Speculative Philosophy

If you’re looking for a good book to read while enduring the holidays, give this one a try – Donald Phillip Verene, Speculative Philosophy. It is short and crisp. It’s about true speculative philosophy, Hegelian speculative sentence [Satz], but also so much more. Having been rather disappointed by objectological disavowal of speculation (mostly, I think, due to fear of the accusation that it lacks scienticity and seriousness) and the subsequent denial that “speculative realism” describes any real philosophical substance (Bryant’s rather strange proposition that “speculative” in “speculative realism” has as much “speculativeness” as Apple computers have “appleness” – I haven’t checked, but I really hope he erased that post, because it’s just plain wrong to draw this analogy), I turned to Hegel and true speculative philosophy – I’m telling you, dear objectologists, there’s plenty of really exciting philosophical potential in the idea of speculation and “speculative realism” sounds much more philosophically interesting than “object-oriented ontology” – although there is already a conference planned (“inaugural” conference, as Objectologist the Father called it – let the self-aggrandizing begin!) for this “object-oriented ontology” stuff, I think there should be some efforts to revive “speculative realism” now freed from obsessively controlling (and humorless) presence of Father/Son twosome…

Verene’s preface is rather eloquent and makes you want to read the whole thing in one sitting (and you should give it a try) – I’m too lazy to type, so here’s just an image of a couple of paragraphs (click to enlarge):

2 thoughts on “Speculative Philosophy

  1. Hey M.E. I read Donald Verene on Giambattista Vico, on whom he is an expert, and he was really brilliant – I cited his Vico work at some length in my paper in he and Davidson: http://kvond.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/davidsons-razor-vicos-magnet/ .

    I even tried to contact him at Emory with some questions I had (if I recall), and was forced to use a fax machine since he refused all email correspondence (!, wonderful). He responded in depth and with great sensitivity to my thoughts. I give praise to the man and his work.

  2. This is a great little book indeed. In the first couple paragraphs of the preface he summarizes the problems of critical philosophy better than anyone I’ve read (including Harman’s condescending posts about the deficiencies of critique, as much as I agree with a lot of what Harman has to say about critique, I find his manner of delivery to be very arrogant and therefore annoying) – the enemy of critical philosophy, if I remember correctly, is fear of error and therefore, ultimately, fatigue from constant vigilance.

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