Jonathan Basile deposited Other Matters: Karen Barad’s Two Materialisms and the Science of Undecidability in the group TC Science and Literature on MLA Commons 2 weeks, 2 days ago
Karen Barad’s Meeting the Universe Halfway relies on mutually incompatible grounding gestures, one of which describes the relationality of an always already material-discursive reality, while the other seeks to ground this relation one-sidedly in matter. These two materialisms derive from the gesture she borrows from the New Materialist (and other related) fields, which posits her work as an advance over the history of “representationalism” and “social constructivism.” In turn, this one-sided materialism produces a skewed reading of the quantum mechanical phenomena with which she engages. Her attempt to create an ontological (not epistemological) interpretation of quantum mechanics proves deconstructible. Instead, a science of undecidability or science of quant à helps us to understand debates among scientists and philosophers over the completeness or incompleteness of quantum mechanics and its epistemological or ontological status – by demonstrating that these questions will necessarily remain unresolved.