Rhizomes: The Technique of Thought

Review of The Technique of Thought by Ian James

Interrogating the work of four contemporary French philosophers to rethink philosophy’s relationship to science and science’s relationship to reality

Ian James has carved a rigorous analysis of four philosophers—Jean-Luc Nancy, François Laruelle, Catherine Malabou and Bernard Stiegler—who not only engage with the limits of thought through variegated, albeit embedded, disciplinary tendencies but have also, arguably, spearheaded a critical reorientation of continental philosophy, slowly opening the doors for transcending the traditional terms of the analytic-continental divide by engaging with a pluralized understanding of the sciences. A parallel plexus of American naturalist philosophy accompanies James’ analysis, as he stakes the claim that these four thinkers engage with pluralist ontologies and the limit-conditions of the real to stoke a proximal entanglement between philosophy and science. However, The Technique of Thought is by no means a synoptic account of Nancy, Laruelle, Malabou and Stiegler, as James surveys discourses in philosophy of mind, quantum gravity, causality and biosemiology to index various recent horizons of thought and their developments. The rigor and deft with which James approaches scientific-realist perspectives produce a rich picture of post-metaphysical thinking.


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