quote of the day

[R]eligion and relativism are, from an immanent standpoint, one and the same ontology.

Watkin (paraphrasing Meillassoux), Difficult Atheism, p. 135.

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3 Responses to quote of the day

  1. terenceblake says:

    This is not at all true. Such globalising judgements simplifying the diversity of the world are typical of Meillassoux. What religion and what relativism. Feyerabend , for example, has gone to some length to elaborate a democratic relativism that has nothing to do with Meillassoux’s simplistic ideas on religion. Meillassoux has no monopoly on immanence, and one would not see such a pronouncement in the works of Deleuze. Badiou would agree of course, as both share a mathematical scientism that is based on throwing to the bin the epistemological advances of the last 100 years, often without understanding their sense and their pertinence.

    • JTH says:

      Thanks for your comment Terence – I do appreciate your passion.

      I like to think that for Meillassoux there is a page of unpublished material for every declaration of this sort, and more generally that simplicity can be the virtuous outcome of hard work and not in every case the violence of stupidity and/or ignorance. I try to find virtuous simplifications that increase the speed of thought, since some things have to be understood quickly or else not at all.

      Anyway, I think you’d like Watkin’s book if you haven’t looked at it already. He reads Meillassoux together with Badiou and Nancy in terms of the following prismatic distinction: on the one hand, “ascetic” atheism, for which we have to renounce as fictions large portions of what we think we know (e.g. Alex Rosenberg); and on the other hand, “parasitic” atheism, which continues to illicitly depend on what it explicitly renounces (this can be understood positionally as what e.g. Rosenberg thinks of any naturalist position distinct from his). Watkin’s portrays his three protagonists as trying to develop an alternative to this choice. In particular, he does a good job of exhibiting the voluntary/arbitrary underpinnings of Meillassoux’s project (the latest draft of my paper also develops this theme, though more in Brassier’s manner, of Stove’s Gem and the Sellarsian dilemma).

  2. Pingback: quote of the day | AGENT SWARM

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