Ray Brassier: Against Flat Ontologies

Date and time: April 12, 2014, 21:15
Place: LAB111, Arie Biemondstraat 111, Amsterdam
Further infowww.festivaldrift.nl/en/.

Deleveling: Against ‘Flat Ontologies’ 

The re­sur­gen­ce of metap­hy­sics in re­cent Con­ti­nen­tal phi­lo­sop­hy has been ac­com­pa­nied by an en­thu­si­asm for “flat ontologies”. Le­ve­ling tra­di­ti­o­nal metap­hy­si­cal hier­ar­chies, such as those of uni­ver­sal and par­ti­cu­lar or na­tu­re and artifice, that un­yo­kes ap­pe­a­ran­ce from re­a­li­ty and tre­ats all en­ti­ties as equal­ly real. Most im­por­tant­ly, ha­ving le­ve­led the onto­lo­gi­cal dif­fe­ren­ce bet­ween the human and the non-hu­man, flat on­to­lo­gists re­vo­ke the pri­vi­le­ging of the human, and affirm the “post hu­ma­nist” fu­si­on of thin­king with fee­ling and of po­li­tics with etho­lo­gy. I will argue that the who­lesa­le le­ve­ling in­dul­ged in by flat on­to­lo­gists is mired in phi­lo­so­p­hi­cal con­fu­si­ons that lead to ram­pant an­thro­po­morphism in metap­hy­sics and to com­pla­cent li­be­ra­lism in po­li­tics.

Dr. Ray Bras­sier is cur­rent­ly wor­king as As­so­ci­a­te Pro­fes­sor of Phi­lo­sop­hy on the Ame­ri­can Uni­ver­si­ty of Beirut. The to­pics he is wor­king on in­clu­de ra­ti­o­na­lism, phi­lo­sop­hy of mind, ma­te­ri­a­lism, and na­tu­ra­lism. He is the wri­ter of the book “Nihil Un­bound: En­ligh­ten­ment and Ex­tinc­ti­on’’ from 2007.