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The Meillassoux Dictionary

Edited by Peter Gratton, Paul J. Ennis

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The first dictionary dedicated to Quentin Meillassoux and the controversies surrounding his thought

Perfect for philosophers just starting to read his work and for those looking to deepen their engagement, this dictionary defines all of the major terms of Meillassoux's work, prefaced by an introduction explaining his importance for the Continental philosophy scene.

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Introduction: From a Speculative Materialism to a Speculative Ethics
Entries A-Z
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Peter Gratton is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has published numerous articles in political, Continental, and intercultural philosophy and is the author of The State of Sovereignty: Lessons from the Political Fictions of Modernity (SUNY Press, 2012). Co-Editor of the influential interdisciplinary journal Society and Space (Environmental Planning D), executive board member of the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, and books editor of Derrida Today, Peter has also edited two works: Traversing the Imaginary (Northwestern University Press, 2007), co-edited with John Mannousakis, and Jean-Luc Nancy and Plural Thinking: Expositions of World, Politics, Art, and Sense (SUNY Press, 2012), co-edited with Marie-Eve Morin.

Paul J. Ennis is a writer based in Dublin. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at University College Dublin in 2011. He is the author of Continental Realism (Zero Books, 2011) and the founding editor of the journal Speculations: Journal of Speculative Realism.


This dictionary is less a pure reference work and more a critical introduction to the complex thought of Quentin Meillassoux. Gratton (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada) and Ennis (independent scholar) provide an excellent introduction, placing Meillassoux's philosophy within – but critically at odds with – the Continental tradition. The editors focus on his contributions to a 'speculative materialism' that can lead to a 'speculative ethics' (the focus of their introduction). The A–Z dictionary entries, written by noteworthy scholars in the specialty of speculative realism, are clear and concise, providing explanations of many of Meillassoux's most difficult terms, such as 'factiality' and 'arche-fossil,' as well as general concepts such as phenomenology or science. Each entry indicates where and how Meillassoux uses the term, frequently noting the critical responses to his usage by other scholars. Most entries fill at least a page, and many are as long as three pages, thereby providing substantial explanation of terms. There are also entries for influential figures in the philosopher's work, including Alain Badiou, Georg Cantor, Gilles Deleuze, and Immanuel Kant. The book serves as a worthwhile overview and analysis of Meillassoux, born in 1967 and already a rising figure in the field.

- J. Donohoe, University of West Georgia, Choice

The Meillassoux Dictionary is an extremely up-to-date book. It contains information that is relevant to modern day philosophy, in an easy-to-follow manner. With a contents listing, bibliography and a list of abbreviations, navigating through the dictionary is simple … I would recommend The Meillassoux Dictionary to anyone who has a strong foundation in Meillassoux and his philosophies, and wants to take it to the next level and continue learning more.

- Michelle Breckon, University Libraries, Kent State University, Ohio, Reference Reviews

The Meillassoux Dictionary is a timely introduction to, and contextualization of, the work of one of the most ground-breaking philosophers of our time. Precisely because it does not shrink from criticism, it provides a handy and to-the-point glossary of a whole series of concepts that will determine the shape of Continental philosophy to come.

- Sjoerd van Tuinen, Erasmus University Rotterdam

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