Friday, August 26, 2011

Seeing It Only Sideways: On OOO, Process, and Levi Bryant

Seeing it sideways?  That would be me.

Though I cannot claim to be a sole cause, I would like to think that my questioning, among others, of Levi Bryant at Larval Subjects has brought the numerous responses lately.  I suspect that he is positioning himself in contradistinction to Harman, especially since many critiques against Harman do not appear to gain any traction against Bryant.  However, as I push him to articulate his views, perhaps I and we critics should hold off until his book The Democracy of Objects is available.

For those just tuning in, the topics of my criticism have been 1) the logical problem of external relations; e.g., how do unrelated objects become related without positing ex nihilo creation?  There is also 2) the logical problem of internal relations regarding process thought; e.g., if all things are internally related, then numerous mereological problems result such as the plausible reducibility of everything to its relations.  And  3), if there is an irreducible core to an object or thing, then how does this not run afoul of  1) and 2) and analogous problems when explaining change?  See my pasts posts on this and more.

As for my answer to 1-3, I claim that there is not an irreducible core, and that neither 1 nor 2 apply to my Dewey-Peircean view.  I strongly suspect that the same is true of Whitehead.  In my case, the solution is in the theories of power, their composability, the creativity that results from the melding of their entelechies (~teloi), the emergent nature actual events, etc.

1 comment:

  1. On the claim that if X is related to Y and therefore is reducible, I insist that critics are ignoring the asymmetry of relations. I have explained it here: . Aside, note that activity (force) and event are the fundamental concepts, where activity as force requires a dyad (Peircean secondness) that need not be an actor/actee relationship. Electromagnetics is the base physical phenomenon to give one a sense of this, because one must break out of conceptual metaphor of efficient causation to understand this sense of activity or force.