Majority Report


Interesting results of asking philosophers about stuff.

So a large majority are realists? Where is the supposed hegemony of anti-realists? And now since speculative realism” is dead or is just a label that was rudely imposed on a few thinkers who never, I say, never would have used the term themselves, it seems that it’s sort of strange that two books about it are just coming out – so sad, the movement is over before its two fundamental texts are out. Someone has to quickly change the names of the books to Away From Speculative Realism and The Speculative Dead End. You are welcome, humanity.

22 thoughts on “Majority Report

  1. I also liked this bit from another attempt at marketing OOO (found in the comments at http://www.bogost.com/blog/what_is_objectoriented_ontolog.shtml#comment-47897):

    I passed this around briefly to non-academics, obviously biased by who I know. The last sentence caused pretty universal problems, being regarded as surprising and at the very least in need of explanation. Not sure how you’d elaborate on it concisely, though.

    The 2nd-to-last I also got a few questions about, but nobody really objected, just befuddled reactions as to what it was saying and why. When I explained that it was directed at antirealist positions in Continental philosophy, they understood it, but I think it was regarded as superfluous (there are not many people outside of academia, at least who I’ve met, who believe trees don’t “really” exist independent of the human experience of trees).

    So, if most philosophers are scientific realists, and most people outside the academy are realists,…

  2. The “hegemony” consists in the fame of the NAMES of those we want to be most like in the power of reputation. We (the royal we) want to be like “Derrida”, so we have to stab him again and again so that his second corpse will finally die.

    Take that Derrida, you hegemonic bastard. One day people will be writing commentaries of commentaries on my texts!

    Aside from this, these are mostly “Philosophy of Mind” types, and other analyticish kinds, which are a different sort of “wanker” (as Harman likes to put it):

    http://philpapers.org/surveys/demographics.pl

  3. Mikhail, In keeping with the withdraw of sarcasm, I want to be clear, the term “wanker” here is being used only its its technical sense, as can be culled from the associative OOP-OOO Dictionary (AOOD) soon to be published on line by an eight year old in New Jersey with an unexpectedly fluent understanding of Latour, Aristotle and, well a few others:

    Wanker: An unprocreative onanist, without PROPER projects.

  4. This question was too broad. “Scientific realism” can mean anything to anybody. This experimental philosophy might want to hire somebody who’s written a survey before, it’s giving itself a bad name.

    • True. I think that this survey was actually written and conducted by the hegemonic anti-realists who wanted to calm down all of these talks of realism and then secretly proceed to discredit all the vocal critics (I’m on their payroll, by the way) of anti-realism/correlationism and other established orthodoxies. While the Executive Committee for the Revival of Realism is planning and executing its revolutionary plan, it seems that the anti-realist powers that be are not resting either.

    • bjk: “This question was too broad. “Scientific realism” can mean anything to anybody.

      Kvond: Yes, unlike the PR firm in charge of defining what OOO, OOP, Speculative Realism, “Let objects speak” and “Let objects surprise you” all mean.

    • It could also be that there was a quantum reaction from the New Realism future where every student tarries over their New Realism dissertations, sending back “distant signal” boson particle messages into the past, pre-positing its own dominance. Most of these philosophers had no idea why the word “Realism” started dancing with all kinds of “allure” as they stared at their surveys, beguiling serpents of Salome wondrousness. Realism, Realism, Re-al-is-mmm.

  5. The survey might be oversimplifying or dumb, or whatever, but it’s really fascinating. My favorite is, if you filter to Continental Philosophy, you get this:

    Trolley problem (five straight ahead, one on side track, turn requires switching, what ought one do?): switch or don’t switch?

    Other 11 / 25 (44%)
    Accept or lean toward: switch 11 / 25 (44%)
    Accept or lean toward: don’t switch 3 / 25 (12%)

    • Thinking about it now, I would say do nothing. You don’t know what’s going to happen . . . for all you know, turning the switch could be the worst possible outcome and subject you to prosecution. “I just wanted the fat guy to die” is not much of a defense . . . .

  6. Pingback: Fear of Knowledge « Ktismatics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s