Thinking-with the human that we are and that we therefore are not: Non-anthropocentric anthropomorphism at a thousand concrete worlds

Calum Hazell, Adam Louis-Klein (Editor), Justin Shaffner (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, I will try to fabricate and then listen in on a
conversation between David Lewis, François Laruelle, and Eduardo
Viveiros de Castro. The nominated parameters of this conversation
entail the logical status of Lewisian possible worlds and its
ramifications for otherworldly counterparts, Laruelle’s notion of the
radical indifference of the One and its ramifications for a reorientation
and democratisation of thought, and Viveiros de Castro’s presentation
of a multinatural ontology and its ramifications for contemporary
understandings of human being. Rather than adopting a comparative
methodology here, my approach will instead be informed by Laruelle’s
non-philosophical re-expression of quantum superposition as a means
of conducting performative ‘collisions’ between the items at issue. The
collisions that I am interested in conducting here are between Lewisian
actuality & Laruellean indifference, and between de Castroan humanity
& Lewisian actuality. The first superposition gestures towards a radical
worldmaking practice for thinking-with a proliferation of
spatiotemporally isolated and casually inefficacious worlds (Lewis) via the strategic ‘suspension’ of the World-as-given (Laruelle). The second
superposition is concerned with identifying these possible otherworlds
– that are nonetheless actual for their own inhabitants (Lewis) – with
those projected perspectivally by different species of ‘animal,’ which
will ultimately be to say, by different species of an identically
enculturated ‘human’ (Viveiros de Castro). In conclusion, I will offer
some skeletal principles for a non-anthropocentric practice of
anthropomorphism. This practice, I suggest, provides a speculative
context for the application of the idempotent products of my
superpositions to the question of the encounter between the actual
human inhabitants of a thousand concrete worlds.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalOscillations: Non-Standard Experiments in Anthropology, the Social Sciences, and Cosmology
Volume1: Human Hologram
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

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