Monthly Archives: March 2011

Returning to Freud

Freud and Freud

I’m slowly trying to get back in to Freud. My advisor described the process as akin to getting into a hot bath and he’s right. Get in too quickly and it hurts like hell, while getting in too slowly leaves no enjoyment either (I’d even say it leaves you cold!). In any case, I’ve been going through my own notes rather than back directly to the texts. I guess it’s a good sign that my own ideas from months ago still seem interesting and valuable. The writing I’ve been going over is mostly on Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Totem and Taboo, and I’m hoping to do something rather soon with the latter (a short article I think). I haven’t talked a lot about Freud publicly, though he’s always there. I had wanted to include a section on him in my Claremont paper, but ended up not having room and even having to cut the material I already had on Nietzsche to get the paper under twenty minutes. Hopefully this little article will give some idea as to what I’m trying to do in my own “return to Freud,” in opposition to the structuralist return.

First though, I’m waiting to be able to finish up my piece for Speculations II. I’m missing a reference and waiting for the book to be recalled so I can find it. Once that’s done, I’ll be diving head-first back in to Freud, trying to get this bit of work done quickly, only to jump right back to post-Kantian and contemporary metaphysics, with work on Schelling, Kant and Meillassoux, then back to Freudian stuff, though by then I’ll be looking at a few ways of reading Freud (structuralist, Freudo-Marxist, therapeutic, and neuro-scientific). Part of that work will involve working through Malabou’s Les Nouveaux Blessés. The plan is to take that work on Freud and Malabou and submit it to the sixteenth volume of theory@buffalo on Malabou, due sometime in September. Sometime in there I wanted to try to write something on Schelling and Laruelle as well. Maybe that will be my submission to CSCP. Anyway, I have to run to a public lecture on Kant and Levinas. More soon.

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CFP: In the Aftermath of German Idealism

This looks to be a great conference, and not only because I know one of the keynotes!

In the Aftermath of German Idealism
May 14-15, Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Recht als Kultur”, Bonn,
in cooperation with the Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Keynote speakers:
Markus Gabriel, Universität Bonn, author of Der Mensch im Mythos and Transcendental Ontology (forthcoming by Continuum)
Jean-Christophe Goddard, Université de Toulouse le Mirail, author of La philosophie fichtéenne de la vie
Arnaud François, Université de Toulouse le Mirail, author of Bergson, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche. Volonté et réalité
Sean McGrath, Memorial University of Newfoundland, author of The Dark Ground of Spirit: Schelling and the Unconscious (forthcoming by Routledge)
Devin Zane Shaw, University of Ottawa, author of Freedom and Nature in Schelling’s Philosophy of Art

It is with pleasure we invite you to participate at the following conference, sponsored by EuroPhilosophie ( and organized by l’Amicale des étudiants EuroPhilosophie.

Since the philosophical upheaval caused by Kant’s transcendental philosophy, the status of what would later be called “German Idealism” has been anything but clear. On the one hand, the efforts of the major representatives of post-Kantianism only intensified the intrinsic ambiguity of the founding gesture of the tradition. Instead of simply interpreting or expanding Kant, yet all the while attempting to radicalize his original breakthrough, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel developed surprisingly different and opposing systems. On the other hand, the 19th- and 20th-century reception of Hegelianism would have another decisive effect, which would in its own way obfuscate the signification of German Idealism by drastically altering our perception of the tradition as a whole. Not only was Hegel thought to be the culmination of the operative logic of German idealism, which would for a long time prevent us from understanding the works of Fichte and Schelling in and of themselves, but there was also a primordial urge to immanently rethink Hegelian dialectics from the standpoint of historical finitude while being faithful to its fundamental insights, arguing for the implicit and irreducible potential still lurking in this movement.

However, the history of German idealism did not in any way end there. In the 20th century we have seen seen a countless number of virulent attacks against “traditional” metaphysics arise as different philosophical schools demanded us to give up “dead” and “outdated” notions like system and totality, German Idealism often being seen the as the epitome of excessive, unbridled reason. Yet, in the face of these so-called “devastating” critiques, classical German philosophy has not been sentenced to death and banished to the abyssal forgetfulness of a forever lost past. Not only has there been an intense increase of secondary literature in the past decades, but a multitude of contemporary philosophers are returning to this moment in order to develop their own thought. The status of German Idealism remains more ambiguous and uncertain than ever: even two centuries after its emergence, we are still in the wake of German Idealism and feel its effects deep within the internal pulsations of philosophy itself.

