Friday, April 26, 2013

some positive responses to Iain Grant's recent interview

Some positive responses to the recent After Nature interview with Iain Grant can be found HERE over at footnotes to plato, HERE over at noir realism, HERE at progressive geographies, HERE at naught thought, and HERE at speculum criticum, to mention a few.  I appreciate the recognition for the hard work that I put into the interview and really feel that it came out well, but you readers can be the judge.

I especially liked this from Bryan at speculum criticum's post:

"The interview an is an excellent point of entry into Grant's work if you are unfamiliar with him (I found him the least easy, though not the least congenial, of the horsemen to read, at first). Niemoczynski asks very in-depth questions that that draw out some very thought-through responses. In the context of Niemoczynski's own projects, I was especially interested in this remark by Grant:

    These, then, are the operations characteristic of a philosophy of nature: genesis recapitulated in the genesis of isolation cannot be reversed, such that genesis itself is isolated, without an additional operation or continuation of genesis on which that isolation depends. And here, I think, we gain insight into the complex location of the Idea in nature: it is precisely the additional dimension articulated by the operation capable of abstracting its objects from the context on which they are dependent.... philosophers of nature such as Peirce and Whitehead [need to] be recovered not merely as historical instances but rather in the context of how their inquiries into nature present the conceptualization consequent upon it as modifications of precisely that process into which they are inquiring. I am particularly interested in the development of the dialectic of the physical whereby reflection upon it augments it in the dimension of the Idea without making the Idea into the finally determining instance of a nature directed towards it. Nature thought as ontogenesis cannot but have as a consequence that the thought that nature is ontogenetic must be consequent upon an ontogenetic nature.

If I may gloss this (and I hope someone will set me straight if I am wrong), this has to do with the claim that nature in some measure includes the capacity to represent nature, and to represent that capacity.

Interesting threads abound in this exchange. There's a very good passage in one of the Niemoczynski's questions about the resonance between Grant's work and Brassier's concerning negativity -- a thinking of an unexperienciable in-itself in both philosophers' work -- and it sheds some light on Niemoczynski's work in some other posts of his as well. Grant's response defending a "polypsychism" (he doesn't use this term, which I've lifted from Harman, but it seems apposite) also puts the question in the context of his broader philosophical project on "Grounds and Powers," which seems to be the working title of his next book. I'm looking forward to it."
I, too, am looking forward to what Grant has next, especially vis-a-vis someone like Brassier and his version of naturalism (Brassier whose work I admire just as much as Grant's).  I plan to contribute to that conversation if I can through some of my upcoming projects, so stay on the lookout.  Very exciting things going on.