Ray Brassier interview

Interview with Ray Brassier in Kronos (via Mark Kelly). Brassier is the translator of Meillassoux’s After Finitude and author of Nihil Unbound. He was one of the four original speakers (with Meillasoux, Graham Harman and Iain Hamilton-Grant) at the ‘Speculative Realism’ event in London. The most striking, even astonishing, moment is this:

KRONOS: How would you describe your ‘love-affair’ with the
speculative realists movement?

RB: The ‘speculative realist movement’ exists only in the imaginations of a group of bloggers promoting an agenda for which I have no sympathy whatsoever: actor-network theory spiced with pan-psychist metaphysics and morsels of process philosophy. I don’t believe the internet is an appropriate medium for serious philosophical debate; nor do I believe it is acceptable to try to concoct a philosophical movement online by using blogs to exploit the misguided enthusiasm of impressionable graduate students. I agree with Deleuze’s remark that ultimately the most basic task of philosophy is to impede stupidity, so I see little philosophical merit in a ‘movement’ whose most signal achievement thus far is to have generated an online orgy of stupidity.

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3 Responses to Ray Brassier interview

  1. Oliver Belcher says:

    My sentiments exactly.

  2. Mark says:

    I have to agree with Bassier’s comments – the underlying vein of “pan-psychist metaphysics” in Speculative Realism I personally find quite problematic

  3. Ben says:

    Yeah, I agree, too. I’m not sure that the Internet, a priori, is not an appropriate medium for serious debate. But while I’m not a philosopher, merely an enthusiast, there’s certainly there’s a cultic thing going with certain advocates of ‘OOO’ that many, I suspect, find distasteful – people ridiculing other people’s philosophical positions, successful professors slating first-year PhD students who dare to challenge them, and above all the repeated presentation as ‘new’ and ‘challenging’ ideas, like the inextricable incorporation of human beings into wider ecological circuits of activity, that many don’t find particularly revelatory in and of themselves, based on a ‘new ontology’ or otherwise.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, just as I did Nihil Unbound. Brassier’s work seems to me to be extremely provocative, but it’s never preachy, never prosetylising. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of response this interview elicits from the targets of his blunt comments… if any at all.

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