Translating Realism: The Nature and Emergence of Contemporary French Thought

An Interdisciplinary Conference


In the last decade, the cutting edge of French thought appears to have changed radically. Questions of metaphysics, of realism, science, and objectivity, of the end of critique, which might have been proscribed a generation ago, seem to take pride of place. This conference is in part, then, a contribution to a history of the present. Our aim is to provide a genealogy, an account of the present moment in French thought, broadly speaking. We intend to improve our understanding of both the material agents and theoretical conjuncture that have jointly made the present moment in French thought possible. However, we also intend to make an intervention in present debates, responding to current dilemmas and puzzles. We would like to gain a firm grasp on the conceptual issues at stake, and start charting both dead ends and new ways forward. If the dream of much 21st century French thought is to burst existing constraints, in ways both accountable to and transformative of the very real networks in which it finds itself, we would like to start tracing the most promising fault-lines.


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