Stasis announces a new call for papers for a thematic issue to be published in 2020: “FROM PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE TO THE NEW MATERIALIST POLITICS”.

We invite you to submit your papers. The deadline for submissions is 20.02.2020.

One of the most important features of the materialist turn in modern theory is a closer interaction of social science and the humanities with the natural and exact sciences. Philosophy brings a new agenda to this dialogue, one that attempts to bridge the gap between scientific ontology and philosophical epistemology. The bridging of this gap brings together research in science and technology with a rethinking of  historical process from the non-human perspective: the history of humans is included into the history of things, and the world into the history of the Earth. The classical concept of nature is now subject to serious criticism: perhaps, in the contemporary context, it is more expedient to speak not so much of the philosophy of nature as of geophilosophy, or of the earthly philosophy. Criticism of the concept of nature stems from its being rooted in the idealist tradition, with its system of opposites and with its general anthropocentric presumptions. The idea of Gaia, as developed by Bruno Latour, is associated with going beyond these limits: non-human forms of living and inanimate matter are included in the historical process which is no longer conceived as a sequence of stages in the development of human societies, but as a series of geological epochs. The definition of the latter is currently being disputed by scientists and cultural theorists, who, in addition to the Holocene and the Anthropocene, are putting forward such concepts as, for example, the Novacene (James Lovelock), the Capitalocene (Jason W. Moore, Andres Malm), the Plantationocene or Chthulucene (Donna Haraway).

In the 1940s Georges Bataille introduced the concept of general or planetary economy, which he contrasted with limited economy—economy in our usual understanding as the economic activity of humans on Earth. In geophilosophy, economy collides with ecology, which gives us ground to talk about a kind of planetary politics—not an international, but rather an interspecific one. Moreover, this is politics at the level of the biosphere, the noosphere or the technosphere, which all earthly beings and matter are involved in: animals, plants, humans, mountains, sounds, viruses, artificial intelligence, and so on. The materialist turn prompts a rethinking of political participation in terms of nonhuman collectives, the Parliament of Things (Bruno Latour), the Democracy of Objects (Levi Bryant), shamanism as ontological diplomacy (Eduardo Viveiros de Castro), solidarity with non-human peoples (Timothy Morton), eco-justice etc.

Albeit based on a radical critique of the classical philosophy of nature, the new materialist politics does not, however, cancel it out. On the contrary, one of the most distinctive recent trends is the return of the philosophy of nature, which acquires new meanings in the course of its critical re-evaluation and reveals the possibility of alternative progressive readings: for instance, this is the path that is followed by materialist dialectics (Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou), transcendental materialism (Adrian Johnston), and dark materialism (Eugene Thacker). There are non-trivial connections and parallels found between the new materialist politics and the philosophy of nature—from the atomism of Democritus and Epicurus or Lucretius, the natural philosophy of Schelling, and Hegel’s philosophy of nature, to the new materialism of Marx, calling for  a shift from the criticism of heaven to the criticism of Earth. An intellectual exchange is established between the new materialism and the classical philosophies of nature, in the course of which new political theories arise or old ones—theories of the republic, democracy or communism—are transformed. Taking a closer look at such connections and parallels among the philosophy of nature, geophilosophy and the new materialist politics will be the main topic of our discussion in this issue.



An International Journal in Social and Political Philosophy and Theory

Print ISSN 2310-3817 Online ISSN 2500-0721 

Published since 2013 by European University at St Petersburg

Frequency: semiannual (December-January and June-July)

Languages: English, Russian 

Editor: Artemy Magun

Stasis publishes articles on social and political philosophy and theory. It seeks to provide an international intellectual format that can open a common space between the English- and Russian-language philosophical traditions. The journal welcomes interdisciplinarity and covers a broad range of topics, from the purely philosophical, such as negativity, to the culturally and historically specific, such as social movements, religion, and sexuality. 

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