The Future of Plasticity: An Interview with Catherine Malabou

Catherine Malabou interview by Kate Lawless

Catherine Malabou is a leading figure in contemporary French philosophy. She is currently professor at two esteemed European institutions: The European Graduate School and the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University, London. Her dissertation was completed under the supervision of Jacques Derrida and published as The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality and Dialectic (2004). Other notable publications include: What Should We Do with Our Brain? (2009) and The New Wounded (2012). Malabou is best known for her concept of plasticity, which she draws from Hegel and extends through investigations in neuroscience. For Malabou, plasticity is the paradigm par excellence that both advances a new theory of trauma and anticipates the need for a total redefinition of the subject. Her latest book, Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality (Polity, 2016), comes to terms with speculative realism and develops a new approach to the Kantian transcendental.

This interview was conducted during Malabou’s visit to London, Ontario in February 2016 to deliver her keynote lecture at “Passionate Disattachments: The Work of Catherine Malabou,” a conference hosted by The Centre for Advanced Research in European Philosophy at King’s University College and The Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at Western University. I wish to express my sincere thanks to Professor Malabou for her warmth, generosity and assistance in making this interview possible…

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