•  10
    The Void of Thought and the Ambivalence of History: Chaadaev, Bakunin, and Fedorov
    In Panayiota Vassilopoulou & Daniel Whistler (eds.), Thought: A Philosophical History, . pp. 293-306. 2021.
    This paper cuts across three nineteenth-century Russian thinkers—Pyotr Chaadaev, Mikhail Bakunin and Nikolai Fedorov—to reconstruct a speculative trajectory that seeks to think an ungrounding and delegitimation of the (Christian-modern) world and its logics of violence, domination, and exclusion. In Chaadaev, Russia becomes a territory of nothingness—an absolute exception from history, tradition, and memory, without attachment or relation to world history. Ultimately, Chaadaev affirms this atopi…Read more
  •  40
    Through an analysis of the ultimate telos of the world and of the subject’s striving in Schelling, the late Fichte, and Friedrich Schlegel—as well as via such concepts as the absolute, bliss, nothingness, God, chaos, and irony—this essay reconfigures German Idealism and Romanticism as spanning the conceptual space between two poles, world-annihilation and world-construction, and traces the ways in which these thinkers attempted to resolve what this essay calls the "transcendental knot," or to th…Read more
  •  15
    Against traditional approaches that view German Idealism as a secularizing movement, this volume revisits it as the first fundamentally philosophical articulation of the political-theological problematic in the aftermath of the Enlightenment and the advent of secularity. Across the volume’s contributions, German thought from Kant to Marx emerges as crucial for the genealogy of political theology and for the ongoing reassessment of modernity and the secular. By investigating anew such concepts as…Read more
  •  33
    To Break All Finite Spheres: Bliss, the Absolute I, and the End of the World in Schelling's 1795 Metaphysics
    Kabiri: The Official Journal of the North American Schelling Society 2 39-66. 2020.
    "The ultimate end goal of the finite I and the not-I, i.e., the end goal of the world," writes Schelling in Of the I as the Principle of Philosophy (1795), "is its annihilation as a world, i.e., as the exemplification of finitude." In this paper, I explicate this statement and its theoretical stakes through a comprehensive re-reading of Schelling's 1795 writings: Of the I and Philosophical Letters on Dogmatism and Criticism, written later in the same year, in relation to what Schelling proclaims…Read more
  •  130
    Reading with and against Blumenberg’s The Legitimacy of the Modern Age, and following his own account of the epochal shift from the Middle Ages to modernity, this chapter takes up the genealogy and the political theology of Blumenbergian modernity so as to reanimate its relevance for contemporary theory. Beginning with the shared opposition to Gnosticism found in both Christianity and modernity, we trace the emergence of modernity as creating a “counterworld” of possibility in the face of the al…Read more
  •  81
    Suspending the World: Romantic Irony and Idealist System
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 53 (2): 111-133. 2020.
    This paper revisits the rhetorics of system and irony in Fichte and Friedrich Schlegel in order to theorize the utopic operation and standpoint that, I argue, system and irony share. Both system and irony transport the speculative speaker to the impossible zero point preceding and suspending the construction of any binary terms or the world itself—an immanent nonplace (of the in-itself, nothingness, or chaos) that cannot be inscribed into the world's regime of comprehensibility and possibility. …Read more
  •  57
    Sovereign Nothingness: Pyotr Chaadaev's Political Theology
    Theory and Event 22 (2): 243-266. 2019.
    This paper speculatively reconstructs the unique intervention that Pyotr Chaadaev, the early nineteenth-century Russian thinker, made into the political-theological debate. Instead of positioning sovereignty and exception against each other, Chaadaev seeks to think the (Russian) exception immanently, affirming its nonrelation to, and even nullity or nothingness vis-à-vis, the (European, Christian-modern) world-historical regime—and to theorize the logic of sovereignty that could arise from withi…Read more
  •  68
    Spirit and Utopia: (German) Idealism as Political Theology
    Crisis and Critique 2 (1): 326-348. 2015.
    Can we understand (German) idealism as emancipatory today, after the new realist critique? In this paper, I argue that we can do so by identifying a political theology of revolution and utopia at the theoretical heart of German Idealism. First, idealism implies a certain revolutionary event at its foundation. Kant’s Copernicanism is ingrained, methodologically and ontologically, into the idealist system itself. Secondly, this revolutionary origin remains a “non-place” for the idealist system, wh…Read more
  •  351
    Nature, Spirit, and Revolution: Situating Hegel's Philosophy of Nature
    Comparative and Continental Philosophy 8 (3): 302-314. 2016.
    This paper ties together several anthropological and naturphilosophische themes in Hegel in order to re-examine the place of the philosophy of nature in the Encyclopedia. By taking Hegel’s anthropology as a starting point, I argue that his philosophy of nature has for its subject not nature “as such,” but nature as cognized by Geist, so that the identity of these two natures is only constructed by spirit itself retroactively. I trace the origin of this difference to the revolutionary event that …Read more
  •  67
    Russian philosopher Pyotr Chaadaev (1794–1856) declared Russia to be a non-place in both space and time, a singular nothingness without history, topos, or footing, without relation or attachment to the world-historical tradition culminating in Christian-European modernity. This paper recovers Chaadaev’s conception of nothingness as that which, unbound by tradition, constitutes a total, even revolutionary ungrounding of the world-whole. Working with and through Chaadaev’s key writings, we trace h…Read more
  •  96
    Kant on the Soul’s Intensity
    Kant Yearbook 2 (1): 75-94. 2010.
    In this paper I propose to consider a certain set of notions in Kant as subsumable under a single notion – that of the soul’s intensity – as well as the possibility of a transcendental grounding of this notion within Kant ’s critical framework. First, I discuss what it means for Kant to attribute intensive magnitude to the soul, starting with his response to Mendelssohn where Kant introduces the soul’s intensity as a metaphysical notion immanent to the principles of rational psychology. I show, …Read more
  •  141
    Although largely neglected in Schelling scholarship, the concept of bliss assumes central importance throughout Schelling’s oeuvre. Focusing on his 1810–11 texts, the Stuttgart Seminars and the beginning of the Ages of the World, this paper traces the logic of bliss, in its connection with other key concepts such as indifference, the world or the system, at a crucial point in Schelling’s thinking. Bliss is shown, at once, to mark the zero point of the developmental narrative that Schelling const…Read more