The Paradox of the Arche-fossil

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F.A. Muller


In his influential After Finitude. An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency (2008), Quentin Meillassoux argues that *Correlationism* (an umbrella-term encompassing most varieties of Idealism) gives rise to an irresolvable paradox, called "the Paradox of the Arche-fossil", which is essentially a clash between philosophical principles and scientific findings. This irresolvable paradox of Correlationism then paves the way for the "Speculative Turn" and the ensuing rise of burgeoning "speculative realism" in Continental Philosophy: noumenal reality, as-it-is-in-and-of-itself, "the Great Outdoors", is back on the Continental stage, open for speculative thought and even metaphysical knowledge. We attempt to provide a thorough and charitable analysis of the Paradox of the Arche-fossil. Our analyses lead us to conclude that Meillassoux's argument fails, due to an ambiguity with regard to the concept of being that cannot be repaired. We end by directing attention to another ominous threat to Correlationism, ignored by Meillassoux and all "speculative realists" alike, which is still breathing.

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How to Cite
Muller, F. (2022). The Paradox of the Arche-fossil. Dialectica, 999(1).