File Name: graham harman real objects and pseudo objects remarks on method .zip
- HARMAN AND PARMENIDES: OOO's Abandon of Speculation about the Real
- Objects and Pseudo-Objects Ontological Deserts and Jungles from Brentano to Carnap
HARMAN AND PARMENIDES: OOO's Abandon of Speculation about the Real
This article contends that the central principle of modern philosophy is obscured by a side-debate between two opposed camps that are united in accepting a deeper flawed premise.
Consider the powerful critiques of Kantian philosophy offered by Quentin Meillassoux and Bruno Latour, respectively. I claim that this stems from the post-Cartesian assumption that thought and world are the two basic kinds of things that exist. Two of the most interesting philosophers at work today live just a mile apart on the Left Bank in Paris, though separated in age by twenty years: Bruno Latour b.
In some ways they have very little in common. A Venn diagram of their respective readerships would show minuscule intersection, mostly covering a small circle of authors working on object-oriented ontology OOO. Meillassoux also spoke kind words about Latour to me in person, though a sample of his mostly critical attitude in print can be found in the transcript of the Speculative Realism workshop at Goldsmiths: see Brassier et al. For Meillassoux, Kant collapses the independence of thought and world into a correlation when they really ought to be kept separate from each other.
He pushes it further with his view that mathematics is able to index the primary qualities of things outside their presence to thought. Far from being a problem with Kant alone, Latour sees this attempted but impossible purification as the essence of modernity in all its forms.
His solution, in We Have Never Been Modern , is to argue just how difficult it is to separate nature from culture. Just consider such examples as the ozone hole, whales fitted with tracking devices, or a garbage dump that becomes an ecological preserve. In fact, Latour is often inclined to treat every entity as a hybrid.
If it is true that Kant tries to separate thought from world, then the hybrid flouts the Kantian paradigm insofar as it is always made up of both poles: nature and culture at the same time. It is also noteworthy that Meillassoux and Latour follow typical early modern and typical late modern approaches, respectively. In early modernity running from Descartes through Kant, everyone was concerned with gaps in the cosmos: gaps between mind and body, God and both mind and body, or phenomena and noumena.
By insisting on a separation between thought and world, one that can supposedly be bridged by mathematical reason, Meillassoux takes the side of early modernity on this question.
This will come as little surprise in view of his ultimately Cartesian inclinations. This is the late modern position, where Latour feels fully at home. Stated differently, the fundamental problem with the modern taxonomy has been obscured by a side-debate over two possible kinds of responses to it.
Another important consequence of onto-taxonomy is the way it gives rise to the modern division of labor. One of the strictures implemented by Kantian philosophy is that we cannot discuss object-object interactions at all, except insofar as they are framed by the transcendental structure of human experience.
That is to say, from the Kantian standpoint we are forbidden to discuss the collision of two rocks in empty space, but can only describe how this collision presents itself to us according to time, space, and the twelve categories of the understanding.
The sciences alone are permitted to discuss interactions between inanimate things, while philosophy and kindred disciplines is left to meditate on the human-world relation alone. On the whole, however, there is general satisfication with the aforementioned division of labor.
For in a first sense, he lays claim to the insurpassable rigor of post-transcendental philosophy. To think a thing outside thought is itself already a thought, which leads to a performative contradiction. Therefore philosophical reflection must begin, at least, from within the closed circle of thought.
In this way, we see that the apparently crushing rigor of Neo-Rationalist philosophy is fully willing to give up rigor in favor of other virtues whenever the situation requires it.
It brackets everyday scientific feasibility in favor of the impeccable logic of its first principles. Yet it strays beyond the circle of thought whenever necessary to borrow some of the glory of physics, neuroscience, or evolutionary biology, none of them derivable from a priori principles of cognition. And as soon as it finds this combination of rigor and success too limiting, it claims moral superiority in postulating a human quality that cannot be justified by way of transcendental logic or scientific discovery.
