Monday, August 20, 2012
Graham Harman on object-oriented philosophy and the hammer.
Heidegger radicalized phenomenology by noting that most of our contact with entities does not occur in the manner of having them present before the mind. Quite the contrary. When using a hammer, for instance, I am focused on the building project currently underway, and I am probably taking the hammer for granted. Unless the hammer is too heavy or too slippery, or unless it breaks, I tend not to notice it at all. The fact that the hammer can break proves it is deeper than my understanding of it. This has led many to read Heidegger’s famous tool analysis in “pragmatist” terms, which implies that all theory is grounded in a tacit practical background. The problem with this interpretation is that praxis does not use up the reality of things any more than theory does. Staring at a hammer does not exhaust its depths, but neither does wielding that hammer on a construction site or a battlefield. Both theory and praxis are distortions of the hammer in its subterranean reality. Object-oriented philosophy pushes this another step further by saying that objects distort one another even in sheer causal interaction. The raindrops or breezes that strike the hammer may not be “conscious” of it in human fashion, yet such entities fail to exhaust the reality of the hammer to no less a degree than human praxis or theory.
"Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, Hammer, now!" -- Roger Waters
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

View mobile version