• Nature

Hyperobjects

Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Posthumanities
ISBN: 9780816689224
Category: Nature
Page: 229
View: 1929
Global warming is perhaps the most dramatic example of what Timothy Morton calls “hyperobjects”—entities of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that they defeat traditional ideas about what a thing is in the first place. Morton explains what hyperobjects are and their impact on how we think, how we coexist, and how we experience our politics, ethics, and art.

    • Philosophy

Alien Phenomenology, Or, What It's Like to be a Thing


Author: Ian Bogost
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816678979
Category: Philosophy
Page: 166
View: 9859
Examines the author's idea of object-oriented philosophy, wherein things, and how they interact with one another, are the center of philosophical interest.

    • Literary Criticism

Ecology Without Nature

Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674024342
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 249
View: 9690
In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all. Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."

    • Philosophy

Humanesis

Sound and Technological Posthumanism
Author: David Cecchetto
Publisher: PostHumanities (Paperback)
ISBN: 9780816679638
Category: Philosophy
Page: 210
View: 9458
Humanesis critically examines central strains of posthumanism, searching out biases in the ways that human-technology coupling is explained. Specifically, it interrogates three approaches taken by posthumanist discourse: scientific, humanist, and organismic. David Cecchetto's investigations reveal how each perspective continues to hold on to elements of the humanist tradition that it is ostensibly mobilized against. His study frontally desublimates the previously unseen presumptions that underlie each of the three thought lines and offers incisive appraisals of the work of three prominent thinkers: Ollivier Dyens, Katherine Hayles, and Mark Hansen. To materially ground the problematic of posthumanism, Humanesis interweaves its theoretical chapters with discussions of artworks. These highlight the topos of sound, demonstrating how aurality might produce new insights in a field that has been dominated by visualization. Cecchetto, a media artist, scrutinizes his own collaborative artistic practice in which he elucidates the variegated causal chains that compose human-technological coupling. Humanesis advances the posthumanist conversation in several important ways. It proposes the term "technological posthumanism" to focus on the discourse as it relates to technology without neglecting its other disciplinary histories. It suggests that deconstruction remains relevant to the enterprise, especially with respect to the performative dimension of language. It analyzes artworks not yet considered in the light of posthumanism, with a particular emphasis on the role of aurality. And the form of the text introduces a reflexive component that exemplifies how the dialogue of posthumanism might progress without resorting to the types of unilateral narratives that the book critiques.

    • Political Science

Being Ecological


Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262346869
Category: Political Science
Page: 216
View: 1073
Don't care about ecology? You think you don't, but you might all the same. Don't read ecology books? This book is for you. Ecology books can be confusing information dumps that are out of date by the time they hit you. Slapping you upside the head to make you feel bad. Grabbing you by the lapels while yelling disturbing facts. Handwringing in agony about "What are we going to do?" This book has none of that. Being Ecological doesn't preach to the eco-choir. It's for you -- even, Timothy Morton explains, if you're not in the choir, even if you have no idea what choirs are. You might already be ecological. After establishing the approach of the book (no facts allowed!), Morton draws on Kant and Heidegger to help us understand living in an age of mass extinction caused by global warming. He considers the object of ecological awareness and ecological thinking: the biosphere and its interconnections. He discusses what sorts of actions count as ecological -- starting a revolution? going to the garden center to smell the plants? And finally, in "Not a Grand Tour of Ecological Thought," he explores a variety of current styles of being ecological -- a range of overlapping orientations rather than preformatted self-labeling. Caught up in the us-versus-them (or you-versus-everything else) urgency of ecological crisis, Morton suggests, it's easy to forget that you are a symbiotic being entangled with other symbiotic beings. Isn't that being ecological?

