Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Question to the OOO Community

I have a question.  It just occurred to me that I do not know who OOO is "against;" i.e., who are the opponents of object-oriented philosophy?

I can think of many differing positions, but who is actively arguing against it?  I am not, as I do not mean to include critical commentary from the sidelines like mine, since criticism and opposition are two different things.  Harman et all are obviously reacting to someone, who is it?


  1. subject-oriented philosophy?

  2. Damn subjects. We need to flatten them!

  3. The only time I've seen Harman get a bit testy in print is when he brings up Derrida.

  4. Interesting. Why?

    Are the Derrideans against OOO?

    Also, I'm asking the question not just about thinkers, as I've seen some of that in the articles, but what *players* (scholars) in the contemporary conversations.

  5. Speaking for myself, I'm just tired of Derrida. Not against him.

    I don't know that speaking in terms of what one is against is the most amicable way to proceed, but I do acknowledge that it might offer triangulation.

    The simplest answer would be correlationism generally, or Kant specifically.
    Then you could add, undermining and overmining philosophies. That includes Leibniz, for example, but also Deleuze.

    These are gross generalizations, though, and it's possible to imagine versions of OOO that adapt from all of them.

  6. Ian,

    Thanks. I know the formal answer that you give, as I'm versed in the basics, but I meant it as a sociological question. E.g., what working scholars are roughing up OOO at the moment? In print, not our blog shenanigans. I only rough up Americanists in print....

  7. Oh, huh, well, I dunno. Mostly other philosophers, it seems ;-)

  8. Here's a better answer, maybe: many SCOT-influenced sociologists don't seem to like us (I always get accused of determinism). And some ANT-ish STS folks think we're just rehashing Latour. And I think some humanists and social scientists still committed to cultural studies or ethnographic-driven human-focused outcomes have gripes. And of course the far-left, particularly Marx-inspired critical theorists, think we're all neoliberals.

  9. One thing that appears very different from Whitehead to OOO is that the OOO I've seen does not place much emphasis on temporality. Generalizing, I wonder how much temporality has been a central factor in OOO, especially non-spatialized views of temporality. Thoughts?

    I don't see how you or any OOO can be accused of determinism.

    I've been getting the feeling that social, political, and ethical reasons are behind the post-Harman variants, but that's a guess. A lot of what most would call "scholarly reasons" I would call "political." I do not think that these reasons are separable from "philosophical" reasons, btw, so I do not say that to posit "improper" motives. I figure I shouldn't have to say that to a continental crowd, but just in case....

  10. Another major difference that I believe exists between OOO and vaguely "Americanist" (post- Peirce/Hartshorn/Whitehead/etc.) philosophy is the the latter strongly embraces semiotics and the occasional Buchler. I do not think I've seen that in OOO.

    I've been thinking more about temporality. I see that Morton once wrote that time emits from objects. Where is the distinction between cosmic and phenomenological/local time? Such a distinction would be necessary.

    Differences ... it does respond to analytic's debate about the reality of micro/middle/macro-sized objects...

    I'm trying to mentally map the differences.

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  12. Hey, cut that out or I'll remove anonymous posting. I'm deleting that.

  13. Levi has a discussion of temporality in DoO, in Chapter 5, I think. Graham talks about it in a number of places, the one that I remember off the top of my head is in Guerrilla Metaphysics, as part of the "black noise" within objects through which they endure.

    Actually, I went and found it, and it's on page 248-250. Graham's position is that there is a separate time in every object. ... "Time is a strife between an object and its accident" rather than a condition for it.

    This isn't a surprising position, of course, given that temporalizing philosophies sometimes share much in common with overmining ones.

  14. Thank you so much. My response is so long I will make it another post. I exhibited the concept through some quick searching.