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Eckardt Lindner: Inorganic Life

Eckardt Lindner

Inorganic Life
On Post-Vitalism

Softcover, 550 pages

PDF, 550 pages

A theory of passive vitalism

Contemporary theory has pushed the boundaries of the concept of the living, urging us to consider a vitality that manifests beyond the human, animal or even the organic altogether. Recognizing the vast variety of modes of existence and vibrancy entails—such is the claim—a new ethics and politics. The philosopher Eckardt Lindner intervenes in this discussion. He claims that we have not yet properly understood how and to what effect we can break the organo-centrism of philosophy, and have neglected to consider the inner contradictions of such novel amalgams of vitalism and materialism.

As an unlikely ally in his critical project, he investigates the inner tension in Deleuze’s works between an overtly vitalist stance and critiques of classical forms of vitalism, bordering on a novel anti-vitalism. Against active forms of vitalism, interested in more immersion in the world, interconnectedness and ever more efficacious praxis, one can find in Deleuze a passive vitalism. This subterranean thought in the philosophy of immanence highlights the capacity of life to disorient itself, to be out of line with itself, to detach itself from purposeful action and its own inner goals; evental instead of acting.

Lindner explores this passive vitalism by drawing together thinkers such as Deleuze, Cioran, Laruelle, Kant and Derrida. Suspicious of the moralistic and enthusiastic tendency of new materialisms, this vitalism would be inherently critical—even of its own commitments to liveliness—and thus gestures to a new politics and ethics of life.

  • new materialism
  • vitalism
  • life
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • life sciences

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Eckardt Lindner

Eckardt Lindner

Eckardt Lindner lives and works as a philosopher in Berlin. 
He taught philosophy and political theory at the University of Vienna. Currently he is working on corporeal passivity, contemporary vitalism and anti-vitalism, and the ethics and politics of exhaustion