I have been musing on the conversations on realism that occurred in the local blogosphere some months ago. It seems that some of the mis-alignment of the conversation, at least one my side, was that I was concerned about the implications of acceding only to bare realism to phenomenology and epistemology. That is, if one only accepts that the external world is mind-independent, then I was concerned about the status of phenomenology and epistemology, especially given the high speculative moves and wish to move way from the anthropocentric. Among many of my concerns is a common one among those of my philosophical persuasion; we should be very careful about erasing the inquirer from the inquiry and claiming that our conclusions exists antecedently to the inquiry. This is called the philosophical fallacy.
Among the speculative realists and the others in orbit, my insistence about scholastic realism (realism of universals) was motivated by the following question. If these theorists do not maintain some kind of scholastic realism, but instead embrace nominalism, then how can any of their inquiries ever pertain to human-independent existence? The cord between the human and the not-human becomes cut, and as much as we might strive to talk about not-human, we cannot escape our own humanity. With that said, there is a difference between escaping and thinking beyond the human. Peirce, Whitehead, and a number of continental thinkers as well, I suspect, do this, but I did not see an explanation of this with some of my interlocutors. Those who invoked Whitehead have an answer through him, in which case we would and did discuss our own paths.
I leave you with this question that I asked the first time. I know a number of answers, and thus is it not a leading question, but I do not recall seeing those answers. Without scholastic realism, how can any nominalist claim anything of the non-human?