Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Conatus reads Graham Harman’s Tool-Being.
What Heidegger thus saw as reifying activity is in fact closer to the human-relational sphere than the ready-to-hand. The present-at-hand thus represents the mediated (possibly biased) way of looking at beings (though I don’t know if Harman neccessarily would think of this in any negative manner). In many ways one could say that the surprising conclusion to Harman’s book so far is that the ready-to-hand in reality is the present-at-hand and vice versa! Or: what heideggerians seem to think about the ready-to-hand and the present-at-hand is completly wrong either way. And this is where I have a problem with Harman’s book. Because it develops it’s very interesting theory of an object-oriented philosophy through a reading of Heidegger, it at times becomes difficult to follow the book because Harman’s Heidegger is completely topsy-turvy. Not that Harman write badly, not at all. I just wonder if Harman really needs Heidegger at all, he probably could have gone straight on to his OOO and the result would be just as good.
Maybe I'm the one misreading Heidegger, but I just never took the present-at-hand as equivalent to the deworlded scientific goal. They are related, but not the same. Rather to me it was in equipmental breakdown we encounter objects as something *more* than our uses. If anything the breakdown which enables the present at hand encounter enables us to experience phenomenologically the things themselves rather than having them withdrawn from us.

I've not read Harman's book, although I have his book on Latour waiting to be read. But I suspect he may just read Heidegger quite idiosyncratically. (Once again I say this out of ignorance)
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