Manual Of Synthetic Finance: Three Essays of Speculative Materialism

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You could not be signed in. Client Account. Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution Sign In. Buy This Article. View Metrics. Citing articles via Web Of Science 8. Google Scholar. Email alerts Latest Issue. Advance Publication. Subscribe to Article Alert. Related Topics debt debt refusal derivative logic free stuff money. Disruptions in Money. The second site is Speculative Materialism , which looks to be a really interesting new blog which bills itself as a forum for the study of the materialism and ontology of finance.

The Venice Process — started at Gervasuti Foundation, Venice, in collaboration with the national Pavilion of the Maldives during the 55th Venice Biennale — aims at offering an alternative education and accreditation system offered by a network of international art institutions. Events — including performances, seminars and workshops — will span the Biennale, culminating in the writing of a free course in art and ecology — written in conjunction with the Maldives Pavilion — and the delivery of a conference on accreditation systems in November We are issuing an international call out for academics, activists, artists and ecologists to participate in the writing of the free course on art and ecology.

Participants will be asked to write a lecture or seminar remotely by the end of September and be available to present the course with other participants in Venice in late November. It aims at the creation of a free alternative education system delivered via a network of art institutions, globally.

Please send all inquires to conceptualmilitancy gmail. Participants will be informed of acceptance by 8 July More details can be found at www. The idea of the manifesto was, first, to initiate and generate conversations about the longest term viewpoint on left politics at a profound moment of crisis.

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The manifesto was, second, intended to put forth what we believe to be a unique set of possible answers — ones that will hopefully generate further research. Yet, we are not trying to create a new doctrine, nor to determine in advance what must be an experimental process involving the creativity of mass politics.

The emphasis, both here and in the manifesto, is on experimentation beyond traditional leftist tactics, in order to discover what works in practice.

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And y ou can find the original manifesto here. It is the work of philosophically minded historians and historical social scientists treating familiar but badly understood historical concepts: causation, historical epoch, social structure, human agency, mentality, and the like. These writings represent a middle-level approach to issues having to do with the logic of historical discourse.

This aspect of current philosophy of history brings the discipline into close relation to the philosophy of the special sciences biology, sociology, archaeology. Philosophically reflective historians ask critical questions about the concepts and assumptions that are often brought into historical thinking, and they attempt to provide more adequate explication of these concepts given their own encounters with the challenges of historical research and historical explanation. Charles Tilly challenges a common assumption that causal reasoning depends on identifying background causal regularities; he argues instead for an approach to causal reasoning that emphasizes the role of concrete causal mechanisms McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly Simon Schama questions the concept of an objective historical narrative that serves to capture the true state of affairs about even fairly simple historical occurrences Charles Sabel casts doubt on the idea of fixed patterns of historical development, arguing that there were alternative pathways available even within the classic case of economic development in western Europe Sabel and Zeitlin As these examples illustrate, there is ample room for productive exchange between philosophers with an interest in the nature of history and the historians and social scientists who have reflected deeply on the complexities of the concepts and assumptions we use in historical analysis.

It may be useful to close with a sketch of a possible framework for an updated philosophy of history. Any area of philosophy is driven by a few central puzzles. In the area of the philosophy of history, the most fundamental questions remain unresolved: 1 What is the nature of the reality of historical structures and entities states, empires, religious movements, social classes? Can we provide a conception of historical and social entities that avoids the error of reification but gives some credible reality to the entities that are postulated?

Historical causation is not analogous to natural necessity in the domain of physical causation, because there are no fixed laws that govern historical events.


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So we need to provide an account of the nature of the causal powers that historical factors are postulated to have. Is it possible to arrive at justified interpretations of long-dead actors, their mentalities and their actions? How does this phenomenological reality play into the account of historical causation? Or does all historical knowledge remain permanently questionable?

A new philosophy of history will shed light on these fundamental issues.

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It will engage with the hermeneutic and narrativist currents that have been important in the continental tradition and have arisen in recent years in Anglo-American philosophy. It will incorporate the rigorous epistemic emphasis that is associated with analytic philosophy of history, but will separate itself from the restrictive assumptions of positivism. A new philosophy of history will grapple with issues of social explanation that have been so important for the current generation of social-science historians and will incorporate the best current understandings of the philosophy of social science about social ontology and explanation.

