ESCAPING LINGUISTIC CONSTRUCTIONISM: Stengers, Stiegler, Kolozova

On the empirical question of the existence or not of “correlationists”, I have occasionally encountered people holding such positions, but I have no respect for the use of the word “correlationism” to describe them. The rise of such ideas was actually one reason I left Sydney to study in Paris. After living through the dominion of the Althusserians in my philosophy department for six or seven years I was glad to see signs of change with the coming of the Lacanians, Foucauldians, and Derrideans. To my horror, where before I had to deal with dogmatic scientism, I now was also confronted with a rising tide of linguistic idealism. I chose Deleuze as a way of responding in their philosophical language, but noone was interested in Deleuze then (1979-80), and so I moved to Paris.

With Deleuze’s seminars I had no such problem. One of Deleuze and Guattari’s big themes was the tyranny of the signifier and how to escape it by means of concepts such as rhizome and assemblage. So I was quite surprised years later to see English-speaking philosophers making such a fuss over Meillassoux, whose ideas seem so primitive. I could understand the enthusiasm for Latour, who has a continuing dialogueIsabelle Stengers behind him, and so a substantial Deleuzian influence.

Isabelle Stengers, who is a realist, has the added advantage of not rewriting the immediate past, as Meillassoux and Harman do, to make Deleuze and Guattari and Foucault disappear or seem unacceptably idealist. Bernard Stiegler too is intent on giving us resources to reread  and rethink that past, without Meillassoux’s reductive spectacles. And Katerina Kolozova, using Laruelle (but unfortunately also Lacan), is attempting to think outside the limits of postmodern and poststructuralist linguistic constructionism. So there is a very interesting constellation of contemporary thinkers trying to undo the damage that wrong-headed interpretations of post-68 Continental philosophy have wrought.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s