Are You an Object-Oriented Ontologist Yet?


With so many people converting to object-oriented ontology (Tim Morton “came out” as an object-oriented ontologist and our very own Jon Cogburn is summoned as the very first, but surely not last, “analytical object-oriented ontologist”), the important question now is: Have you accepted object-oriented ontology as your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, here’s a useful list of points you can make while trying to persuade yourself and then your friends:

1) Remember that this world was created by The Great Object to be perfect and peaceful, but The Evil Correlationists destroyed it with their stupid stupid correlations.

2) You are a correlationist, because you were born correlationist. The Great Primordial Fossil wanted to exist only as experienced by the human mind, that was its downfall and now we can never know that the world is like outside of our own experiences.

3) Are you sad and lonely in your prison of correlationism? Has your career dead-ended and you need a boost of awesomeness? Do you often read books and think “How will I ever make a difference and be a really important philosopher?” Are you single? Does life get you down? Fear no more. We have good news! Instead of following false prophets you call “masters” you can now find new prophets and call them “new masters” and follow them, well, basically like old masters but now you can claim that old masters were really bad and these new masters are, well, new and shiny… Basically do everything you did before, but with more awesomeness and ice cream.

4) Object-oriented ontology is not just like any other ontology. It was born entirely out of online interactions of the marginal mavericks who were rejected by the traditional hegemonic SPEP/APA mafia. Some were forced to move out of the civilized world in order to teach their ground-breaking philosophy, some were never given a change of a tenure-tracked job and were condemned to teaching at a community college, some were cursed to get degrees in disciplines other than philosophy. But they didn’t despair and worked hard, denied themselves the worldly pleasures of friendship, marriage and television. They hoped that the day will come and the great spirit in the sky… wait, that’s from an episode of The Simpsons. Enter Graham Harman, the greatest living philosopher of our time.

5) Your only salvation is in turning away from correlationism and embracing whoever is against correlationism: [insert your favorite philosopher here, you’ll see, it works!]

6) Doesn’t it sounds like a good idea to reject what many people say you must reject? Don’t you want to join a large group-think? Don’t ask stupid questions, don’t use that tone with us, believe and you will be saved!

7) Repeat after me: “Kant was a real jerk, he ruined it all for us, his books must only be read superficially and without real understanding!” – “Contemporary philosophy is stale, boring, hegemonic, unoriginal, oppressive, and correlationist, did I mention correlationist? – “Graham Harman is the most original philosopher since Plato and will show us the way to the philosophical salvation” – “Long live objects and their awesome timbre”…

Seven seems like a good number, doesn’t it? A coloring book/brochure to follow.

88 thoughts on “Are You an Object-Oriented Ontologist Yet?

  1. 8. You can help police philosophical and internet discourse with a list of disapproved behaviors/motivations/people such as the Grey Vampires, the Matthew Calarco, et al. Get your moral superiority on, and dress up your dislikes in swaddling theory as “Conceptual Personae.” Now conveniently ready for passive aggressively continuing conversations after your critics have left and suitable for all sorts of ad hominem uses.

    9. The Brethren will lavish hyperbolic praise on every tangential thought you post on your approved blog. You can easily go from being a regular blogger, read only by your family and friends, to being the writer of **Brilliant** posts, articles, and books.

    • driveby: You can easily go from being a regular blogger, read only by your family and friends, to being the writer of **Brilliant** posts, articles, and books.

      kvond: Tim Morton can be expected to be writing many “brilliant posts” in the future. Alas. When the powers of internet cross-discussion (a real resource in thought), devolve into hyper book-blurbism in order to imitate the publishing world. A sad state.

  2. 10. If you adopt the a priori truth of Harman’s “theory” of vicarious causation, you will have the luxury of pretending to explain something deep about how reality works while still enjoying the benefit of not having to read any actual science!

    • There is a curious homology between the unexplanable and undefendable “vicarious causation” theory of causation which reads something like this: If you accept all my categories of Being, causation simply cannot happen the way that Science says it does, and the “theory” of Creationism which says: If you accept all the biblical truths, evolution simply cannot have happened the way that Science says it does.

      The level of head-in-sandness is remarkable.

