Are We Being Materialist Yet?

Are We Being Materialist Yet? What is wanted Again for the first time is a pronoun For the we things don't run... --Geoffrey G. O'Brien (2015) That new materialism has grown so popular means that it might be time for critics to cast a more suspicious eye on its basic arguments. In particular, we might ask why critics should add the claim to being a materialist to the now standard assumption that either one casts one's analyses in terms of what natural science can process or challenges those terms in relation to what a future science might be able to discover. Claiming to be a new materialist seems to involve a very difficult task, since fidelity to a specific ontology creates at least two huge problems: we have to correlate a plausible materialist ontology with a workable historical materialism, yet the two orientations might prove as difficult to reconcile as Jason Edwards argues they are;1 and we have to address problems that befuddle science like the nature of creativity and the possibility of a meaningful discourse about freedom as if we had stable and trustworthy answers grounded in methodologies science can or should accept. And claims for a new materialism, however process-oriented, depend http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

Are We Being Materialist Yet?

symploke, Volume 24 (1) – Jan 8, 2016

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What is wanted Again for the first time is a pronoun For the we things don't run... --Geoffrey G. O'Brien (2015) That new materialism has grown so popular means that it might be time for critics to cast a more suspicious eye on its basic arguments. In particular, we might ask why critics should add the claim to being a materialist to the now standard assumption that either one casts one's analyses in terms of what natural science can process or challenges those terms in relation to what a future science might be able to discover. Claiming to be a new materialist seems to involve a very difficult task, since fidelity to a specific ontology creates at least two huge problems: we have to correlate a plausible materialist ontology with a workable historical materialism, yet the two orientations might prove as difficult to reconcile as Jason Edwards argues they are;1 and we have to address problems that befuddle science like the nature of creativity and the possibility of a meaningful discourse about freedom as if we had stable and trustworthy answers grounded in methodologies science can or should accept. And claims for a new materialism, however process-oriented, depend

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 8, 2016

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