A peer-reviewed, open-access journal of natural and social philosophy. It serves those who see philosophy's vocation in questioning and challenging prevailing assumptions about ourselves and our place in the world, developing new ways of thinking about physical existence, life, humanity and society, so helping to create the future insofar as thought affects the issue. Philosophy so conceived is not exclusively identified with the work of professional philosophers, and the journal welcomes contributions from philosophically oriented thinkers from all disciplines.

News

The Globethics.net library contains articles of Cosmos and History as of vol. 1, (2005) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Physics Avoidance & Cooperative Semantics: Inferentialism and Mark Wilson’s Engagement with Naturalism Qua Applied Mathematics

    Ekin Erkan (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    Mathematics' abilities to capture nature's unfolding processes within its own conceptual terms rests upon its capacities for supplying algorithms that can graphically engage in deduction numerically, bolstered by the hope of paralleling natural processes. Inter alia, Mark Wilson's project in Physics Avoidance shows that nature presents us with a multiplicity of manifolds that simply can not be smoothly mapped. Thus, even our most basic/fundamental modes of effective mathematical reasoning falls short of the ‘real extent' of natural processes. Mathematicians have developed sophisticated strategies that string together patchworks of numerical approximation, despite the algorithmic limitations upon our concrete reasoning capacities. There is, in turn, a trans-historical element to Wilson's pursuit in Physics Avoidance, one which is driven by a self-correcting (Sellarsian) scientificity-directed at knowledge, while constantly refining itself both methodologically and substantively. Kindling the critiques of twentieth-century thinkers such as Clifford Truesdell and Walter Noll on the essential idealization thesis of physics (i.e., that ‘physics always idealizes') while simultaneously parsing a distinction that was conceived of with the nineteenth-century distinctions between rari-constant and multi-constant approaches to elasticity (associated with the derivational methods pursued by Navier and Cauchy, respectively), Wilson approaches limits and infinitesimals qua multi-scalar localization. Meticulously engaging with Wilson's rendering of the problem of the physical infinitesimal, we not only set out to complicate the historical discussion of matter-which has bedeviled the entire epoch of classical mechanics' reign-but also to hold a candle to a novel methodological means of approaching the philosophy of language. Henceforth, we shall seek to illuminate the developmental exigencies that have not only lacerated and left scars upon modern philosophy of science but also the conceptual consideration of scientific laws via counterfactual grounding. Just as Sellars is pellucid in demonstrating how correspondence rules ought not be treated as definitions of theoretical expressions in terms of their observation language expressions-underscoring the semantic autonomy of theoretical expressions that cannot be captured in observation language-so too will we examine semantics and applied mathematics-cum-physics correspondence rules as proposals for reconsidering our observational vocabulary. In doing so, we will closely engage with Wilson's (and Robert Batterman's) research, reviewing his work while prodding it into a unique trajectory so as to carve an analytic and rationalist theory of media vis-à-vis set theory, while accepting an inherent contrast between norms of correctness and effective thinking routines.
  • Physics has Evolved Beyond the Physical

    Shiva Meucci (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    Contemporary physics is, indeed, at a crucial crossroads that impacts our ideas about the nature of mind. Through the development of computers, as the crucial application of mathematical methods has grown, the limits of our specific methods and applications have become far more clear, more quickly, than they ever could have without massive computing power. The limits hinted at by Gödel are becoming more specific and applicable rather than vague idealizations. The very nature of our computation methods have become fundamentally unsuited to meet our requirements. We have recognized the necessity for "massively parallel" systems even if our current incarnations of them are less than truly concurrent. Simultaneously, physics has begun to probe the strange borderline between information and energy that were first encountered with questions of the EPR paradox. With the physics community recognizing its own need for revolution, some writers have suggested that the solution be an abandonment of physicality as a basis for understanding the world. This fully oppositional and reactionary response is the most common response to seemingly intractable problems, but perhaps there is a middle ground which abandons nothing of physicality while embracing some additional understanding of phenomena that adds to our understanding, via a perspective shift. Schrödinger believed we could simply transform our perspective instead of abandoning it and that wisdom is what may serve us today. Perhaps we have already begun down the correct path without fully, yet, embracing it.
  • On the Ontological Status of Observations

