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I made the mistake of reading this book before I read Qentin Meillassoux's 'After Finitude'. Harman promises a basic presentation of Meillassoux but I believe he largely fails because he constantly qualifies and uses this book to promote his counter views. Where this book shines I believe in in the appendix which is a translation of parts of Meillassoux's work in progress - what is claimed to be a masterwork - 'L'inexistence divine'. I think Meillassoux is a major new voice in philosophy that makes some very interesting contributions to the progression of philosophy in the age of quantum science.
This book is worth reading after reading 'After Finitude'.
For the most Graham Harman tells us in a decent way about two books of Quentin Meiiassoux. One of them, After Finitude, portrays the so called problem of Hume. However, for experimental physicists it is doubtful there was and is such a problem. They create new theories on the fly, according to their experiments. That also counts for the interpretations of new theories. Nearly no one agrees in physics. What would physicists worry about the result of After Finitude? The other book Divine Inexistence is for the pious philosopher, for the catholic maoist etc. It is very interesting to read how Meillassoux bends his arguments to a future so that believers in a now inexistent god, can put their soul to rest in a god to come. And how wonderful: so much could be read from the story of Jesus.
This book is outstanding. After getting Ray Brassier's translation of After Finitude, of which I am not a huge fan, having Graham Harman translate a large swathe of "Divine Inexistence" was a breath of fresh air. It was also very nice to have some kind of access to the ideas that were foundational to "After Finitude," in "Divine Inexistence," Meillassoux's unpublished thesis, which will be published in multi-volume form, soon.
The great thing about Harman writing this book, which is part commentary and part criticism, is that he has worked closely with Meillassoux. In fact, he even includes a question answer session from his personal correspondence with Meillassoux. In terms of the criticism and commentary, he treats Meillassoux very fairly, holding off criticism until something like chapter four, and, in the meanwhile, providing a very enjoyable explication of "After Finitude."
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in speculative realism.
As a non-professional philosophy aficionado, I find that Harman's dialogue with Quentin Meillassoux about his speculative realist philosophy project accomplishes what I seek and cherish most with philosophy: an adventure in thought which offers unique, unfathomed trajectories through the space of all possible thought to shed a new light on the world and the living, and on my becoming. It is a gift received already to finally read and reread excerpts of the long awaited "Divine Inexistence" which Meillassoux is relentlessly reworking and expanding upon with no publication date in sight in any language. Questions abound such as how does his ultra-humanist view of a Nietzschean kind stand in contrast to the post-humanist movement? But Harman and Meillassoux are eminently readable and understandable such that we are challenged to discuss with the substantive argument rather than the obfuscation of form for which French philosophy of the second half of the twentieth century has been criticized. Read " QM Philosophy in the Making" and meet Quentin Meillassoux, if you have not already read his magnificent "After Finitude". It's existence is, to me, divine.
If you are (as I was once) tepidly considering the purchase of Graham Harman's Quentin Meillassoux Philosophy in the Making, allow me to reassure you, you most definitely need this book!! For a couple of weeks from its release I was standoffish to this title; unsure I wanted to spend over twenty dollars to read another philosopher's take on Meillassoux. Today, having just finished reading it, I am making a tremendous understatement in saying I wish I would have gotten to it sooner! I found this blessed work impossible to put down. First enjoying Harman's illuminating reflections on the complete catalog of Meillassoux's work yet published in English, later spellbound by the original question and answer interview between the author and his subject, and finally enthralled with the more than sixty pages of excerpts from Meillassoux's forthcoming masterwork, L'Inexistence Divine (material not available to the public anywhere else!!). Fans of Meillassoux will find themselves more than able to justify the purchase price of the book only for the excerpts from L'Inexistence Divine, the rest of the material makes this book a value, even were it at twice the price! Please, if you are a fan of Harman, Meillassoux, or the Speculative Realism / Speculative Materialism genre in general, do yourself a favor and pick this one up, it is a 'must read'! This title is meant to be the first in a series on Speculative Realism with Harman as chief editor. I can't wait to see what comes next!!!
The publication, for the very first time, of some outstanding extracts from The Divine Inexistence, allowing at last to catch the real dimension of Quentin Meillassoux's philosophy, would alone be more than a sufficient reason for the purchase of the book. One must add Graham Harman's very clear and efficient presentation of Meillassoux's works. I generally disagree with the opinions of Harman towards him, and sometimes doubt their relevance, but they are nonetheless fruitful and worth reading. A must-have for anyone concerned with contemporary thought.