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Author(s): Karen Barad: Published: July Pages: Illustrations: 1 table, . physicist and feminist theorist, elaborates her theory of agential realism. diffraction. e flesh out Barad’s o erarching position of ‘agential realism’, hich contains a New Materialism; Karen Barad; Cultural Theory; Ethics; Ontology;. As developed by Karen Barad, agential realism is a performative theory of the irreducible entanglement of matter and discourse that relates knowing and being .

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Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge

Statement 1 criticises what is commonly known as “reductionism. In what remains of this essay, let us look at some of the key features of Barad’s relational ontology a.

Journal article Plauborg, H. In agential realism, realism is not about something substantialized and fixed or demarcated.

Karen Barad

As for the phenomena, they “are forever agsntial reenfolded and reformed” What we think of as physical matter is really just “a congealing of agency” Rather, they are the condition of possibility of ‘humans’ and ‘non-humans’, not merely as ideational concepts, but in their materiality.

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Spacetime Re con figurings: This approach lives on today in the more sophisticated quest of subatomic physics, and in certain recent philosophers who prefer the flux of the pre-individual to the determinate outlines of individual things Gilbert Simondon is a fine example.

Karen Barad – – Derrida Today 3 2: The individuality of specific people and things does not pre-exist their intra-action, but is carved out of “the inherent ontological and semantic indeterminacy” to yield an exteriority within phenomena rather than outside them. From the Publisher via CrossRef no proxy pdcnet.

Meeting the Universe Halfway | Duke University Press

Lest this sound like too extreme a portrayal of her position, the reader is reminded of this passage: From Realism to Interpretation. By indicating that individual humans do not pre-exist the practices through which they are co-constituted by the rest of the world, this ontology also suggests the poverty of classic political liberalismwith its possible Thatcherite consequence that “society does not exist” and that only individual human voters aagential consumers are real.


Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of realiwm or title of book 3. Moreover, I attempt to assert this in a way that is mindful of how her theory speaks to and accounts for my doing so.

A similar mistake is made, we are told, by Butler and Michel Foucault, whose other admirers rarely challenge them as forcefully as Barad does: Barad’s professional competence in physics allows her to swim in waters where others in the humanities might agentiwl dare to wade—noteworthy here is her well-developed case for Niels Bohr as a key figure in twentieth century philosophy and not just physics.

It deserves wide analysis and discussion. My intent here is to argue that it merits the serious attention of historians, philosophers, sociologists of science, and science studies and Agentiial scholars.

Grant, Bruno, and Radical Philosophy.

Agential Realism – New Materialism

As Barad sees it, quantum theory when suitably adjusted to remove a few of Bohr’s lingering classical prejudices leads directly to the dynamic relational ontology of performatively intra-active phenomena that is her philosophical creed. It is unlikely that Barad would object to the term “relationism,” since it makes an excellent raelism with how she describes her own position.

The world is not a static system of relations, but an active “doing” that first establishes boundaries between apparently discrete things Permission to Photocopy coursepacks If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright. In this book, Barad also argues that ‘agential realism,’ is useful to the analysis of literature, social inequalities, and many other things.

Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy This is not the case for the “agential realism” of Karen Barad, one of whose features is the view that entities emerge from their interactions rather than pre-existing them.

For this reason, it would ultimately be unfair to call Barad a “correlationist,” though quite fair to call her a “relationist” in the same sense that this term applies to both Alfred North Whitehead and Bruno Latour see Harman Networks. Meeting the universe halfway: Barad’s framework makes several other arguments, and some of them are part of larger trends in fields such as science studies and feminist technoscience all can be found in her book, Meeting the Universe Halfway:.


Intra-actiona neologism introduced by Barad, signals an important challenge to individualist metaphysics. The Politics of Epistemic Location.

Feminist and post-colonial epistemologists, philosophers of science, and thinkers more generally may find themselves in a distinct form of difficult situation regarding their access to and authority over knowledge within the academic world. Yet this sort of autonomous status of the world is precisely not what Barad defends, as indicated by the subtitle of her book: Meeting the Universe Halfway is a rich and complicated work, one of the most sophisticated to appear in its decade.

Karen Barad is a physicist who works with philosophy and feminist theory. I doubt that Barad overstates the case, since if one were to accept her ontology, there would indeed be significant consequences in all of these areas. Page numbers if excerpting, provide specifics For coursepacks, please also note: In this book Karen Barad puts her expertise in feminist studies and quantum physics to superb use, offering agential realism as an important alternative to representationalism.

Whereas “atomism” normally means just what Statement 1 says it means, Barad now uses a terminological sleight of hand to suggest that the belief in any individuals at all is itself a form of atomistic reductionism.

It is also the opposite of the sense employed by present-day speculative realism, which is opposed agenntial all to the constant correlation cf. Quantum Physics and the Nature of Knowledge and Reality 97 4.