    Alexander Lunkov; Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    The problem of observations is one of the cornerstones of science. It connects with several ontological, epistemological and methodological questions. The nature of science depends on how we answer these questions. Modern science is at the stage of a new revision of its fundamental basis. In addition to science, the problems of the essence of observations and the status of an observer are actively discussed in modern philosophy. Such philosophical trends as speculative realism, etc., tend to resume the old discussion about the role of the observer in the study of natural phenomena. This is done based on modern scientific discoveries and theories. The solution to the problem of observation is important for the further development of quantum physics and other branches of natural science. However, there are several difficulties in achieving this goal. One of them is the inadequacy of the concepts of scientific language to describe the ontological specifics of observations. The concepts of a scientific language tend to reduce or to simplify a complex phenomenon to a monosemantic description. At the same time, there is an aspiration to connect the ontological nature of observations with the functioning of human senses. We study this situation with the example of one of the new articles devoted to the problem of the essence of observations and their role in the construction of a scientific model of the world.
  • The Anthropogenic Takeover of Dual External World

    Virgilio Aquino Rivas; Polytechnic University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas Graduate School (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In this paper, we will briefly audit how the phenomenon of the Anthropocene has taken over what F.W.J. Schelling at the end of the Eighteenth century (1775-1854) described as the state of original duplicity that defines the relation between nature and the organism, an indifferent relation that must not be canceled, otherwise the former will have attained permanent rest. In his second major Naturphilosophie, First Outline of A System of the Philosophy of Nature, Schelling presciently established the ‘problem’ that we face today in the anthropogenic age which, as he put it, is ‘not to explain the active in Nature ... but the resting, permanent.’ The Anthropocene not only cancels the indifferent relation between nature and the organism, but also reverses the problem of Naturephilosophy into explaining the ‘active’, that is, by the potency of willing. But willing mistakes ‘activity’ for ‘permanence’ which cancels the reciprocal indifference to produce an absolute coincidence that is equal to 0. Schelling directs the problem of Naturephilosophy to a maximal or tautegorical reading of nature whose relation to the organism, through its denial of all permanence, creates a dual external world that sustains life as we know it. In general, this reveals Schelling’s critique of subjective idealism that seeks an absolute coincidence between Nature and Man from the pure subjective side of the equation, leaving the objective side of Nature dead and motionless. Needless to say, this ‘absolute coincidence’ is now the epitome of the anthropogenic era of carbon-based climate change. 
  • Why the World is One

    Andrew Haas (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    The understanding of the unity of the world-in the human and natural sciences, and the arts-has remained steadfast from ancient metaphysics to contemporary phenomenology: the world is one accidentally and necessarily, as true and false, potentially and actually, and categorically. But these four ways of being one can be traced back to how unity is or comes to be present and/or absent in anything whatsoever. If presence and absence, however, have their common root in implication, then this is how the world is (and why it must be) one-for unity is implied in everything that is.
  • The Indigenization of Academia and Ontological Respect

    Wendell Kisner; Athabasca University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
      My intent in this essay is not to discuss the actual content of Indigenous experiences and knowledges, as I have neither the requisite expertise nor experience to do so with any competence. Rather, what I wish to discuss are some implicit pitfalls in the idea of "Indigenization" when advocated in the context of Western metaphysical assumptions that have not been made explicit. Like it or not, this context is one in which we all now stand, but it is also disrupted by very different contexts, as revealed by the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission for instance. More specifically, I wish to raise the possibility that an implicit ontological framework derived from Western European history may surreptitiously guide the negotiation of the interface between Western and Indigenous scholarship, and do so in a way that, rather than bringing about decolonization, actually may perpetuate colonization at more subtle and insidious levels. Drawing upon Heidegger's work, I argue that making such ontological frameworks explicit increases the chance of success for any such interface by opening the door to what I will call "ontological respect" (to be distinguished from the respect of persons as commonly understood in terms of Western liberal democracy and human rights). To put it simply, if we are going to understand the other, we must also understand ourselves (where the "we" in this case refers to the settler heirs of Western history). Such ontological respect, I will argue, is itself made possible by a Heideggerian variant of the phenomenological "epochē" or suspension of presuppositions, which suggests an explicit methodology for intercultural exchange, a methodology I call the "intercultural epochē."  
  • On Plasticity’s Own Conceptual Epigenesis: Malabou on the Origin and History of Plasticity

