It is no exaggeration to say that Quentin Meillassoux has opened up a new path in the history of philosophy, understood here as the history of what it is to know ... This remarkable "critique of critique" is introduced here without embellishment, cutting straight to the heart of the matter in a particularly clear and logical manner. It allows the destiny of thought to be the absolute once more.
"This work is one of the most important to appear in continental philosophy in recent years and deserves a wide readership at the earliest possible date ... Après la finitude is an important book of philosophy by an authnted emerging voices in continental thought. Quentin Meillassoux deserves our close attention in the years to come and his book deserves rapid translation and widespread discussion in the English-speaking world. There is nothing like it."
-Graham Harman in Philosophy Today
Quentin Meillassoux's remarkable debut makes a strikingly original contribution to contemporary French philosophy and is set to have a significant impact on the future of continental philosophy. Written in a style that marries great clarity of expression with argumentative rigour, After Finitude provides bold readings of the history of philosophy and sets out a devastating critique of the unavowed fideism at the heart of post-Kantian philosophy.
The exceptional lucidity and the centrality of argument in Meillassoux's writing should appeal to analytic as well as continental philosophers, while his critique of fideism will be of interest to anyone preoccupied by the relation between philosophy, theology and religion.
Meillassoux introduces a startlingly novel philosophical alternative to the forced choice between dogmatism and critique. After Finitude proposes a new alliance between philosophy and science and calls for an unequivocal halt to the creeping return of religiosity in contemporary philosophical discourse.
§ 1. Philosophy suffers the distinction of being regarded as essentially an academic pursuit. The term philosophy, to be sure, is used in common speech to denote a stoical manner of accepting the vicissitudes of life; but this conception sheds little or no light upon the meaning of philosophy as a branch of scholarship. The men who write the books on "Epistemology" or "Ontology," are regarded by the average man of affairs, even though he may have enjoyed a "higher education," with little sympathy and less intelligence. Not even philology seems less concerned with the real business of life. The pursuit of philosophy appears to be a phenomenon of extreme and somewhat effete culture, with its own peculiar traditions, problems, and aims, and with little or nothing to contribute to the real enterprises of society. It is easy to prove to the satisfaction of the philosopher that such a view is radically mistaken. But it is another and more serious matter to bridge over the very real gap that separates philosophy and common-sense. Such an aim is realized only when philosophy is seen to issue from some special interest that is humanly important; or when, after starting in thought at a point where one deals with ideas and interests common to all, one is led by the inevitableness of consistent thinking into the sphere of philosophy.
Life as a Starting-point for Thought.
McClure's new work also stages confrontations between phenomenology of time and analytical philosophy of time. By doing so he explores ancient issues from a fresh perspective, such as whether time passes, whether experimental time is 'real time', and whether the very concept of time is contradictory.