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Course Information

Instructor Info:Christoph Cox
Office Extension x5604
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 5
02:30 PM - 03:50 PM Emily Dickinson Hall (EDH) 5

Ever since Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781/1787), philosophers have held that we only have access to the world of our experience, not to the world as it is in itself. The cultural and social theory of the past fifty years has thoroughly adopted this view, maintaining that our access to reality is mediated by our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, and systems of belief – or, even more strongly, that “the real” or “nature” is a social construction. Yet, over the past decade, a number of emerging philosophers have challenged this anti-realist orthodoxy and have offered powerful arguments on behalf of realism, the view that reality is fully independent of human access to it. This course will begin by surveying the anti-realist orthodoxy and will then go on to examine a variety of realist positions: the speculative materialism of Quentin Meillassoux, the object-oriented philosophy of Graham Harman, the intensive realism of Manuel DeLanda, the transcendental nihilism of Ray Brassier, and the non-philosophy of François Laruelle.