Smart Matter and the Thinking Body: Activity Theory and the Turn to Matter in Contemporary Philosophy

  • Alex Levant Wilfrid Laurier University
Keywords: Activity Theory, material turn, Ilyenkov, posthuman, agency


This article seeks to excavate and mobilize Activity Theory (AT) for a conversation with recent trends in contemporary philosophy that attempt to overcome the relativism of the linguistic turn while accepting the latter’s core critique of Enlightenment conceptions of the human and nonhuman. Specifically, it focuses on Ilyenkov’s concept of the thinking body as a useful contrast to the ascription of agency to matter, and instead helps to illuminate the social practices that animate the material world.


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How to Cite
Levant, A. (2017). Smart Matter and the Thinking Body: Activity Theory and the Turn to Matter in Contemporary Philosophy. Stasis, 5(2). Retrieved from