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Could one succumb to idealism?
In the past few decades, it is customary to say that the social and human sciences on both sides of the Atlantic are undergoing a “material turn”. The word “material” itself, which once indicated a dense physical reality, was understood broadly: physical objects today are physical objects, experiences and affects, effects of language and even knowledge itself. Any phenomenon habitually attributable to the area of the intangible — be it cultural memory or psychological violence — is proposed to be discovered today in its materiality. Matter, which seemingly "disappeared", materializes anew. In place of linguistic interpretations of matter come new ideas consistent with modern physics and the standard model. Philosophers talk about the power of objects, the theory of human affects, the feminist interpretation of gender difference, or the comparison of non-determinism in quantum mechanics with the destruction of identity in queer theory.
So what is the relationship between matter and nature? What distinguishes matter - resistance or flexibility, resistance or the ability to flow and change? How does the matter of physicists differ from the matter of historical materialists? What is modern materialistic philosophy? What role in the reanimation of materialistic philosophy was played by speculative realism and other philosophical trends? What is being a materialist today, and what consequences does this position have for research work, contemporary art, and political activism? During the round table, Marina Simakova will turn to politicized discussions about the materialism of the early 20th century, Alla Mitrofanova will consider materialism in the context of modern feminist theory, and Lina Medvedeva will reveal Quentin Meias, a materialistic pathos of the philosophical project.
Independent researcher, translator of Quentin Meyasu's book “After a Limb”
Independent researcher, member of the Cyberfeminist International
Socio-political researcher, employee of the Faculty of Sociology and Philosophy, European University at St. Petersburg