Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects now out in the US

This happened more than a week ago, but I just noticed it: Amazon.com: Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects now has the book for sale in the US. For those who can’t stand the very phrase “speculative realism” the book is as much about the Continental turn to realism (Paul Ennis’s phrase) and the new materialisms, and I’m quite delighted (and thankful) for the endorsements, which are not from anyone easily labeled “SR.”

In casual but compelling prose, Gratton’s book brings Speculative Realism into dialogue with various other parts of contemporary philosophy and challenges central aspects of this incipient movement, which includes thinkers like Meillassoux, Brassier and Harman. Both for contextualising Speculative Realism and revealing its temporal fault-lines, Gratton’s book is a must read. Jack Reynolds Associate Professor of Philosophy, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Legal Studies, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

Whatever one thinks of the philosophical merits of speculative realism, there can be no doubt that Peter Gratton’s new book provides an admirably clear and comprehensive guide to its main thinkers and ideas. No mere summary or introduction, Gratton’s book also engages with its subject matter in a genuinely critical and creative fashion, offering its own take on the underlying problems at issue and an intriguing assessment of the prospects for speculative realism and the challenges it must face. For those who want to know more about this philosophical ‘movement’ , there can be no better place to begin. Jeff Malpas, Distinguished Professor at University of Tasmania, Australia.

Speculative Realism: Problems and Prospects has provided the first comprehensive introduction to the lively and fascinating world of speculative realism. Gratton expertly covers a vast swathe of contemporary thinkers in a way that will appeal to newcomers and experts alike. It is certain to shape debates in speculative realism for many years to come. Paul J. Ennis, Founding Editor of ‘Speculations: Journal of Speculative Realism’.

Peter Gratton provides an easily accessible and comprehensive critical overview of the work of several of the philosophers associated with the new “speculative realist” movement. This is the book to read for anyone who wants to understand the merits and also possible pitfalls of this new “direction” in continental philosophy. Paul Livingston, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, USA.

Gratton’s book makes its appearance at just the right time to jolt a largely comatose philosophical establishment into noticing what’s going on amongst the brightest graduate students and (mostly) junior faculty. Just five years into the debate surrounding Speculative Realism, he has managed to place it in a wide philosophical context and cultural-historical perspective. Moreover, he is independent-minded and sharply critical wherever there is a danger of this emergent fashion becoming just that, or turning its back on thinkers and resources from outside its own brief history to date. Altogether a very welcome book that deserves a large readership. Christopher Norris, Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy, University of Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Peter Gratton’s Speculative Realism is destined to become the authoritative guide to recent turns in Continental philosophy toward realisms, materialisms, and naturalisms. With insight and wit, Gratton offers readers a lively, entertaining, and lucid tour of these contemporary philosophical landscapes; he adeptly situates them in relation both to the history of European philosophy as well as to Anglo-American Analytic figures and orientations. What is more, Gratton herein adds his own extremely important critical interventions to the discussions and debates surrounding speculative realism and related movements, convincingly demonstrating how and why these currents must eventually get to grips with the tricky topic of time in particular. Gratton’s work is an invaluable contribution to the understanding and unfolding of early-twenty-first-century Continental philosophy. Adrian Johnston, Professor of Philosophy, University of New Mexico, USA

Here’s the TOC



  1. It is funny that Amazon.com says that your book is now available because I received my copy (along with Steven Shavio’s “The Universe of Things”) on October 2 from Amazon.ca.

    I really like your introduction and hope the rest of the book’s tone is the same.

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