This article offers a critical assessment of the conception of ethics underlying the growing constellation of ‘new materialist’ social theories. It argues that such theories offer little if any purchase in understanding the contemporary transformations of relations between mind and body or human and non-human natures. Taking as exemplary the work of Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, and Karen Barad, this article asserts that a continuity between ethics and ontology is central to recent theories of ‘materiality’. These theories assert the primacy of matter by calling upon a spiritual or ascetic self-transformation so that one might be ‘attuned to’ or ‘register’ materiality and, conversely, portray critique as hubristic, conceited, or resentful, blinded by its anthropocentrism. It is argued that framing the grounds for ontological speculation in these ethical terms licences the omission of analysis of social forces mediating thought’s access to the world and so grants the theorist leave to sidestep any questions over the conditions of thought. In particular, the essay points to ongoing processes of the so-called primitive accumulation as constituting the relationship between mind and body, human and non-human natures.
- Rafal Soborski co-authors a chapter in The Routledge Handbook of EuroscepticismOctober 18, 2017 - 10:51 am
- ‘Isn’t it finally time we took Media Studies seriously?’ asks Richmond’s Assistant Professor of International Journalism Louise Byrne in the Times Higher EducationOctober 18, 2017 - 8:47 am
- Paul Rekret publishes new book, Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, PolemicsOctober 17, 2017 - 2:35 pm
- Promoting Psychology Students’ Critical Thinking Skills: Challenges and OpportunitiesOctober 18, 2017 - 10:56 am
- Fantasy Apocalypse – A One-Day Joint Symposium of all things Science Fiction, fantasy and horror with The University of Northampton and Richmond The American International University in LondonOctober 10, 2017 - 2:57 pm
- On Friday 13th October, one member of the electro comedy duo Cassetteboy will speak in Dr. Nicola Mann’s AVC 4205 Introduction to Visual Culture class. Cassetteboy are known for their ‘mashups’ of celebrities such as David Cameron and Alan Sugar.October 9, 2017 - 10:17 am
- Undergraduate Open Day – 24th November 2017October 2, 2017 - 2:16 pm