After Life by Eugene Thacker

By Eugene Thacker

Existence is one in all our most simple options, and but whilst tested at once it proves remarkably contradictory and elusive, encompassing either the broadest and the main particular phenomena. we will be able to see this uncertainty approximately existence in our behavior of forthcoming it as anything without delay medical and mystical, within the go back of vitalisms of all kinds, and within the pervasive politicization of lifestyles. briefly, existence turns out in every single place at stake and but is nowhere the same.

In After Life, Eugene Thacker clears the floor for a brand new philosophy of lifestyles through improving the twists and turns in its philosophical background. starting with Aristotle’s originary formula of a philosophy of lifestyles, Thacker examines the impression of Aristotle’s principles in medieval and early smooth idea, prime 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 lifestyles impacts thinkers comparable to Gilles Deleuze, Georges Bataille, and Alain Badiou, in addition to modern advancements within the “speculative turn” in philosophy.

At a time whilst existence is categorised, measured, and exploited in various 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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Bearing in mind the Plotinian framework for the idea of superlative life, we can begin with a consideration of the role of “apophatic life” in the Pseudo-Dionysius, before considering the conjunction of Life and nihil in the thought of Eriugena. 4 SUPERLATIVE LIFE I: PSEUDO-DIONYSIUS Mystical writings have a tenuous status in philosophical discourse. On the one hand, a number of thinkers who are part of the Western philosophical canon (Augustine, Aquinas) also wrote in the “key” of mystical discourse, and works such as The Cloud of Unknowing or The Dark Night of the Soul have established mystical writing as a tradition in its own right.

Certainly, this raises more questions than it answers. The principle-oflife (psukheˉ) and the boundary-of-articulation (Life and the living) appear to at once provide a ground for an ontology of life, while also dissolving the concept altogether. To this end, the De Anima presents the concept of psukheˉ as an always-receding horizon that is never present to thought in itself. It is as if, in proposing a concept of the principle-of-life (psukheˉ), Ar- life and the living (on aristotelian biohorror) 21 istotle is forced to think “life” in terms other-than-life (time and temporality, form and causality, spirit and transcendence).

Lovecraft’s characters search for an adequate set of concepts to describe them but ultimately fail—they have material bodies, but not materiality “as we know it”; they have “intermittent lapses of visibility”; they can manifest themselves in our world and yet they have no fi xed form. In Lovecraft’s stories the Shoggoths can barely be named, let alone adequately described or thought. ” The threat is not the monster, or that which threatens existing categories of knowledge. Rather, it is the “nameless thing,” or that which presents itself as a horizon for thought.

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