  3. Ahh, both worthy additions, my anti-correlationist brothers.

    I believe I’m not the only one using the religious analogy – Harman’s highly anticipated (by as many as four people, I believe) Treatise on Objects is apparently going to take a form of Catechism:

    As for Treatise on Objects, only yesterday did I really figure out the format I want to use: 100 questions about OOO, each with an answer of around 1,000 words.

  4. Pingback: AUFS’s failure of branding « An und für sich

  5. And without any trace of self-awareness, we are treated to this self-aggrandizing silliness:

    Some of these trolls will be invented ex nihilo, while others may be so closely modelled on life as to provoke idle threats of lawsuits. In any case, it will be the most colorful gallery of sneer artists ever portrayed in print. And my responses to the trolls will be as lucid and accurate as the most adroit handling of surgical instruments.

    “I will blog about my ideas, shut down my comments, come to the defense of my Object-Oriented brothers, refuse to engage in discussion when I decide the tone is akin to “sneering,” and now, as my final act I will invent trolls and respond to them!”

    Simply precious! Hopefully he can read this comment and reproduce it so closely I’ll threaten to sue, oh wait, I won’t care what he writes.

    • I for one welcome our new objectological overlords. I know how hard it can be to recognize how antiquated all of your stupid ideas are and to relinquish your passionate attachments to said ideas, but objectology and objects of all sizes, shapes, colors, creeds are the future. Join now, or find yourself relegated to Graham Harman’s lengthy Nixon-esque list of enemies–under the appropriate Dungeons and Dragons pseudonym, naturally!

    • The idea to invent opponents and to respond to them is as old as Plato. In this particular case, he’s just stealing it from Meillassoux. Since he already self-aggrandizingly claimed that his Circus Philosophicus will be a mind-crushing success, I can’t see how he can do any better. I’m CP is on the top of the bestselling list of most major newspapers – you can’t go higher than that!

      • I’m well aware, Mikhail. Be that as it may, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there’s a difference between dialectics, in the most basic sense of the word, and writing a thinly veiled attack on one’s enemies, real or imagined.

      • For sure! His imaginary opponents are set up to be trolls, not real conversation partners (like in Meillassoux). This is actually as close as he gets to admitting that ALL of his opponents are easier to deal with if they can be openly rewritten as caricatures and straw-men.

  6. wow. morton writes:

    “At first I had all these objections to OOO. But I gradually realized, thanks to the infinite patience and kindness of Levi Bryant, that I was already thinking OOO things.”

    my goodness. i know that Bryant pretends to have infinite patience and kindness, but he is one of the brittlest, most insecure, and unkind “internet thinkers” – if that isn’t an oxymoron – I think I have ever come across. and painfully so. It does sound a bit like a conversion of religious proportions.

    • I don’t think you’re especially a ‘kind internet thinker’, kvond. Not that I had given it much thought, but you should not expect people to be. It’s enough you know about ‘thymos’ and such things, you know. I don’t expect you to be unpissed. Seriously, I’m enjoying all your thoughts on Achilles, those are the best things I’ve read on the bleugs for some time. But don’t think you’re all that cordial either!

      Frankly, the OOO people make youse jumps, dasn’t they? I just see them as overweight at this point. You’re not resisting them effectively, but I can’t be bothered, they’ll fizzle out into their beers.

      I read Harman’s diary for the first time in months, had to keep checking to see if he was really in Paris, which he seems to either hate or praise with faint damns. Too chic, that Paris. One really can understand the effects of OOO by reading someone’s ‘Paris Diary’ (not Ned Rorem’s, which has a lot of buggery in it) when it is all about ‘bad customs in Turkey’ and how someone wants to take a Lovecraft tour late at night in the dead of winter in Mass. and also the beauty of Alaska–which he segued from Stevens’s plane crash. I guess dreaming of Ms. Palin’s object, I don’t know.

      • QoB: “I don’t think you’re especially a ‘kind internet thinker’, kvond.”

        kvond: But there is this tremendous difference.

        I don’t portray myself as kind and patient. I am a fierce reasoner and regularly realize that others can experience me as unkind.

        And I don’t portray myself as a “thinker” per se, as an identity, and certainly not a “philosopher”.

        The problem with Bryant isn’t so much he behaviors, but his unbelievable blindness toward it – coupled with his then over-board dips into depressive self-loathing and self-deprication, only to swing into denial once again.

