Ep. 60 – Eugene Thacker, In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy

In what could be their first trio podcast, co-hosts James, Emily, and B tarry with the Preface and a Chapter titled “Occult Philosophy” from Eugene Thacker’s In the Dust of this Planet: Horror of Philosophy, vol. 1. Before launching in, James shares some good news, and B befriends a finger monster. The team was at first hesitant about the text. But why? Perhaps they were a bit bewildered by Thacker’s arguments concerning the history of the philosophical “in-itself”? Or the world-for-us? Or their overall relationship to the horror genre? Was this Thacker’s critique of the Western canon? Or is Thacker’s archive unknowingly neo-colonial?  Does the archive show us the limits of knowledge (as the promise of horror as the fear of the unknown forebodes) or does it reproduce “the ruse of [Western] reason” by another name and through another’s pen? But why the Hell is post-colonial and anti-racist critique the “easy” critique anyway? Join and listen as all three of our co-hosts discuss one of the many purposes and pitfalls of academic publishing, the perils of public anti-intellectualism, and the dynamism of genres.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. Thanks to Bağlan for requesting Thacker. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their new album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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3 thoughts on “Ep. 60 – Eugene Thacker, In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy

  1. Rather painful to listen as you collectively fail to think the unthinkable. The horror associated with your refusal to engage with the now necessary way of thinking the world in/of/for itself rather than for human civilization, which amounts to little more than ecocidal consumption and destruction. To think the world without human presence and thought as an utopian ideal, and the horror of realization that this is a required angle of approach for the anthropocene. The horror of listening to your tragic attempts to reinsert your own positionalities and presence when the epistemological value of this work is to dislocate yourselves – physically and intellectually – from a world that survives only absent of the human species.

  2. The ‘horror’ associated with this text is that of discovering that the monster is ourselves. Within the horror genre, this is a consistent theme, wherein the text or film allows the audience to identify with a protagonist ultimately revealed to be the monster, the antagonist. ‘The Legend’ (book not movie) successfully pulled this off. And in terms of anthropocene thinking (above), the whole thing is akin to a Game of Thrones dynamic, wherein human society is duped by species-level infighting between kingdoms, while the White Walkers (a thinly veiled analogy for climate change) is the only real danger. HOWEVER, Thacker’s work encourages us to look at ourselves as the monster, as the danger. We need to think of climate change as a global immune system response to the human virus. From the positionality of every other living thing, we are a genocidal force and a destructive element beyond comprehension. We are the horror of this planet – a planet rendered as dust through every single moment and action of human colonization of a planet that belongs equally to every living being, every fish, bird, amoeba, blade of grass,etc. The epistemology suggested by Thacker’s work perhaps encourages us to think of a world for all living beings and ecosystems. To look at a tree or forest or stream or any ecosystem as a wonderful living being rather than a ‘natural resource’, and to think of a world for itself rather than yet another opportunity for human ‘civilization’ (ecological murder).

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