Post-Philosophy II:
Marx, Laruelle, Irigaray and Braidotti

Instructor: Katerina Kolozova
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 1
Module: 2 of 2
Date: May 6, 13, 20, 27
Time: 2:30-5:00pm EST

Agnes Martin, Falling Blue, 1963

Humanity is a theologico-philosophical creation and it is – as a consequence – always naturalized. Thanks to philosophy and theology, nature is always humanized. As long as the technological component of the radical dyad called the cyborg can be humanized or transformed into pure transcendence constituting the only accessible reality (= pure rationality), it is neither monstrous nor inhuman. It is not posthuman either. It is profoundly humanist. As a consequence, it will also be naturalized. The rationalist mind determined by its anthropocentrism in the last instance will unavoidably mimic and reproduce nature. Therefore, in spite of the commitment to hybridization it will never be inhuman or monstrous. The technological extension and the biological body are both alien to subjectivity which is essentially and unavoidably a philosophical creation, they both assume the position of the real vis-à-vis the subject. Subjectivity, on the other hand, is always already philosophical. It is nothing but the automaton of signification which re-presents the human or constitutes it as representation. What makes in (non-)human is precisely the subject’s failure to fully represent. Technology precedes subjectivity – just as the body does – and it cannot, therefore, have an ontological status – it is pre-philosophical. It precedes it as téchne (τέχνη) precedes philosophia (φιλοσοφία). It is the real vis-à-vis the subject of language. The hybridization of the two constitutes a category of society or the “species being” of humanity. Perfecting the imperfect nature – because “irrational” – cannot be its purpose since the idea that nature contains meaning or sense, i.e., a certain causa finalis, is theological-philosophical. In order for something to be susceptible to perfecting, it should contain the tendency to be perfect. Minimally, it should be grounded in the possibility to constitute a meaning, a purpose. It should contain a telos, i.e., it should be a theological category. Marxist and post-philosophical investigation of the hybridity at issue does away with philosophy’s self-sufficiency and resorts to materialist argumentation making use of philosophical material in a scientific manner. The latter refers to the position with regard to the instance of the real rather than to mimicking mannerism. There will be a remainder in this process that will be called metaphysical and our claim to science in post-philosophical terms will be concerned with accounting for such metaphysics. In this course we shall explore the question of whether and to what extent we can speak of materialist, feminist and Marxist metaphysics without philosophy. In our investigations we shall resort to Karl Marx, François Laruelle, Luce Irigaray and Rosi Braidotti.

Image: Agnes Martin, Falling Blue, 1963

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