3Quarks Daily Nomination

For some inexplicable reason, 3Quarks Daily‘s recent competition of philosophy blogs have managed to include Jon Cogburn’s post on early Heidegger from our Braver Reading Group – I say you give Jon what he deserves (your vote since it’s clearly an actual philosophy-related post unlike all the other crap we post about) and support the local philosophical produce. Also it’s just fun to look through the list of nominated posts and see some blogs I haven’t yet discovered.

56 thoughts on “3Quarks Daily Nomination

    • I would be truly disappointed if the big minds at 3QD would nominate me, I haven’t managed to produce one philosophical thought on this blog, as we both know, but Jon’s a different game, he brings us legitimacy and seriousness we so dearly lack – go Jon! I’m going to tell me students to vote – take that, studentless blogs in the competition!

  1. I thought we just sat around here in our blue meanie (oops, sorry I meant gregarious troll, orange vampire, chartreuse zombie etc.) outfits complaining about our blogospheric betters. And through the magical powers of our whingeing we tempt some of them into a labyrinth populated half man, half bull, beer swilling layabouts. [Luckily, as we all know, this temptation is avoided by heroic commitment to “projects,” periodic excommunications worthy of the anti-reformation period, and periodic violation of copyright and liable laws by posting of private e-mails without permission.]

    The above (and the fact that I’d listened to AC/DC’s “Problem Child” 35 times consecutively that day) was why I signed up for the reading group. . .

    Seriously, this is embarrassing and possibly a sin by my own lights, but I nominated the thing myself. I recommended the whole set of posts, but they would only let you nominate one specific post. So of course I picked one of my own. I thought there was going to be some kind of culling before the initial voting. . .

    Anyhow, it’s listed as Perverse Egalitarianism; so I think a vote for it does to some extent reflect a vote for the whole project. And I do think the reading group was the coolest thing that happened in the philosophical blogosphere this last summer.

    • Jon, your narcissistic gesture will bring shame to this “otherwise excellent blog” – I don’t know what you were thinking! For what it’s worth, maybe it will give some more exposure to our reading group, since it’s really the only venture that PE is worth remembering for, I voted for your post already.

  2. As long as you guys are beating Harman’s “philosophy blog” you should feel fine – I’m surprised they found one post from his blog that remotely qualifies as “philosophical” – the man should be nominated as “the most narcissistic blogger that mostly writes about himself under the guise of philosophy blog” or something like that. These competitions are silly though, who cares about these things?

    • James, I think I probably beat Harman in that department. What truly sets me apart is my merciless willingness to resort to posting cute pictures of my son. As far as narcissistic gestures under the guise of philosophy go, pyramids and whatnot just can’t compete with that.

      Take that Graham Harman.

      • I don’t know, Jon – posting pictures of children is a fairly superficial level of narcissism, an amateur narcissism, I would say – setting up a blog called “object-oriented philosophy” that is almost entirely dedicated to one subject, i.e. Harman himself (his daily life, travels, interactions, intimate thoughts and so forth) is a much more sophisticated level of narcissism. However, I beat all of you because apparently for the last two years I’ve done nothing but attempted to discuss philosophical ideas on this blog (and having produced exactly zero real philosophical thoughts) while mostly talking about my personal inadequacies, failures, lack of projects, and so on. That’s high-class narcissism, no picture of a cute human child can beat that!

    • 3 to 16? I suspect foul play of some sort here, we can’t possibly have more than 5-6 readers willing to vote. I’m with James here though, competitions are silly, unless of course you manage to win one! I do like most of the posts that were nominated and I’ve discovered some new blogs as well, so I suppose there is some value in this.

  3. I think it was just a bump from when you posted this. Anyway I more or less agree. It ain’t a big deal but great for finding new blogs.

  4. Well, I’ve certainly voted for Harman’s post and I’m surprised that he’s only gotten one vote so far. Contrary to James H.’s impression, I find something deeply “philosophical” in just about everything Harman says – and as he is not shy to admit, what he says he says with STYLE! I think Harman is right when he suggests that in 100 or 200 years nobody will remember the likes of Sellars, Quine, Dummett, Dennett or Brandom, but I would bet my house that Harman himself will be remembered alongside the Great Thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel and Heidegger. I also don’t think it’s ‘narcissistic’ for Harman to recognise this – false modesty is not a virtue, in my book. But whether people vote for Harman’s post or not, it would obviously never win with Daniel Dennett as the judge, because Dennett is precisely the kind of narrow analytic philosopher that Harman targets in his post when he points out that they tend to be terrible writers.

