Steven Shaviro, “Whitehead and Speculative Realism”


In addition to the Spring conference, the UC Irvine EcoMaterialisms Collective has organized a distinguished public lecture with Professor Steven Shaviro, author of Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze and Aesthetics (2009) and The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (2014). In addition to his public lecture, Professor Shaviro will participate in a seminar-style discussion with interested graduate students (more info on this event to come). Here is Shaviro’s description of his talk:

The various strands of thought grouped under the rubric of “speculative realism” are quite distinct from one another. But they all share an opposition to anthropocentrism and to what Quentin Meillassoux has called the “correlationism” of post-Kantian philosophy. And they also share a commitment to renewed metaphysical speculation as a way of exploring what Meillassoux calls “the great outdoors,” or what Eugene Thacker has called “the world without us.” In these ways, speculative realism communicates with the work of Alfred North Whitehead, a thinker from an earlier time who is otherwise quite unlike them. My talk, taking off from the concerns of my recent books Without Criteria and The Universe of Things, compares and contrasts the speculative realists with one another, and with Whitehead, as a way to consider what these strands of thoughts might have to tell us about life in the Anthropocene.


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