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Life and Actuality

On Placing Possibility in Hegel's Modal Metaphysics


  • Ekin Erkan


Hegel, Kant, Science of Logic, Actuality, Possibility, Modal Metaphysics, Modal Logic


This paper looks at dialectical inferences as they relate to Hegel’s modal metaphysics, closely examining the Actuality section of Hegel’s Science of Logic and positing a reading of Hegel’s modal actualism that engages with two strains of secondary commentary. Responding to commentators, we make the case that Hegel’s ‘das Logische’ avoids presupposing possibility’s being prior to actuality insofar as actuality and the derivation of possibility is considered as the in-itselfness of actuality, an implicit inner moment whereby actuality further determines itself. Actuality is immediate yet derived as an identity from the logic of inner and outer. If actuality as immediacy is explicit/outer, then its opposition, its implicitness/innerness, has to be possibility in the logic of modality. In order to conceive of actuality as existence, and particularly as an emerging process, we must already conceive the problem of presupposing an alien form within the logic of actuality.

Author Biography

Ekin Erkan

Ekin Erkan is a Turkish writer in science, technology and philosophy living in New York City, notable for researching with and developing Reza Negarestani's research on artificial general intelligence. Erkan's work originally concerned Bernard Stiegler's work on psychopolitics as well as secondary literature on François Laruelle's non-standard philosophy but has more recently (given their analytic return) been working on Catarina Dutilh Novaes' concept of de-semantification and Robert Brandom's inferentialism. Background Erkan's work examines the collective closure between neural networks, predictive processing, and perceptual faculties as they relate to machine intelligence and algorithmic governmentality. Erkan has a background in both analytic and continental philosophy, supplemented by graduate research in medialogy, media archaeology and film philosophy. Despite originally working within the continental tradition of philosophy of art, aesthetics and media, Erkan's more recent work has been associated with the post-continental school of thinkers, influenced by philosophers such as Carl Sachs, Ray Brassier, Reza Negarestani and Thomas Moynihan. Erkan is currently pursuing post-graduate study in Critical Philosophy at The New Centre for Research & Practice, researching under the tutelage of Iranian theory fiction pioneer Reza Negarestani while working on Bayesian neuro-inference and AGI. Erkan also is a columnist and critic at the art and literature journal AEQAI, publishing monthly contributions on contemporary art and intermedia. In addition to Erkan's work on Stiegler and Rouvroy, Erkan has published writing on Andy Clark and David Chalmers' ''extended mind'', Ned Block's ''non-iconic memory'' and ''phenomenology of perception and mental paint'', François Laruelle's ''non-ethics'' and ''non-aesthetics'', Robert Brandom's inferentialism, Negarestani's neo-rationalist turn, Catherine Malabou's "neuroplasticity" and "creative non-calculation," and post-Deleuzian film philosophy in publications including Radical Philosophy, Theory & Event, Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Cosmos & History, Alphaville, Cultural Studies, New Review of Film and Television Studies, Chiasma, Rhizomes, Labyrinth, Cultural Logic: A Journal of Marxist Theory & Practice, Media Theory, Philosophy East and West, and The Cincinnati Romance Review.


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How to Cite

Erkan, E. (2021). Life and Actuality: On Placing Possibility in Hegel’s Modal Metaphysics. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 17(3), 171–195. Retrieved from