Quention Meillassoux
Philosophy in the Making

by Graham Harman
Edinburgh University Press 2011


Meillassoux23
23 contingency - 29 facticity - 30 factiality

Meillassoux36: Facticity itself cannot be just a fact; it must be necessary, or else correlationism would collapse into idealism. This led us to the principle of factiality: everything that exists is absolutely contingent.
37 If it were merely the case that if something exists then it must be contingent, then the facticity of that thing would merely be a fact, since we would already have suppose that its existence was not necessary. But while establishing the principle of factiality, we already saw that facticity cannot be a fact. Therefore, something must exist that is contingent in order for contingency to be necessary and that something obviously must be something in-itself, since the kingdom of the for-us is entirely dependent on the existence of human or at least animal life, which is purely contingent.
Hence
there is something that exists in itself. Or as Meillassoux puts it: “it is necessary that there be something rather than nothing because it is necessarily contingent that there is something rather than something else. The necessity of the contingency of the entity imposes the necessary existence of the contingent entity” (AF 76).

Meillassoux- Philosophy 175 - 194

175 Appendix: Excerpts from L'Inexistence divine
175 A:
Advent ex nihilo is a rational concept.
We hold that if immanentism is maintained in fully radical form, it implies a world with nothing outside that could limit its power of novelty. If nothing exists outside the world, then the world alone is the source of the advent (surgissement) or disappearance of anything. That which is belongs fully to the world because it belongs only to the world, and is contingent to the core. Thus novelty should not be considered as the action of a transcendence that is “always already there”and would therefore forbid anything truly new.

177 B:
Becoming and Quality
182 C:
The advent of the living
187 To identify rationalism with the eternity of natural, deterministic, or frequential laws is to render thought powerless before originary phenomena, and ultimately to resign oneself to acknowledging a transcendent foundation.
Reason teaches the exact contrary: laws have no reason to be constant, and nothing entails that they will not contain new constants in the future.
Such cases of advent can be divided into three orders that mark the essential ruptures of becoming:
matter, life, and thought.
Each of these three appears as a universe that cannot be qualitatively reduced to anything that preceded it. (No sensation can be reduced to a material configuration, and no concept of universal extension or mathematical concept of the infinite can be reduced to a finite mass of sensations.) As for the quantitative aspect, they can arise suddenly in a manner that is highly improbable in view of the preceding constants: the material supports of life, of new species, and of the human brain, all of them configurations possibly rupturing whith the frequential constants of physics or genetics.


187 D: Immanent Immortality
The factial is an ontology that allows us to think immortality directly as one possibility among others, but as a real possibility (since it is non-contradictory) of advent ex nihilo.
Boe: the factial - vgl. Meillassoux23
There is hardly anything more to be said about the reality of this possibility. The factial, in demonstrating the effective contingency of the laws of this world, has no difficulty in basing the hope of philosophical immortality on a radically irreligious ontology. What we call divine ethics (we will justify the term later) rests on the real possibility of immortality, a possibility guaranteed by factial ontology.
189 It is necessary to draw a distinction between the advent of what I call a World and the advent of the intra-Worldly. I call “Worlds” or “orders”, the three categories of advents known as matter, life, and thought.

192 The World of justice turns out to be a World in the proper sense: an advent that crosses the boundary of the third World as the third did the preceding one, because it contains the sole conceivable radical novelty of following the human: the recommencement of the human in just form. And this World is a World in the sense of a definitional element of humans qua humans, as those who think hope by refusing the injustice done to their fellow humans, whether they are still alive now or not.
The core of factial ethics thus consists in the imminent binding of philosophical astonishment and messianic hope, understood as the hope for justice for the dead and the living. The bond is imminent, for while philosophical astonishment generates the hope of a World to come, it does not refer to any otherworldly realm but solely to the consciousness of the power of advent ex nihilo.


