Fernando Zalamea

Fernando Zalamea is Professor of Mathematics at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His research interests include alternative logics, Peirce and Lautman studies, and the philosophy of modern and contemporary mathematics. He has published numerous books and essays in cultural studies, philosophy, and mathematics, including Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics (Urbanomic/Sequence Press, 2012). In 2019 he published the first monographic study on Alexander Grothendieck's work. He has received prestigious essay awards, including Siglo XXI (Mexico 2012), Jovellanos (Spain 2004), Gil-Albert (Spain 2004), Kostakowsky (Mexico 2001), and Andrés Bello (Colombia 2000).

  • America—An Integral Weave

    America—An Integral Weave

    Transversality, Borders, and Abysses in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century American Culture

    Fernando Zalamea

    A dynamic critical and philosophical study of modern North American and Latin American cultures via art, architecture, philosophy and mathematics.

    Moving with an unusual ease of movement among literature, music, art, architecture, mathematics, and philosophy, this richly illustrated study enters into the "electromagnetic field" between Latin America and North America with two essays examining the intellectual and creative landscapes throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

    In “Under the Sign of Jonah,” Fernando Zalamea explores how nineteenth-century North American culture adopted and transformed the legacy of romanticism, offering insightful readings of the work of Herman Melville, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and Charles Sanders Peirce, among others, before turning to romantic problematics in Edgar Varèse's music, Frank Gehry's architecture, and the conceptual mathematics of William Lawvere. In “The Borders and the Pendulum” Zalamea addresses Latin America in continual dialogue with "major" culture from the margins, discussing the movement from a universalist panoscopy, which imagined an integrated American culture, to a mid-century microscopy focused on the regional to late twentieth-century responses, to postmodernism in the form of a telescopy that operates both a differentiation into the local and a transversal integration into universal modernity.

    With this book, Zalamea offers an indispensable guide to the transits and syntheses not only between the Americas, but between the romantic, the modern, and the contemporary, supplying the attentive reader with all the equipment they need to venture off the beaten paths of (post)modernity.

    • Paperback $28.95
  • Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics

    Synthetic Philosophy of Contemporary Mathematics

    Fernando Zalamea

    A panoramic survey of the vast spectrum of modern and contemporary mathematics and the new philosophical possibilities they suggest.

    A panoramic survey of the vast spectrum of modern and contemporary mathematics and the new philosophical possibilities they suggest, this book gives the inquisitive non-specialist an insight into the conceptual transformations and intellectual orientations of modern and contemporary mathematics.

    The predominant analytic approach, with its focus on the formal, the elementary and the foundational, has effectively divorced philosophy from the real practice of mathematics and the profound conceptual shifts in the discipline over the last century. The first part discusses the specificity of modern (1830–1950) and contemporary (1950 to the present) mathematics, and reviews the failure of mainstream philosophy of mathematics to address this specificity. Building on the work of the few exceptional thinkers to have engaged with the “real mathematics” of their era (including Lautman, Deleuze, Badiou, de Lorenzo and Châtelet), Zalamea challenges philosophy's self-imposed ignorance of the “making of mathematics.”

    In the second part, thirteen detailed case studies examine the greatest creators in the field, mapping the central advances accomplished in mathematics over the last half-century, exploring in vivid detail the characteristic creative gestures of modern master Grothendieck and contemporary creators including Lawvere, Shelah, Connes, and Freyd.

    Drawing on these concrete examples, and oriented by a unique philosophical constellation (Peirce, Lautman, Merleau-Ponty), in the third part Zalamea sets out the program for a sophisticated new epistemology, one that will avail itself of the powerful conceptual instruments forged by the mathematical mind, but which have until now remained largely neglected by philosophers.

    • Paperback $26.95


  • Collapse, Volume 8

    Collapse, Volume 8

    Casino Real

    Robin Mackay

    An assembly of perspectives on risk, contingency, and chance—at the gaming table, in the markets, and in life.

    A transdisciplinary survey of practices that produce, analyse, and exploit risk and uncertainty, the eighth volume of Collapse uncovers the conceptual underpinnings of methods designed to extract value from contingency—at the gaming table, in the markets, and in life. The indictment of “casino capitalism” and the centrality of risk to contemporary society are traced back to a ubiquitous image of thought that originated in games of chance, but which is no longer adequate to address a world whose realities are now shaped by risk models and trading in speculative futures.

    To challenge the “casino” model, this volume brings together philosophers who extend the thinking of contingency beyond statistical modelling, professional traders and gamblers whose lifelong experience has shaped their understanding of chance, researchers analysing the perception and treatment of risk and uncertainty in diverse arenas including derivatives trading, quantum physics, insurance, sonic experimentation, literature, futurology, mathematics, and machine gambling, and artists whose work addresses both the desire to confront chance and the need to tame it by bringing it to order.

    • Paperback $31.95
  • Collapse, Volume 7

    Culinary Materialism

    Reza Negarestani and Robin Mackay

    Examination of the cultural, industrial, physiological, alchemical, and even cosmic dimensions of cookery, drawing anthropology, chemistry, hermetic alchemy and contemporary mathematics.

    Cookery has never been so high on the agenda of Western popular culture. And yet the endlessly-multiplying TV shows, the obsessive interest in the provenance of ingredients, and the celebration of “radical” experiments in gastronomy tell us little about the nature of the culinary. Is it possible to maintain that cookery has a philosophical pertinence without merely appending philosophy to our burgeoning gastroculture? How might the everyday sense of the culinary be expanded into a philosophy of “culinary materialism” wherein synthesis, experimentation, and operations of mixing and blending take precedence over analysis, subtraction, and axiomatisation?

    Drawing on resources ranging from anthropology to chemistry, from hermetic alchemy to contemporary mathematics, the seventh volume of Collapse undertakes a trans-modal experiment in culinary thinking. A wide range of contributors including philosophers, chefs, artists, historians, and synaesthetes examine the cultural, industrial, physiological, alchemical, and even cosmic dimensions of cookery, and propose new models of culinary thought for the future.

    • Paperback $25.00