      • QoB: “But don’t think you’re all that cordial either!”

        kvond: thank you for saying so, honestly. Philosophy is not a tea party…or rather, a lot of “philosophers” sometimes pretend it is, taking all there thymos and angers and hatreds into the little sit down, and stick their fingers out when they raise their cups, seething inside every time someone makes a good counterpoint, and saying as politely as possible “pass me a scone please”, pretending to be equivocal and balanced. When this little tea party is conducted by professors (ugh) who have been locked into obscurity by the academic game, the ressentiment game becomes so disgusting and the thoughts so trifling, so unsubstantive, it is all parlor and rage. To join such a tea party and say of the host that he is the “most kind and patient” is savage.

      • Well, a fairly uninteresting thinker (for the little I tried to read of him on a couple of topics) just got less interesting.

  7. You forgot the Christmas day epiphany. Too bad we don’t have a napkin or stray message board comment to memorialize that moment in the lore of OOP through the ages.

  8. I’m sitting here digesting this for like ten minutes, and all I can say is that I’m deeply disappointed in Tim Morton as a thinker. He always struck me as a fairly lucid, somewhat conservative in claim, prospective thinker. But to have joined a group as convoluted as this group in the sense that he expresses I think shows that there is a huge difference between maturity of thought and maturity of person. I remember thinking that his “hyperobjects” theory a while back was vaguely object-oriented, and even suspected that he outright or unconsciously was “borrowing” the idea from all the blog talk (and it was a highly flawed theory with distinct ethical problems built into it), but I don’t get the “group” thing. I realized I was already a member…sigh.

    • You make it sound like corporate mergers and layoffs. Have they started talking about corporations as objects yet? That’s an idea, now isn’t it? Maybe the OOO is like a mirror image of fat cats on Wall Street, livin’ it up in the recovery while services and service jobs are cut. OOO is a form of capitalism.

      • Why would I be joking? It seems to me they’re making it BIG within your realms. Okay, so you’re a little TOO proud of your ‘fierce reasoning’, but it’s probably a natural reaction to all the ‘civil discourse’ that Harman has demanded as a tedious motif for the last year and more. He just doesn’t want to be contradicted and thinks he’s a star. Anyway, you can tell me I’m stupid on the capitalism circuitry, because I think they’re a very competitive business. It has the look of ‘taking it all very seriously’, but it could be that it’s like a storm system, that started from low pressure zone or something, and then has been built up into cyclonic terror. Maybe it’s all just meteorology, and is just as full of superstition as the stock market. Everybody knows that’s much more emotional than dollars and cents says it should be–the ‘rational’ part just comes when people are determined to collect, and then it’s all on paper and legally protected. But while they’re down there, a slight word of any new change in the economy and everything is thrown off. So they have to use those automatic systems, as when there was that mini-crash a couple of months ago. I can see why one would be pissed in the philosophy professions almost all the time, because it doesn’t really prove itself to be that different from the other fields when it gets down to brass tacks, careers, and positions. Harman has some sort of position that most seem to think he merits. It may just be that he knows how to inhabit it. I’m quite sure my standards for any of this are outmoded, although I can even see something of why Zizek holds his sinecure, while not interesting me much. Harman has been a mystery to me from the very beginning of hearing of him, so I guess he must just be some kind of wizard.

        Yes, Bryant does sometimes go into self-loathing, the little I’ve read of him. I conversed with him briefly once at John’s, he kept being condescending with ‘as I’m sure you’re deeply familiar with this thinking’, of course that was okay, because I really didn’t know anything about it. On the other hand, it seemed pretty contrived and barren, but it needed more of an expert to prove that. I don’t know how seriously it’s being taken, and am not sure how much it matters. But even if it’s just ‘a bad regime’, that happens in all fields, whether artistic, political, you name it, so you have to work it out. It sure sounds exhausting. Who knows, maybe you have to start thinking about the ‘king’s head’ again.

  9. ME: Oh noes! The comments are getting all screwed up again and it’s entirely unclear who is commenting on what remark!

    kvond: All, just don’t use “reply” and quote the relevant passage.

    • Which could have been stolen from Dominic’s subtitle ‘Better than Fun’. I guess people are trying to convince everybody else to have ‘lowered expectations’, as Margaret Thatcher used to love to say (Reagan wouldn’t have dared say that in the USA).

  10. So, seriously, general public, we post about some important topic and you don’t read it, but I post some mocking abuse of triple O and GH-man and you flock like [insert your favorite flocking metaphor] – our stats literally from pathetic to “did we get a link from Leiter Reports or what?” situation.

