Am 17. May. 2021 | 18:00 Uhr

Lectures4Future “Vibrant Matter and Human Compost" by Aloisia Moser

Created at 14. May. 2021

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“Vibrant Matter and Human Compost: Re-Making the Connection between Humans Beings, other Species and the Earth with Jane Bennett and Donna Haraway” by Aloisia Moser (EN)
Dr. Aloisia Moser is Assistent Professor at the Catholic Private University Linz (KU).

Charles Sanders Peirce writes in a small essay entitled Guessing (Charles Sanders Peirce 1929): “the whole noble organism of science has been built up out of propositions which were originally simple guesses.” The success of this guessing is not due to thinking about our thinking - we need to stop ourselves from thinking about our effort and cut out self-consciousness to guess spontaneously. He thinks that “man divines something of the secret principles of the universe because his mind has developed as a part of the universe.” (Ibid, p. 281-2) In my paper I employ neo-materialist theory to fill in this remark of Peirce’s: that we are part of what we inquire in.

My examples will be on the one hand Karen Barad’s theory of Agential Realism which she develops in Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Barad 2007) and Jane Bennet’s approach in Vibrant Matter A Political Ecology of Things. (Bennett 2010). Barad works against representationalism - the idea that we make mental or symbolic representations to have access to the world of matter or of objects which are different from us. She does away with a distinction between subject and object. Bennet on the other hand argues in her vital materialist view that the distinction between thing and person allows for an anthropomorphic claim, that since we are not radically unlike non-human actants, our point of view can be anthropomorphic.

To return to Peirce and Guessing. Apart from our minds efforts to think logically we also have another way to “know” about the world, which has to do with being part of matter and of nature and sharing one body with it.

Barad, Karen. 2007. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham: Combined Academic Publ. Bennett, Jane. 2010. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press. Charles Sanders Peirce. 1929. “Guessing.” The Hound and Horn 2 (3): 267–82.

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