Collapse Volume IV, 333–365

Chapter

On the Horror of Phenomenology

Lovecraft and Husserl

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EXCERPT

In a dismissive review of a recent anthology on Schelling, Andrew Bowie accuses two authors of a style he ‘increasingly’ thinks of as ‘continental science fiction’. There is room for further increase in Bowie’s thinking. With his implication that science fiction belongs to the juvenile or the unhinged, Bowie enforces a sad limitation on mental experiment. For nothing resembles science fiction more than philosophy does—unless it be science itself. From its dawning in ancient Greece, philosophy has been the asylum of strange notions: a cosmic justice fusing opposites into a restored whole; a series of emanations from fixed stars to the moon to the prophets; divine intervention in the movement of human hands and legs; trees and diamonds with infinite parallel attributes, only two of them known; insular monads sparkling like mirrors and attached to tiny bodies built from chains of other monads; and the eternal recurrence of every least event. While the dismal consensus that such speculation belongs to the past is bolstered by the poor imagination of some philosophers, it finds no support among working scientists, who grow increasingly wild in their visions…