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Being Without Thought: The Unconscious and the Critique of Correlationism


DRAFT – Not to be cited or distributed without permission from the author.
Michael Austin

“It is precisely in this respect that anyone capable of glimpsing the


changes we have lived through in our own lives can see that
Freudianism, however misunderstood it has been and however
nebulous its consequences have been constitutes an intangible but
radical revolution. There is no need to go seeking witnesses to the fact:
everything that concerns not just the human sciences, but the destiny of
man, politics, metaphysics, literature, the arts, advertising, propaganda
– and this, no doubt, economics – has been affected by it.”1

The above quote, taken from Jacques Lacan's “The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious” is

perhaps the best way to understand the contemporary metaphysics of Alain Badiou and Quentin

Meillassoux, metaphysics that have been influenced not only by the history of philosophy, but also by

the work done in psychoanalysis by Freud as well as Lacan. The purpose of this paper is to explore the

grounds for Meillassoux's critique of “correlationism,” defined loosely as the historical trend of post-

Kantian philosophers to correlate 'thought' and 'being,' and thus Subject and World. In short, since

Kant, thinkers have largely claimed a mutual dependence between these concepts, that there is no

Subject without World, and more importantly, no World without Subject, no being without thought.

Meillassoux claims that this correlationist trend dominates Western philosophy and is fundamentally

anti-realist, and proposes his critique as a way of returning to the great outdoors.

In the first section of this essay it will be shown that the critique of correlationism has arisen out

of a particular reading of Descartes by Jacques Lacan, and influenced by Sigmund Freud. It will be

argued that this reading of the cogito reaches its metaphysical apex in the thought of Alain Badiou and

grounds the work of his student, Quentin Meillassoux. We will then examine the critique of

correlationism itself in the second section, distinguishing, as Meillassoux does, between “weak” and

1 Jacques Lacan, “The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious,” in Écrits, trans. Bruce Fink, (New York: W.W. Norton
and Company), 527. All page numbers from Écrits refer to the French pagination.
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“strong” correlationism. Finally, it will be shown in the third section that while certainly many thinkers

do fall into these two categories of correlationism, there is a certain school of thought associated with

the concept of the unconscious which, as the historical groundwork for the critique itself by way of its

influence on Lacan, escapes the critique altogether.2 We begin now with an overview of the Lacanian

reading of the Cartesian cogito.

Transcendental Cartesianism / Subverted Cartesianism (On Thinking and Being)

Descartes' “I think therefore I am” (“cogito ergo sum”) is a foundational phrase, as it determines

the bedrock of possible philosophical discourse. What Descartes sought and claimed to have found in

this simple sentence was the indubitable, the beginning of transcendentalism, as he searched for a way

to ground human knowledge of the world. Fast forward to Sigmund Freud and his work on the

unconscious and we see another foundational phrase, “Wo Es war, soll Ich werden” (“Where It [Id]

was, shall I [Ego] be”). What Lacan will tell us about each of these statements is that we cannot take

them at surface value, but must examine them thoroughly, as he has done. We will turn our attention to

Lacan's reading of the Freudian phrase first, as this reading informs that of the cogito.

In his essay “The Freudian Thing,” Lacan develops Freud's “Wo Es war.” The phrase, “Wo Es

war, soll Ich werden,” Lacan will tell us, is translated into the English as “Where the id was, there the

ego shall be.”3 This English translation is how the German phrase is typically taken, but we should not

be fooled by this seemingly literal translation. The translated phrase is taken to signify the attempt of

the Ego to dominate or control the Id, that the role of psychoanalysis is to make the unconscious (Id)

conscious (Ego), to bring one's trauma from darkness into the light and incorporate it with oneself. This
2 Unfortunately, for the sake of brevity, we must limit our examination of these thinkers of the unconscious. As such, this
essay will confine the study of the unconscious to indications of the positions of Schelling and Schopenhauer with the
hope of expanding this study in future works. Those interested in the history of the unconscious and its potential to
escape the correlationist circle should anticipate S.J. McGrath's The Other History of the Unconscious, (London / New
York: Routledge, 2010).
3 Jacques Lacan, “The Freudian Thing” in Écrits, 417.
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is wrong, says Lacan, for a very simple reason: while Freud does indeed use the terms Ich and Es for

the Ego and the Id respectively, he uses the specific terms “das Ich” and “das Es,”4 terms which are

absent from this phrase. How are we to read it then if the usual translation is incorrect? Lacan's reading

of the phrase claims that the point of the “Wo Es war” is not therapeutic at all, but ontological,

maintaining the fundamental distinction between the unconscious (Real) subject and the conscious Ego.

