BALANCE-SHEET FOR A PLURALIST BLOG

My blog, which has been going for 4 years now, is about pluralism – epistemological, ontological, and psychological pluralism. The name Agent Swarm is a Deleuzian joke, it means “active multiplicity”. The slogan “pluralism and individuation in a world of becoming” is a more complete summary of my interests.

On the blog, I talk about philosophers I like, mainly Feyerabend, Deleuze, Lyotard, Serres, Laruelle, Stiegler and Latour. I have actually met and talked to all these except alas! Feyerabend and Laruelle. I also talk about Badiou and Zizek, who I find to be regressive figures, and I sometimes call them “demi-post-structuralists”. I don’t usually talk about “continental philosophy” because for me it is not a useful label, as I don’t feel that I am doing anything very different in philosophy now in France to what I was doing in my analytic days in Australia in the 70s, I am making use of the same cognitive and hermeneutic skills.

I talk about living philosophers who are still producing important work, such as Latour and Stiegler and Laruelle, not because I like what is new and trendy (as some commenters have pointed out, I am very uninformed), but because I find they are talking about my life and my problems both intellectual and existential. Try reading François Laruelle, who is very obscure. Yet I manage to clarify bits and pieces of his ideas and works, and some people profit from that. One thing I loathe is people suffering from academosis, quoting large slabs from thinkers when they have no idea what their texts mean or what relevance they have to our lives. For me these people are at best “quantitative masters” (to make use of a Deleuzian expression) and as such will always win in an academic discussion, but that is not exactly what I am engaging in.

For me Continental philosophy is transformative: it is strange and fun and also deep and moving. It can change your life.

Note: some people may be surprised that I make no mention of Graham Harman and his object-oriented ontology. This is only normal as OOO has never been my subject, just a useful foil to highlight my own ideas against a simplistic travesty of a philosophy and to sharpen my critical skills.

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