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Neocosmicism: God and the void

Greenham, Ellen (2013) Neocosmicism: God and the void. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Through the use of selected works by Philip K. Dick, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert and H.P. Lovecraft, this thesis explores the question of what it means to be human in the universe when occidental cosmologies no longer align with the universe they seek to describe. Within its view of the universe, H.P. Lovecraft’s philosophy of cosmicism offers the human creature an answer to this question, but in doing so also limits that creature to an isolated life ending in madness or death within an indifferently cold universe.

While this thesis seeks to demonstrate the validity of cosmicism as a lens through which to critically interrogate science fiction texts; it more importantly endeavours to address cosmicism’s inherent limitations as a philosophy of the human creature’s place in the universe. This is done by developing neocosmicism as an outgrowth of cosmicism that offers an alternate experience of the universe and a revitalisation of the human creature’s relationship with the universe. By recognising the significant shift in the human creature’s understanding of the universe – from a Cartesian view to a Quantum view within a broader post-modern context – neocosmicism is developed as an interrogative philosophy that provides a framework for opening up a critical space in which to explore alternatives to modernity’s questions rather than offering mere reactions or polarising oppositions.

For neocosmicism, this thesis represents a beginning, and in no way provides a comprehensive development or analysis of its nuances. At this early stage of development, neocosmicism asks more questions than it answers; suspects that god and the void are a manifest singularity that is the universe; and suggests that cosmicism’s limiting outcome of estrangement between the human creature and the universe can be transformed to a vitalised outcome of relationship between the emotive biological creature [that the human creature is] and the indifferently cold chaos that creature calls the universe.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Tampalini, Serge and Moody, David
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