Lacan will say:

Wo (Where) Es (the subject devoid of any das or other objectifying article) war (was
[était] – it is a locus of being that is at stake, and that in this locus), soll (it is a duty in
the moral sense that is announced here, as is confirmed by the single sentence that
follows it, bringing the chapter to a close) Ich (I, there must I – just as in French one
announced “ce suis-je,” “it is I,” before saying “c'est moi,” “it's me”) werden (become
[devenir] – not occur [survenir], or even happen [advenir], but be born [venir au jour]
of this very locus insofar as it is a locus of being).5

We should read the Freudian “Wo Es war” then as follows, “Where I was without being, there I must

become.” This is how the claim is to be taken not as a prescriptive, therapeutic claim, but the truth of

the origin of the Ego, as described above, it is this sentence which marks the unconscious subject from

the conscious Ego, where the former is the absence prior to the formation of the latter. The Es, without

its das, the das-less Es, is without being, it is a void or a lack. Freud's Unbewusstes then is not the

“Unconscious” in the sense of the non-conscious or even the pre-conscious, but the consciousness of

lack itself, the lack which is the ground of the Ego, that non-place whereby the self comes into being,

where it can't help but come into being (it must come to be there where there is no being).6

4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 There is also a connection between the above outline and Heidegger's writings on Dasein. It is not within the scope of
this essay to further explore this connection, but reference should perhaps be made to “The Taste of Dasein” by Janne
Kurki (http://www.lacan.com/symptom6_articles/thetasteofdasein.html) and “Lacan and the Pre-Socratics” by Alain
Badiou (http://www.lacan.com/badpre.htm), both of which touch on some of the more important connections between
Lacan and Heidegger.
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We move now to Lacan's reading of the Cartesian cogito. This is a statement (cogito ergo sum)

which Lacan plays with in multiple ways, deconstructing it and reconstructing it, turning it inside out

and refashioning it. It should be noted again that there is an important connection between Lacan's

cogito and his re-reading of the Freudian “Wo es war,” as both convey the same ontological statement,

that ultimately the Ego is false and grounded on the nothingness of the Real, “the core of our being”

(Kern unseres Wesen)7. Lacan will continue by telling us that this core is more “my whims, aberrations,

phobias, and fetishes than... my more or less civilized personage.”8

When Descartes says “I think therefore I am,” we should read this in light of the unconscious,

that is Lacan will argue, in light of Freud. What Descartes is concerned with is the Ego, the thinking

thing that is the human subject as entirely transparent and transcendental. “I am thinking, therefore I

am,” that is, insofar as I think, I am – absolutely. We can add further: “cogito ergo sum ubi cogito, ibi

sum,” “I think therefore I am, where I think, there I am,” or perhaps better still, “I think therefor I am...

where I think I am” both in the sense that I am where I think, but also I am only where I think I am in

the illusory sense of merely thinking it. Or as Lacan will say, “this limits me to being there in my being

only insofar as I think that I am in my thought.”9 That is, to take Descartes at his word is to deny the

psychoanalytic work of the unconscious, that there is at least a part of me (perhaps the only part that is

truly “me”) that escapes my thinking, that in fact only shows itself, only has being, when I am not

thinking. For this reason Lacan proposes a re-reading of Descartes in light of the truth of

psychoanalysis, that is, the truth of the unconscious. The cogito is transformed then, the foundational

phrase becoming “I am thinking where I am not, therefore I am where I am not thinking” (I am

thinking unconsciously in the void in my being, therefore I am most myself there where I am not

thinking [conscious] at all) or “I am not, where I am the plaything of my thought; I think about what I

7 Lacan, “The Instance of the Letter in the Unconscious,” 526.


8 Ibid.
9 Ibid., 516.
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am where I do not think I am thinking.”10

There are two important things to take from these Lacanian readings. First, that the ground of

the subject is nothing, or rather, the place of no-thing, the subject is not the Cartesian “thinking thing,”

but rather the “thinking no-thing,” the void or lack in Being (Je suis le manque de l'étre [I am a lack of

being [nothing] / I am the missing letter in the Symbolic]). Second, and more important for our study,

this displacement of the Cartesian subject means a break with the Parmenidean claim that being =

thought, which as we will see, is the ground of the critique of correlationism. This break between

thought and being reaches new heights in the metaphysics of Alain Badiou, where our attention will

now be turned.

