Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CFP: The Substance of Thought

The Theory Reading Group at Cornell University invites submissions for its fourth annual interdisciplinary spring conference

The Substance of Thought: Critical and Pre-Critical

featuring keynote speakers Simon Critchley (The New School for Social Research) and Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, April 10th-12th, 2008

The last few decades have witnessed a struggle within continental philosophy between those thinkers who accept Immanuel Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” and those who refuse critical philosophy in favor of a “classical” metaphysics that, in the words of Alain Badiou, “considers the
Kantian indictment of metaphysics…as null and void.” This conference will consider the conflict between “critical” and “classical” or metaphysical strains in contemporary thought. Has critical philosophy run its course, as Badiou suggests? Or has Kant’s critical turn determined the horizon of all future philosophical work? Or is there an alternative path? We are interested in analyzing the contemporary division between thinkers who prescribe a return to the pre-critical metaphysics of, for example, Spinoza, Leibniz, or Lucretius, and those who continue to take up various trajectories of Kant's critical legacy. The former camp might include Deleuze and Badiou as well as Negri and Althusser, while the latter might include Adorno, Benjamin, Heidegger, and Derrida. We particularly wish to encourage work that takes a stand on the conflict between the two camps, as well as work that considers the implications of the conflict for the arts and social sciences. The wide range of our inquiry includes interrogations of the nature of critique, the fate of aesthetics, the privilege accorded to immanence or transcendence, and the status of materialism. Suggested paper topics include (but are not limited to):

- transcendence and immanence
- Derrida and Deleuze
- negation and affirmation
- finite and infinite
- the rebirth of rationalism
- aesthetic ideologies
- quasi-, ultra-, immanent-transcendental
- the Althusserian legacy
- the one and the multiple
- the persistence of the dialectic
- the fate of aesthetics
- the return to Kant
- the future of the linguistic turn
- the question of critique
- futures of Marxism
- philosophies of experience
- univocity, equivocity
- the limits of representation
- the historical a priori
- the genesis of subjectivity
- the possibility of materialism
- affects, passions
- the role of the negative
- the new philosophy of science
- political ontology
- the return of nature philosophy
- radical Spinoza
- rhetoric and philosophy

The deadline for submission of 250-word paper abstracts for 20-minute presentations is February 1, 2008. Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number. Please email abstracts to theory@cornell.edu. Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than February 15, 2008. For more information about the Theory Reading Group, visit http://www.arts.cornell.edu/trg.