    Shame on you!

    Unless, of course, it’s some thin-skinned and obsessive person coming back again and again – you, stop it!

  11. Mikhail, the satire is going in the good direction, but it’s not complete yet.

    First of all we need a bestiary with assigned roles for the objectologists, and then based on Kantian concepts mixed with some obscure Egyptology

    Second of all the sexual aspect has to be expressed, that is to say how the objectal thought grows out of abstinence or systematic spinstery

    Thirdly we need to make it clear that the trolls and the grey vampires are in fact the objectologist’s guardian angels

  12. Damn, I am late to the anti-OOO pile-on.

    You guys sure do love to hate those guys, doncha?

    Well, I know I missed all the great (Cotton-and-)Flame Wars of 2009, so I don’t really have a right to an opinion. (I have read the documents, however, and I won’t deny that the manners of the usual suspects were pretty poor sometimes. I think there’s even been some owning up to that.) Anyway, I’m not ready to “come out” yet, but my esteem for Harman’s writing is well-known. I respect Mikhail and Kevin a great deal, so I hope they don’t hold my shameful fellOOw-traveler status against me. But I gotta say, Mikhail is right — the posts on Maimon get what, two, three responses, sometimes none (I’m to blame too)… and this one gets– I must be nearly number 40.

    Anyway, must leave this mysterious laptop object–if it is a laptop– for other toy soldiers. Do carry on….

  13. skh: “Mikhail is right — the posts on Maimon get what, two, three responses, sometimes none (I’m to blame too)… and this one gets– I must be nearly number 40.”

    kvond: And Mikhail was secretly following one of Harman’s golden rules, refer to a forgotten philosopher overlooked by the canon. WHY DIDN”T MAIMON GET ME HITS!!! But you have to use it in teaspoons. You just include the forgotten philosopher superficially, you pull a few principles out and then weave them into something fantastic and new to make it seem like what is new is really deep and profound. I think Mikhail needs to read the Harman guide to philosophy more closely.

    On a more serious note, if I am not a Hegelian or not a Kantian, why should Maimon get me all warm and fuzzy inside? I don’t read the commentless blogs of my old OOPOOO friends any longer. When a little update on what is happening in the philosophy blog ghetto pops up in my Inbox, its like a facebook status unexpectedly from a old friend. Why shouldn’t I be interested? You remember ol’ Tim Morton who used to be so lucid? Guess what he converted to…guess who he is calling a genius. This is good stuff.

  14. I should say that it’s not really that important who reads what on this blog, I’m sure someone’s enjoying it somewhere, but whenever a OOO-related post makes it from my vivid imagination onto a page (trust me, I hold most of the snarky stuff back), it’s almost always a frenzy of comments and hits.

    Allow me to illustrate my point – here’s normal traffic vs. this post:

    It’s ridiculous! Are there so many secret haters out there delighted at my work?

  15. “But you have to use it in teaspoons. You just include the forgotten philosopher superficially, you pull a few principles out and then weave them into something fantastic and new to make it seem like what is new is really deep and profound. ”

    This has worthwhile things in it, although it’s not necessary to use it for philosophers. I use it for some artists and entertainers I feel have been unfairly, even inexcusably, overlooked. But it has to be provable with their own work, on film or disc, not ‘woven into something fantastic’ such as spontaneous performance art until I’m 100% convinced I’m right about it (and then that does happen in some new form, and the person can therefore be dead, now brought to life.) One time I was wrong about the obscure person, though, I later realized I wanted him to be superb, but all along new I thought he was mediocre. Since then, that pitfall has always been successfully avoided, and only the superior obscure figure is resurrected.

    While I’m probably fortunate in truly not having interest in Harman except for the brouhaha, this little technique is on the sly side, and not without its suaveness. It may explain some of his amusement at his celebrity, which he probably now takes for granted. Or he may really be going into a solipsism like that currently enjoyed by Slavoj Zizek, while not yet able to afford calling his Lovecraft Tour Fantasies (oh, si tellement mysterieux, and all that imagination while in Parrrreeesss!) ‘all bluff’.