Finally, once logic, science, and morality suggest that animals are no less important than humans, Neo-Rationalism appeals to our commonsensical feeling of separation from the animal kingdom as a whole. They arrived separately, each in his place and each with his purity , like another plague on Egypt. The priests spoke only of the Bible, and to this and this alone they attributed the success of their mission.
The geographers spoke only of science and its advance. The merchants attributed all the virtues oftheir art to gold, to trade, and to the London Stock Exchange. The soldiers simply obeyed orders and interpreted everything they did in terms of the fatherland. The engineers attributed the efficacy of their machines to progress. As we saw, this taxonomy splits the world into two and only two basic kinds of things: 1 human thought, and 2 everything else. Taken in isolation this claim would be absurd, given the distinctly puny import of our species amidst the vast universe as a whole.
But of course, modern philosophy has been built by some prodigious minds, none of them parochial enough to grant humans half of philosophy simply because we happen to be humans; obviously, they will have a stronger case than this.
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy. To what extent is this true? In one sense, I would have to agree that some things are immediately accessible while others can only be accessed in mediated fashion: object-oriented ontology OOO already affirms a similar distinction between the sensual and the real, and this overlaps with the distinction between the immediately available and that which is only given in mediated form.
Harman, The Quadruple Object. A number of analytic philosophers in the blogosphere have ridiculed the recent emergence of a realist trend in Continental thought. In a way this is perfectly understandable, since realism has always been a live philosophical option in the analytic tradition, and can hardly seem like a great innovation to those working within it.
Yet this sort of mockery can also be dangerous for those who employ it, since it is so often reversible. In any case, the real heyday of Continental realism is upon us at this very moment. In the early s in Italy, Maurizio Ferraris broke with Gianni Vattimo and his circle in the name of a robust form of realism, one that would eventually serve as a magnet for German Wunderkind Markus Gabriel as well.
For the work of Markus Gabriel, Fields of Sense is a good place to survey the breadth of his concerns. The easiest way to look like a philosophical crackpot in the present day is to discuss object-object relations without passing through the official checkpoint of natural science, which was long ago granted a monopoly on this topic.
To claim by contrast that philosophy has its own foothold in the object-object realm is apparently to retreat to some pre-contemporary version of philosophy. Another important duty when discussing realism is to distinguish it from materialism, which flourishes today in two separate but related senses of the term. Everyone is familiar with the classical materialism of atoms swerving through a void, which for many has simply been updated with subatomic particles, and with fields acting across what used to be considered empty space.
Materialism has come to mean simply that something is historical, socially constructed, involves cultural practices, and is contingent. We wonder where the materialism in materialism is. Some years ago, I was giving a lecture on the philosophy of art at a conference in central France.
Brassier, Nihil Unbound. A good deal of recent thought has been occupied with the question of what the earth would be like if humans were no longer here.
Alan Weisman wrote a best-seller called The World Without Us , which envisions the gradual breakdown of various human facilities after our hypothetical disappearance. Weisman, The World Without Us. This brings us to an important paradox in the history of philosophy.
Kant is almost universally recognized as one of the greatest philosophers in Western history; his influence approaches that of Plato and Aristotle, the twin colossi standing at the entrance to our discipline. The problem with this view is that the thing-in-itself is what allows Kant to refute all dogmatism. If dogmtic metaphysics means the claim to be able to prove philosophical theses about how things really are, Kant rejects dogmatism precisely because reason can never make reality directly accessible.
But among the new realists and their fellow travelers, who accepts this thing-in-itself? Certainly not Ferraris or Gabriel, who reject it on principle as a barrier to knowledge; certainly not Meillassoux, who reduces the thing-in-itself to something that merely outlasts us in time.
Not Latour or Whitehead, who treat the real in relational terms and allow no excess beyond relation, even if Whiteheadians tend to contest this point vigorously. Steven Shaviro is one such aficionado of Whitehead with whom I have had a long and productive dispute.
