By Eugene Thacker
Lifestyles is certainly one of our most elementary thoughts, and but whilst tested at once it proves remarkably contradictory and elusive, encompassing either the broadest and the main particular phenomena. we will see this uncertainty approximately existence in our behavior of imminent it as anything immediately medical and mystical, within the go back of vitalisms of every kind, and within the pervasive politicization of existence. in brief, existence turns out all over at stake and but is nowhere the same.
In After Life, Eugene Thacker clears the floor for a brand new philosophy of existence by means of convalescing the twists and turns in its philosophical heritage. starting with Aristotle’s originary formula of a philosophy of existence, Thacker examines the effect of Aristotle’s principles in medieval and early smooth notion, major him to the paintings of Immanuel Kant, who notes the inherently contradictory nature of “life in itself.” alongside the way in which, Thacker exhibits how early sleek philosophy’s engagement with the matter of existence impacts thinkers akin to Gilles Deleuze, Georges Bataille, and Alain Badiou, in addition to modern advancements within the “speculative turn” in philosophy.
At a time whilst lifestyles is classified, measured, and exploited in a number of methods, After Life invitations us to delve deeper into the contours and contradictions of the age-old query, “what is life?”
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Extra resources for After Life
The point in examining the tradition of negative theology is not to suggest that it is somehow more accurately able to “get at” the divine, much less the concept of life, for both the Pseudo-Dionysius and Eriugena are far from being traditional theologians. But neither is the point to suggest that thinkers such as these are outright heretics or proto-atheists (even though their works were often accused of heresy and later dubbed “pantheist”). The point in examining the tradition of negative theology is that it is unique in the way that it both internalizes classical thinking about the life-principle, while at the same time it displays an acute awareness of the challenges to thought itself that such a concept evokes.
Quite simply, Aristotle utilizes metaphysical concepts to describe an internal differentiation within psukheˉ. There is a fi rst aspect of psukheˉ, the essence or the “being” of life, as it were—the ousia of psukheˉ. Here one is considering not this or that particular living being, but that aspect of life that cuts across all particular instances of life. Then there is a second aspect of psukheˉ, or those attributes that may vary or change, without affecting the principle-of-life itself. , the variables that delineate one species from another.
This implies a second requirement, which is that the generosity of life is itself irreducible and unlimited, though the particular manifestations of life may in and of themselves be constrained. Whether one posits a “life-force,” “All-Soul,” élan vital, or emergent properties, there is something, some Life, that conditions the possibility of the conditioned, or the living—even if this conditioning principle is itself fully immanent within the conditioned. This means that, in addition to it being generous and conditioning, life in philosophical vitalism must fulfill a third requirement, which is that it be distributive, pervasive, and outflowing.
After Life by Eugene Thacker