Dark Chemistry reviews Graham Harman's The Quadruple Object.
Harman tells us that Heidegger was always the "philosopher of the thing' and that he approached things in both a negative and positive form. In the negative form Heidegger approached things as an absence in the sense that the "thing is not primarily seen, represented, conceptualized, produced, spatially located, made of physical parts, or related to anything else. Instead, the thing exists in its own right, and this means that it is absent from all detection by other portions of its environment." (ibid.) In the positive form Heidegger posits that things have an essence and that they are fourfold. Yet, this defense of the autonomous thing is not a return to earlier forms of realism or scientific naturalism; no, in fact, as Harman states it Heidegger goes so far as to inaugurate "a weird realism—one in which things lie at an infinite distance from all relation even while unleashing their forces into the world." Harman spends the rest of the essay explicating his understanding of 'das Geivert'. Ultimately Harman sees the fourfold as an unfinished concept never fully worked out by Heidegger himself, which becomes for Harman a spur to his own philsophical project. For Harman the fourfold becomes a theory of objects rather than an investigation of human Dasein's access to the world.