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Eckardt Lindner: Inorganic Life

Eckardt Lindner

Inorganic Life
On Post-Vitalism

Softcover, 600 pages

Date of publication: 01.10.2024

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.

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

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Eckardt Lindner

Eckardt Lindner is a philosopher based in Berlin. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Vienna, for which he was awarded the “Award of Excellence,” and taught philosophy in the Institute for Philosophy at the University of Vienna and at Webster Vienna Private University. His work is situated between poststructuralism and critical theory, centering around contemporary forms of vitalism and anti-vitalism, materialist thought, and corporeal passivity, as well as the ethics and politics of aberrant expressions of life such as exhaustion, insomnia and apathy.