“Thought never begins spontaneously” Slavoj Zizek will tell us about Badiou's system, but

What provokes us to think is always a traumatic, violent encounter with some external
real that brutally imposes itself on us, shattering our established way of thinking. It is in
this sense that a true thought is de-centered: one does not think spontaneously; one is
forced to think.11

What provokes thought for Badiou is precisely the void of the event, the nothing in Being qua Being.

There can be no thought derived from being, as being generates only the repetition of the multiple, as

he will say in Infinite Thought that

For the process of a truth to begin, something must happen. What there already is – the
situation of knowledge as such – generates nothing other than repetition. For a truth to
affirm its newness, there must be a supplement. This supplement is committed to
chance. It is unpredictable, incalculable. It is beyond what is. I call it an event. A truth

10 Ibid., 517.
11 Taken from Slavoj Zizek's “Foreword” to Peter Hallward's Alain Badiou: Subject to Truth, (Minneapolis, MN:
University of Minnesota Press, 2003), x. My own emphasis.
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thus appears, in its newness, because an evental supplement interrupts repetition.12

Thought can only be provoked by novelty, by the new which breaks with the same, and since this

cannot come from being (which produces no novelty but only the continual repetition of the same) it

must come from non-being, that is, from the trauma of the void which is the event. There is here, as we

saw with Lacan, an important break between being and thought, where the two cannot touch but are

separated eternally by the infinite depth of the void. This void is never without a place or situation, and

what the subject is is not a what, but a where (cogito ergo sum, ubi cogito, ibi sum, I am there where I

think), or as Badiou puts is, “the connection between being and place founds the radical existence of

enunciation as subject.”13 That is, while being has no connection to thought for Badiou, the subject-

towards-thought is always situated within the realm of being, what Badiou also calls the realm of

knowledge. If being is the realm of knowledge, that which can be ac-counted for, then the event is the

point of interruption, that is, it is the rupture in Being (Being inter-rupted). The event can never be

made part of the former mathematical system of ontology.14 If knowledge is to be differenciated from

thought and truth, it would seem that the difference is one of novelty. For Badiou, thought and truth

arise only in the face of the event, in the irruption of the void or in non-being. Counter to this,

knowledge is only ever of the self-same repetition of being. The subject in Badiou's system is properly

understood as the “subject-towards-truth,” insofar as a human being is not a subject by virtue of reason,

but the unreason of being subject to a particular event, that is, by being birthed in the void.15

It is not within the scope of this essay to further explore Badiou's metaphysics; what must be

noted however is the continuance by Badiou of the basic system set out by Lacan in his readings of the

cogito and the Woll Es war. Lacan, working from the truth of Freud of the ontological difference

12 Badiou, Infinite Thought, trans. and ed. Oliver Feltham and Justin Clemens, (London: Continuum, 2003), 62.
13 Alain Badiou. Being and Event. Trans. Oliver Feltham. London: Continuum. 2006. 431.
14 Badiou, Being and Event, 184. Cf.: “The event belongs to that-which-is-not-being-qua-being,” ibid., 189.
15 Badiou, Infinite Thought, 62. See also Meditation Thirty-Five in Being and Event, titled “Theory of the Subject.”
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between the conscious Ego and the unconscious subject claims a fundamental break with being and

thought, claiming that the human being has the most being where there is precisely no thought and that

therefore where the human being thinks, it has no being. This informs his reading of the cogito which is

then inverted or perhaps subverted. The break between being and thought is furthered by Badiou, who

claims that thought is connected only to non-being, and has no connection to Being qua Being

whatsoever. It is here that we may begin investigating Quentin Meillassoux' critique of correlationism,

as we have not sufficiently laid out the grounds for the critique itself.

The Correlationist Circle (A Return to the Great Outdoors)

Quentin Meillassoux begins After Finitude with an interesting question, what are we to make of

what he calls the “arche-fossil,”16 those bits of scientific data that science tells us predate not only

human beings, but all terrestrial life, and even the Earth itself?17 More to the point, what do Kantians

and Idealists make of them? It is here that Meillassoux will differentiate between realism and

correlationism, or contemporary anti-realism.

