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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Meillassoux
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...
Published on 5 July 2010 by Paul Ennis

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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meillassoux's After finitude
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...
Published on 2 July 2009 by D. N. Jervis


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Meillassoux, 5 July 2010
This review is from: After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars everything must exist for `no' reason, 22 April 2012
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M. Lynch "wdsml" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Necessity of Contingency, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (Paperback)
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. Moreover this thinking should be construed in the literal way in which the scientist construes it, and not as a nave or natural way, overcome by sophisticated correlationist philosophy. All necessity is drained out of nature in the way Hume had seen, but not followed up. This leaves the problem of how, if there is no natural necessity, the 'laws' of nature manage to function in an ordered way. Why isn't it the case that the whole of experienced reality fall into a incoherent chaos, as Kant had insisted it would without an ordering principle? Meillassoux looks to Cantor's set theory and Badiou's use of it to supply an impressive answer to this question.

As someone involved in Continental philosophy, yet coming to this work not knowing what to expect, I was not disappointed. Meillassoux writes clearly, yet his arguments are rigorous. It is an impressive work whether you agree or disagree with its central theses and is destined to become a classic.
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8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meillassoux's After finitude, 2 July 2009
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D. N. Jervis - See all my reviews
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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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After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency
After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency by Quentin Meillassoux (Paperback - 5 Nov 2009)
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