(1) Terminology Obfuscates Incommensurability: On semantic stipulation as a way of escaping from criticism

Can the individual member just stipulate his way out of an objection that is addressed to his heterogeneous group?

Jussi Parikka has published a very interesting post on object oriented philosophy. He raises several questions but the answers are either not-forthcoming or not very convincing.

1) Terminological pseudo-unification: is the use of the word « object » appropriate given its habitual connotations? The suspicion is that the unified terminology dissimulates the forced juxtaposition of radically disparate and incompatible theories. Another example is the words « differance » and « withdrawal ». Levi Bryant can declare: « All I have really wished to say, I think, when evoking the term “object” or “thing”, is that beings are differance. » Harman’s objections led him to precise: » I read Derrida’s differance as deferral as another name for withdrawal and Heideggarian aletheia. » But Harman reiterates his disagreement and maintains: »The disagreement is still there. I don’t see how différance can be read as withdrawal. It plays out on a level that is entirely other than that of withdrawal ». Small wonder that with such  Parikka is dubious and Naxos diagnoses the ultimate nerdish phantasm: « the dream of having control over a philosophical object from which he could say whatever he pleases ».

I think Naxos’s objection goes beyond the evident rejoinder that « from a contradiction anything follows ». His use of the word « control » pinpoints a distressingly naïve attitude to language that is shown in the « response by stipulation ». This seeming semantic control of  meanings by the individual thinker is undermined by the integration into a terminologically unified but semantically heteroclite group, « charged with all kind of inadvertent subjections ». This inversion from control to subjection is a fixture of intellectual movements. It is what Naxos describes as the passage from selfish textualization to group nerdification. Key terms like « object » and « withdrawal » become execrable archetypes of a collective phantasm, mythological tokens indicating membership in a scholastic club.

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