Accelerationism

The term accelerationism was officially invented by Benjamin Noys in The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory (2012), although the discussion draws heavily from a Goldsmiths symposium about the very same topic from September 14th 2010, in which Mark Fisher, Ray Brassier, Robin Mackay, Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams and Benjamin Noys all

Appearances

The term ‘appearance’ is often used in general and non-technical contexts in the sense of something illusory, transient or merely resembling, as opposed to a stable reality, e.g. “while appearing sleek from a distance, the fur was upon closer inspection found to be patchy and uneven”. It is also used in the sense of being

Autonomism

Autonomists are so called owing to their belief in the autonomisation of the productive forces in an exodus from capitalist command. However, the autonomists have a heterodox interpretation of productive forces based on a conception of the general intellect. The Primacy of Resistance The position taken by Autonomists involves a (re)politicisation of society inasmuch as

Bare Life

To grasp the concept of bare life it is necessary first to understand the distinction between zoe (ζωή) and bios (βίος) in Aristotle’s philosophy. While zoe refers to the private domain of life in the household bios is the qualified life of the public citizen of the city-state (polis). The former is supposed not to

Biomorality

In Odd One In: On Comedy, Alenka Zupančič suggests the term ‘Bio-morality’ as a description for an arising social phenomenon whereby moralising judgements about certain individuals are ontologically indexed to their biological being. In the contemporary ideological climate it has become imperative that we perceive all the terrible things that happen to us as ultimately

Border and Limit

In his Logic, Hegel makes a distinction between border (die Schranke) and limit (die Grenze): In the very fact of determining something as border, one is already beyond it. […darin selbst, das etwas als Schranke bestimmt ist, darüber bereits hinausgegangen ist.] Conceptualisation of a border always involves us in the further domain beyond; conceiving a

Capitalist Realism

Capitalist Realism has several, overlapping meanings: A belief that Capitalism is the only viable economic system; that “it is easier to believe in the end of the world than in the end of capitalism” (attrib. both Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek; Fisher 2009). A belief in Capitalism that is so generalised, so pervasive, that Capitalism

Constitutive Excess

A constitutive excess is the surplus generated by a certain type of structure within a social or signifying system. One of the ways in which this concept is useful is to describe the problem of how representation exceeds the represented. For example, constitutive excess can be used to understand the problem of how state machinery

Hilflosigkeit

In the metapsychology of Freud this term is used to describe the prematurational ‘helplessness’ of the human infant. In comparison to other mammals the human being endures a relatively long period unable to see, walk, or feed autonomously. In addition, the biological condition of neoteny and the severity of the exposure caused by the associated

Illocutionary force

In speech act theory this is the force by which a locutionary act becomes an illocutionary act. Which is to say, this is the force through which an utterance is able to carry and convey an intention or set of intentions. Bibliography Austin, John L., 1975[1962], How To Do Things with Words, Oxford University Press

Neoliberalism

Talk about neoliberalism often proceeds on the basis of an intimate familiarity with it, yet on inspection the concept frequently devolves into something nebulous such as “free market fundamentalism” or “the spread of market values”. Richard Seymour suggests that, more than this, we should see neoliberalism as a counter-revolutionary form of liberalism and understand it

Ontological Operators of Subjectivity

In the classic system of modal categories (the ‘pathos tou ontos’), Agamben groups the capacity to be and the capacity not to be together as ‘operators of subjectivation’ (i.e. the possible and the contingent) and groups the incapacity to be and the incapacity to not be together as ‘operators of desubjectivation’ (the impossible and the

Structural Causality

Examples of virtual, absent or immanent causes are those which, while nowhere present within a totality as separable elements, nonetheless serve to structure it, for example: ‘the economy’, ‘society’ or ‘the universe’. These are also known as cases of structural causality. So we can say this of Langue structuring the whole of the totality of instances of Parole,

Symbolic Economy

Considering the symbolic in economic terms grants the opportunity to understand how images, objects, narratives and representations are produced, reproduced, consumed, exchanged, distributed and circulated, and how they may change value when moving from one sphere of cultural use to another (Robson 2008:9). Bibliography Robson, M., 2008, Stephen Greenblatt: Routledge Critical Thinkers, Routledge

Underdetermination

In a general sense underdetermination would refer to the way that certain elements of a situation have not been specified, caused or determined or are left to chance. It can also mean that these elements are determined but only randomly or in provisional forms. It is the property of being underdetermined by any overarching universal