Correlationism is the often unstated view that being only exists for subjects, that there is a direct

correlate between subjective-mind and the world of objects. “By 'correlation' we mean the idea

according to which we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never

to either term considered apart from the other.”18 The correlationist will claim that if something happens

in the world, it happens also in the mind: there is a metaphysical mirroring.19 The arche-fossil is not a

problem for the realist, be they materialist or not. This is also perhaps the way to determine whether

16 Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, trans. Ray Brassier, (Londond:
Continnum, 2008), 10.
17 Ray Brassier attacks correlationism from a similar yet different angle, focusing on scientific data projections detailing a
post-human universe, culminating in the idea of extinction and heat death. See his Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and
Extinction, (London: Palgrave-MacMillan, 2007).
18 Meillassoux, After Finitude, 5.
19 We will differentiate between “weak” and “strong” correlationism below, suffice it to say that the weak correlationist
will be more of an agnostic when it comes to being without thought than their more extreme cousin.
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one is a realist or not, by asking the status of the arche-fossil, the data that tells us a certain entity

predates all human thought or life or the planet Earth itself. The realist will respond that there simply is

no problem, of course there existed things prior to human beings, etc. The correlationist is in a different

situation however, as they are forced to say that this scientific data somehow exists for-us, that what the

realist finds so easy to accept as “the way things are” is impossible for the correlationist, who interprets

the ancestral statement as having no historical existence apart from human subjective knowing. This is

not to say that the correlationist will deny the validity of science, far from it, but there is an odd “extra

step” in their acceptance of scientific knowledge that Meillassoux claims occurs “under their breath.”

Consider the following statement: “Event Y occurred x number of years before the emergence of

humans.” The realist will accept this statement, but what will the correlationist say? Will he or she

contest the statement?

No – he will simply add – perhaps only to himself, but add it he will – something like a
simple codicil, always the same one, which he will discretely append to the end of the
phrase: event Y occurred x number of years before the emergence of humans – for
humans (or even, for the human scientist).20

The pre-human event is always and only given to human beings. The ancestral statement is true only

for humans, or more specifically, it is only intersubjective verifiability which makes the ancestral

statement true, since its referent is quite literally unthinkable. In other words, it is not that the statement

is true in and of itself, but only insofar as it is given to humans, which means that for the correlationist,

it is not the statement or even the object which is true, but the givenness which is the correlate itself.

We must recall that under correlationism, “[a] world is meaningful only as given-to-a-living (or

thinking)-being.”21 The question we must ask then is how are we to speak of a universe without humans
20 Ibid., 13.
21 Ibid., 15. Meillassoux will further point out the dangerous position of the correlationist, comparing it to literal readings
of the Bible which claim the Earth to only be 6000 years old, with the existence of the arche-fossil a test put forward by
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or even life? How are we to speak of being without thought? It is not within the scope of this paper to

explore Meillassoux' conclusion of absolute chaos (interesting thought it may be), instead we will

explore the two species of correlationism, weak and strong (what Meillassoux will also call

transcendental and speculative / absolute idealism, respectively), and examine how they conceive of

things-in-themselves, that is, the universe free of human subjective thought. We will then be in a

position to explore the potential problem of including those thinkers with a concept of a metaphysical

unconscious under the heading of correlationism, as Meillassoux does.

Weak Correlationism

The weak correlationist, or transcendental idealist, claims that outside of our thought is the

unknowable, but that there is indeed a world outside of thought. Kant will maintain that while

the thing-in-itself is unknowable, he also maintains that it is thinkable. For Kant


effectively allows us the possibility of knowing a priori that logical contradiction is
absolutely impossible. Although we cannot apply categorical cognition to the thing-in-
itself, the latter remains subject to the logical condition that is the prerequisite for all
thought.22

That is to say that because we can think the thing-in-itself, it must be non-contradictory as only the

logically contradictory escapes both knowledge and thought. The weak correlationist will not deny that

there are things-in-themselves, but will claim any talk of them, that is, any claim to knowledge of how

beings exist outside of human thought, is entirely incoherent. Subjects only know things insofar as they

appear to them, and any attempt to philosophize of a world outside of our knowledge of that world is