    Thomas Wormald; Western University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    This paper proposes an immanent critique of Catherine Malabou’s account of the origin of plasticity, arguing that Malabou’s account of plasticity—as a philosophical concept or form—does not meet the standard of her own conception of the epigenetic development of form. Using Malabou’s Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality, this paper argues that Malabou’s own account of plasticity hews closer to theories of formation Malabou explicitly abjures: spontaneous generation and preformationism. Accordingly, Malabou’s articulation of plasticity lacks an account of its conceptual epigenesis that would fulfill the epigenetic standards of her own thinking.
  • The Radical Freedom of the Imaginary in Castoriadis

    Vangelis Papadimitropoulos (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    Castoriadis’s logic-ontology of Magmas provides the philosophical presupposition for a real democracy anchored on the radical freedom of the imaginary, the latter unfolding into an ontological novelty, manifested in nature, the psyche and the social-historical. As such, Castoriadis’s radical freedom of the imaginary bears some groundbreaking philosophical, epistemological and political consequences. Firstly, it breaks with the “determinacy principle” that penetrates most part of traditional philosophy and modern science. Secondly, it introduces an alternative epistemological approach by rendering nature a for itself developing on the ontological conditions of permanent creation and destruction. Thirdly, and most importantly, it creates per se a new political paradigm, demonstrated in the project of individual and collective autonomy, which opposes equally, yet differently, both Marxism and liberalism, for it consists in the radicalization of democracy by means of a social freedom, aiming at the equal opportunity of the participation of people in politics.
  • Against the Virtual: Kleinherenbrink’s Externality Thesis and Deleuze’s Machine Ontology

    Ekin Erkan (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    Following Arjen Kleinherenbrink’s Against Continuity: Gilles Deleuze’s Speculative Realism (2019)—arguably one of the closest and most rigorous secondary readings of Deleuze’s oeuvre—this paper seeks to demonstrate how any relation between machines immediately engenders a new machine, accounting for machinic circuits of activity where becoming, or processes of generation, are always necessarily irreducible to the generators. Thus, navigating Kleinherenbrink’s work and Deleuze’s literature, this paper treats reality as a byproduct of discontinuity, where direct contact between the interior (virtual) and real (actual) being of machines is necessarily foreclosed. Rather than privileging Deleuze as a theorist of the virtual, this paper situates Deleuze’s virtual as non-relational excess over and above all other relations while treating continuity as dependent upon the Idea, powers (puissance), or singularities of any machine in question. By relating and distinguishing aspects of Deleuze’s externality thesis, where no machine is reducible to another, this position opposes a recently popularized interpretation of Deleuze by theorists who proffer the “aisthetic perspective” of relation or produce approaches to “affect” that hierarchize the virtual, thereby prioritizing continuity.  I argue that this interpretation fundamentally misreads Deleuze and mischaracterizes continuity as a product of direct contact between intensities and the processes comprising such intensities; it is, in fact, due to the “sense-event,” which corresponds to actuality, that the virtual aspect of any two machines is precluded from coming into direct contact. In addition to reviewing Kleinherenbrink’s book (which argues that the machine ontology is a guiding current that emerges in Deleuze’s work after Difference and Repetition) alongside Deleuze’s primary texts, we will also relate Deleuze’s machine ontology to positions held by a host of speculative realists and object-oriented ontologists such as Quentin Meillassoux, Levi Bryant, Maurizio Ferraris, Markus Gabriel, Manuel Delanda, Graham Harman, Tristan Garcia, and Bruno Latour. Arguing that the machine ontology has its own account of interaction, change, and novelty, I ultimately set to prove that Deleuze is by no means a reductionist, positing that the any “cut” on behalf of virtual realm is never warranted because, unlike the realm of actualities, it is necessarily inconsistent—that is, because it cannot be homogenous, any theory of change vis-à-vis the virtual realm makes it impossible to explain how and why qualitatively different actualities are produced. Preferring a machine ontology to an ontology derived from the virtual realm, this paper also engages with a new and emerging interpretation of Deleuze termed “differential heterogenesis,” where externality is treated as it exists between processes.
  • Challenging Sustainability. From Deconstruction to Reconstruction

