Ideas of Quentin Meillassoux, by Theme

[French, fl. 2006, Teaches at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.]

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1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 5. Later European Thought
Since Kant we think we can only access 'correlations' between thinking and being
The Copernican Revolution decentres the Earth, but also decentres thinking from reality
1. Philosophy / B. History of Ideas / 6. Twentieth Century Thought
In Kant the thing-in-itself is unknowable, but for us it has become unthinkable
1. Philosophy / G. Scientific Philosophy / 3. Scientism
Since Kant, philosophers have claimed to understand science better than scientists do
2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 5. Objectivity
Since Kant, objectivity is defined not by the object, but by the statement's potential universality
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 2. Sufficient Reason
If we insist on Sufficient Reason the world will always be a mystery to us
2. Reason / B. Laws of Thought / 3. Non-Contradiction
Non-contradiction is unjustified, so it only reveals a fact about thinking, not about reality?
4. Formal Logic / E. Nonclassical Logics / 7. Paraconsistency
We can allow contradictions in thought, but not inconsistency
Paraconsistent logics are to prevent computers crashing when data conflicts
Paraconsistent logic is about statements, not about contradictions in reality
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. Using Numbers / g. Applying mathematics
What is mathematically conceivable is absolutely possible
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
The absolute is the impossibility of there being a necessary existent
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 5. Reason for Existence
It is necessarily contingent that there is one thing rather than another - so something must exist
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Criterion for Existence
We must give up the modern criterion of existence, which is a correlation between thought and being
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 5. Contingency
Possible non-being which must be realised is 'precariousness'; absolute contingency might never not-be
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
The idea of chance relies on unalterable physical laws
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 3. Idealism / b. Transcendental idealism
Unlike speculative idealism, transcendental idealism assumes the mind is embodied
12. Knowledge Sources / B. Perception / 2. Qualities in Perception / c. Primary qualities
The aspects of objects that can be mathematical allow it to have objective properties
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
How can we mathematically describe a world that lacks humans?
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
Hume's question is whether experimental science will still be valid tomorrow
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 4. Presupposition of Self
The transcendental subject is not an entity, but a set of conditions making science possible
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / b. Scientific necessity
If the laws of nature are contingent, shouldn't we already have noticed it?
Why are contingent laws of nature stable?
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / a. Ontological Proof
The ontological proof of a necessary God ensures a reality external to the mind
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
Now that the absolute is unthinkable, even atheism is just another religious belief (though nihilist)