    Anyway, for those of you who haven’t read the OOP post that was nominated, here’s a sample of some of the highlights:

    “Style is philosophically important because it says things without saying them. This is meaningful to me because I think objects touch other objects without touching them; that’s the core of my position in metaphysics.

    Style is arguably the most important issue in all of philosophy. I do not exaggerate … Consider our knowledge of people. The visible actions of people help us get to know their underlying character, but never do we treat people as a history of explicit actions that they have undertaken; this is a fantasy of existentialism, a school long since discredited. No, we read behind the known actions of a person to gain a sense of some inner personal core that has never been adequately expressed in any number of their actions or statements. We get a “bad feeling” about a person, without being able to state the exact features of their behavior or appearance that generate this feeling.

    This is also why I think that emotion is underrated as a cognitive tool. Emotional reactions to people and things have to do with a general overall sense of the goodness or badness or frightening or beneficent nature of these people and things, without being able to articulate exactly what the feeling is telling us. These emotional reactions can be wrong, but so can reasoned arguments.

    Finally, this is also why analytic philosophers tend to be abysmal writers even when they are clear. You’re never going to see objects as they really are, so you’d better figure out how to allude to them. And that’s why I have no use for a philosopher without style.”

    • Terry, I’m glad you are an admirer of Harman and his influential work. You should take our comments on this thread with a grain of salt (or any other spice you prefer) as we clearly are a sarcastic bunch and certainly do not take our ‘philosophical efforts’ that seriously. As for putting Harman alongside “the Great Thinkers” like Plato, Kant or Hegel I would say let the history be the judge, so I wouldn’t bet your house just yet.

    • Terry,

      Let me second Mikhail’s points and also add that I’m a big fan of Harman’s “Tool Being,” and also enjoy many of his bloggy peregrinations (e.g. what it’s like to live in Egypt, his travels, the stuff on Gibson).

      The nominated post is part of a string of posts that were really pretty unfortunate. Yes, yes, most analytic luminaries won’t be read one hundred years from now. But this means nothing. Nobody is reading Hans Vaihinger, Ernst Cassirer, or Suzanne Langer today and they were legitimate giants. How many people are reading Schopenhauer?

      Most importantly, if you are going to criticize a whole field for some alleged fault, you should be familiar enough with that whole field to do so. I don’t think there are any interesting generalizations about style that separate contemporary analytic versus continental academic philosophy. Harman does have a very good style, but it’s no better or worse on any of the metrics he brings up than most analytic philosophers with a very good style.

      This is really weird with respect to Speculative Realism, which (given it’s problem space) is very badly served (philosophically, there may be a professional justification) by continuing tired facets of the analytic-continental split. Analytic philosophers have been playing the anti-correlationist game (and the correlationist game, read the posts for the reading group, and also read Braver’s book) since the get go, and particularly since the downfall of logical positivism. If you are thinking about the issues and neglect the best of that work then you just reinvent the wheel. And the wheel you invented would work on a “Flintstones” cartoon at best.

      Now that the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy are both available free on-line, there is really no excuse. With the exception of where there is an intersection with science or difficult logic, any one of the core metaphysical issues that are being worked out in the SR blogosphere are such that in an afternoon a competent philosopher can get up to speed on the state of the relevant debate and up to speed on the necessary references worth tracking down.

      Or spend a couple of weeks reading Michael Loux’s and E.J. Lowe’s metaphysics textbooks.

      The point is, at this point these invidious distinctions are just an excuse for not reading relevant work that you should be reading (the same holds for analytic philosophers, who have no excuse at least since the publication of Dermot Moran’s excellent book on phenomenology).