    Proyecto VRI UC Interdisciplina Nº II160035; Luca Valera; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Gonzalo Salazar Preece; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In recent decades the concept of sustainability has gained great prominence in the public debate and academic research as well. Today, it is a fundamental concept to address the complex crisis we are facing at planetary scales. However, after several decades, its definition is still associated with vague and ambiguous notions that are ultimately decimating its role as a guiding framework for a more sustainable living. There is still an important gap between its theory and its praxis. The article generates a philosophical deconstruction of the sustainability concept as a necessary action to address this difficulty. This examination allows to philosophically reconstruct fundamental characteristics of its content. The article suggests and argues that a relevant component of sustainability is its regulatory function in the sphere of human relations. It suggests and analyses that sustainability is a regulative idea that serves as a guide – a working concept – in the case of dilemmas that stem from the problem of maintaining responsibility towards future generations and the environment. From this standpoint, the article explores key aspects of sustainability as an ethically grounded concept and finally reflects about some applicative and educational implications.
  • Introduction to the Neoclassical Interpretation: Quantum Steampunk

    Shiva Meucci (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In a previous paper we outlined a series of historical touchpoints between classical aether theories and modern theoretical physics which showed a shared conceptual lineage for the modern tools and methods of the most common interpretations and fluid based "Hydrodynamic" treatments of an electromagnetic medium. It was proposed that, though the weight of modern experimentation leaves an extremely narrow and convoluted window for even a reconceptualization of a medium, all of modern physics recognizes a plethora of behaviors and attributes for free space and these physics are interchangeable with modern methods for treating superfluid-like continuums. Thus the mathematical equivalence of the methods do not comprise alternative physics but an alternative interpretation of the same physics. Though many individual components describing a "neo-aether" or "quintessence" are available, an overarching structural outline of how these tools can work together to provide an alternative working overview of modern physics has remained undefined. This paper will propose a set of introductory concepts in the first outline of a toy model which will later connect the alternative tools and conceptualizations with their modern counterparts. This introductory paper provides the simpler "100-miles out" overview of the whole of physics from this perspective, in an easily comprehensible, familiar and intuitive, informal dialog fashion. While this paper grants the largest and loosest introductory overview, subsequent papers in this series will address the finite connections between modern physics and this hydrodynamic view.
  • Being and Evil: Revisiting 'Privatio Boni'

    Glauco Frizzera; Weill Cornell Medical College (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    After outlining the previously proposed notion of the ‘non-personal Universe of Being', this paper delineates a hypothetical scenario of the unimpeded development of Being in the world and the deviations from it - natural and moral Evil.  It argues first that they are inevitable, due to the multiplicity of systems operating in the cosmos and the complexity of the workings of the ‘moral brain'.  Secondly it argues that those deviations lead to ill effects (evils) which - in analogy to their traditional interpretation as privatio boni - are seen here as a privatio entis within humans and natural ‘substances' (i.e., a failure to reach their full Being), and not separate substances themselves; their mode of being fits best in the category of ‘states/events' (Chisholm).  On a practical level, the idea of its inevitability motivates a stoic acceptance of evil as a universal condition of life (although resistance to it is needed in particular situations in which it is preventable); in turn, the notion of privatio entis carries several psychological benefits, among which the conviction that, since the growth of Being/Good is endless, it will prevail in the future, consistent with the scientific idea of ‘synchronization', nature's ‘yearning for order' (Strogatz).
  • God Comes to Her: St. Teresa of Ávila, Simone Weil, and the Kantian Conception of Modern Religious Experience