  16. ME, its that blogging philosophy is interested in blogging philosophy, and not some book review (usually). No criticism, but you also put the MOST of yourself (your person, your thoughts, your values) into your stake with OOPOOO, at least you have in your past. Your OOPOOO posts are the most REAL ones (though I did enjoy your recent Achilles thoughts).

  17. QofB: “While I’m probably fortunate in truly not having interest in Harman except for the brouhaha, this little technique is on the sly side, and not without its suaveness.”

    kvond: I guess you missed this little bit of “how to write a philosophy paper” advice he was giving to grad students (and others), inside information, shhhh.

    But if you are in want of suaveness and sly-side economics you should read his blog regularly (at least that is where he used to drop his little gems of insider advice).

  18. Thank you, no, I wasn’t in ‘want of suaveness’ at least vis-a-vis Harman. It was that I was surprised he had any. I’d never noticed anything but CORN.

  19. QoB: It was that I was surprised he had any.

    kvond: He must have amped the corn. Fructose is everywhere these days. Back when I tried to have conversations with him he was quite suave, indeed very pleasant.

  20. Then that is part of the secret of his resounding success, as they say. The bleug has always been corny, that’s where I first knew of him. He already had a reputation before w/Latour, et alia. Suaveness and pleasantness aren’t the same thing, and his bleug has never been suave–if it would be with some kind of aural mediation, I don’t know nor care. People do seem to think the books are good, as Dominic and John and others, so if I found him charismatic the way everybody else does, I’m sure I’d have read one by now. But the techniques you’ve described ARE suave, with them it matters not the field, as I’ve already pointed out, even with some differences–they’re shrewd and cool. At least those anyway, although they may come under ‘sales pitches of the intellectual kind’.

    • QoB: “Suaveness and pleasantness aren’t the same thing, and his bleug has never been suave–if it would be with some kind of aural mediation, I don’t know nor care.”

      kvond: Did you know his blog when he allowed comments?

      • Yes, I did, I didn’t find it at all interesting, but hey, as they say, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I think the Phenomenology of Harman Celeb goes right along with the NYTimes story on Socrates’s beauty I linked today. I thought he was most insufferable in those early days and was quoted by Dominic Fox as having said so. But big deal, he wrote it like ‘Life in these United States’, talking about getting $5000 checks unexpectedly, and being intimidated by ‘Alex’. Very LiveJournal, but not as good as DOT PALIN’s.

      • I think I was called a ‘very bitchy guy’ by Mistah Fox, but it might have been somebody else. And then Mistah Fox me ‘Dejan’s occasional partner-in-psychosis’. Well, Mistah Fox should TALK! I think several of us thought John’s ‘Graham Harman has burst on the scene’ was just a little grandiose for somewhat who was only a ‘becoming-Lindsey-Lohan’ at the time.

  21. Butchness why does the computer automatically assign a sourpuss icon to your name while all others seem to have pleasant icons?

  22. QoB; I think the Phenomenology of Harman Celeb goes right along with the NYTimes story on Socrates’s beauty I linked today.

    kvond: I find NYTime speak insufferable. I could not get past the first paragraph. There is worse mental poison than NYTimes story.

    • sorry “the isN’T worse mental poison”. And no it isn’t interesting, but neither really is the language pretense of the NYTimes.

  23. QoB: “I think several of us thought John’s ‘Graham Harman has burst on the scene’ was just a little grandiose for somewhat who was only a ‘becoming-Lindsey-Lohan’ at the time.”

    kvond: All was just fine until he freaked and blew up his blog, and then felt this huge empty feeling of being ignored, something like the hollowness of real objects. This was the decisive turn in the great annals of OOPOOO, when the story is retold. The NEW, commentless blog.

    • But it wasn’t as though it didn’t have precedent, with k-punk’s commentless bleug. I hadn’t noticed that he was ever ignored, not then, not when he ‘blew up the bleug’, and not now. Some people find him interesting, some don’t. k-punk learned about the ‘opacity of life’ or ‘objects’ or something opaque anyhow, and reported it on his own bleug this week. This was an exciting moment for all of us, you know, because we enjoy seeing the careers blossom and bloom. Why, k-punk will be meeting several others in a classroom soon to discuss more philosophy texts.

  24. kvond: “you [M.E.] also put the MOST of yourself (your person, your thoughts, your values) into your stake with OOPOOO, at least you have in your past. Your OOPOOO posts are the most REAL ones ”

    for what it’s worth, I also feel like I get a glimpse of ‘the real Mikhail’ in the music posts.

