PLURALIST THOUGHTS ON GRAHAM HARMAN’S MONIST IDEALISM

I have combined my various writing on Graham Harman’s monist idealism into one long (24 pages!) essay. This is only a rough draft and no doubt needs to be heavily edited, but I post it here in the hope that it may be of some interest and that I may get some useful feedback.

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6 Responses to PLURALIST THOUGHTS ON GRAHAM HARMAN’S MONIST IDEALISM

  1. Silver R says:

    Hey Terence. Reading this and the previous post I’m reminded of a quote from one of Derrida’s texts, titled “Some Statements and Truisms about Neologisms, Newisms, Postisms, Parasitisms, and Other Small Seismisms”:

    “As for deciding if titles in “new” are more efficient than those in“post”, if it is more appropriate to periodize violently and make the historicist telos the herald who announces a new era or the hero who outdates or brings down an old dragon, it is a matter of detail. It is basically the same gesture, the cultural stratagem as the inevitable by-product of the oldest of historicisms. This recurrence of the stratagem is sometimes widespread and reveals too much impatience, juvenile jubilation, or mechanical eagerness. It then becomes vulgar.”

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  2. terenceblake says:

    Yes, there is a paradox of the new, where “new” comes to mean one more of the same rather than real novelty.

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  3. Sounds good to me. I totally love it.

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  4. noir-realism says:

    Terrence, I like you, you have interesting ideas, but sometimes you exasperate me to no end. The above work is not philosophy: it is tirade, pure and simple. You’ve had for a long while a personal vendetta against the OOO gang for whatever reason, and this is nothing more than one more ill-reasoned tirade within that long battle. There may be some truth to what you say, but it is your approach that seems displaced and disingenuous to say the least. Even where you’re attack might be viable, you do not bring out the specifics, instead you begin lambasting to the nth degree. Hey, I’m a satirist and know I’m no philosopher in that strict sense, so have had my own hand in lambast, too. So I know where you’re coming from, but is this to be a published paper? I think the only clarity came at the end in you’re statement that you used OOO more as a whipping boy “to help me clarify my own ideas on pluralist ontology”… Instead of lambasting a philosophical position why not begin actually clarifying your own into a book or articles for publication. I think you’ve wasted too much time castigating the OOO gang. It’s become a sort of fetish for you, and is unbecoming in a professor and professional such as your self. Take it for what it’s worth from one who cares…

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  5. noir-realism says:

    Ok… I make amends! I reread your work in the light of the pluralist tradition within which you work and now see it as viable and worthy. I had to go back to Deleuze and Nietzsche to remember this voice: “Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought. (106, Nietzsche and Philosophy).”

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  6. terenceblake says:

    Yes OOO has the same synchronic style as the other disciplines that Deleuze and Guattari cite as “state” philosophies: epistemology, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and cybernetics (not intrinsically but in terms of the image of thought that they usually are subservient to). Philosophy saddens stupidity is itself a pluralist statement. The affects of philosophy are wonder and joy and gratitude at the abundance of the world, which means removing the obstacles to the perception and practice of that abundance. So pluralist joy provokes monist sadness. My joy is in philosophising, I am no satirist, I don’t do “tirades”, and my work is full of arguments, and concepts, and analyses, of bibliographic references and allusions, of close readings and putting into context, of intuitive leaps and deductive chains. I have been doing philosophy for a very long time now, and it has determined the path and content of my life. If you can’t see that, you have no idea of “where I am coming from”.

    So it saddens me that one of the first comments on my text tried to construct exactly the sort of propaganda image of me that the OOO guys have been trying to impose. When I say that OOO is absurd and that it attracts mediocre (i.e. “base”, in Deleuze’s sense) and philosophically illiterate intellects I am not joking or exaggerating or being satirical, I really mean it and I have indicated the arguments to back it up. If OOO’s supporters don’t even see my arguments, that’s normal, because they don’t want to, so I am certainly not saddening them.

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