The Bloch Series #5: Cat Moir on Bloch’s Materialism & Language

Nyx, a noctournal

Bloch Tübingen seminarThe Marxist-utopian philosopher Ernst Bloch is largely anonymous in Britain. The Bloch Series: sojourns with an heretic.


Nyx: The relation between Bloch’s utopian, speculative materialism and his experimental prose-style remains obscure. Many commentators note this style’s open, dialectical, incomplete syntax, but they usually fail to relate these topoi to the tenets of utopian, speculative materialism. Perhaps you could start then by discussing the contours of this relation?

CM: This is a very important question. Bloch’s language is absolutely key to grasping his utopianism – and more precisely, to grasping it as a form of political ontology. Let’s start by considering the systematic role language (implicitly) plays in Bloch’s thought. At a substantive level, Bloch’s ontology describes the world as an experimental process of material self-creation. Bloch wants to affirm the existence of material (i.e. extra-logical or extra-conceptual) reality: after all, we experience ourselves as bodies subject to natural laws…

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