STEVE FULLER AND THE POST TRUTH CONDITION (3): post-truth, realism, and quantum thought

On this blog I have been analysing the work of contemporary Continental philosophers working in the domain of epistemological and ontological pluralism (Laruelle,  Latour, Zizek, Badiou, Stiegler) as articulating competing « metaphysical research programmes ». I employ this expression in Popper’s sense of general conceptual frameworks combining both speculative and empirically testable elements.

These pluralist metaphyisical research programmes can be analysed, compared, and put into dialogue in terms of an open set of heuristic criteria: degree and nature of pluralism, historicity, non-foundationalism, anti-essentialism, realism, apophaticism, testability. By means of this formal comparison we can better evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each programme, and make positive suggestions as to its improvement.

Steve Fuller’s research programme as it has emerged over a period of thirty years of published work, is an important contribution to that philosophical constellation, and allows for a richer critical discussion of shared and contested theses and concepts. In particular, his discussion of the concept of post-truth is an extremely useful contribution to the contemporary concern over the spread of the relativist idea that all thoughts are equal.

An interesting and important consequence of Steve Fuller’s critique of the one-sidedness of the pejorative definition of « post-truth » is that it must not be confused with relativism. Post-truth is not post-real, and one can have an epistemology that is both post-truth and realist.

A second theme of my blog that has emerged in my discussion of Laruelle and Zizek (and also of Feyerabend) is the possible elaboration of a « quantum » image of thought, in terms of an underlying vision that is separable to some extent from physics and transferable elsewhere (transversality). This quantum thought is something that Fuller has begun to discuss in recent years, and there is an extended discussion of quantum physics and modal power in his new book POST-TRUTH Knowledge as a Power Game.

This quantum vision must be kept in mind when we discuss Steve Fuller’s defence of the hypothesis of « intelligent design » (or ID), as quantum indeterminism and the ontological incompleteness of the past re-qualify what can be meant by « design ». Similarly we should be wary of conventional notions of intelligence when extrapolated onto the cosmological scale. Intelligent design is not necessarily intelligible design and by becoming more « God-like » we may well be becoming more unknown and unintelligible to ourselves than less.

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2 commentaires pour STEVE FULLER AND THE POST TRUTH CONDITION (3): post-truth, realism, and quantum thought

  1. with regard to « intelligent design »: I listened a while back to a Fuller lecture and was impressed by his « common sense » discussion. That ID has become a code word for religious fundamentalism is unfortunate. It need mean only that intelligence is a deeply embedded part reality and seems to evolve « creatively » into higher emergent properties..Books on neo materialism like Vibrant Matter, expand on this issues.

    Aimé par 1 personne

  2. landzek dit :


    What I love about theorists is they retain the right to use words that are self contradictory and then propose the definition to somehow overcome that contradiction.

    For example to say “post truth” I would take that to mean after truth or behind the truth. So is he saying that it is true that there is this post to truth truth after the truth? What is that even mean? Well it means that he’s going to supply a definition for truth as well as post truth as if somehow neither of them are being spoken about upon some truth itself

    it’s interesting to me how fat thinks it’s self so far beyond itself that it feels it doesn’t even have to reconcile it self to anything actual anymore.


    But it is interesting because it definitely shows the religious quality of modern and postmodern whatever you want to call it our contemporary philosophical paradigm: it really shows itself as a religious apology basically trying to explain something actual in the context of something more then what is actual, as if thought can actually get beyond “the surface of things”.

    And I would say that it’s not that thought cannot get beyond it, but that whatever is proposing beyond it is a religious proposal. consolidation into a Catholic or unitive reality. Regardless of what anyone would want to say or argue about there being no unitive reality, as if reality is a pluralism, The very fact that you would propose that reality is Plerlist is a unitive assertion.

    And the religious apology for that self-contradiction is that that is the only way that we can think about it.

    I would say that it is not the only way.

    I’m stoked that you investigate in these things Terrence because it helps me to see the field. I hope in someway that I can help you one day.


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