Reza Negarestani

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Reza Negarestani
EraContemporary philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolContinental philosophy
Speculative realism[1] (early)
Modern Platonism
InstitutionsBoard member of The New Centre for Research & Practice[2]
Main interests
Philosophy of science, philosophy of mind
Notable ideas
'Theory-fiction', 'Philosophy of Intelligence'

Reza Negarestani (born 1977) is an Iranian philosopher and writer, known for "pioneering the genre of 'theory-fiction' with his book" Cyclonopedia[3] which was published in 2008. It was listed in Artforum as one of the best books of 2009.[4] Negarestani directs the critical philosophy programme at The New Centre for Research & Practice.[5]

Philosophical work[edit]

Negarestani has been a regular contributor to Collapse, as well as other print and web publications such as Ctheory.[6] On March 11, 2011, faculty from Brooklyn College and The New School organized a symposium to discuss Cyclonopedia titled Leper Creativity.[7] Later on in the year, Punctum books published a book with the same title that included essays, articles, artworks, and documents from or related to the symposium.[8] In 2011, he co-edited Collapse's issue VII with Robin Mackay titled "Culinary Materialism".[9] In 2012, Negarestani collaborated with Florian Hecker on an artwork titled "Chimerization" that was included in the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition.[10] He has since written librettos for a series of full-length albums based on Hecker's concept of 'chimerization'.

After being associated with the philosophical movement of speculative realism for several years, Negarestani has since lectured and written about rationalist universalism beginning with the evolution of the modern system of knowledge and advancing toward contemporary philosophies of rationalism, their procedures as well as their demands for special forms of human conduct.[citation needed]

After going through different philosophical phases starting with Nick Land and subsequently speculative realism,[11] Negarestani turned to rationalist inhumanism, according to which the concept of the human is under-explored and is a matter of theoretical and practical investigation, the results of which will lead to a thoroughgoing new conception of the human that stands in opposition to classical versions of humanism and human essentialism.[12] Research paradigms such as artificial general intelligence and neuroscience, according to Negarestani, provide insights as how the concept of the human is underdeveloped and must be understood as a subject of critical construction. Accordingly, Negarestani's philosophical project deals with what he calls a philosophy of intelligence as in contrast to the philosophy of mind. For Negarestani, the philosophy of intelligence goes beyond the philosophy of mind insofar as the concept of intelligence is beholden to a system of socially constituted thoughts and practices through which the intelligible is recognized.[13][14] However, for Negarestani the term intelligence remains a philosophically vague concept, an explicandum. With a nod to Rudolf Carnap's project of explication, Negarestani instead proposes a conceptual engineering whereby the concept of intelligence is progressively replaced by its explicata, or refined concepts which methodically address different issues with regard to the question of "what is intelligence".[15] For Negarestani, such issues span ontological, epistemological, methodological, technical and axiological concerns. Negarestani's emphasis on the necessary link between what we mean by intelligence and what it takes to render the world intelligible borrows elements from transcendental philosophy, German idealism and systematic skepticism.[citation needed]

Negarestani's blog, Toy Philosophy, "focus[es] on various threads—some still loose and some already converged—of [his] philosophical research".[16]



  • Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Re.Press, 2008)
  • (edited with Robin Mackay) Collapse Volume VII: Culinary Materialism (Urbanomic, 2012)
  • Negarestani, Reza (2014). Torture Concrete: Jean-Luc Moulène and the Protocol of Abstraction. London: Sequence Press. ISBN 978-0-9832169-7-1.
  • Negarestani, Reza (2018). Intelligence and Spirit. London: Urbanomic & Sequence Press. ISBN 978-0-9975674-0-3.
  • Negarestani, Reza; Mackay, Robin; Tilford, Keith (2021). Chronosis. London: Urbanomic. ISBN 978-1-913029-54-8.
  • Negarestani, Reza (2023). Abducting the Outside: Collected Writings 2003–2018. London: Urbanomic & Sequence Press. ISBN 978-0-9975674-8-9.


  1. ^ Bryant, Levi; Harman, Graham; Srnicek, Nick (2011). The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Melbourne, Australia: p. 182. ISBN 978-0-9806683-4-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "List of Board Members". Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  3. ^ "Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials |". Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  4. ^ "Cyclonopedia – Artforum International: Best of 2009 |". 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  7. ^ "Leper Creativity: Cyclonopedia Symposium : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  8. ^ "Leper Creativity: Cyclonopedia Symposium". punctum books. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  9. ^ "Collapse Vol. VII: Culinary Materialism". Urbanomic. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  10. ^ "dOCUMENTA (13) - dOCUMENTA (13)".
  11. ^ "The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism" (PDF). 2011. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  12. ^ "The Labor of the Inhuman, Part II: The Inhuman".
  13. ^ "Engineering the World, Crafting the Mind | NERO". NERO Editions.
  14. ^ "30. Restoration and Resistance (2019) | Pli".
  15. ^ "Reengineering Philosophy". Urbanomic.
  16. ^ "Returning to the Age of Blogging". 2018-01-24. Retrieved 2018-04-02.

External links[edit]