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Philosophy, Ontology, Epistemology, Ethics

Title: Materialism and the Infinite Within: On the Indissociability of Subjectivity from Epistemic and Ethical Normativity. Abstract: In the wake of the growing discontent over the postmodernist severing of Reason from the In-Itself (viz. the Critical Turn), continental philosophy has, in recent years, seen to the forceful return of questions of materialist ontology to the forefront of philosophical thought. Within this new constellation, Quentin Meillassoux and Slavoj Zizek undoubtedly represent the two pillars around which mainstream discourse has revolved. While both affirm many of the same intellectual presuppositions – most vitally, their refutation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason and upholding of the Humean Problematic of Induction, Hegelian Speculation, and the interconnection between materialist ontology, epistemology, and ethics – their primary disagreement on the methodological validity of dialectics has, in turn, led to an irreconcilable theoretical rift with regard to the proper place of the subject within such a intellectual framework. Against this background, the present paper aims to demonstrate the reasons for which Zizek’s transcendental materialism should be upheld over Meillassoux’s speculative materialism in order to extrapolate – in the form of a Weberian nexus – the theoretical launching point for how, from this point forward, political theorists can conceive of human freedom.

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