Skinned Alive: The Furnomenology of Spirit

The world is going to hell, but spirit has never been so sure of itself. At least this is the impression one gets reading the contemporary neorationalist philosophers, colloquially known as the ‘neorats’, even if they are the furthest thing imaginable from the plague-drenched rats that brought Christendom crumbling down at the advent of modernity. To give just one example, even as politics declines into an irrational reality TV circus and the biosphere boils towards our encroaching heat death, Reza Negarestani, in his 2018 tome Intelligence and Spirit, does not hesitate to reaffirm spirit’s transcendence from nature inasmuch as it is free to determine its own norms through the semantic space of public language:

Nothing can stop the rise of intelligence. All given truths, all achieved totalities, all traps of history begin to slowly vanish like a spider’s web baptised in a corrosive solvent … Whatever opposes this truth will be swiftly weeded out by the reality of which intelligence is the resolute expression. [1]

For all the talk over the past decade about venturing beyond the Great Indoors of human narcissism (a panic room of the spirit), its gates have never been so sealed, its drawbridges never pulled so high, the weapons for its defence never clutched so closely.

[1] Reza Negarestani, Intelligence and Spirit, Urbanomic, Falmouth, UK, 2018, p. 31.



Virgil Solis
King Lycaon changed into a wolf by Zeus
Engraving for Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Book I, 209–243
Frankfurt, 1581, fol. 5r
Image: Wikimedia Commons


Vincent Le holds a Masters in philosophy from Deakin University. He teaches philosophy at Deakin and has lectured at The Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy. He has published in Hypatia, Cosmos and History and Colloquy, among other journals. Recent work focuses on the reckless propagation of libidinal materialism.

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