[-empyre-] First Postings

tbmorton timothymorton303 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 6 23:57:36 EST 2013

Hi Everyone, 

If I may just chime in here, as Cary has just very kindly (and unnecessarily!) mentioned my stuff! 

I'm going to add a somewhat paradoxical agreement with Cary's observations here, namely, that's precisely why I do cleave to a flat-ish ontology: because ontology (if you want one at all) shouldn't be in the business of normativity whatsoever. We are free to make ethical and political decisions that are not based on our (inevitably metaphysical) concepts of what exists and how they exist. 

In the age of anthropocentrism we've wanted ontologies to come with an off-the-peg ethics and politics attached, for easy identification. This might need to change if we want to go past anthropocentrism. The confusion of flatness forces a necessary hesitation as to what counts. 

Yours, Tim

Timothy Morton
Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English
Rice University


On Sep 6, 2013, at 8:03 AM, Cary Wolfe wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Thanks, Adam. Agreed, death is not something bad or to be avoided (as if it
> could)--a point well made by Derrida in "Eating Well" and by Donna Haraway,
> among many others. But given that the thanatopolitical drift of biopolitics
> has always been about the (often excruciating) manipulation and management
> of the life/death relation, and the life/death interval, it's important to
> remember Haraway's reminder, in light of bipolitics' "killable but not
> murderable" status of bare life, that "thou shalt not make killable."
> Precisely where the force of that admonition falls is an open question, of
> course, but that's precisely why "life" is such a blunt instrument in what
> is (as Adam knows better than I do) a very uneven and highly differentiated
> landscape of forms of life. This is why "flat ontology" will do you no good
> here; it tells you everything except what you need to know. By the way, and
> speaking of which, I hope everyone will check out Tim Morton's new book in
> the Posthumanities series, Hyperobjects. 
> Cary Wolfe
> Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor
> Department of English, MS-30
> Founding Director, 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory
> Rice University
> Houston TX 77251-1892
> 713-348-2601; -5991
> 3ct.rice.edu
> Series Editor, Posthumanities
> University of Minnesota Press
> http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/series/posthumanities
> -----Original Message-----
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> [mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Adam Nocek
> Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 11:28 PM
> To: soft_skinned_space
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] First Postings
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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