Atheist Temporality: The Generic Force of Atheist Time?
This talk attempts to present a summary of a wider research project on the notion of atheist temporality. In that I paper I will attempt to forge a new understanding of what a contemporary and practical atheism might look. Rejecting the progressive notions of linear temporality, and the historical destiny of scientific materialism, I will argue that we need a revised understanding of temporal and social agency. This will involve a retrieval and engagement with of some of the key insights of Nietzsche, Derrida, Heidegger and Bergson. Beginning with taxonomy of the various types of atheism that I am deviating from, I will then proceed to argue that the condition of identities, ethical agency, and human liberation and political subjectivity relies on a discursive notion of temporality. Such a discursive notion of temporality will depend on re-casting our understanding of chronological time towards ecstatic time, everyday temporality towards authentic and engaged temporality, mechanistic temporality towards embodied temporality, a discourse on life towards a discourse on shared mortality and finitude, and the ethical and political in terms of common temporalities and generic solidarity. This paper will thus attempt to provide in sum, an existential atheistic account of atheist temporality, which will argue for a more radical sense of time, with a view to providing the key ethical and political coordinates which combat ethical and political sectionalisation and marginalization.
Patrick is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Nottingham Trent University. His teaching interests are 20th Century European Philosophy, 20th Century French Philosophy, Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion. His research interests are mainly European Philosophy, Phenomenology, 20th Century French Philosophy and the Philosophy of Education. He has written on Derrida, Agamben, Husserl, Badiou and Lucretius. He has published in the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, Journal of Cultural Research, Southern Journal of Philosophy and Irish Studies Review. On the relationship between Philosophy and Education he has published in Discourse: Learning and Teaching in Philosophical and Religious Studies as well as contributing to the edited collection Writing in the Disciplines: Building Supportive Academic Cultures for Student Writing. His book Derrida: Profanations was released in 2010 with Continuum Press. In 2012 he co-edited a Special Edition of the Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology on Foucault and the relation between power, pleasure and politics.
from our workshop on Power, Time and Agency held in Manchester, January 2013