      Again, I’m a fan of philosophical fandom and like Mikhail I don’t intend to be discouraging you by this. But I do need to ask. Have you read any Dennett? He’s a very good prose stylist, and he’s written on a wide variety of subjects: consciousness, the nature of belief, free will, evolution, religion, multiple personality disorder, etc. In no way is he narrow. He does interdisciplinary work with people in a variety of fields (many who have found his work extremely helpful). He’s one of the few professional philosophers who accords appropriate respect and interest to Hofstadter’s work.

      If there is any worry about Dennett judging Harman it’s just the opposite of what you alleged, that Dennett’s philosophy is so full of empirical and practical friction that he might arguably not be sensitive to the metaphysical issues that are Speculative Realism’s bread and butter. But if that were to be a problem, it would apply just as much to huge swaths of analytic philosophy (cf. Fodor’s frustrated book review of McDowell’s “Mind and World”) as well.

  5. Thank you Mikhail. I guess I should have expected a sarcastic bunch at a blog of this name! Have you actually read any of Harman’s work? If you haven’t I can’t recommend it to you enough. One of the things that is really great about it is that you start to thing about the reality of objects in a totally different way. Instead of obsessing about human access to the world like all the Kantian correlationists, it opens up the whole of reality as something for philosophers to think about. After reading Harman I find myself looking at objects around me and wondering about how they relate to each other, and how they always have an essence that withdraws from all the relations they are in. He has this great way of talking about objects as ‘vacuum-packed’ with mysterious hidden depths. Its a bit complicated, but basically what he does is show how each object, whether its a soda can or a mailbox or fire or a clown, is never exhausted by its relations but has an essence that always hides itself from the things it comes into contact with (though Harman also teaches us that they never can come into contact with each other, so it gets kind of deep, talking about ‘vicarious causation’ and such which I’m still trying to get my head around!).

    Anyways, sorry to go on, but I think this is a much more exciting way to do philosophy than reading lots of abstract arguments that don’t really seem to have much contact with the real world that we all experience every day. It certainly beats Kant with all his transcendent apriori synthetical deductions! I hope you will read some Harman and get as much out of it as I have!

    • I’m glad you are enthusiastic about philosophical ideas, it’s a rare thing these days, and it’s great to see it (and I mean it too). I have read Harman’s work and I don’t share your enthusiasm for it, but I’m sure it’s mostly because I enjoy doing philosophy the boring way with “lots of abstract arguments” and I don’t like “real world” or “everyday experience” at all (being a crusty Kantian correlationist does not help here either) – why be a philosopher at all if you can’t at the very least escape into the world of abstract ideas? I mean if it was good enough for Socrates, it is good enough for me.

      When it’s all said and done, I don’t see any reason to be antagonistic towards other bloggers/thinkers, there’s plenty of work for all of us. I do think there is a difference between thinking that your philosophical ideas are important and shameless self-promotion, but it’s just me, you know?

  6. Thanks Jon. Its true that I haven´t read much analytic philosophy, but I’m sure Harman has so I have it on good authority that they mostly just endlessly nitpick each others arguments in Mind and other journals (Harman calls these sort of people ‘trolls’). Great Philosophy doesn’t get done by criticising other people’s projects but by moving forward with your own, and doing it with style. So I think its true when Harman says that analytic philosophy hasn’t made much progress since Locke, because they still think that philosophy should be about epistemology, always asking ‘how do you know that?’ and worrying about problems of access to the world instead of dealing with the world itself and all its variety of objects. But if you have read Harman you will know that there is no more problem about how human beings can know the world than there is about how fire interacts with cotton. That is not to say that there is no problem with neither, but just to recognise that both are equally interesting problems. Why keep going on about the single lonely rift between mind and world like MacDowell does when there are so many other gaps out there too?

