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After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency Hardcover – 7 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Continnuum-3PL; Tra edition (7 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826496741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826496744
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 693,623 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"'Rarely do we encounter a book which not only meets the highest standards of thinking, but sets up itself new standards, transforming the entire field into which it intervenes. Quentin Meillassoux does exactly this.' --Slavoj Zizek"

About the Author

Quentin Meillassoux teaches Philosophy at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France. Ray Brassier is Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University, UK. Alain Badiou teaches at the Ecole Normale Superieure and at the College International de Philosophie in Paris, France. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just noticed the recent review and figured Meillassoux's great little book deserves a little bit more credit. The book sets out Meillassoux's thinking beginning with his (somewhat infamous) anti-correlationism and moving on to the development of the principle of unreason. I think the influence this book is having is subtle, but will become more obvious in the next few years (especially among the young). If you came to this page because you are interested in speculative realism then you MUST buy this book. Otherwise I'd say take a gamble on it - nobody I know who has read it weren't at least intrigued by his arguments.
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Format: Paperback
Meillassoux pulls the rug from beneath the feet of the prevaling correlationists (Kant to Heidegger); and in so doing he demonstrates how anthropomorphism is redundant.
He absolutizes the contingency of being; that what is absolute is the `there is' which is meaninglessness, since things `are' whether a reasoning being is there verifying this or not. The only absolute is that everything merely `is' which is to say that there is no meaning for anything to be the way it is because ` meaning' already implies an originary consciousness whose existence is actually anterior and contingent

Leibniz said: everything must exist `for' a reason - Meillassoux says: everthing must exist for `no' reason precisely because the coming into being of life was not simultaneous with the coming into being of the universe: this means that the uprising of life was a matter of contingency, not necessity. This is why the only necessity for Meillassoux is such contingency p.34

Perhaps this will become the 21st century's equivalent to Being and Time
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Future philosophers will have to contend with Quentin Meillassoux.

His analysis of the condition of philosophy is subtle and compelling. The Copernican revolution (or as Meillassoux calls it the Galilean-Copernican revolution) in science, which overturned all dogmatic metaphysics, has been met by a Ptolemaic counter-revolution in philosophy. The former is understood as the possibility of understanding the world in purely mathematical terms, yet renouncing all pretentions to a priori knowledge, the latter is attributed (paradoxically) to Kant's so-called Copernican revolution in thought: his turn to critical philosophy. It is a counter-revolution, and Ptolemaic in character, because it relocates the necessity which dogmatic metaphysics located in the world - in terms of Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason - in the subject of experience him/her self. It is this thesis, essentially that there is no 'being' which is not somehow correlated with thought, or that the only thinkable is that which is relative to thought, which Meillassoux calls 'correlationism.' This idea he believes, in one form or another, dominates modern philosophy. Specifically those philosophies which are derived from Wittgenstein or Heidegger. And it is this claim that he contests.

Meillassoux proposes a speculative realism which insists that the only necessity is that everything is contingent. Correlationism is overcome by emphasising that we can grasp being, in its mathematical form, which shows itself to be independent of our forms of representation. His primary example is the thought of ancestrality: the fact that we can think a time when there was no one there to think it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very recent book setting out Quentin Meillassoux's new philosophy which explains how we can know anything about events before there were any humans or after they have all become extinct, which he considers to be a problem. He solves it by, he believes, proving that everything is contingent, that is happens for no reason and not subject to any laws of nature which he believes don't exist. He is attacking such philosophies as phenomenalism which believe that all reality requires human or other perception to exist at all. He is very learned and argues very cogently for his philosophy but I think that Anglo-saxon philosophers will not see what he regards as a problem as really being one requiring dispensing with all natural laws.
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Tedious book for likewise people.
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