Graham Harman has indicated his willingness to reply to at least some of my objections. I think he may be right to say that an interblog exchange is not necessarily the best format if one wants to refine the debate. I persist in thinking that it could be a good form for refining dialogue. Unfortunately debate is not always pursued in the spirit of dialogue, but quickly becomes an end in itself, or subsumed under some other agenda.
Dialogue involves engaging not just with isolated claims but with the underlying problematics. This is why my “20 theses” are part of an attempt to uncover a synchronic approach to ontology and to contrast it with a diachronic ontology. So I cannot agree with Graham Harman when he calls my blog a “full-time anti-OOO” blog. I have written far more in the last few months about Bruno Latour’s philosophy than about OOO. And I continue my posts on Stiegler, Deleuze, Feyerabend, Dreyfus and Kelly.
When I discuss OOO, I have concentrated on Harman’s version because it is articulated for its own sake (instead of being mixed with all sorts of other considerations) and the most stable (instead of radically changing concepts and vocabulary all the time). So it is a pure case, and the issues stand out more clearly with his work.
A dialogue is a form of co-individuation, to use Bernard Stiegler’s term. That is to say each partner in the dialogue undergoes transformations in a process of becoming more singular and more differentiated, i.e. more complex (though not more complicated). This can lead to consensus, but it can equally positively lead to the recognition of irreconcilable difference. Whatever the outcome, I thank Graham Harman for giving me the possibility to pursue my individuation further, and I would be glad if I had contributed, however slightly, to his own process of individuation.
Blake’s blog has now pretty much become a full-time anti-OOO blog. It’s certainly not the first to meet that description in the past four years, but at least Blake has the courtesy to formulate twenty anti-Harman theses, HERE.
Have a look, if you wish. I have answers to all 20 points, but plan to save them for a book coming soon called Skirmishes, where other critics will be addressed as well.
It would be faster just to respond here, of course. But back-and-forth blog debates always seem to take a wrong turn that simply clouds debate rather than refines it. Though Levi Bryant remains a fine counter-example, I’ve found it generally to be the case that blogs are a good medium for dissemination and quick ripostes but not for debate.
Thanks to Blake for giving thumbnail objections. It should make for a fun response chapter in Skirmishes. (I…
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