    I have read some Dennett but can’t say that I found his style of writing very evocative. As Harman says in that post, there is a way of talking about things without talking about them, and since objects touch without ever touching (it sounds paradoxical I know!) philosophy should use metaphor to ALLUDE to them. I don’t think that this is a pointthat many analytic philosopherrs understand. As far as I know Dennett has the scientistic view that you can reduce consciousness to neurology, but this is to take a small section of the world and pamper it as if everything else was just a kind of illusion. But for Object-Oriented Philosophy gods and souls and Popeye are just as real as atoms and quarks and brains (Larval Subjects is really good at arguing for this too). Plus, you can’t get to the reality of a thing just by gazing at them and listing their empirical qualities like science does. Objects have subterranean depths that we can never know anything about, but we can certainly allude to them by the use of metaphor, which is why philosophy needs vivid langauge, not just arguments. Arguments are fine is you just want to argue with people, but if you want to do ontology I think you need something more than just valid arguments. Logical mistakes are the most trivial aspects of a philosophy. I’m sure Plato made lots of logical mistakes, but he is still a Great Philosopher.

    I agree with Mickhail that there is not enough enthusiasm for philosophy these days, but I don’t think philosophy should be a way of esaping the world but rather a way of being in touch with the reality of objects. Your right that there is to much antagonism against other thinkers though and I think that is because we’ve been taught that ‘critical thinking’ (with the emphasis on criticism) is the only way to think, and I believe that analytic philosophy is responsible for a lot of that. So why not let a thousand flowers blossom! That is surely more open minded than constantly picking holes in people’s projects, which is something that is usually done by people who don’t have projects of their own so they tear down other peoples’.

    • Terry, I too like that you are so enthusiastic, but you can’t simply wish away a whole tradition/discipline based on some appeal to authority. If you want to completely hang your hat on Harman, fine. However, you seem to regard the positions you are attributing to Harman as “gospel.” I really have to take issue with your blame game, e.g. philosophical tribalism is the result of too much emphasis on critical thinking (something you may want to think about). Come on. Having a project is fine, but why inoculate yourself from critique, which would make your project stronger in the long run. Not everything we read is “evocative,” but that doesn’t mean we have to throw it out. I’m surprised by your assessment of Dennett. I find him to be a rather lively and engaging writer, esp in Consciousness Explained and more so in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. A question of taste I guess. I hope my comment doesn’t sound too pissy, but you have been telling us to be open minded, but you yourself are trying to push away whole thinkers/traditions/ideas without really engaging them. Come on, man. Nobody here is arguing against pluralism. Why play a blame game?

    • I’m afraid that you are reproducing all of the peculiarities of “speculative realism/object-oriented philosophy” in your short post – how can you write “let a thousand flowers bloom” (implying that there’s plenty of space for philosophical work for all, I assume) and at the same time constantly berate other philosophers (that you admit to not having read, but you trust Harman did and you trust his authoritative judgment) for not doing what they are supposed to be doing? That has been my issue for some time now – I’m absolutely and totally fine with whatever philosophy Harman is thinking up, what I don’t like is his arrogant tone of pronouncing infinite number of judgments on how other people failed to do with is to be done – and by the way, I don’t know if you are aware of that, but Harman did not invent “objects” and the issues of their relation, as you know, he borrows much of his original problematics from Heidegger and occasionalism, i.e. he himself didn’t suddenly just sprang up in the middle of a philosophical desert.

      I don’t have to point it out, it’s obvious to me, but your attitude toward non-Harmanian philosophy is clearly a result of your reading his blog too much and why I still think it’s good to be so interested in philosophy at this initial stage, I really do hope you grow out of this affected fandom and do take some time to read that which Harman criticizes (without merit in many cases) so that you can judge for yourself.

    • I’m sorry if this is going to come across as pissy, but your example of recent debate about the existence of fictional objects is a case in point. I am not saying that Speculative Realists can’t come up with a worthwhile position on this. But it must be noted that some ferociously good philosophers have already dedicated much of their lives to thinking these things through, and that the fruits of their labor are available free.

      In the Stanford Encyclopedia alone there are very nice, genuinely accessible to someone without a lot of background, articles such as: (1) fictionalism ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/fictionalism/ , (2) the paradox of suspense ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-suspense/ ), (3) possible objects ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/possible-objects/ ), (4) nonexistent objects ( http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nonexistent-objects/ ).

      I could make a comparable list about work on causation, scientific naturalism, the problem of the external world (in metaphysics, epistemology, and cognitive science), or any of the debates that the SR blogosphere circles around.