A handful of ontological assumptions can be offered.


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History consists of human actions within humanly embodied institutions and structures. There is no super-human agency in history. There is no super-human meaning or progress in history; there is only a series of events and processes driven by concrete causal processes and individual actions. Following Davidson and Taylor , there is no inconsistency between reasons and causes, understanding and explanation. Historical explanation depends on both causal-structural reasoning and interpretation of actions and intentions; so it is both causal and hermeneutic.

There are no causal laws or universal generalizations within human affairs. However, there is such a thing as social causation, proceeding through the workings of human agency and the constraints of institutions and structures. A legitimate historiographical goal is to identify causal mechanisms within historical processes, and these mechanisms invariably depend on the actions of historical actors situated within concrete social relations.

Likewise, a basic epistemology of historical knowledge can be described. Historical knowledge depends on ordinary procedures of empirical investigation, and the justification of historical claims depends on providing convincing demonstration of the empirical evidence that exists to support or invalidate the claim.

Of Synthetic Finance : Three Essays of Speculative Materialism

There is such a thing as historical objectivity, in the sense that historians are capable of engaging in good-faith interrogation of the evidence in constructing their theories of the past. But this should not be understood to imply that there is one uniquely true interpretation of historical processes and events.

Rather, there is a perfectly ordinary sense in which historical interpretations are underdetermined by the facts, and there are multiple legitimate historical questions to pose about the same body of evidence. Historical narratives have a substantial interpretive component, and involve substantial construction of the past. Finally, a new philosophy of history will be sensitive to the variety of forms of presentation of historical knowledge. The discipline of history consists of many threads, including causal explanation, material description, and narrative interpretation of human action.

Historical narrative itself has several aspects: a hermeneutic story that makes sense of a complicated set of actions by different actors, but also a causal story conveying a set of causal mechanisms that came together to bring about an outcome.

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But even more importantly, not all historical knowledge is expressed in narratives. Rather, there is a range of cognitive structures through which historical knowledge is expressed, from detailed measurement of historical standards of living, to causal arguments about population change, to comparative historical accounts of similar processes in different historical settings.

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A new philosophy of history will take the measure of synchronous historical writing; historical writing that conveys a changing set of economic or structural circumstances; writing that observes the changing characteristics of a set of institutions; writing that records and analyzes a changing set of beliefs and attitudes in a population; and many other varieties as well.

These are important features of the structure of historical knowledge, not simply aspects of the rhetoric of historical writing. History and its representation 1. Continental philosophy of history 2. Anglo-American philosophy of history 3. Historiography and the philosophy of history 5. Topics from the historians 6. History and its representation What are the intellectual tasks that define the historian's work? Continental philosophy of history The topic of history has been treated frequently in modern European philosophy. He describes this activity of re-enactment in the context of the historical problem of understanding Plato's meanings as a philosopher or Caesar's intentions as a ruler: This re-enactment is only accomplished, in the case of Plato and Caesar respectively, so far as the historian brings to bear on the problem all the powers of his own mind and all his knowledge of philosophy and politics.

It is not a passive surrender to the spell of another's mind; it is a labour of active and therefore critical thinking.


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Collingwood 2. Anglo-American philosophy of history The traditions of empiricism and Anglo-American philosophy have also devoted occasional attention to history. So global historiography has to do with a broadened definition of the arena of historical change to include Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas; a recognition of the complexity and sophistication of institutions and systems in many parts of the world; a recognition of the trans-national interrelatedness that has existed among continents for at least four centuries; and a recognition of the complexity and distinctiveness of different national traditions of historiography Dominic Sachsenmaier provides a significant recent discussion of some of these issues Sachsenmaier Topics from the historians There is another current of thinking about the philosophy of history that deserves more attention from philosophers than it has so far received.

Rethinking the philosophy of history It may be useful to close with a sketch of a possible framework for an updated philosophy of history. Bibliography Abbott, Andrew Delano, Anderson, Benedict R. Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism , London: Verso.