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After Finitude


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Table of Contents

Translator's Preface Preface by Alain Badiou 1. Ancestrality 2. Metaphysics, Fideism, Speculation 3. The Principle of Factuality 4. Hume's Problem 5. Ptolemy's Revenge

Promotional Information

Now available for the first time in paperback, the remarkable debut of a former student of Alain Badiou. A work which makes a strikingly original contribution to contemporary French philosophy and is set to have a significant impact on the future of Continental philosophy. Quentin Meillassoux, a former student of Alain Badiou, is considered to be one of the most talented and exciting new voices in contemporary French philosophy.

About the Author

Quentin Meillassoux teaches Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. Ray Brassier is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.


'Rarely do we encounter a book which not only meets the highest standards of thinking, but sets up itself new standards, transforming the entire field into which it intervenes. Quentin Meillassoux does exactly this.' Slavoj Zizek

'In his clearly argued essay, now available in an excellent English translation, the French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux shows that subjectivity and objectivity must be conceived of independently of each other ... It is a truly philosophical work in that it develops the original idea of a speculative materialism with uncompromising passion and great consistency.' Alexander Garcia Düttmann, Professor of Philosophy and Visual Culture, Goldsmiths University of London, UK

'You may entirely disagree with the author's solution (I do) but not with the courage with which he proposes to escape from the prison of discourse and to put the much abused metaphor of the Copernican Revolution right at last.' Bruno Latour

'A penetrating critique of the post-Kantian "correlationism" that has dominated philosophy on the European mainland over the last 250 years.' - Books of the Year, Times Literary Supplement

‘After Finitude is a clear, rigorous, and analytic book, at least in comparison with a good deal of Continental philosophy, and another reason that Meillassoux is so interesting is that his logic is impressive but he leads the reader to unexpected conclusions.'—The International Journal for Philosophy of Religion

"Talented and exciting new voice in contemporary French philosophy"--Bookseller Buyers Guide
*Bookseller Buyers Guide*

'An exceptionally clear and careful writer... Quentin Meillassoux launches a stinging attack upon the state of philosophy in general, and takes initial steps towards a form of speculative philosophy which, he thinks, overcomes the shortcomings he has identified.' - John Appleby, The Philosopher's Magazine, Issue 43, 4th Quarter 2008

"It's easy to see why Meillassoux's After Finitude has so quickly acquired something of a cult status among some readers who share his lack of reverance for 'the way things are'. The book is exceptionally clear and concise, entirely devoted to a single chain of reasoning. It combines a confident insitence on the self-sufficiency of rational demonstration with an equally rationalist suspicion of mere experience and consensus....[this] is a beautifully written and seductively argued book." - Peter Hallward, Radical Philosophy, 2008

"After Finitude will certainly play a central role in ongoing debates on the status of philosophy, on questions pertaining to epistemology and, above all, to ontology. It will not only be an unavoidable point of reference for those working on the question of finitude, but also for those whose work deals with political theology, and the status of the religious turn of philosophy. After Finitude will certainly become an ideal corrosive against too rigid assumptions and will shake entrenched positions." - Gabriel Riera, University of Illinois, Chicago, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2008

"There is something absolutely exhilarating about Meillassoux's argument, and it is not difficult to see why his book has already aroused so much interest. The exposition and critique of correlationism is brilliant and Meillassoux is at his best when showing the philosophical complacency of contemporary Kantians and phenomenologists. The proposal of speculative realism is audacious and bracing, particularly when he defends the idea of nature as a ‘glacial universe', cold and indeifferent to humans. Such is Pascal's ‘Eternal silence of infinite spaces', but without the consolation of a wager of God's existence. However, by Mellassoux's own admission, his proposal is incomplete and we await its elaboration in future books. Although, his style of presentation can turn into a sort of fine-grained logic-chopping worthy of Duns Scotus, the rigour, clarity and passion of the argument can be breathtaking." - Simon Critchley, TLS, Feb 2009

"Meillassoux addresses the question whether natural laws are necessary, and if so why, raised by Kant and gnawed by subsequent philosophers from Hume to Foucault. He offers a logical proof that the only feature of the laws of nature that is absolutely necessary is that they are contingent. He explores the ethical and metaphysical implications. Brassier translates Apres la finitude, which was published in 2006 by Editions du Seuil." -Eithne O'Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.

[Its] basic argument is put forth with crystal clarity. The book’s author is not one to wallow in words and there is an intellectual impishness to the writing that adds to its attractiveness...After Finitude should not be approached as the spearhead text for something called speculative realism but as an epoch-breaking work of philosophy in its own right.
*Irish Left Review*

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