      Nietzsche is surely right that to have creative thoughts we often must forget and bracket out a lot of things. But having creative thoughts also: (1) entails being steeped in a tradition from which you can think analogically, and (2) while working out the initial insights entails attending to the best that has been thought on these same issues. Speculative Realism is so vital because (1) it usually involves a guerrilla tradition vis a vis the articulated discussion in some sense (e.g. Bryant’s fascinating posts on Lacan). But you are here defending principled reasons from Harman (and I’m not claiming he’d agree with these on reflection) to not have to do (2).

      Part of this is the nature of the blogosphere, where the debates are so quick and there are nobody can force us to attend to relevant work as blind reviewers in peer reviewed journals do. But part of it seems to be the natural expression of a movement psychology that strikes me as philosophically perverse (oops, I forgot about the name of this blog).

      I’m not saying that everyone in the S.R. blogosphere sins against Lady Philosophy in this manner, or even that anyone does it uniformly. But after a progression of brouhahas, excommunications, and posts such as the one nominated above, one sometimes gets the feeling that this is in part yet another example of a guiding mentality of self-imposed ghettoization helping people who attach labels to themselves feel special. But that characterizes a cult, not good philosophy.

      As an analytic philosopher thinking through issues about realism and anti-realism, I have a lot to learn from continental realists and anti-realists. I’ll keep reading with enthusiasm publications by Bryant, Harman, Meillassoux, Brassier etc. as well as excellent blogs such as Speculative Heresy (and hope to read the contributors’ books some day too). But it’s not too crazy to worry about facets of the ethos crippling the new age of (English language) continental realism before it’s even old enough to drink.

      Assuming your posts are sincere (and I’m sorry if this is too insulting, but if one wanted to satirize Harman and the discussion on Bryant’s blog then one could do a lot worse than write exactly what you have written) they instantiate the danger all too well.

  7. I don’t think there is anything wrong with ‘fandom’. Its only those who adopt the ‘sneer from nowhere’ attitude like yourselves who think that. Plus, I don’t think that Harman is inculcating himself from criticism at all. He just recognises that some types of intellectual engagement are not productive, sap your energy and waste you time. I think he is right when he says that most of the criticisms directed at him are because people are envious of his success. There are not many Great Thinkers around these days, so I think we should give them the respect they deserve.

    • A quick comment here – I have attempted to email Terry (to the provided email) to check and see if he was indeed pulling everyone’s leg here, and it’s a fake email, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is an elaborate hoax. Funny, I should say.

      • Well obviously the whole e-mail business is just an instance of when any two objects interact. Terry’s concealing is a constitutive part of his revealing.

        I think your correlationism (in addition to sundry other philosophical and spiritual sins involving monstrous creatures) blinds you to this kind of thing Mikhail.

      • Does it not by now go without saying that everyone posting here is consumed with envy?

        I don’t think my projects are lined up well enough to deserve envy though Mikhail.

        In fact, I’m not sure what my project is. And this scares me. I remember in the movie “The Jerk” when Patti finally shows Navan R. Johnson what his “special purpose” is and the whole thing looks kind of traumatic. I think a project has to be something like a special purpose, so maybe it’s like that. Though I must say that tatooed, faux-hawked, motorcycle riding circus performers were never really my thing. . .

      • Seriously, one of the things I like about Terry (assuming it’s satire) is that he is satirizing some of my own defenses of Harmania in this blog. For example, I think the Mao meme about blooming ontologies was introduced in this context by me this last summer.

        The world really does divide into two kinds of people, those who can manifest aesthetic appreciation for entertaining piss-taking-out-of even when they are the now pissless recipient, and those who can’t. Today I’m happy to realize that on at least one of these kinds of divide-the-world type metrics I come out on the alright side.

  8. Terry, I know you’ve probably realized already that this is the hot spot blog for “energy-sappers” and “trolls” but if you care to engage me for a second here – what exactly qualifies one to be a “Great Thinker” and what is this “success” that you are talking about vis-a-vis Harman? Did he publish an influential book that everyone (and I don’t mean just a bunch of bloggers like us) is talking about and that radically changed the philosophical discussion? And if you haven’t read much philosophy, how can you judge that Harman indeed is a thinker at all? Just trust his word for it because “false modesty” is not a virtue in your book? What if I declared myself to be a “Great Thinker” – no reason, just because I really feel that I am one – how would we decide whether I am or not? You love Harman, that’s terrific, yet are frustrated that others do not see why you love him so much, that’s problematic because it’s not philosophy, it’s adoration and affectation.

