It’s interesting to watch a topic spin itself out rhizomically across the blogosphere. Picking up on Žižek’s ecological musings, Levi Bryant seems more or less in agreement with what I had argued here last week, as does Michael Austin, while Ben Woodard criticizes the narrowing of the “ecology of concepts of nature” (a point I had made, too) and the “ontological priviledge of the subject” that “remains a serious stumbling block for any approach to nature that is not too shallow or too obfuscated.” This latter point sounds to me like Quentin Meillassoux’s (fashionable, in Speculative Realist circles) argument against “correlationism,” i.e., the (post-Kantian) anchoring of philosophy in the human subject’s relationship with the world. While I haven’t read Meillassoux’s After Finitude, I share his critique of correlationism if it’s restricted to the human piece (since the world is made up of more than just human subjects) but not to the extent that it tries to decenter subjectivity in general. As I see it, subjectivity and objectivity are mutually co-constituted through the events (becomings, actual occasions) that make up the world, and this relationship ought to be central to a philosophically realist understanding of the world.
Žižek’s recent lecture on apocalyptic times is available here, his First as Tragedy book talk here, and his new blog can alert you about other things being churned out of the Ž factory. And see all the responses to Mikhail Emelianov’s short post about the first, and Arts & Ecology’s post about the second. What’s most interesting about the apocalypse talk is that Ž. doesn’t include eco-apocalypse in his three main kinds of apocalyptic thinking in popular culture. Has he really come around to seeing both the forest (of “nature”-as-idea) and the trees (the things themselves, including the effects we are having on them)?
Meanwhile, the (pseudo-) event of the hacked climate change e-mails continues to reverberate in the media, siphoning off energy from the rather more important work of preparing for the Copenhagen summit. Grist, Dot Earth, Climate & Capitalism, Arts & Ecology, and WorldChanging are some of the better sites for staying up to date on that topic.