God in order to test the believers faith. Is the correlationist far from this claim? By correlationist standards, is not the
world only as old as the subjects who inhabit it? Ibid., 18.
22 Ibid., 31.
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useless, the weak correlationist insisting that any claim to metaphysical truth is naïve at best. Returning

to our distinction between being and thought, we could ask what the weak correlationist has to say of

the possibility of there being being outside of thought. Can there exist any entity subsisting on its own,

or must beings always exist-for-thought, or in other words, do things only exist insofar as they are

given to thought? The weak correlationist is an agnostic when it comes to such matters, Meillassoux

will tell us. They are an indecisive breed of epistemologists, claiming absolute ignorance about the X of

things-in-themselves, supporting the claim that if it is not a contradiction then it could exist, but as to

whether things do exist in-themselves, we simply cannot know. What we do know is phenomena, or

how things appear to thought. Of this there can be intersubjective verifiability, viz. science. It is this

intersubjective character of scientific knowledge that allows for the weak correlationist to accept the

ancestral statement, albeit in a fundamentally different way from the realist or materialist. The weak

correlationist will say that while the ancestral statement is true insofar as the arche-fossil appears to

human beings, the truth is not an ancestral one (temporally speaking), but strangely, a contemporary

truth which we posit as existing ancestrally. The truth is not a past one, as it is only true so long as there

are thinking subjects there to think it as true. This means that while the weak correlationist will say that

the ancestral statement is true, it is true now and we cannot say whether it was identical to its current

state of being given-to-thought. As we will see in the following section, the strong correlationist will

agree with this basic principle, that is, the truth of the correlation, but will reject outright the

agnosticism of the weak correlationist regarding the possibility of there being any things-in-themselves.

Strong Correlationism

The strong correlationist argument begins from its weak cousin, namely with the question, why

claim there are things-in-themselves at all? Simply stating that the idea of things-in-themselves is
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thinkable and therefore non-contradictory is not enough, as I can think all sorts of non-contradictory

things which most likely do not exist, from unicorns to self-transforming machine elves. In fact,

Terrence McKenna's tryptamine induced elf hallucinations make just as much sense as the mysterious

things-in-themselves, neither of which exist necessarily simply because they are not self-contradicting.

The strong correlationist will insist that we must therefore abolish the very idea of things-in-themselves

as incoherent speculation.23 We know of no reality, no being, outside of our own thought and to propose

that there even exists such a thing is entirely groundless and presumes knowledge attained outside of

thought to begin with, which is impossible. There is no agnosticism for the strong correlationist, as

there is an absolute confluence between thought and being, with neither existing without the other and

the possibility of there being one without the other entirely absurd. There is then no objective

knowledge, as all knowledge is knowledge of the givenness of things, that is to say, we know things

only insofar as they are for-us. For the strong correlationist, be they Fichtean idealists, or

Heideggarians,24 there can be no being outside of thought, as the very possibility of there existing such

a thing is not only incoherent, but illogical. Curiously however, Meillassoux indicates that certain

individuals belong to this strong correlationist camp, namely Schelling and Schopenhauer. In the

following section, I will outline the problem with such a characterization and conclude by further

exploring the issue of the unconscious and its relation to correlationism. What must be understood from

this brief outline of the weak and strong models of correlationism is the difference in standpoint on the

issue of being without thought, namely that while the former is entirely open to such a concept, with

the caveat being that we simply cannot know it or truly speak of it, the latter group will insist that it

remains not only unthinkable, but impossible.

The Unconscious (what a strange word!)

23 Ibid., 37.
24 Ibid., 41-42.
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There are two metaphysical positions at stake in this critique of correlationism. On the one

hand, we have the rejection of what Meillassoux has characterized as a systematic program of anti-

realism in almost all post-Kantian philosophy, both continental and analytic. That is to say, Meillassoux

is attempting to reinstate a possible realism in light of the supposed 'end of metaphysics;' this is the

possibility of there being “being without thought,” or a universe without humanity or life. On the other

hand though, in the breaking of this formerly symbiotic relationship of thought and being, we also see

the possibility of there being thought without being. But isn't this precisely the ground for the critique

of correlationism? Isn't the idea of thought without being and being without thought to be found in the

Lacanian readings detailed above whereby Lacan claims that the unconscious (Real) subject is a

thinking without a being, a void in reality where my true thinking happens, while my conscious Ego-

life is a lie, a being without thought. This position is taken up by Badiou as well who will not follow

the standard realist position in claiming that there can be being without thought, but the more unusual

claim that there can be (and only ever is) thinking without being, that is, that thinking only happens in

the void. The whole metaphysical thrust of Meillassoux' critique, as well as the Badiouian position

before it is to be found in the Lacanian re-reading of the cogito as “I am thinking where I am not,

therefore I am where I am not thinking.”

