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PhD defense of Laureano Ralòn

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The Faculty of Languages & Humanities of the VUB invites you to the public defense to obtain the academic degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Laureano Ralòn. 


Mr Ralòn will defend his original dissertation titled "A Critique of Object-Oriented Philosophy and Speculative Realism”. 


When? On Thursday 30th of June at 14pm. 


Where? The defense will take place online via Teams. Please enter the public defense through this link

Please note the online defense etiquette: sign in on time and make sure your camera and microphone are silenced when entering the meeting. This is to ensure a stable internet connection and a smooth running of the online public defense. 


Abstract: This thesis seeks to explicate and complicate Graham Harman’s object-oriented approach to realism by tracing back the strengths and weakness of his ontological system to the internal tensions within the field of play of Speculative Realism, in particular his disagreements with former colleague Ray Brassier on the meaning of such fundamental concepts and notions as “realism”, “correlationism”, “anthropocentrism” and “speculation”, and further back still to the systematic philosophies of analytically-oriented thinkers such as Alfred North Whitehead (his process metaphysics) and Wilfrid Sellars (his transcendental naturalism) against the background of diverging interpretations of Kant. More specifically, it conducts an internal critique of object- oriented philosophy that takes due note of existing objections, particularly those presented by neo- rationalist philosophers such as Brassier and Peter Wolfendale, but at the same time seeks to go beyond the negative, destructive or deconstructive moment of critique (abstract negation) into some form of mediation (determinate negation) which does not culminate in a grand synthesis but exploits a series of ‘minor’ connections that, in turn, provide the necessary hints for an imminent, creative and differential reconstruction of object-oriented philosophy in naturalistic terms.