    I also find it increasingly funny that you are both against philosophical hierarchies (all those boring continentals and analytics) and yet you so desperately push for Harman’s “Great Thinker” status and want him a place in the pantheon among others like Plato, Kant or Hegel – get you own canon, man.

  9. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this is an elaborate hoax”

    Well, it took a while for the penny to drop, but I think you all did yourselves proud and showed great diplomatic constraint in treating Terry with such kid-gloves. If people such as Terry really existed (but then again, if Popeye exists …?), it wouldn’t be “great” or “terrific” – it’d be more like TERRIFYING (or “terry-fying” – excuse the pun). But as a matter of fact Terry did nothing other than paraphrase – which fact, if you ask me, is scary enough in itself. Let’s just hope that the cult doesn’t manage to recruit too many members like Terry.

    Anyway, hope not to have pissed anyone off here. Just illustrating a point.

  10. “For example, I think the Mao meme about blooming ontologies was introduced in this context by me this last summer.”

    Well, I honestly didn’t know that, though I’ve been a little surprised to find a clearly first-rate philosopher actively defending some of this hogwash. By the way: we tend to say that trees blossom and that flowers bloom, though Terry doesn’t realise this (this was deliberate, as were all the spelling mistakes). As for ontologies, they neither blossom nor bloom; they just come in and out of fashion, apparently (“philosophies are not refuted, they’re just abandoned – a laudable thing, we’re told).

  11. “The world really does divide into two kinds of people, those who can manifest aesthetic appreciation for entertaining piss-taking-out-of even when they are the now pissless recipient, and those who can’t. Today I’m happy to realize that on at least one of these kinds of divide-the-world type metrics I come out on the alright side.”

    Well, thanks for your generosity of spirit, in that case: the posts were really not intended to rile anyone.

    • Well one of the rules of the interwebs (possibly life too) is if you get riled up you lost the argument.

      More to the point, even though Mikhail, James, Shahar and me all got snookered, the whole thing is pretty hilarious and all around aesthetically pleasing.

      You captured key weird philosophical planks in the movement while illustrating a lot of its blogospheric dysfunction. The posts managed to raise the question of whether the philosophical weirdness and dysfunction are in some way related. And the whole thing was magnified by the indeterminate nature of Terry’s incompetence. Is he just some young guy really excited about something in the manner of the kid excited about ninjas? Will he grow up out of that or instead blossom into a full fledged crank? You had us all rooting for him.

  12. After rereading my posts, I quite understand why you weren’t too harsh with Terry: after all, he doesn’t know the difference between ‘inoculate’ and ‘inculcate’, and thinks that Kant engaged in “transcendent apriori synthetical deductions’, lol. Poor fellow.

  13. “In fact, I’m not sure what my project is. And this scares me.”

    I think it’s pretty clear that you do have a project, Jon – in fact, you clearly have several overlapping projects-in-progress. All that you lack, it seems to me, is a CDC (Central Dogmatic Conceit), a catchy brand-name, and a willingness to blow your own trumpet about it all.

  14. As a result of this entertaining (and very believable hoax, by the way, I totally bought it until the last minute or so), I propose to call those who are affectedly admire philosophers for no reason “a terry” – doesn’t have to be SR or anything, that annoying ass-kissing graduate student who always wants to tell the prof how much they loved their latest book is a terry…

  15. “You captured key weird philosophical planks in the movement while illustrating a lot of its blogospheric dysfunction.”

    Ha, well, glad you enjoyed it rather than just feeling that I was wasting people’s time.

    Just a somewhat important point, though: there really is no such thing as “the Speculative Realist movement” and never has been, and I think people should be careful not to tar everyone with the same brush here. At least three of the philosophers who gave papers at the “SR” workshops (namely, Ray Brassier, Quentin Meillassoux and Iain Haminton Grant) have, as far as know, never blogged, never entered into any blog discussions, and never even described themselves as “speculative realists”. Their silence in this respect is, I think, somewhat telling, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they are quietly filled with horror at seeing their names so frequently evoked in some of these discussions. I’ve even seen bloggers attribute to Brassier some of Harman’s core ideas, and while I don’t know what Brassier himself would think about that, having read a lot of his work I very much doubt he’d be very happy about it.