    • Philosophy

Dark Ecology

For a Logic of Future Coexistence
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231541368
Category: Philosophy
Page: 208
View: 4167
Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Möbius strip, twisted to have only one side. Deckard travels this oedipal path in Blade Runner (1982) when he learns that he might be the enemy he has been ordered to pursue. Ecological awareness takes this shape because ecological phenomena have a loop form that is also fundamental to the structure of how things are. The logistics of agricultural society resulted in global warming and hardwired dangerous ideas about life-forms into the human mind. Dark ecology puts us in an uncanny position of radical self-knowledge, illuminating our place in the biosphere and our belonging to a species in a sense that is far less obvious than we like to think. Morton explores the logical foundations of the ecological crisis, which is suffused with the melancholy and negativity of coexistence yet evolving, as we explore its loop form, into something playful, anarchic, and comedic. His work is a skilled fusion of humanities and scientific scholarship, incorporating the theories and findings of philosophy, anthropology, literature, ecology, biology, and physics. Morton hopes to reestablish our ties to nonhuman beings and to help us rediscover the playfulness and joy that can brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.

    • Literary Criticism

Nothing

Three Inquiries in Buddhism
Author: Marcus Boon,Eric Cazdyn,Timothy Morton
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022623326X
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 283
View: 1976
Though contemporary European philosophy and critical theory have long had a robust engagement with Christianity, there has been no similar engagement with Buddhism—a surprising lack, given Buddhism's global reach and obvious affinities with much of Continental philosophy. This volume fills that gap, bringing together three scholars to offer individual, distinct, yet complementary philosophical takes on Buddhism. Focused on “nothing”—essential to Buddhism, of course, but also a key concept in critical theory from Hegel and Marx through deconstruction, queer theory, and contemporary speculative philosophy—the book explores different ways of rethinking Buddhism's nothing. Through an elaboration of “sunyata,” or emptiness, in both critical and Buddhist traditions; an examination of the problem of praxis in Buddhism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis; and an explication of a “Buddaphobia” that is rooted in modern anxieties about nothingness, Marcus Boon, Eric Cazdyn, and Timothy Morton open up new spaces in which the radical cores of Buddhism and critical theory are renewed and revealed.

    • Philosophy

Humankind

Solidarity with Non-Human People
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786631334
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 8641
A radical call for solidarity between humans and non-humans What is it that makes humans human? As science and technology challenge the boundaries between life and non-life, between organic and inorganic, this ancient question is more timely than ever. Acclaimed object-oriented philosopher Timothy Morton invites us to consider this philosophical issue as eminently political. In our relationship with nonhumans, we decide the fate of our humanity. Becoming human, claims Morton, actually means creating a network of kindness and solidarity with nonhuman beings, in the name of a broader understanding of reality that both includes and overcomes the notion of species. Negotiating the politics of humanity is the first crucial step in reclaiming the upper scales of ecological coexistence and resisting corporations like Monsanto and the technophilic billionaires who would rob us of our kinship with people beyond our species.

    • Nature

The Ecological Thought


Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674049208
Category: Nature
Page: 163
View: 1968
The author argues that all forms of life are interconnected and that no being, construct, or object can exist independently from the ecological entanglement, nor does "nature" exist as an entity separate from the uglier or more synthetic elements of life. Realizing this interconnectedness is what the author calls the ecological thought. He investigates the philosophical, political, and aesthetic implications of this interconnectedness.

    • Literary Criticism

Neocybernetics and Narrative


Author: Bruce Clarke
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780816691029
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 248
View: 2456
Neocybernetics and Narrative opens a new chapter in Bruce Clarke's project of rethinking narrative and media through systems theory. Reconceiving interrelations among subjects, media, significations, and the social, this study demonstrates second-order systems theory's potential to provide fresh insights into the familiar topics of media studies and narrative theory. A pioneer of systems narratology, Clarke offers readers a synthesis of the neocybernetic theories of cognition formulated by biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, incubated by cyberneticist Heinz von Foerster, and cultivated in Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory. From this foundation, he interrogates media theory and narrative theory through a critique of information theory in favor of autopoietic conceptions of cognition. Clarke's purview includes examinations of novels (Mrs. Dalloway and Mind of My Mind), movies (Avatar, Memento, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and even Aramis, Bruno Latour's idiosyncratic meditation on a failed plan for an automated subway. Clarke declares the era of the cyborg to have ended, laid to rest as the ontology of technical objects is brought into differential coordination with operations of living, psychic, and social systems. The second-order discourse of cognition destabilizes the usual sense of cognition as conscious awareness, revealing the possibility of nonconscious and nonhuman forms of sentience.