  25. Totally agree with that, skholiast, in fact more so than the OOO ones. The OOO ones are not joyful exactly, but anyway, I’m obviously only over here because of Mikhail’s music posts, and I expect those will last on- or offline, long after OOO has been superseded by something even more eternal.

  26. I suppose Adamina fancies herself a Mediaeval knight on a Mission to save Angelina Paulina’s virginity from the Dragon??? Or is this a hommage to Zizek?

    Kvondique you disappointed the world so horribly with your championing of the Avatar disaster, that even as I respect the flamboyant marriage of film noir and biotechnology in ”Mitochondrial Vertigo”, I cannot bring myself to read this stuff anymore. Besides despite the fact that she’s gotten unforgivably fat, the Narcissist Cat still somehow turns me on.

    • Seriously, PC – why is your “gravatar” (or whatever the lame term WordPress invented) a triangle with a monocle? It’s as though abstract geometrical figures themselves rose up against the idiocy of extreme materialism of “you can never hear a sound but as performed by a material object” (Tim Morton is probably filming himself talk about it as we speak – coming to YouTube soon!)…

    • PC: [in his last breath] “…the Narcissist Cat still somehow turns me on.”

      kvond: One has to appreciate authors who – and PC, you have an undeniable talent for this – end their paragraphs with a little statement that confirms whatever they have just said is in all likelihood utterly and comprehensively worthless. A short little statement, a little flourish and knot, that confirms whatever suspicion (and resolves whatever guilt) one had that barely skimming through the slather above it was an abysmal waste of time. These are the most convenient authors because you can just START reading at the last sentence and be done with it.

  27. Let me put ut like this, Mikhail, it’s good that at least SOMETHING IS GETTING UP! I mean just look at dr. Sinthome’s new photo, it looks like he deliberately hid it behind his legs while being scrutinized through a loop by giant space ants! Lest they discover it’s a MAN!

  28. I’ve come to this too late in the game to have much of a stake, and I don’t know enough about OOO to have decided its merit in any whole-hearted way.

    I’m wondering though, and I haven’t read all 60-something comments, do yall find the ideas in-themselves (to risk the language) so distasteful, or is it mostly the sociological aspects of the “movement”, i.e. the personalities, the cultism, etc.. that is so wrong?

    Perhaps, this is better: if this movement was humble and quaint, would you (whoever wants to take a stab at the question) have a strong problem with OOO? Or would you simply have a casual philosophical disagreement?

    • Who says we find OOO distasteful?

      I think there is no real set of ideas, if you ask me. Harman talks about object-oriented philosophy, but it’s still all in the works, and when questions are raised, it’s all suspended until the final treatise with definitive answers (see Pete Wolfendale’s extensive probing that basically solicited a “publish your objections and I will respond to them in due time” response for Harman). Bryant keeps changing his positions as his version of OOO develops and now he is constantly citing his upcoming book which, since it’s still upcoming, is hard to evaluate. Of course, there’s plenty of material on his blog, but who has time to read it all and again it’s changing from this to that with new ideas, new master-figures, new metaphors appearing daily.

      If you take the basic ideas of OOO/OOP, they are simple – however, again I refer you to Pete’s summaries, they are interesting only in so far as they suspend some basic preparatory and methodological issues (such as “how can one know anything about non-human object’s condition independently of human perspective?” and so on).

      As for personalities, it’s silly to argue that they play no roles – I know several people who told me that they read Harman’s Guerrilla Metaphysics (and so did I), but once they started reading his blog and realized how unbearably self-aggrandizing, vengeful, intolerant, annoyingly arrogant, clueless, rude and dismissive he is, with his condescending unsolicited advices, sulking, whining rebuttals of anyone who dares to disagree with him, even in the smallest details, they just couldn’t take him seriously anymore. I personally find it hard to trust anyone who spends so much time and effort talking about stakes in philosophy and how to make sure you create an original philosophy to actually produce interesting original philosophy. But I could be wrong, maybe I’m just jealous that he is so smart and successful and I am so mediocre and unoriginal.

      As for Bryant, I’ve been reading his blog on and off for many years, and I’ve already said enough about him – judge for yourself. I’ve read his first book (well, technically, I suppose, it was his published dissertation, but I’m sure he’ll explode with rage if I call it his dissertation), it was dense and well-researched. I don’t know if I’ll read his second book, judging by his previews on the blog, it’ll be 700 pages of so many ideas packed together, I wouldn’t be surprised if it said everything and nothing about objects.

