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French Philosophy TodayNew Figures of the Human in Badiou, Meillassoux, Malabou, Serres and Latour$
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Christopher Watkin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474414739

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414739.001.0001

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Quentin Meillassoux: Supreme Human Value Meets Anti-anthropocentrism

Quentin Meillassoux: Supreme Human Value Meets Anti-anthropocentrism

Chapter:
(p.46) Chapter 2 Quentin Meillassoux: Supreme Human Value Meets Anti-anthropocentrism
Source:
French Philosophy Today
Author(s):

Christopher Watkin

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474414739.003.0003

This chapter continues exploring the contemporary permutations of the ‘host capacity’ account of humanity through a close reading of Quentin Meillassoux’s transformation of the human. The place of the human in Meillassoux’s thought is complex. On the one hand, he maintains a strong and consistent rhetoric of anti-anthropocentrism, and his fundamental philosophical project can be summarised as an attempt to break free from what he sees as the anthropocentric straitjacket of Kantian and post- Kantian ‘correlationist’ thought. On the other hand, however, Meillassoux can evince a very high view of the human indeed, not hesitating to call his philosophy a ‘humanism’ and asserting the value of the human as ultimate. The first part of the chapter argues that Meillassoux’s humanism is less humanist than he thinks and the second part shows that his attempt to disengage from anthropocentrism is more anthropocentric than he thinks. As in the case of Badiou, it is Meillassoux’s insistence on tethering the value of humanity to its capacity for thought that lies at the root of many of the problems of his anthropology.

Keywords:   Quentin Meillassoux, Correlationism, Humanism, Anthropocentrism

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