    Elvira Basevich; University of Massachusetts, Lowell (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    What does god mean to have a mystical experience of god? Does it entail the ecstasy or affliction? In this essay, I present St. Teresa of Ávila and Simone Weil’s somatic accounts of religious experience in light of the idea of the highest good. The highest good aligns virtue with happiness to ensure that those who are good are rewarded and the evil suffer. For Teresa, she primes herself for divine visitation by cultivating a patient orientation towards the heavens and visits from god can assume a physically gratifying form, whereas Weil confronts the presence of god through the experience of affliction, that is, the extreme suffering of the innocent at the hands of others. I then offer a Kantian reflection on why the experience of affliction present a distinct challenge for the cultivation of moral agency: How can those who have experienced affliction keep intact the moral faith that goodness can (re)appear in the world in the aftermath of affliction. 
  • The Origin of Europe and the Esprit de Géométrie (Europe: Origin, Philosophy, Geometry and Proclus)

    Francesco Tampoia; Independent Scholar (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In searching for the origin of Europe and the cultural region/continent that we call "Europe", at first  glance we have to consider at least a double view: on the one hand the geographical understanding which indicates a region or a continent; on the other  a certain form of identity and culture described and defined as European. Rodolphe Gasché taking hint from Husserl's passage ‘Europe is not to be construed simply as a geographical and political entity' states that a rigorous engagement with what we understand by "Europe" requires that we acknowledge it as involving ‘something else as well'. With regard to the many bequests of Europe, founded in ancient Greece, in this essay I will attempt to elucidate some essential features of its cultural identity such as science and philosophy, and reflect upon several specific aspects: on the origin of Europe, on its roots and heritage, on the concept of culture, and especially on the foundation of sciences (Geometry), which contains a large part of European spirit and civilization. In particular I will address some European historical moments referring to Husserl, Heidegger, the concept of Thaumazein... In the second part of the essay, I shift to Ancient Greece to access the value of the Esprit de géométrie as defined in Proclus on the Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's.
  • A Theory of Evolution as a Process of Unfolding

    DAAD; Agustin Ostachuk; Laboratorio de Investigación en Ciencias Humanas (LICH-CONICET), Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most complex. These logical principles determine the existence of a virtual ideological matrix that contains the sequence of the preformed and folded morphogenetic fields. In this manner, the evolutionary process consists of the sequential unfolding and actualization of these fields, which is motorized by a process of teleologization carried out by the opening consciousness of the forms included in the fields of the ideological matrix. This theory leads to a radical change of perspective regarding the materialist worldview, and places life at the center of the evolutionary process as an activity carried out by a consciousness that seeks to fulfill a purpose by actualizing its own potentialities.
  • Freedom Giving Birth to Order: Philosophical Reflections on Peirce's Evolutionary Cosmology and its Contemporary Resurrections

    Zeyad Sameh El Nabolsy; Cornell University (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    The first part of this paper will discuss Peirce's evolutionary cosmology, which is centered around the thesis that the laws of nature evolve, and his motivations for it. The second part of this paper will discuss the contemporary resurrection, by Lee Smolin and Roberto Unger, of Peirce's thesis. The discussion will revolve around the philosophical implications of this thesis, especially with regard to the need to rethink the nature of causation in order to make sense of this thesis, and the need to recognize (and perhaps abandon) the metaphorical nature of the way that we talk about laws as being "obeyed" by systems, or as "governing" systems. I will be focusing on three aspects of this evolutionary (and revolutionary) approach to the laws of nature. First, the idea (advanced explicitly by Smolin and Unger) that causal relations and processes are primary and that laws, understood as representations of a special case of causation taking the form of repetition and having a determinate structure, are derivative. I will argue that this approach, which purports to provide an account of causation in terms of powers and dispositions, runs into difficulties about the identity of the entities whose causal powers are taken to behave in a non-lawlike manner. I will then attempt to show how these difficulties can be mitigated by drawing on discourses of identity and individuation from early Chinese metaphysics. Second, I will engage with Smolin's claim that an evolutionary cosmology requires a preferred global time. I will argue that the relativity of simultaneity does not preclude the existence of a determinate order of succession between causally related events, and hence, if a preferred global time is being introduced in order to guarantee the existence of a determinate order of succession between causally related universes (i.e., a 'parent universe' and its progeny) then it is superfluous (assuming that we can independently establish that the universes in question are causally related). Third, I will argue that emphasizing the primacy of becoming over being has wider implications for the axiology of the sciences, i.e., the way in which we traditionally rank different sciences with physics at the top, then chemistry, then biology, then the human sciences on successively lower rungs
  • Synchrony, Science and the ‘Relativity of Facts’