193 E: Symbolisation
At the outset we should make a distinction, essential for further persuit of our goals, between the foundation in the strict sense of the universal and what we will call its symbolisation.
The real possibility of the fourth World removes the hopeless absurdity (found in the case of every ideal) that results from its ontological impossibility. But this possibility would be unable to found the value of the original requirement of justice, a problem we will examine later. It is not because justice is possible as world-to-come that the requirement of justice has value.



195 F: Philosophy and Symbol

195 F: Philosophy and Symbol
207 G:
The Ethical Scission
208 H: The Absolute and the Ultimate
Value belongs to the act of knowing itself; humans have value not because of what they know but because they know. And this knowledge is plainly the theoretical and absolute knowledge of logical and ontological truths, and the worried and attentive knowledge of our mortality.

212 I: Religion and Prometheanism
213 Thus we can clearly see that Promethean humanism is nothing but a religious vision of the human as self-fabricated. It is an idolisation of power by humans: not power in God, budding humans become God.What humans transpose into the religious God is not their own essence (as Feuerbach and the young Marx claimed), but rather the degradation of their own essence. For what humans see in God is the possibility of their own omnipotence: the accomplishment of their inhumanity rather then their humanity. In religion humans are strangers to themselves, because when they submit to God they do not submit to their essence but to the very opposite of their essence. That is to say, they submit to power of being and not to the possibility of the human.

214 J: Fatalism and the Dice-Throw
Our current world, as a field of struggle and hope, thus permits us to hope for the emergence of a truly ultimate novelty of becoming ( the World of justice, not a perfected world of thought). And in the same way we ourselves, no less than the contingent power of becoming, the condition of this emergence in which beauty results from our connection with the world, since the final advent can come only from the conjunction between being and act. This does not signify that, by the perversion of a moral rigourism, it would be necessary to desire the present order and its procession of miseries. But it is henceforth impossible to hate or regret the present World, which opens up the very possibility of a history. This history would be a becoming that belongs to us and would be larger than that of a single World. In this world all humans, with all the gestures they perform, would sketch anew the figure of our re-emergence. What this would offer as its aim would be the ahistorical and Edenic emergence of a garden of innocence, but the recommencing of an earth weighed down with the memory of humans.

221 K: Incarnation and the Ethical Scission
Such an ethics thus no longer takes the form of a desire for justice (of the possible fulfilment of all human existence) but that of benevolence inherent in a condition emancipated from early death. The universal would cease to designate the requirement of conditions necessary for the blossoming of every life, and would refer instead to the invention of possible links between humans devoted to thought.

225 L: Philosophy and Atheism
228 Henceforth philosophy turns out to be in a position to bear the hope of religion in imminent fashion, thereby suppressing the endless contortions of the exegetes, following the formation of a transcendent is that is said to be essentially full of love, even though it is indifferent or even horrifying in its manifestation….
But everyone can desire the possible advent of a World of justice for which the child of humans (who is not superior to humans, since the child incarnates their condition of worthiness) should finally be the desired object.

228 M: Conclusion
III: Humans can establish four different links with God, of which only three have been explored so far:

1. Not believing in God because he does not exist. This is the atheist link, which occurs in countless variations that all lead to the same impasse: sadness, turbidity, cynicism, and the disparagement of what makes us human. It is the imminent form of despair.
2. Believing in God because he exists. This is the religious link, in countless variations, all leading to the same impasse: fanaticism, flight from the world, the confusion of sanctity and mysticism and of God is love and God is power. It is the religious form of hope.
3. Not believing in God because he exists. This link, which is not confined to a specific doctrine, expresses all the various forms of revolt to word the existent God. It is the Luciferian position of rebellion against the Creator which expresses a reactive need to hold someone responsible for the evils of this world.
4. Only the fourth link, the philosophical link and imminent form of hope - believing in God because he does not exist - as never been systematically defended.
It has now been done.
The four possible links of humans with God I henceforth known.
One must choose.


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