Nettes Interview mit Eugene Thacker, dessen Horror of Philosophy hier auf meinem Bücherstapel rumliegt. Der Mann beschäftigt sich mit den Parallelen von Philosophie und dem Horror-Genre, die sich beide mit den Grenzen der menschlichen Erfahrung beschäftigen und diese Grenzen gezielt durchbrechen. Wo die Philosophie die Unknown Unknowns mit Gedankenexperimenten erforscht, hat das Horror-Genre Lovecrafts unsagbares Grauen und die interstellaren Wesenheiten des Cthulhu-Mythos. Es geht um Klimawandel, Filmgenres, „Post/Slow-Horror“, Lovecraft und Kant. Buch wie Interview sind sehr empfehlenswert.
When René Descartes, sitting in his armchair in Leiden in 1641, invites his readers to meditate alongside him, you get the sense he could do with the company. The Meditations are considered the founding text of philosophical rationalism, but on a psychological reading of the “radical doubt” that follows, the primary motor of Descartes’ project is paranoia. The cloaked men in the yard might be robots, his senses deceptive, and, most famously, everything a dream from which he is only just awakening. All of which culminates in a thought experiment. Descartes asks himself whether it’s possible that he’s being deceived by an evil demon – a character he lifts from theology, but which we’d now tend to associate with the horror genre.
Modern philosophy is born in an encounter with horror. The point of Descartes’ demon isn’t to pose a tricky brain teaser – it’s that thought quickly runs up against its own limits, and that the experience is somehow monstrous.
In his Horror of Philosophy trilogy, the philosopher and media theorist Eugene Thacker explores not only this horrifying nature of philosophy, but also the philosophical nature of horror. Thacker thinks that, if read the right way, Gothic tales and Grindhouse hits aren’t only scary – they can help us question the limits of human knowledge, experience, and selfhood. Take the first lines of a famous H. P. Lovecraft story: “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” For Thacker, The Call of Cthulhu (1928), no less than Kant’s Critique (1781), is a meditation on human finitude.