Some concepts that are usefully transformed by rigorous materialist auto-critique:
Speculative Onthothesis 1 – There is no such thing as ‘matter’
Empirical ‘objects’ have been misapprehended by centuries of essentialist folly. ‘Matter’ is a dynamic process that can be productively analyzed as insubstantial networks of relations, without reifying anything ‘solid’ behind the curtain of phenomena, or a ‘thing-in-itself’. These causal relations are broken and nonlinear, defined by chaos and contingency rather than order and harmony. If you wanna get dialectical, any process can be productively understood as constituted by immanent contradictions, internal and external.
Speculative Onthothesis 2 – There is no such thing as ‘nature’
Nature likewise is completely indifferent and alien. There is no harmony or balance or garden of eden to be found – nature is a war against itself, a cancer of overshooting monsters consuming each other in a mad thermodynamic frenzy. Any apparent teleology is a contingent emergence of meaningless chaotic activity. Insofar as we are materialists, all pre-scientific concepts of ‘nature’ are obsolete, and reifying them immediately involves a catastrophic fall back into pagan wisdom and idealism.
The consequences of nature-reification can be seen anywhere and everywhere, on any product that advertises itself as ‘natural’.
What, do you think it grew on the tree like that, with the label and stuff?
Nature reification is an integral part of fascism, and it’s used in all kinds of advertisement brainwashing. Dismantling this concept will make you less of a fascist, and immune to getting scammed by mystics and morons. ‘Naturalness’ as a master-signifier can and is used as justification for literally anything – anybody using ‘nature’ as synonymous with ‘good’ has yet to come to grips with the post-darwinian, disenchanted universe, and should never be respected or trusted. Discourses that are structured around this master-sig can be safely avoided without missing anything of any value whatsoever.
‘Nature’ wants to kill you, as painfully and brutally as possible. That’s kind of its thing. Likewise nature fetishizers. There’s nothing more ‘natural’ than death!
Speculative Ontotheses 3 – There is no such thing as ‘consciousness’
There is no ‘hard problem’ of consciousness to be solved. Consciousness is a dynamic emergent property of social relations. It is a process that happens between brains, not in them – we’re just conditioned by the (specifically capitalist) system of relations to all be the same kind of essentialist. ‘Consciousness’ – recursive awareness/intentionality – processually emerges from the web of signification’s interaction with a given network of neurons.
Without this ongoing interactive process we are feral. Our horizons of experience are always symbolically, which is to say historically, which is to say socially, which is to say politically mediated.
There are many existing practices that are rendered useless and obsolete by their adherence to essentialisms and idealisms in light of this ontothesis. Much of psychology, psychiatry and existing ‘mental health’ practices are simply primitive essentialist privatizations of ‘illnesses’ – phenomena that only occur in a social context.
If we continue on the trajectory pointed to by these materialist ontotheses, then we end up being able to ask this question:
why is there nothing rather than something?
This points to a reality that is pure simulation without a simulator. A hollow, broken, transparent play of appearances relating to other appearances, relations relating relations to relations – with nothing underneath or behind, and no totalizing ‘all’ or ‘whole’ holding any of it together.
All the traditional ontological dichotomies are rendered useless by this approach – body/mind, nature/culture, matter/mind, matter/energy – and instead of being reductive, we are able to approach each causal nexus (each only defined as such by our own methods of inquiry) as both interdependent and autonomous.
This process – one of critically interrogating and dismantling load-bearing concepts – this is how you reshape your own symbolic inscription.