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Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

I just finished Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennet... after 9 years of being on and off this book. And it was worth it. I'm into the thing/multispecies/nonhuman discourse for a good while and I always struggled with exactly one major problem that this book addresses so well. How to flatten the ontology, when one comes from a place of hierarchy. Or more specifically: I grew up in central Europe with all its background of racism, colonialism, sexism, homo- and transphobia and you name it, all designed to create hierarchies of power. And now I should be able to step outside these not just for people and animals, but also cumulus clouds, lithium, cockroaches, doorknobs, and blades of grass? Many indigenous communities have their specific ways of incorporating such a view, deeply rooted in their respective stories.

I don't have these and I'm jealous of them.

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Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

One of the most fascinating paths for me is the attribution of personhood through jurisdictional processes, such as the river Whanganui in Aotearoa, and many more examples by now. I figured the law is a language westerners like me understand, epistemologically speaking. A lot of ontological negotiations are happening via this path. What is subject, object, or agency are questions that are relegated to the language of the law.

I found Jane Bennett's approach to political philosophy similar but different. It is richer in depth, poetics and individuality, also because of her style. It speaks directly to my practice and daily experience. It ends with epistemological violence that I enjoy quite a lot. It is shaking the fundamentals on which my everyday experience is based and it is refreshing, even exhilarating at times. And I have the feeling that it gives me a vocabulary to speak what I'm feeling.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

Hell no, she didn't… well, there goes another 9 years of reading Jane Bennett 😅

politicalscience.jhu.edu/facul

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie thanks for writing about this, this book was one of my first introductions to new materialism, it was a good read! I just wish it'd been 100 pages longer :) The exploration of Adorno was interesting.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

💖 @starcide do you have any recommendations in the same league?

I haven't found much solitude in OOO, except maybe for Ian Bogost's Alien Phenomenology. Too conceptual otherwise.

Mushroom at the End of the World is a classic to repartition one's own sensibilities, to go with Jane Bennett. I also got a pile of things on animism and I'm usually more interested in those things, that try to translate it into a practice accessible from my point of view.

- haujournal.org/index.php/hau/a
- jstor.org/stable/10.1086/20006

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie The book I just finish and posted about you may like. I should check out those you mentioned cos they've always sounded interesting. Perhaps Hyposubjects by Morton and Boyer? Maybe the books by Levi Bryant? Sadly not alot of practical stuff in this field I find. Personally I prefer Process Philosophy like Whitehead because it more closely aligns with Buddhism for me that has plenty of practise to it. I do want to check out some animism stuff.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@starcide it’s the practical stuff that’s missing right. But then again practice is done by doing practice… I read most Morton, which I liked. Didn’t went into Bryant, Harman put me of OOO 😅

Animism in the end, I decided for myself, is mostly an aesthetic-cultural expression of vibrant matter, but one I have no access to and could only unjustly appropriate it.

These days I’m very much into pluriversal approaches, coming from Richard Rorty’s Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.

For example Arthuro Escobar’s Design for the Pluriverse or methods like journal.culanth.org/index.php/. I love how much richer the world becomes the lesser I am predominant in it.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie yea im most interested in trying to find theory that can change my subjectivity (because I feel an anarchist society would need people with a very different subjectivity to work). I've avoided Harman too, ooo has some good insights (withdrawal) but overall im not that taken with it. But I like the project of the new/speculative materialisms. That Rorty book has caught my eye and I do have some pluriverse on my radar.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@starcide I've yet have to read it again. For some parts I wasn't politically matured enough. I was especially taken by how Rorty describes the Ironist.

"(1) She has radical and continuing doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered; (2) she realizes that arguments phrased in her present vocabulary can neither underwrite nor dissolve these doubts; (3) insofar as she philosophizes about her situation, she does not think that her vocabulary is closer to reality than others, that it is in touch with a power, not herself."

— Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, p.73

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie this does sound rally interesting!

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie a book I think is the best I've read for a while is A Little Philosophical Lexicon of Anarchism from Proudhon to Deleuze by Daniel Colson, occasionally problematic but its got so much food for thought in it, plus I love its structure as a lexicon. Also Emptiness and Becoming: Integrating madhyamika Buddhism and process philosophy by Peter Paul Kakol is really good and a solid intro to both fields.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@starcide Thank you very much for the tipps. They are on my never-ending list of things to read

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie @starcide This is a great thread of reading material to look into, thanks both. And as a minor aside, it's so useful to have a bookmarking feature here in the fediverse.

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@Lemmy @thgie I'm glad someone finds my waffle about obscure books helpful :)

Vibrant Matter by Jane Bennett 

@thgie I can very much sympathise with this, my toread list is beyond manageable :blobcatthink:

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