That is to say, the usual manner of trying to get beyond Kant is along the lines of German Idealism. But he can be forgiven, since he did so many other important things, and luckily his successors cleaned up the thing-in-itself problem for him.
The reason why so many are reluctant to take this step, which has been explained and promoted by OOO authors for nearly a generation, is because it so openly flouts the division of labor at the heart of modern thought.
This is what science already does! Philosophy should stick to the thought-world relation where it belongs. The real and the unreal cannot be taxonomically aligned with individual discplines, since both the real and the unreal are present everywhere at all times. Like so much else in this period, the term is grounded in the ideas of Kant.
As far as I am aware, he uses the term explicitly only in the Second Critique, where it means both that ethical actions must be walled off from their consequences, and that ethics has to do with the general form of the categorical imperative rather than more specific ethical rules.
Kant, Critique of Practical Reason. The problems with Kantian formalism did not escape the notice of later thinkers, and I have argued elsewhere that each of his three Critiques eventually found a critic equal to the work.
To give an example that is not my central one, consider the case of Maurice Blanchot. During my doctoral student days in the early s, the impression was often conveyed that Blanchot was a major piece of the philosophy of the future. Needless to say, almost thirty years have passed, but Continental philosophy has not become noticeably Blanchotian. Paul de Man, writing much earlier than , offered the following note of praise:. When we will be able to observe the [post-war] period with more detachment, the main proponents of contemporary French literature may well turn out to be figures that now seem shadowy in comparison with the celebrities of the hour.
And none is more likely to achieve future prominence than the little-publicized and difficult writer, Maurice Blanchot. This high regard for Blanchot was not rare in the circles frequented by de Man. A pair of related remarks from important authors come to mind. The other relevant passage, which I am currently unable to locate, comes from Marcel Proust in his great multi-volume novel.
Somewhere in those thousand of pages, Proust remarks that we tend to imagine the future as some sort of intricate variant of the present, failing to realize that the future springs from hidden factors in the present that are not currently manifest.
In any case, Blanchot is the philosopher of the future, and always will be. But my concern is not so much with Blanchot, whose futuristic rose has faded since my youth.
Instead, I wish to propose a related maxim that might well annoy some readers: Schelling and Merleau-Ponty are the philosophers of the future, and always will be. Above all I mean no offense to my comrade-in-arms Iain Hamilton Grant, who has made such productive use of Schelling in his own work.
Already everyone has surmised and scented out in advance what Others have also surmised and scented out. We need to stop looking toward the horizon, and reflect instead on the major prejudice in our midst. Why is there is only one possible exit from modern philosophy? Because modern philosophy lives and breathes from a single basic principle: the notion that thought and world are the two poles of the universe, the first of them immediate and radically certain, the latter less certain but impressively masterable by science.
Objects and Pseudo-Objects Ontological Deserts and Jungles from Brentano to Carnap
All in-text page numbers in parentheses refer to this volume. Moreover, he adds without elaborating, the New Materialists are guilty of similar conflations in their own work, and therefore have no right to complain about being blended together n1. Even so, Whitehead is seldom mentioned in the pages of Subject Lessons. In order to gain some sense of who is mentioned, the following list is helpful. But if we exclude Woolf for now as a peripheral figure in the present debate, we can arrange the indexed authors into four basic groups, as seen from the Ljubljana standpoint:. These groupings give us an accurate sense of what Subject Lessons is really about. As seen from the top line of the list, the authors in the anthology are primarily interested in defending their joint allegiance to German Idealism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis.