Therefore, the goal of this conference is to open up an space within which one approach the reception of German Idealism and address its philosophical heritage. The unifying theme will be the following constellation of questions: Why do we constantly go back to German Idealism and cannot simply rid ourselves one and for all of its fundamental concepts? What could German Idealism teach us today? Are there still non-cultivated resources lurking within the thought of Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Schelling? Are we only able to unearth these resources today by passing through their internal and external critiques? Should we take the risk and plunge headfirst into the tradition in attempting to radicalize it?

Please send a short abstract (200-400 words) for a 20-30 minute presentation to be given in English, French or German to Joseph Carew (jstephencarew[at] and Daniel Pucciarelli (arelli[at] by the 15th of April.

Proposed topics are (but in no way limited to)

  • The immediate reception of German Idealism (Jacobi, Reinhold, Schulze, Maïmon, Marx, the Schellingian, Feuerbachian, Kierkegaardian, Schopenhauerian or Marxist critique of Hegel)
  • The tole of concepts such as “finitude,” “system,” “totality,” “liberty” or “subjectivity” in German Idealism and its reception
  • The category of contingence in Schellingian and Hegelian dialectics
  • Contemporary rereadings of Hegel (Frankfurt School, Butler, Jameson, Malabou, Nancy, Pippin, Žižek)
  • The current resurgence of Schelling (Grant, Gabriel)
  • The appropriation of Hegel by representatives of analytical philosophy searching for a new grounding for epistemology (McDowell and Brandom)
  • Critique of the notion of history and post-Hegelian philosophies of history
  • Contemporary usage of German Idealism in practical philosophy
  • Critiques of German Idealism from within different philosophical movements (phenomenology, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze – and so on unto infinity)
  • New interpretations of Kant, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel

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    Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory

    Below is some information on Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory including the Call for Papers for the inaugural volume. I don’t listen to metal at all, but I know a lot of people who read my blog do, so this will be of interest to many of you. Call me when someone starts a journal of Black Coffee Theory.

    Helvete is a new open access electronic and print journal of black metal theory.

    Zachary Price
    Aspasia Stephanou
    Benjamin Woodard

    Editorial Advisory Board
    Dominic Fox
    Nicola Masciandaro
    Dan Mellamphy
    Michael O’Rourke
    Karin Sellberg
    Steven Shakespeare


    Incipit: Open Issue
    Helvete: A Journal of Black Metal Theory (Winter 2012)
    Edited by Zachary Price, Aspasia Stephanou, and Benjamin Woodard

    The editors of Helvete, a new journal of black metal theory, invite submissions for the journal’s inaugural issue. This issue is open topic in two senses. Firstly, it is an open issue in that all submissions appropriate to the journal’s general theme will be considered. Secondly, however, the editors encourage contributors to consider the topic itself open just as the first issue of a periodical publication is its opening. Thus, submissions that interrogate the problematics of beginning and genesis—or of openings, apertures, holes, etc.—at the conjunction of black metal and theory will be given priority. Black metal theory is the practice of the mutual blackening of theory and metal, and thus pushes the limits of contemporary academic genres by definition. In recognition of this, the editors welcome not only proposals for articles, but also for non, para, and protoacademic works, including commentaries, fragments, and visuals. We wish to encourage engagement in black metal theory by whatever means necessary.

    1 September 2011: Proposals due
    1 March 2012: Drafts due
    June 2012: Drafts returned with comments
    1 September 2012: Final drafts due
    Winter 2012: Publication

    Proposals may be sent to the editors at
    For detailed guidelines, see the Submission Checklist on our website.

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    Speculations Vol. II Table of Contents

    Below is the provisional table of contents for the next volume of Speculations. It should be a great issue and I’m delighted to have a piece included.

    Speculations Volume II


    Tractatus Mathematico-Politicus – Christopher Norris

    The Philosopher, the Sophist, the Undercurrent and Alain Badiou – Marianna Papastefanou

    On the Reality and Construction of Hyperobjects with reference to Class – Levi Bryant

    Structure, Sense, and Territory – Michael Austin

    The Anxiousness of Objects – Robert Jackson

    The Cubist Object – Hilan Bensusan

    On the possibility of ignorance in Meillassoux – Josef Moshe

    Sublime Objects – Tim Morton

    Unknowing Animals – Nicola Masciandaro

    Positions Papers and Interview

    Networkologies II – Christopher Vitale

    ‘Girls Welcome!!!’ – Michael O’Rourke

    ‘Science and Philosophy’ Interview with Sean Carroll – Fabio Gironi

    Book Reviews

    Review of Eugene Thacker’s After Life – Anthony Paul Smith

    Review of Jussi Parikka’s Insect Media – Beatrice Marovich

    Review of Graham Harman’s Towards Speculative Realism – Fintan Neylan

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