Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Aristotle

Along with OOO, Aristotle was a major (re)discovery of the summer. So I'm very glad that Levi Bryant has an excellent post up on his weirdness. I couldn't agree more. I actually found Aristotle's examples—paleness and being educated show up a lot—laugh-out-loud funny on more than one occasion. I see Levi matches Aristotle in this respect—very nicely done.

Graham Harman has a corresponding post up about the trouble with reading Aristotle as an authoritarian who likes putting things in rigid boxes. I couldn't agree more with this too. I have heard more than one Derrida-inclined thinker repeating this and felt so strongly about it that I decided to talk against it in my history of criticism undergrad class yesterday. Funny synchronicity.

For me Aristotle seems to exude a relish for actually existing THINGS. He very skilfully tugs your mind away from wanting to find some material substrate that underpins them all or some transcendental Idea or other umbrella under which they all fit (Graham's undermining and overmining). His critique of matter in general is totally riveting. I rather like the punchy demotic of the new Penguin edition of the Metaphysics.

So much so that Aristotle will provide the architecture for my talk on Levi's panel at RMMLA. Title: “We Aren't the World.” I'll be talking about global warming as an Aristotelian substance.

Do yourself a favor: read the Categories, the Physics and the Metaphysics.

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