Pure Thought in the Physical System: Rough Metaphysics and the Earth
24th March 2022, 4-6pm
Morocco Bound Bookshop
1A Morocco Street, London SE1 3HB
Free event. Registration required: here.
(NB– This will be an in-person only event).
The philosophical humanities and critical art practice began in the last years to imagine anthropology to be almost a model discipline due to its use of ethnographic fieldwork to investigate empirically ongoing events—climate change, resurgent fascism, war—in order better to assess them critically. As progressive as this seems, it has continued anthropology’s tendency to imagine both reality and insightful research into it as inherently non- or even anti- conceptual, which in turn has perpetuated a diffuse concept—that modern thought is universal—that anthropology once worked to displace. The extensive published works of an unlikely speculative thinker, a spirit medium and “rough metaphysician” by the name of Jane Roberts (and/or her cohort of alter personalities), raises a formidable challenge to the idea of non- or post-conceptual inquiry by raising the question, “Might everything foremost be thought?” Presenting a few fragments from her vast oeuvre, this talk probes the answer she offers in her considerations of “the physical system” of thought known to modernity as the Earth.
Peter Skafish is a cultural anthropologist who works between anthropology and philosophy on the question of what human thinking is, both in and outside modernity. He is currently developing and directing The Institute of Speculative and Critical Inquiry. In addition to his forthcoming book with the University of Minnesota Press, Rough Metaphysics: Speculative Thought in a Pluriversal Channel (An Anthropology of Concepts), he introduced the English translation of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s De Montaigne à Montaigne; is the co-editor of the volume Comparative Metaphysics: Ontology After Anthropology. He is also a translator, including of Catherine Malabou’s The Heidegger Change and Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’ Cannibal Metaphysics.