Culture is an arche-fossil

Patrick Leftwich


The paper focuses on Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude. If presented there arguments (based on concepts of arche-fossil and ancestrality, contingency, factiality and unreason) are valid and refute the fundamental thesis of correlationism – impossibility to access the reality outside correlation between thinking and being – then we should be able to exceed it form the scientific ground it was formulated upon and to apply it to theory of culture. The paper considers that possibility and follows the consequences of such broadening. What is culture in speculative realism’s ontological paradigm? How to grasp cultural reality that is no longer a correlate of human subjectivity? Culture, its processes, objects, networks would not be human any more, ontologically. Rather, one might say, it emerged that culture is non-human. However, these questions and indications have now existed for long time in philosophy of culture, theory of culture, anthropology, cybernetics, media studies, ecology and many other disciplines. Issue that arises in regard of prior is the problem of theory of culture within speculative materialist perspective. If one acknowledges the arche-fossil argument, one cannot continue to approach culture in structuralist or phenomenological current. Meillassoux claims that mathematical ideation describes the objective structure of reality as it is in-itself. If mathematisation is the condition for theory, how can we theorise culture? The aim of the paper is to problematise the concept of culture and theory of culture in perspective of Meillassoux’s speculation.

Słowa kluczowe: Quentin Meillassoux, speculative materialism, arche-fossil, theory of culture, posthumanism

L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze, Pierre-André Boutang, France 1988–1989.

Harman G., Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2011.

Hume D., A Treatise of Human Nature, Clarendon, Oxford 1960.

Husserl E., Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy – First Book: General Introduction to a Pure Phenomenology, transl. F. Kersten, Nijhoff, Hague 1983.

Kant I., Critique of Pure Reason, transl. P. Guyer, A.W. Wood, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1998.

Mackay R. (ed.), Collapse III, Urbanomic, Falmouth 2007.

Meillassoux Q., After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, transl. R. Brassier, Continuum, London 2008.

Meillassoux Q., Potentiality and Virtuality, transl. R. Brassier, in: L. Bryant, N. Srnicek, G. Harman (eds.), The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism,, Melbourne 2011, pp. 224–236.

Parikka J., New Materialism: Naturecultures in Utrecht, (access: 2.08.2016).

Srnicek N., Williams A.,Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World without Work, Verso, London–New York 2015.

Pierwotną wersją czasopisma jest wersja elektroniczna publikowana
kwartalnie w internecie. Czasopismo ukazuje się w sposób ciągły on-line.