Quentin Meillassoux

Philosopher, Person

1967 –


Who is Quentin Meillassoux?

Quentin Meillassoux is a French philosopher. He teaches at the École Normale Supérieure, but he will be moving in Fall 2012 to a new position at the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. He is the son of the anthropologist Claude Meillassoux.

Meillassoux is a former student of the philosophers Bernard Bourgeois and Alain Badiou, who has written that Meillassoux's first book Après la finitude introduces an entirely new option into modern philosophy, different from Kant's three alternatives of criticism, scepticism, and dogmatism. The book was translated into English by philosopher Ray Brassier. Meillassoux is associated with the Speculative Realism movement.

In this book, Meillassoux argues that post-Kantian philosophy is dominated by what he calls "correlationism," the often unstated theory that humans cannot exist without the world nor the world without humans. In Meillassoux's view, this is a dishonest maneuver that allows philosophy to sidestep the problem of how to describe the world as it really is prior to all human access. He terms this pre-human reality the "ancestral" realm. In keeping with the mathematical interests of his mentor Alain Badiou, Meillassoux claims that mathematics is what reaches the primary qualities of things as opposed to their secondary qualities as manifested in perception.

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  • France
  • École Normale Supérieure

on July 23, 2013


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