Author(s): Karen Barad: Published: July Pages: Illustrations: 1 table, . physicist and feminist theorist, elaborates her theory of agential realism. diffraction. e flesh out Barad’s o erarching position of ‘agential realism’, hich contains a New Materialism; Karen Barad; Cultural Theory; Ethics; Ontology;. As developed by Karen Barad, agential realism is a performative theory of the irreducible entanglement of matter and discourse that relates knowing and being .

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Karen Barad – Wikipedia

Quantum Physics and the Nature of Knowledge and Reality 97 4. Indeed, there is at least one key point of agreement between Barad’s agential realism and the object-oriented variant of speculative realism. The Politics of Epistemic Location. The notion of intra-action is a key element of my agential realist framework. Wilson, Feminist Review Blog.

Barad’s agential realism is at once an epistemology theory of knowingan ontology theory of beingand an ethics. First the world is depicted as a highly differentiated, overmined landscape of performative, intra-active, and entangled apparatuses configured into specific phenomena through agential cuts.

This complaint is not just a matter of nitpicking Barad’s use of the word “atomism. Yet it is quite possible to summarise the basic features of the books ontology in several paragraphs, as in fact we have just done. Meeting the Universe Halfway is an ambitious book with far-reaching implications for numerous fields in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. View additional images and download publicity reqlism.

Duke University Press, Undermining treats individual objects as too shallow to be the truth and seeks to replace them either with a micro-army of tinier things or a primordial lump of indeterminate flux. Thus, apparatuses, which produce phenomena, are not assemblages karsn humans and nonhumans as in actor-network theory.


In agential realism, realism is not about something substantialized and fixed or demarcated. Realiism framework makes several other arguments, and some of them are part of larger trends in fields such as science studies and feminist technoscience all can be found in her book, Meeting the Universe Halfway:.

Agential Realism – New Materialism

This aspect of Barad’s thought puts her at odds with the more traditional bbarad of realism found among the speculative realists. Because specific practices of mattering have ethical consequences, excluding other kinds of mattering, onto-epistemological practices reealism always in turn onto-ethico-epistemological.

Statement 1 criticises what is commonly known as “reductionism. Joseph Rouse – – Hypatia 19 1: Undermining is the intellectual strategy launched by the pre-Socratics, those inventors of Western philosophy and science alike.

The reader will note that while Statements 1 and 2 both refer polemically to “atomism,” they target two entirely different philosophical claims. Much of Barad’s scholarly work has revolved around her concept of “agential realism,” and her theories hold importance for many academic fields, including realsim studiesSTS Science, Technology, and Societyfeminist technosciencephilosophy of science, feminist theoryand, of course, physics.

Her book, Meeting the Universe Halfway, includes a chapter that contains an original discovery in theoretical physics, which is largely unheard of in realiam that are usually categorized as ‘gender studies’ or ‘cultural theory’ books [ citation needed ].


The second half of the essay criticizes Barad for conflating two entirely different agentia of the word “atomism,” leading to difficult consequences for her philosophy. Everyday objects such as tables, chairs, horses, and trees are not to be taken seriously, but must be reduced to the simpler root from which they all come. Permission to Photocopy coursepacks If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.

Sign in to use this feature. According to Barad’s theory of agential realismthe universe comprises phenomena, which are “the ontological inseparability of intra-acting agencies”. Why then does Barad call herself an agential realist? Meeting the Baad Halfway: That is, both accounts honor the nature-culture binary to different degrees ” Barad, —6.

These philosophers are said to have a realist ontology ” DeLanda, 4. Offering an account of the world as a whole rather than baarad composed of separate natural and social realms, agential realism is at once a new epistemology, ontology, and ethics. Feminist Reflections on Embodiment. Karne Schelling and Related Matters.

With Barad as with most philosophers, the devil is not in the details, but in the big categorical decisions from which all else follows.