ON THE CONCEPT-BLINDNESS OF OOO (2): Everything is what it is and not another thing

In fact what Bryant finds perplexing is that “all of you” view his pronouncements from a different conceptual framework. He claims to be talking just common sense, like Bishop Butler “Everything is what it is, and not another thing”. That others might have a conceptual framework that brings out unconscious implications of his own point of view is inconceivable for him, they must be talking nonsense like Alice: ” If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn’t be, and what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see? ” Any other world is nonsense, crazy people thinking they can make nuclear bombs disappear by criticising them, or actually believing that ontological structures might have political presuppositions and ramifications.

All such talk is a misuse of language for Bryant, « all of you » are making elementary mistakes, like foreigners who have not yet learned to make very basic distinctions in the language, and need to have their grammar and vocabulary corrected. But Deleuze has made that an epistemological virtue: speaking like a foreigner in your mother tongue, revisioning concepts. I think this is the opposite of OOO’s concept-blindness, which is an epistemological vice, just following the ordinary syntaxic and semantic linkages.

I think that Bryant honestly thought that converting to Harman’s OOO was a creative move that would stimulate and fecundate his philosophical individuation. Unfortunately, but perhaps predictably, it sterilised him. All that reading and exploring and experimenting with concepts could not survive the willful concept-blindness that Harman practices and requires of others. Bryant already had a tendency to confuse conversion with joining, as can be seen in his enduring fidelity to Lacanian psychoanalysis. Now he is trapped in the loops of OOO, and all his traumatypes (as Stiegler would say) are becoming stereotypes.

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