9780816692040: Hardback
Release Date: 15th February 2016

9780816692057: Paperback
Release Date: 15th February 2016


Dimensions: 140 x 216

Number of Pages: 336

Series Posthumanities

University of Minnesota Press


Translated by
Alyosha Ruyer
Written by
Raymond Ruyer
Hardback / £73.00
Paperback / £21.99

Although little known today, Raymond Ruyer was a post–World War II French philosopher whose works and ideas were significant influences on major thinkers, including Deleuze, Guattari, and Simondon. With the publication of this translation of Neofinalism, considered by many to be Ruyer’s magnum opus, English-language readers can see at last how this seminal mind allied philosophy with science.

Unfazed by the idea of philosophy ending where science began, Ruyer elaborated a singular, nearly unclassifiable metaphysics and reactivated philosophy’s capacity to reflect on its canonical questions: What exists? How are we to account for life? What is the status of subjectivity? And how is freedom possible? Ha

Neofinalism offers a systematic and lucidly argued treatise that deploys the innovative concepts of self-survey, form, and absolute surface to shape a theory of the virtual and the transspatial. It also makes a compelling plea for a renewed appreciation of the creative activity that organizes spatiotemporal structures and makes possible the emergence of real beings in a dynamic universe.

Introduction: Form and Phenomenon in Raymond Ruyer's Philosophy
Mark B. N. Hansen
1. The Axiological Cogito
2. Description of Finalist Activity
3. Finalist Activity and Organic Life
4. The Contradictions of Biological Antifinalism
5. Finalist Activity and the Nervous System
6. The Brain and the Embryo
7. Signification of Equipotentiality
8. The Reciprocal Illusion of Incarnation and “Material” Existence
9. “Absolute Surfaces” and Absolute Domains of Survey
10. Absolute Domains and Bonds
11. Absolute Domains and Finality
12. The Region of the Transspatial and the Transindividual
13. The Levels of the Transspatial and Finalist Activity
14. The Beings of the Physical World and the Fibrous Structure of the Universe
15. The Neo-Materialist Theories
16. Neo-Darwinism and Natural Selection
17. Neo-Darwinism and Genetics
18. Organicism and the Dynamism of Finality
19. Psycho-Lamarckism
20. Theology of Finality
Translator's Afterword: The Ends of Thought
Alyosha Edlebi

Raymond Ruyer (1902–1987) was a professor of philosophy at the Université de Nancy. He was the author of over twenty books in French, including Elements of Psychobiology, The Genesis of Living Forms, and Cybernetics and the Origin of Information.

Alyosha Edlebi is the translator of Theory of Identities by François Laruelle and Science Fiction and Extro-Science Fiction by Quentin Meillassoux

Mark B. N. Hansen is professor of literature at Duke University. 

"Raymond Ruyer's work is remarkably prescient and provocative, providing a profound philosophy of life and evolution that deserves to be re-read today alongside contemporary vitalisms and new materialisms.  This is a significant text in the history and philosophy of science, skillfully translated by Alyosha Edlebi."—Claire Colebrook, Pennsylvania State University

"Raymond Ruyer is a rare, unsung genius, equally at home in the biological, physical, and technical sciences as he is in philosophy and the humanities. Neofinalism is one of those books that change the way we think. He draws our attention to the fact that matter and life are not just random collections but are matter directed by an ideal, a memory that informs all primary forms, all forms of consciousness. More than any other thinker, he opens up the concept of consciousness to all its inhuman ingredients and orientations."—Elizabeth Grosz, Duke University