thing Itself, in two parts: Hegel and Lacan. And it ends with ‘The Cigarette After’ (Part IV), during which smoke is puffed in the faces of some competing philosophical positions: Badiou, Heidegger and ‘The Ontology of Quantum Physics”.

‘The Conclusion – presumably ‘A Quick Exit’, before things get complicated – is a restatement of Žižek’s own version of Lacanian politics (‘The Political Suspension of the Ethical’) with various other bits and pieces thrown in along the way’.

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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.

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