    • Philosophy

Technic and Magic

The Reconstruction of Reality
Author: Federico Campagna
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1350044032
Category: Philosophy
Page: 256
View: 7732
We take for granted that only certain kind of things exist – electrons but not angels, passports but not nymphs. This is what we understand as 'reality'. But in fact, 'reality' varies with each era of the world, in turn shaping the field of what is possible to do, think and imagine. Our contemporary age has embraced a troubling and painful form of reality: Technic. Under Technic, the foundations of reality begin to crumble, shrinking the field of the possible and freezing our lives in an anguished state of paralysis. Technic and Magic shows that the way out of the present deadlock lies much deeper than debates on politics or economics. By drawing from an array of Northern and Southern sources – spanning from Heidegger, Junger and Stirner's philosophies, through Pessoa's poetry, to Advaita Vedanta, Bhartrhari, Ibn Arabi, Suhrawardi and Mulla Sadra's theosophies – Magic is presented as an alternative system of reality to Technic. While Technic attempts to capture the world through an 'absolute language', Magic centres its reconstruction of the world around the notion of the 'ineffable' that lies at the heart of existence. Technic and Magic is an original philosophical work, and a timely cultural intervention. It disturbs our understanding of the structure of reality, while restoring it in a new form. This is possibly the most radical act: if we wish to change our world, first we have to change the idea of 'reality' that defines it.

    • Philosophy

Vibrant Matter

A Political Ecology of Things
Author: Jane Bennett
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822391627
Category: Philosophy
Page: 200
View: 4006
In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.

    • Philosophy

Against Ecological Sovereignty

Ethics, Biopolitics, and Saving the Natural World
Author: Mick Smith
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452932913
Category: Philosophy
Page: 269
View: 9832
Links the political critique of sovereign power with ecological concerns

    • Nature

Becoming Animal

An Earthly Cosmology
Author: David Abram
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0375713697
Category: Nature
Page: 315
View: 2181
Presents a cautionary assessment of human involvement in the natural world that celebrates nature's sensuous qualities while revealing how consciousness is a ubiquitous part of the biosphere.

    • Literary Criticism

Shelley and the Revolution in Taste

The Body and the Natural World
Author: Timothy Morton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521471350
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 298
View: 7113
A highly original study of Shelley's thought in relation to diet, consumption, the body, nature, and culture.

    • Nature

Object-Oriented Ontology

A New Theory of Everything
Author: Graham Harman
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0241269172
Category: Nature
Page: 300
View: 8214
What is reality, really? Are humans more special or important than the non-human objects we perceive? How does this change the way we understand the world? We humans tend to believe that things are only real in as much as we perceive them, an idea reinforced by modern philosophy, which privileges us as special, radically different in kind from all other objects. But as Graham Harman, one of the theory's leading exponents, shows, Object-Oriented Ontology rejects the idea of human specialness: the world, he states, is clearly not the world as manifest to humans. At the heart of this philosophy is the idea that objects - whether real, fictional, natural, artificial, human or non-human - are mutually autonomous. In this brilliant new introduction, Graham Harman lays out the history, ideas and impact of Object-Oriented Ontology, taking in everything from art and literature, politics and natural science along the way. Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at SCI-Arc, Los Angeles. A key figure in the contemporary speculative realism movement in philosophy and for his development of the field of object-oriented ontology, he was named by Art Review magazine as one of the 100 most influential figures in international art.