    Gareth Ernest Boardman; (03) 9743 8043 (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    This is an analysis of the validity, and assertion of scientific value, of Einstein’s 1905 claimed discovery denoted “the relativity of simultaneity.”
  • Apperceptive Patterning: Artefaction, Extensional Beliefs and Cognitive Scaffolding

    Ekin Erkan; The New Centre of Research & Practice (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In "Psychopower and Ordinary Madness" my ambition, as it relates to Bernard Stiegler's recent literature, was twofold: 1) critiquing Stiegler's work on exosomatization and artefactual posthumanism-or, more specifically, nonhumanism-to problematize approaches to media archaeology that rely upon technical exteriorization; 2) challenging how Stiegler engages with Giuseppe Longo and Francis Bailly's conception of negative entropy. These efforts were directed by a prevalent techno-cultural qualifier: the rise of Synthetic Intelligence (including neural nets, deep learning, predictive processing and Bayesian models of cognition). This paper continues this project but first directs a critical analytic lens at the Derridean practice of the ontologization of grammatization from which Stiegler emerges while also distinguishing how metalanguages operate in relation to object-oriented environmental interaction by way of inferentialism. Stalking continental (Kapp, Simondon, Leroi-Gourhan, etc.) and analytic traditions (e.g., Carnap, Chalmers, Clark, Sutton, Novaes, etc.), we move from artefacts to AI and Predictive Processing so as to link theories related to technicity with philosophy of mind. Simultaneously drawing forth Robert Brandom's conceptualization of the roles that commitments play in retrospectively reconstructing the social experiences that lead to our endorsement(s) of norms, we compliment this account with Reza Negarestani's deprivatized account of intelligence while analyzing the equipollent role between language and media (both digital and analog).
  • On Being, Nothingness and Ontological Homelessness: An Heideggerian Inquiry into Authenticity

    Prashan Ranasinghe; University of Ottawa (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    This article claims that Martin Heidegger places significant importance on the ontological homelessness of beings, by which he means that beings are distanced and separated from their very essence and thus live inauthentic lives. Heidegger views this as more concerning than ontic homelessness, the condition of being without housing in the material sense. To explicate this, the article examines the fundamental attunements of profound boredom and anxiety and illustrates the way Heidegger relies upon them to underline the meaning of existence as nothingness. The article explicates the way Heidegger thinks about nothingness as a feeling or sense that things are not quite right and articulates how this not-quite-rightness is, in turn, read as the homelessness of being. The article reads the condition of being homeful (of having a home and being fulfilled) alongside and against the condition of ontic homelessness (via the example of contemporary homelessness,) to draw attention to the meaning of existence and to underline insights about being that can be culled from the condition of contemporary homelessness, insights, the article argues, the homeful would do well to pay heed to.
  • From Being to Maybeing: On Meillassoux's Interpretation of Mallarmé

    Martin Orensanz (Cosmos Publishing Cooperative, 2020-05-06)
    In After Finitude as well as in Potentiality and Virtuality, Meillassoux conceives chance in a mathematical way. In The number and the Siren, he argues that Mallarmé had a philosophical conception of chance, specifically a dialectical one. Here we explore Meillassoux’s interpretation of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coupe de dés. What we consider to be crucial about that interpretation is the Mallarmean concept of Chance, which we think is the precursor to Meillassoux’s concept of contingency. Additionally, we suggest that Meillassoux recuperates the Mallarmean “Perhaps”, which may called “Maybeing”, as that which replaces Being. We then explain what the concept of “Maybeing” is. Roughly speaking, it is a fusion of two English expressions: “may be” (modal verb) and “maybe” (adverb). Finally, we indicate how the concept of Maybeing can be used in order to solve the problem posed by the correlational circle, as well as some comments on Meillassoux's ideas about meaningless signs.

View more