Category Archives: publications

Cosmos and History

The ‘Real Objects or Material Subjects’ issue of Cosmos and History edited by Dr. Brian Smith and myself is now online here.

We put some work into this and I hope some of you enjoy it, or are at least productively provoked by it.

Real Objects/Material Subjects Journal Issue (finally.)

So I’ve let this blog wither away into nothingness….but would like to try to insert a spark of being into it again by posting the table of contents for an upcoming issue of Cosmos and History edited by Brian Smith and myself. It features papers that are based on presentations given at the ‘Real Objects or Material Subjects?’ conference which took place at the University of Dundee in March, 2010. As C&H is open access, the issue will be available for everyone. I’ll post again once it’s online. Until then, here is what you can expect:

Real Objects or Material Subjects?

The Future of Continental Metaphysics

Table of Contents

Editors Introduction

Michael O’Neill Burns & Brian Anthony Smith

The Problem with Metzinger

Graham Harman

The Transcendental Core of Correlationism

Paul Ennis

Critical Idealism and Transcendental Materialism: A Speculative Analysis of the Second Paralogism

Michael Olson

Objects in manifold times: Deleuze and the speculative philosophy of objects as processes

James Williams

Becoming L’Homme Imaginaire: The Role of the Imagination in Overcoming Circularity in Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason

Austin Smidt

Beyond Objects, Beyond Subjects: Giorgio Agamben on Animality, Particularity and the End of Onto-theology

Colby Dickinson

Fanon and Political Will

Peter Hallward

The Necessity of Contingency or Contingent Necessity: Meillassoux, Hegel, and the Subject

John Van Houdt

Aufhebung and Negativity

Ryan Krahn

Lacanian Materialism and the Question of the Real

Tom Eyers

Materialism, Subjectivity and the Outcome of French Philosophy

Interview with Adrian Johnston

the hegel variations

has anyone had a chance to read this yet?

contemplating a purchase and would love to hear some thoughts before i do…

speculations arrives

[i know this announcement has been making the rounds, but one more won’t hurt. of particular interest is austin smidt’s book review, not that i get a nod in it or anything…..but well done Paul and the gang….]

The first volume of Speculations is now online. Speculations is a journal dedicated to research into speculative realism and post-continental philosophy. Our aim is to facilitate discussion about ongoing developments within these emerging movements and related disciplines. The journal is open access and peer-reviewed.

Information about how to access the various formats can be found at our website. The journal is available in a physical print on demand format. As a free PDF. And individual PDFs of the articles can be downloaded at our site.

my first journal article, now online

please excuse the self promotion, but i was pleasantly surprised to see that an article i’ve written has finally been published in the new issue of the heythrop journal. The article is entitled ‘The Self and Society in Kierkegaard’s Anti-Climacus Writings’, and if you have access you can read it here.

if anyone without access to the journal has interest in reading it, let me know and i can email you a copy.

new IJZS issue

while avoiding ‘real work’ i’ve been browsing the new issue of the international journal of zizek studies and think two pieces are of note to anyone reading this.

The first is Peter Gratton’s review essay of Adrian Johnstons The Cadence of Change. While being a good review of a worth reading book, Gratton brings up some very important/interesting issues regarding Johnston’s discussion of the pre-evental in Badiou’s thought, affect, and the role of philosophy in thinking through actual political engagement. I also think he rightly draws attention to the thin line between the recent obsession with notions of the ‘event’, and the competing obsession with the ‘new’ offered by capitalist culture.

To digress a bit, I found it reassuring to see Gratton taking seriously the question of the pre-evental in Badiou (and Johston’s work), as when I gave a paper on that topic at a conference in the states this spring, I was shocked by the hostile response I received. One fellow presenter in particular seemed to think that there is no need to talk about the ‘problem of the pre-evental’ in Badiou’s work, as in the chapter on forcing in Being and Event he already gives us a theory of the pre-evental. (Personally, I think that is equivalent to saying we shouldn’t have invented flying machines because Michelangelo already sketched out some great options) That said, I’m planning on talking about the issue of affectivity and the pre-evental in the paper I’ll be preparing for this year’s SPEP conference, so I’ll hopefully post some notes here in the autumn while I’m getting it ready.

The other piece I found of interest is the related ‘Open Letter to Slavoj Zizek’ written by Adrian Johnston. While the piece is mostly his response to In Defense of Lost Causes, he also brings up a lot of interesting thoughts on nature, particularly in the way he qualifies Zizek’s assertion that there is ‘no such thing’ as nature. He also mentions a book manuscript that he ‘wrote after finishing his dissertation’ but was never published. Only Adrian Johnston would casually write up a quick book post-phd and move on before publishing it…lengendary.

Regardless, if you have some free time check those pieces, and the other in the issue, out.

‘kierkegaard, metaphysics, and political theory’

my review of Alison Assiter’s recent book on Kierkegaard is now up on the Philosophers Magazine website. You can read it here.

it’s maybe a bit harsh, but at least honest.

Review of Prince of Networks in TPM

So I’ve taken most of the summer off from blogging, which I think was a good thing. But with the start of a new term I hope to start posting again on a semi-regular basis.

For now, go read my colleague Brian Smith’s review of Graham Harman’s Prince of Networks over at The Philosophers Magazine.

see you all soon.

Hallward’s ‘The Will of the People’

This could very well by old news, but a pdf of Hallward’s piece from the last radical philosophy is available here.

While this has been around for a couple of months now, I’ve yet to see any interaction with it on the world wide interwebs. This may due to lack of accessibility, or because this piece (as well as Hallward’s current project) seems to fall outside the realm of what’s ‘in’ in interweb based philosophy these days. Personally, I have lots of sympathies with his project, and will try to find time to post some thoughts of critical affirmation soon. As I said in a previous post, I was surprised with the hostility towards Hallward’s position which emerged at the Immanence/Materialism conference in London a few weeks back, so would be interested in hearing others thoughts on this piece, and the project in general.

summer activities

Following the lead of others I’ve decided to add a post regarding my summer ‘to do’ list. Hopefully publicly posting this will help provide some sort of motivation…


  • Chapters on ‘Kierkegaard and Badiou’ and ‘Kierkegaard and Sartre’ for the collection Kierkegaard’s Influence on Social-Political Thought.
  • Essay on Meillassoux and philosophy of religion for the volume Anthony Paul Smith/Daniel Whistler are editing.
  • A paper (or, papers) on the concept of life in Badiou and Henry. One version with a more political bent for a conference on immanence/materialism in London, the other with a more ‘continental philosophy of religion’ approach for a conference in Liverpool.
  • Editing half of my first chapter to submit for publication


  • Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason Vol. 1 and 2
  • Hegel’s Science of Logic
  • The more ‘category theory’ oriented sections of Logics of Worlds, as well as some secondary literature on category theory.
  • Random secondary texts on Sartre/Hegel/Marxism


  • Still haven’t found out what I’m teaching in the fall (it’ll be either the first or second year philosophy tutoring) but when I do, I’ll hopefully spend a bit of time familiarizing myself the material.

that’s all.  hopefully I’ll be able to provide updates when I actually do these things, and luckily, there are deadlines attached to most of these tasks which will hopefully keep me from straying too bad. although I wonder…how pissed do editors get if you get your chapter in a week or two late?