Damiano Sacco completed his PhD in Theoretical Physics at King’s College London before obtaining an MA in Modern European Philosophy from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University. His PhD thesis has explored so-called nonperturbative phenomena in string theory, through the study of different aspects of M-Theory and F-Theory; his graduate studies in philosophy, on the other hand, have focused on Meillassoux’s recent contributions, particularly with respect to their Heideggerian and Derridean matrices.

Having published across both disciplines, at present, Sacco’s research lies primarily in modern and contemporary aspects of the continental philosophical tradition, with particular reference to how the latter has been informed by the development of the physical understanding of the natural world. In parallel, his research enquires into the historical categories and the metaphysical understanding that subtend the research programme of modern theoretical physics.

Residues of Presence:
Between Physics and Metaphysics

ICI Project 2018-20

This project attempts to open a space of convergence between the insights arising from continental philosophy and modern physics. Both have challenged a naive faith in the horizon of constant presence that have long regulated both philosophical and  physical enquiries, most manifestly in the metaphysical domain on the one hand and in the classical physical regime on the other. Grounding itself in Giorgio Agamben’s work in What is Real as well as in Heisenberg’s philosophical writings, the project assesses the status of a notion of a potentiality for presence that could replace the realm of actuality and render it a mere epiphenomenon.

The mutually constitutive emergence of the object of observation and its environment, as put forth by Karen Barad, is reformulated and evaluated in accordance with this opening. The environment comes to represent a residue or externality of presence that is by necessity internal to any description, however indeterminate, non-metaphysical, or non-representational it may be. The element of the environment is thus seen to require a confrontation with Derrida’s notion of the quasi-transcendental and with Agamben’s thinking of the state of exception.