Being Without Thought: The Unconscious and the Critique of Correlationism

I have decided to make available a short draft version of a larger work, what could probably be called my greater “project” that I am actively working on. As has been pointed out by both Nick and Ben in their recent interviews with Paul Ennis, I am part of a small group of speculative realists (a name I gladly wear) that not only defends, but attempts to expand on the tradition of psychoanalysis, or more specifically, the metaphysics of psychoanalysis.


The piece in question is “Being Without Thought: The Unconscious and the Critique of Correlationism” and could best be described as my immediate reaction to Meillassoux’ After Finitude, written a few months ago. The work is still very much early on, and I hope to expand on it a fair amount, with all of the sections growing. The purpose of the paper was to cap off a reading course I did this past winter on Schelling, Lacan, and Zizek. I had just read Meillassoux’ book and asked my advisor if I could write a short piece attempting to sort out my ideas on how Meillassoux relates to the metaphysics of psychoanalysis. The sections on Badiou, Schelling and Schopenhauer are admittedly rough, but I think there’s a seed of something larger there. I will be expanding on all of these ideas this fall when I will be sitting in on a seminar on Schopenhauer, since it’s been a couple of years since I read The World as Will and Representation. I also hope to add a section on Eduard von Hartmann, but I’m not sure when or if I’ll have time to really deal with his massive The Philosophy of the Unconscious. I would also like to figure out how Zizek fits in with all of this, though I suspect his Hegelianism would not fare well.

Anyway, please read the piece (again, it is only very brief, draft, etc, etc.), and let me know what you think.



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6 responses to “Being Without Thought: The Unconscious and the Critique of Correlationism

  1. You may find a good resource in Michel Henry’s Genealogy of Psychoanalysis. Probably a correlationist, I don’t know, but interesting book that seems to share a lot with what you’ve written here.

  2. Thanks Anthony, I know of Henry’s book but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’ll look for it next time I’m on campus.

  3. It may be of interest to you that Laruelle is deeply influenced by Henry.

  4. Pingback: Dr Meillassoux, Or How I Learned To Kill An Unconscious God « Psychoanalysis and Speculative Realism

  5. Mark Crosby

    Michael, I’ve found this essay to be an interesting shock to thought, for me, since I’m generally distrustful of vague terms such as Being and Thought. Nevertheless, I think you’ve succeeded nicely in deciphering Freud’s WO ES WAR, and needling it through Lacan and Badiou into these neonihilistic endtimes..

    There’s a link below that might be relevant, but first, these lines from Anthony Wilden’s SYSTEM AND STRUCTURE (a 1972 survey of Freud, Lacan, Bateson and cybernetics) that anticipate what this essay has crystalized for me:

    “As an isolated logical statement, the first sentence of DE LA VANITE is meaningless, because it is self-reflexive: it judges its own validity. As an existential paradox, however, it has several levels of meaning or truth. It expresses Montaignes’s double bind and it involves the reader in it” (106).

    Such has been my discombobulation in coming to terms with “Being Without Thought”. Still, like Wilden, I’m interested in getting “Beyond the Entropy Principle in Freud” and “The Unconscious Structured Like a Language”. Oddly enough, this July 18 SCIENCE NEWS article by Tina Hesman Saey, “You Are Who Your Are By Default: It may be off when you’re on but the brain network behind daydreams and a sense of self is no slacker”, reveals that, surprise, neuroscience is revealing some of these same aspects of the unconscious that Freud and Lacan anticipated.
    Thanks, Mark

  6. Pingback: Life and Death in a Raving New World (via The Life Death Drives) + Being Without Thought: The Unconscious and the Critique of Correlationism (via Complete Lies.) | Minimal ve Maksimal Yazılar

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