To support the argument, the author utilizes the characterization of objects from the philosophical practice Object Oriented Ontology OOO. Additionally, exemplars from a realized project designed by the author are used to demonstrate how representations reveal the metaphysical autonomous object of practice from within material projects. The aspiration of this work is to hunt for an object of architecture independent of the polemics and compromises that seek to legitimize practice with academic and professional audiences. The author suggests that the pursuit and articulation of an autonomous practice that exists outside of both the contingent singular building, and the relations to all other architectures that academic discipline demands, is useful in empowering new creative practices in the field. Project, Profession, Process, Procedure, Precedent, Product, Program, and Problem are all stand-ins for practice on occasion, but by themselves seem inadequate to comprehensively define Practice. The bias from the contingency camp that gathers to oppose autonomy is that practice in architecture is at once too dependent and too relational to be capable of claiming authority or distinction over its own domain. Analysis of the data has led me to the conclusion that the profession tends to favor one component of each duality while neglecting the other, thus creating an imbalance that can lead to certain problems.
Interview with Graham Harman. 1) The words of objects to which these words re- fer. So, can depending on the class of objects Indeed, realism requires this if we allow that the real problem of realism as a pseudo-problem. objects— consider Merleau-Ponty's remarks mathematical method ( as Mallarmé's.
There is no method of access to them or way of studying them, no sensible intuition, so Harman relies on his own intellectual intuition. OOO is a dead-end, and Zizek is right to compare it to Swedenborgian metaphysics. So every route every meaning that he is putting forth in his philosophy is firmly founded in a real negotiation, The same negotiation that allows for every human being on the planet to be involved with it, and equivocal situation of human being, and ontology of equivocal universalobjects. Innoway this is what I mean by we have to have agreement. Once we understand the phenomenological reduction, once we see that Hagel and Fitch and Lessing and Kierkegaard and Vic and stein and all these other philosophers of ontology I really only describing various Clauzelle formations of the same basic being that is human, then we are freed up to consider other philosophical options.
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This article contends that the central principle of modern philosophy is obscured by a side-debate between two opposed camps that are united in accepting a deeper flawed premise. Consider the powerful critiques of Kantian philosophy offered by Quentin Meillassoux and Bruno Latour, respectively. I claim that this stems from the post-Cartesian assumption that thought and world are the two basic kinds of things that exist. Two of the most interesting philosophers at work today live just a mile apart on the Left Bank in Paris, though separated in age by twenty years: Bruno Latour b.
They suppose that fictional objects are non-existent objects or abstract objects or possible objects. Contrary to the two groups that accept or reject fictional objects, ingarden find a conceptual apparatus to explain the mode of being of these objects by rethinking ontological categories.
Responding to my post on Diamond, Yant writes :. If we are to advance object oriented theory into the humanities and social sciences further and this is very much my intention we need to square some circles. For example, are not the histories of Diamond et al. I initially misunderstood the problem that Jonah was alluding to here and here. My mistake.
Morris briefly considers the historical importance of the concept of the fetish on the relatively recent movements of new materialism, but she does not engage with Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology. In short, I am offering a posthumanist theorization of the fetish in order to argue that Object-Oriented Ontology can be considered, at points, to be a fetish-oriented ontology and that this notion of the fetish allows us to think about philosophical considerations of objects in a new light. The Bushmen that found the bottle had never seen anything like it and could only conclude that the bottle was a gift from the gods. However, this gift did not function like other gifts because it did not appear to have a ready function like other objects, such as trees and roots. Eventually, the bottle was taken out of the village by one brave Bushman named N! Xau who took the bottle to the edge of the known world to discard it.
Пока файл Цифровой крепости не подменен модифицированной версией, копия ключа, находившаяся у Танкадо, продолжает представлять собой огромную опасность. - Когда мы внесем эту поправку, - добавил Стратмор, - мне будет все равно, сколько ключей гуляет по свету: чем их больше, тем забавнее. - Он жестом попросил ее возобновить поиск. - Но пока этого не произошло, мы в цейтноте. Сьюзан открыла рот, желая сказать, что она все понимает, но ее слова были заглушены внезапным пронзительным звуком.