Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Dark Chemistry explains Harman's OOP.
In a movement toward an understanding of relations he begins by exploring the metaphor of allure, but as a preliminary step in that direction he recasts Heidegger's opposition between "tool and broken tool can actually be restated as the duel between a thing and its parts". He tells us that "a thing relates to its own parts in the same way that it relates to other things, and indeed in the same way that we ourselves relate to things: namely, by distorting them, caricaturing them, bringing them into play only partially". He qualifies this stating since "every genuine relation already forms an object, the terms of a relation can be viewed for this purpose as its parts". With this in mind he tells us that if the "first Heideggerian axis is equivalent to the strife of things and their parts, the second axis can be rewritten as the duel between a thing and its notes".
I lost patience with these speculations half way through, even while the subjects represent thinkers whom I respect.

Postulating a mediator-third between two objects is just another form of reductionism, illustrating its problem rather than positing a solution. Merleau-Ponty, at least, limits himself to awareness of the consequences of wholeness on perception of objects.
OOP looks nearly interesting--tho with the usual scenester hints of the mysterious, or is it...occult-- but ...there are different ways to skin a rat, or something. Frege, probably not one of the "speculative realists"' fave thinkers offered a rather worked out metaphysical system with logical/mathematical objects--"abstract entities"--as well as concepts, and the referential/empirical issues, etc. Integrals don't grow on trees--so one could presumably suggest something like Being as ground of a sort (tho...Noesis, or Res Cogitans might work as well).

And...while I would agree somewhat with Harman that eliminative-materialism, or constructivism has problems--great problems, the E-M people offer lengthy arguments for their minimal programmes (as did their vati Quine). Just say...f**k the reductionists, well that might work for spec. realists, or Postmods, but like some of us were taught to prove sh*t--one reason I find Quine's discussions of ontology somewhat useful--at least before he insisted on Naturalism with a capital N. (...and Quine, however ...dry was not too keen on Cantorian sorts of transcendental sets and so forth.).
There's a definite uptick in interest the uncanny and spectral. Just sticking with the subject of this post, Harman's been writing about Lovecraft recently.

My issue with OOP is that I don't see what it gets you. Physics (e.g., dynamics) gives you one understanding into what's going on with objects. Aristole gives us a different understanding (objects have form, purposes, etc.). Heidegger discusses "things" and their role in meaningfulness. But with OOP, if I consider the interiors and relations of objects as Harman does, what insight have I gained that I didn't have before? I probably need to read him more carefully.
Harman does get fairly technical at times, as with his "allure" concept--the Allurement lemma. X finds Object Y alluring--ergo, the bottlewashers have been

HPL had a certain....eh non-PC approach to political reality which probably appeals to some englishmen. The Dream quest of Unknown Kadath, blokes.
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