Since I’m too lazy to post anything really interesting and pertaining to philosophy, I’ve been taking comments out of their threads since the stupid “Reply” button seems to stop working after about 2o or so comments and then everything goes crazy.
Here’s a comment by someone awesomely labeled “Stellar Cartographies” addressed to “us”:
There is a somewhat strange argument that is circulating here by most of you that seems to function like this:
(1) Speculative Realism is boring, so lets just ignore its criticisms.
(2) OK, speculative realism is not boring, but it is ridiculous, so lets ignore its criticism.
(3) Alright…speculative realism is neither boring nor ridiculous, but its criticism are old hat, so lets just ignore them.
This does not seem to be a great model for philosophical exercise. Graham and Levi have reacted childishly to criticisms and perceived slights against their arguments. Furthermore, their fascinations with trolls, vampires, pixies, and other members of some strange mythological zoo is tiresome and, more importantly, useless. But none of that forgives the childish and pathological response from many who are commenting here. Ignore the persons of Levi and Graham. Ignore their childish personality quirks. What is the problem of SR? I will give you a hint: Its not that Graham and Levi sometimes respond childishly…Its not that it has a presence on the web…It is not that it is some sort of secret capitalist conspiracy to distract us from radical potential of the space-time schema.
Abandon the sour grapes and the hurt feelings. Do some philosophy. Offer real critiques of the positions taken by the SR theorists. Stop the psychologizing!
Anyone care to respond? Here’s my take:
Question: What is the problem of S[peculative] R[ealism]?
Answer: It’s not a real philosophical movement because it lacks a clearly defined program or a set of concerns. What is the difference between “speculative realism” and “object-oriented ontology” and “object-oriented philosophy”? If you give me a good description of what SR is and how such people as Harman, Meillassoux, Brassier and Grant pursue it, I will be very happy.
Take your wikipedia article:
Speculative Realism is an emerging movement in contemporary philosophy which defines itself loosely in its stance of metaphysical realism against the dominant forms of post-Kantian philosophy or what it terms correlationism.
While often in disagreement over basic philosophical issues, the speculative realist thinkers have a shared resistance to philosophies of human finitude inspired by the tradition of Immanuel Kant.
What unites the four core members of the movement is an attempt to overcome both “correlationism” as well as “philosophies of access.” In After Finitude, Meillassoux defines correlationism as “the idea according to which we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never to either term considered apart from the other.” Philosophies of access are any of those philosophies which privilege the human being over other entities. Both ideas represent forms of anthropocentrism.
All four of the core thinkers within Speculative Realism work to overturn these forms of philosophy which privilege the human being, favouring distinct forms of realism against the dominant forms of idealism in much of contemporary philosophy.
Notice my favorite part – “while often in disagreement over basic philosophical issues” – and how this very description is all about reacting to already exiting philosophical movements, yet when I dared to call SR a “reactionary/reactive movement” I was told I was wrong. Read this description again – all you have is a bunch of people who dislike the same philosophical approaches. You can’t define a new and exciting philosophical movement (emerging as it is) by stating that they all dislike Kant or what have you. I mean, of course, no one after Kant ever disliked him, he was reigning supreme for centuries until SR came along, but still – what is “speculative realism”?
I mean give me a break here, I’ve written before about a number of issues, for example, on how the language of “privileging human over other entities” is idiotic and so forth. It’s not like like we just jumped on the bandwagon a week ago and all we do is heckle. Did you miss the whole debate about realism (Realism Wars™)? All these things were discussed ad nauseam already, it’s no use…