      When people want to “read up” on OOP/OOO/SR, they quickly realize that there isn’t much out there, because there’s no real school or movement behind the name, just a bunch of people claiming to be against “correlationism” even if they can’t quite explain how any knowledge outside of human perspective is possible…

      • But Mikhail, you just haven’t “fallen in love” yet, a quintessential philosophical move:

        [tim morton]”I think you really can be in love with a philosophy. I know, because I am…I believe this is something very like being in love with a person—you see all kinds of infinite possibilities and you see that things are not totally revealed to you, and that the world is not “for you” but instead you’re drawn out of yourself. There is magic in the world. It’s not all totally explicit. Of course this feeling is deeply bound up with a central tenet of OOO: objects withdraw. Yet you also feel strangely at home, like you were always there, and everything else just melts away or fits in somehow, but in a larger space.”

        When you are in love with someone (or some world view) you see all the wonderfulness, and none of its flaws. Being “critical” or even objective, or even clear, isn’t even the point. There is magic.

        Mikhail, could you link Pete Wolfendale’s summation, I would rather like to read it?

  29. Skim through some comments on Bryant’s blog – especially the latest “discussion” of Derrida, it should give you a good idea of how they argue: ridiculous misreadings – exposure by Calacro – denial of wrong-doing – hypocritical lectures on tone and “sneering” – more disinformation (repeated ad nauseam) – more lecturing – final restatement of the original idiotic position – the end.

    Since Mikhail disappeared in the latest stages of that “conversation” I can only assume that he was banned yet again. So there you go – an imagery of a religious cult is not that far away from the truth: if you really want to be one of them, you have to believe. Many who had the unfortunate fate of disagreeing with the masters were brutally reprimanded, even if some managed to climb back into their favour (e.x. Paul Ennis who had a falling out with Harman but is now apparently back and a “Hegelian” – go figure!)

    I can only say that there are many really interesting people around the same conversations – folks at Speculative Heresy seem cool, for example – but they are part of some larger conversation that is outside of OOO/OOP orthodoxies.

  30. ME, thanks for the links to Pete’s crit. As always, he is expert at fleshing out another’s position (or non-position). Sometimes I think he understands Levi or even Graham better than they understand themselves. Only when he tries to shoehorn in his Brandomian philosophy which is all rather narrow does it get tedious, but who can blame him, its the whole point of the exhaustive tome.

    Mostly he just exposes Levi as a hodgepodgist and a tinkerer who doesn’t fully understand the consequences, nor the intra-relations between all the concepts he borrows from various thinkers. A little from Deleuze, a dash from Latour, a smidge from Luhmann and a lump of Harman and you get mud pie.

  31. I’m not coming to the defence of any of the figures mentioned. I do want to say, about love – or at least a certain kind of belief, that there is a moment of charity required for many, and in many instances, in order to get inside what it is you are learning about.

    Think of the many Badiouians that had to believe that he had something profound to say in order to learn what is a big bunch of somewhat difficult philosophy. Sure, we get to the end and most people don’t buy it, but we had to have a certain kind of disposition to get in there in order to find out that we don’t buy it.

    I’m ok with that kind of blindness, so long as it is seen for what it is, and comes to an end in a more sober view, be it ultimately positive or negative.

    • “Think of the many Badiouians that had to believe that he had something profound to say in order to learn what is a big bunch of somewhat difficult philosophy.”

      That you have to fall in love to become a Badiouian is actually a strike against this position. I did not have to fall in love with Badiou to figure out that his position is relatively nonsensical or unhelpful.

      • Yeah, “love” is probably a much stronger word than is necessary here. And I take your point, but there still seems to be something of an insight in the “fall in love” sentiment.

        It just doesn’t strike me as obviously problematic to begin with the kind of excitement that causes you to be overly generous and whatnot. Of course*, the initial fervor has to turn to sober evaluation or you risk, choose the term, “fanboy-ism”.

        (*always be suspect of people who say “of course” – what is the saying, “never trust a man who says trust me”)

  32. Of course, there’s plenty of material on his blog, but who has time to read it all and again it’s changing from this to that with new ideas, new master-figures, new metaphors appearing daily.

