Tag Archives: After Finitude

A Primer on Virtuality and Contingency

In one of Slavoj Žižek’s numerous talks, he discusses the notion of “virtuality” in a very insightful way, paraphrasing something Donald Rumsfeld said: “There are known knowns.  These are things we know that we know.  There are known unknowns.  That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know.  But there are also unknown unknowns.  There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”  It’s an unlikely source for an explication of a philosophical idea, but it does the job and well.  However, Žižek was talking about epistemic virtuality, which, even if not by name, is familiar to everyone.  Continue reading

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Filed under Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Pure Philosophy