  16. Hamilton, even …

    By the way, I think my Roger Moore eyebrow is pretty cool; thanks for pointing it out. Sorry to see you got the angry grimace there, Jon, but then you did say you’re consumed with spite and envy 😉

  17. ‘As a result of this entertaining (and very believable hoax, by the way, I totally bought it until the last minute or so), I propose to call those who are affectedly admire philosophers for no reason “a terry”’

    Terry feels greatly honored by this gesture, I assure you.

    No, I really must go and suck the energy out of some unwitting victim with a project. It’s been fun. Cheers!

  18. Comments’ order is going crazy again for some reason. In any case, to save this blog’s honor, I am going to claim now to have known all along that this is a hoax and actually to have orchestrated it from the very beginning – we can’t be thought of as some nice and open-minded bunch so easily duped into being welcoming and accepting of our enemies?

    I do agree with your point vis-a-vis other “speculative realists” – as far as I can tell, it’s mostly Harman, Levi and a bunch of affected teenage girls (except for Nick and his bunch, those guys seem to be sober and cool about the whole thing)…

  19. I’m glad I read the entire thread if only to find out that I’ve had a cool stagename all my life but never noticed: Paul Ennui.

    Although I’m sad to inform you Mikhail that my next post on OOB is a list of enemies consisting entirely of you and your avatar.

    • Again, as with “Terry” character I’d like to post a disclaimer: most of the time I have no idea what I am talking about.

      Paul, let’s face it “Ennui” is much better than “Ennis” – it has a real speculative realist ring to it, don’t you think? Plus the sheer pleasure of introducing yourself as “Ennui” with that nice French nasal sound – you are welcome.

      To be honest, I misremembered your name, if that offended you, I apologize. I do find you recent enthusiasm for all things SR/OOO/OOP to be somewhat surprising. I remember reading your blog when it was about Heidegger and all, now suddenly you are at the forefront of this new and shiny philosophical movement – what happened?

  20. @Mikhail
    I actually agree it sounds better. I’m just surprised I nor anybody I know never came up with it before. It didn’t offend me in the slightest so no worries there. I’m a fan of the blog despite the rift that exists between SR and here.

    A lot happened during that hiatus. The blog started up in the first year of my PhD. I spent that year reading nothing but Heidegger and not caring much about the contemporary debates. Over time I was slowly coming to realize that I did not have the stomach to become a card-carrying Heideggerian and with my loss of interest in Heidegger the blog died too.

    The year in between was a kind of ‘ennui’ year for real. What exactly am I doing? That type of thing. I’m sure we all know that mid-PhD time peroid. So I re-read some of the tradition without my Heideggerian lenses; Leibniz, Kant, Hegel & co. I found that I was actually being wildly unfair to them due to my allegiance to Heidegger.

    [I edited the second comment in below, don’t know how it got disconnected so – ME]

    My post just jumped there for some reason. To keep things short. Harman came to my Uni, I missed the talk but a friend said check out his blog. I read his blog. Then I found out about this thing called speculative realism. It seemed to offer a way out of the Deleuze/Badiou/Zizek atmosphere in European philosophy departments and from there the blog re-starts and you can piece together the rest. I think being at the forefront might be a strong word for someone like me who has not published a single thing on SR/OOP. I suppose I’m more like somebody who wants to keep an eye it and am willing to support their efforts. I respect what they are doing. Who knows where it will go. It might disappear in a year or so.

  21. M.E.: “As a result of this entertaining (and very believable hoax, by the way, I totally bought it until the last minute or so), I propose to call those who are affectedly admire philosophers for no reason “a terry” ”

    Kvond: Funny as hell. Somehow far less threatening than a Grey Vampire, but perhaps a doppelgänger in the parallel anti-matter Universe. Heaven forbid if ever a “terry” and a “Grey Vampire” touch.

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