What does this mean then for thinkers of the unconscious? Meillassoux claims that two thinkers

of the unconscious are not only correlationists, but strong correlationists, these are Schelling and

Schopenhauer.25 It would seem that based on what we have seen, the fundamental question to be asked

when attempting to determine whether a thinker is a correlationist is the following: Is there or can there

be being without thought? If so, can we know it or speak of it? We have seen two correlationists

positions on the matter of being without thought: first, we saw the weak position which claims that

25 Ibid., 37.
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there are things-in-themselves but that we cannot know them, and second, the strong position claimed

that there are no things-in-themselves at all as the very idea is unsupported speculation. Both Schelling

and Schopenhauer pose a difficult problem for this dichotomy, as they both claim allegiance to the

Kantian legacy of transcendentalism and yet both criticize Kant for his agnosticism on the subject of

things-in-themselves26 What is crucial in understanding the problem these thinkers pose to Meillassoux'

dichotomy is that while they both claim there are things-in-themselves, they also both claim human

beings have knowledge of them. For Schopenhauer, this is Will, while for the early Schelling, this is

Nature as productive (Natura naturans). The distinction Meillassoux makes between weak and strong

correlationism seems to fall apart in light of such thinkers, as they prove the possibility of a position

not accounted for, not a realism in the sense Meillassoux insists upon (what he calls 'speculative

materialism'), but not a Kantian idealism with an unknown X lurking in the background, nor a true

speculative idealism whereby the possibility of being without thought proves impossible. These two

thinkers prove there can be a position which accepts Kantian things-in-themselves, but eliminates the

mystery often associated with them. How is this done? It is with the concept of the unconscious, that

very concept which allowed for the possibility of the correlationist critique to begin with. For Schelling

for example, Nature is not inanimate matter, but neither is it quasi-divine mystery, it is unconscious

spirit, unknowingly free (it images freedom). The distinction is not one of things-as-appearances and

things-in-themselves, but rather, one of things as conscious (subjects), and things as unconscious

(objects). There can then be being without thought, because this is simply the state of the natural world,

that is to say, entirely unconscious. In other words, metaphysical thinkers of the unconscious are

entirely free of the correlationist circle as they accept a universe free of human beings as a possibility,

the ancestral statement need not be put through the filter of the correlation in the present, as natural

26 For Schelling's critique see his On the History of Modern Philosophy, trans. Andrew Bowie, (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1994), 100-104. For Schopenhauer's critique of Kant, see the Appendix to The World as Will and
Representation Vol. 1, trans. E.F.J. Payne, (New York: Dover, 1969).
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history has a place in a system like Schelling's whereby natural science studies precisely those

instances of spirit older and other than the human being. Again, there are things-in-themselves, but they

are not unknown, they are like us, they simply don't know it. Finally, as we saw with Lacan, a thinker

of the unconscious can easily say not only that there can be (or is) being without thought, but that there

can be (or is) thought without being as well, as seen in the human unconscious where we have thoughts

where we have no being.

Where does this journey through the history of the correlationist critique leave us? What are we

to conclude from this study? First, we have seen the historical precedent for the critique, situating it

squarely within the school of Lacanian metaphysics similar to that of Alain Badiou whereby the

Parmenidean union of thought and being is broken. Lacan, in his readings of Freud and Descartes

breaks this union, creating for psychoanalysis thought without being, namely the unconscious or the

Real, while for metaphysics, as evidenced by the writings of Meillassoux, the ground is open for a new

realism, and a return to being without thought. One of the problems with this critique however is the

inclusion of those thinkers who had direct influence on its own historical makeup, namely, those

thinkers who posit the unconscious as a metaphysical principle, for instance F.W.J. Schelling and

Arthur Schopenhauer, with their Nature and Will, respectively. While Meillassoux includes these

thinkers as correlationists, indeed he claims they are strong correlationists, this seems entirely

incorrect. Both thinkers allow for there to be existents without human thought attached to them, and

therefore do not fit his correlationist criteria. We should conclude then by accepting that there are more

options available to contemporary metaphysics than simply correlationism or Meillassoux' speculative

materialism. Indeed, there is a whole other historical lineage available to contemporary realism, it

simply needs to be brought to light.