Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Graham Harman reviews Tristan Garcia's Forme et objet.
As he sees it, être and comprendre are reciprocal to one another. To be means “to be contained in,” and encompass (comprendre) means to contain other things. World and thing are first in this sense; being or encompassing, which bring it about that one is the other and that the other encompasses the one, are second.” Whatever we are, we do not encompass it; whatever we encompass is not that which we are. A set encompasses its elements and a substrate encompasses its qualities, but neither a set nor a substrate comprehends itself. “To be is to belong to something... that is to say, to find oneself in a certain thing, and more exactly in a series of enmeshed objects, like Russian dolls quite impossible to hierarchize...” For all Heidegger’s worries about the meaning of being withdrawn beyond all human grasp, Garcia concludes simply that “to be is to enter. Being is not a mystery.”
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