“WITHDRAWAL” SYMPTOM: on the conceptual pathology of OOO

Graham Harman introduced the pathological notion of withdrawal to reconfine speculative realism (without the scare-quotes or capital letters) inside the monist prison, arguing that this imprisonment was necessary to permit us to escape the constructivist nightmare. “Withdrawal”, whether strong (as in Harman’s invisible, untouchable, unknowable objects) or weak (as in Bryant’s renaturalisation of it into an incoherent physicalist notion of partial causality), replunges us into the problematic of access that structuralism (Althusserian and Popperian) had for a time dismantled, freeing speculation from the subject/object aporia.

The critique of “correlationism” (Meillassoux), of “philosophies of access” (Harman), or of “anthropocentrism” (Bryant) serves to falsify the history of philosophy by painting the subject/object problematic all over the very movements that overcame it. Only in this way could their own regressive contributions be presented as new, i.e. on a fake background that eliminated from view all their more sophisticated rivals, that had preceded them and already denounced  and refuted their elucubrations (only under other names).

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