    Well the cat’s YOUNGER than you so she has to keep the adrenaline flowing. You are no less entertaining in your ”old school” grumpiness than the cat is in her MTV philosophy mode. You are like two bitches who complement each other. Besides, I think she’s changing pimps because it’s in line with the way Lacan transformed his concepts, believing (rightly, I think) that these are transient, in flux. And finally, the cat likes publicity and prestige, though I haven’t noticed that she’s as corrupted as the Egyptian Temptress in her socialist heart. The Temptress often sounds downright SCARY in her vileness.

    I think your other remark, about the fact that non-human experiences are inaccessible to humans, is right on the mark. The lodge hasn´t provided any sort of a response to this obscurantism, and it´s indeed too much of a copout to say that this is ´´in the making´´. Plus I think this kind of musing has little sociopolitical effectiveness. If the movement cannot provide a way to commune with the objects, for the humans, then it also can´t do anything about capitalism i.e. the abuses that the movement is complaining against.

  33. one had that barely skimming through the slather above it was an abysmal waste of time.

    Maybe so, Kvondique (but why do you respond then?), however, what does this have to do with the fact that you sided with the proto-fascist forces of the United States cultural production industry, displaying such deep ignorance both of aesthetics and of politics that I wondered who the fuck gave you a diploma in philosophy, or ikebana, or whatever you studied. You stepped on my foot HARD baby because my country was pulverized by nuclear bombs for the sake of the same ´´Spinozian ideals´´ which your cretinuous texts idealized. You joined in one fell swoop the most reactionary forces on the cultural scene, and you want me to, WHAT?, have the mitochondrial vertigo now? No way man. First a thorough apology with flowers, and a kiss.

  34. Oh, OOO…

    When Google page-rank is the epistemology of the 21st century how does the corresponding ontology looks like?

    Withdrawnness is not enough, we need to know about the displacement – but do philosophers still like math as Plato, Leibniz, Kant and Wittgenstein did? Three of them score highest on Harmans hit list of the best-philosophers-ever; so there is still hope it is not all about metaphors, writing style, personal behaviour in internet discussions and Latour litanies as proof terms.

  35. think she’s changing pimps because it’s in line with the way Lacan transformed his concepts

    I correct myself on that one, because it´s a DERRIDEAN TRAP. The cat critisizes Derrida, but the way she mutates her concepts supposedly in refusal of ´´Master discourse´´, she sounds exactly like Derrida – an endless play with anchorless signifiers.

  36. Like this new one from the cat:

    The difference between subject-object relations and any other object-object relation is, for OOO, a difference in degree, not kind. Insofar as these relations only differ in degree, there is no reason to grant the subject-object relation any sort of metaphysical privilege.

    Yes there is no reason, perhaps, within metaphycis, but humans, by virtue of being humans, privilege this relation nevertheless. The cat doesn´t even aspire to explain why, she just sounds like Josip Broz Tito talking about brotherhood and unity. Comrades and comradesses, we MUST UNITE. And when you tell her that she has to also explain why, she gets angry and throws you out of her bleug.

    • Privilege is an order relationship, not an existential quantification. When you say “the existence of x depends on that of y but not vice versa” you express the ontological privilege of x over y. When you are a figure in a dream of the gods your existence depends on the gods not waking up. So the gods are the deeper structure of reality on which your own existence depends, but as long as they dream you two are equally real.

      The other privilege is one of foundations or basement. When you can show that X is a composition built from Y then you successfully “reduced” X to Y. When you can show that the elements of type(Y) can be equally composed from entities of type(X), then X and Y are essentially equivalent. The privilege of reduction doesn’t exclude the existence of the composed entity of course. At least for the material world this sort of reduction always works up to a limit where we get stuck and don’t know further.

      All of this has little to do with the narcissistic human habit of self-importance and its liberal defence against revolutionary rage. On the other hand a postmodernist like Harman will explain that it is all about rhetoric, style, attitudes, modesty vs arrogance etc. etc. Maybe he is even right?

  37. Pingback: Gurus and saviors in academia « Archaeological Haecceities

  38. I launched today a facebook group entitled ‘Hyper Objects’, including this article on its main page. Check out the page, since I plan to post a lot of materials upon speculative realism, O-O-O, and other ‘hype’ philosophical movements/meshworks.

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