    • Science

The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (Posthumanities)


Author: Steven Shaviro
Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc
ISBN: 1365617467
Category: Science
Page: N.A
View: 8527
From the rediscovery of Alfred North Whitehead’s work to the rise of new materialist thought, including object-oriented ontology, there has been a rapid turn toward speculation in philosophy as a way of moving beyond solely human perceptions of nature and existence. Now Steven Shaviro maps this quickly emerging speculative realism, which is already dramatically influencing how we interpret reality and our place in a universe in which humans are not the measure of all things. The Universe of Things explores the common insistence of speculative realism on a noncorrelationist thought: that things or objects exist apart from how our own human minds relate to and comprehend them. Shaviro focuses on how Whitehead both anticipates and offers challenges to prevailing speculative realist thought, moving between Whitehead’s own panpsychism, Harman’s object-oriented ontology, and the reductionist eliminativism of Quentin Meillassoux and Ray Brassier.

    • Philosophy

The Nonhuman Turn


Author: Richard Grusin
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780816694679
Category: Philosophy
Page: 288
View: 7756
Edited by Richard Grusin of the Center for 21st Century Studies, this is the first book to name and characterize—and therefore consolidate—a wide array of current critical, theoretical, and philosophical approaches to the humanities and social sciences under the concept of the nonhuman turn. Each of these approaches is engaged in decentering the human in favor of a concern for the nonhuman, understood by contributors in a variety of ways—in terms of animals, affectivity, bodies, materiality, technologies, and organic and geophysical systems. The nonhuman turn in twenty-first-century studies can be traced to multiple intellectual and theoretical developments from the last decades of the twentieth century: actor-network theory, affect theory, animal studies, assemblage theory, cognitive sciences, new materialism, new media theory, speculative realism, and systems theory. Such varied analytical and theoretical formations obviously diverge and disagree in many of their assumptions, objects, and methodologies. However, they all take up aspects of the nonhuman as critical to the future of twenty-first-century studies in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Unlike the posthuman turn, the nonhuman turn does not make a claim about teleology or progress in which we begin with the human and see a transformation from the human to the posthuman. Rather, the nonhuman turn insists (paraphrasing Bruno Latour) that “we have never been human,” that the human has always coevolved, coexisted, or collaborated with the nonhuman—and that the human is identified precisely by this indistinction from the nonhuman. Contributors: Jane Bennett, Johns Hopkins U; Ian Bogost, Georgia Institute of Technology; Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Brown U; Mark B. N. Hansen, Duke U; Erin Manning, Concordia U, Montreal; Brian Massumi, U of Montreal; Timothy Morton, Rice U; Steven Shaviro, Wayne State U; Rebekah Sheldon, Indiana U.

    • Philosophy

Immaterialism

Objects and Social Theory
Author: Graham Harman
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1509501002
Category: Philosophy
Page: 140
View: 4107
What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Wichita, the United States, the planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? In this book the founder of object-oriented philosophy develops his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and develops instead an “immaterialist” method. By examining the work of leading contemporary thinkers such as Bruno Latour and Levi Bryant, he develops a forceful critique of ‘actor-network theory’. In an extended discussion of Leibniz’s famous example of the Dutch East India Company, Harman argues that this company qualifies for objecthood neither through ‘what it is’ or ‘what it does’, but through its irreducibility to either of these forms. The phases of its life, argues Harman, are not demarcated primarily by dramatic incidents but by moments of symbiosis, a term he draws from the biologist Lynn Margulis. This book provides a key counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice. It will appeal to anyone interested in cutting-edge debates in philosophy and social and cultural theory.

    • Philosophy

Speculative Realism


Author: Professor of Philosophy Levi R (Collin College) Bryant
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748679987
Category: Philosophy
Page: 313
View: 1628
Defends and transforms naturalism and materialism to show how culture itself is formed by nature. Bryant endorses a pan-ecological theory of being, arguing that societies are ecosystems that can only be understood by considering nonhuman material agencies such as rivers and mountain ranges alongside signifying agencies such as discourses, narratives and ideologies.