Meillassoux I: Primary Qualities and Correlationism
from Larval Subjects by larvalsubjects
The first thing one notes upon opening the pages of After Finitude is the clarity and preciseness of his exposition, so unusual for a Continental philosopher, and the manner in which he crafts his arguments like a jeweler carving a fine gem. Regardless of whether or not Meillassoux’s arguments ultimately attain the status of “singular arguments” in the history of philosophy, it is difficult not to delight in the ingeniousness of his arguments, their athleticism, their vigor, even if one does not ultimately agree or know where these arguments will lead.
Although I worked heavily on Deleuze throughout my five years in graduate school, the best description of my philosophical orientation at this time would be phenomenological. I think, maybe, I’m one of five people in the world that actually devoured Husserl’s various texts and lectures with delight. I suspect that means I’m cracked in some way. It is certainly a good thing that I eventually entered analysis with Bruce Fink.
I delighted in the work of Merleau-Ponty. I thought Levinas was perhaps the most beautiful stylist of all the philosophers who had ever written. I shivered with pleasure at Jean-Luc Marion’s discussions of givenness. I ravenously read the work of Ed Casey. I guiltily read Sartre throughout, believing him to be gauche at that time, but still secretly loving his work. For some reason I had largely lost interest in Heidegger, wondering why I had been so enchanted with him. Perhaps it was his style. At any rate, my friends would joke that I was living in a permanent “transcendental epoche chamber”.
MIT Press informs me that my new book, Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics, has now been published and will shortly be available (Amazon.com still lists the book as not being published until May 29, but you may be able to order it well before then elsewhere)... I don’t have a pdf of the book as published, I’m afraid, but near-final drafts of all the chapters are available here.
For the most part, I am happy with how Without Criteria came out. I managed to work through, to my own satisfaction (and hopefully other people’s as well), some of Whitehead’s weirder notions, like “eternal objects” and (especially) “God.” I developed Whitehead’s ideas about what he calls “feeling” in relation both to contemporary affect theory, and to contemporary biology. And I showed how strongly and deeply Whitehead’s metaphysics resonates with that of Deleuze.