Graham Harman’s object-oriented philosophy is the polar opposite of the AIME project, in that for it all the modes of veridiction are in the “sensual” realm, and thus sham, simulacra, illusion. Harman’s philosophy thus pushes the bifurcation of Nature to the extreme. It is antithetic to any idea of empirical investigation, as its posited real objects are inaccessible to all forms of experience and knowledge. In effect, this amounts to posing the philosophical as a unique overarching meta-mode.
Harman is one of the most vocal defenders and most vocal critics of Latour’s philosophy. His book PRINCE OF NETWORKS was the first major general evaluation of Latour’s metaphysics in English. A very interesting and very useful exposition of Latour’s early metaphysics in the first half of the book is followed by the outline of Harman’s radically opposed metaphysics in the second half.. Harman argues that the real is composed of objects that withdraw from all relation. This has the unfortunate consequence that real objects are untouchable, invisible, and unknowable. All that we perceive and interact with, all that we know and care for is by stipulation unreal and illusory. Any view to the contrary is branded as “reductionism” (also called “undermining” and “overmining”, depending on the path of reduction). Time is unreal, a thesis explicitly defended by Harman. The existence and nature of these real objects is untestable, no trial can attain them as they are inherently non-relational and inaccessible. The title “object-oriented” is thus a misnomer, as is the name “object” for these entities forever hidden in the depths of being , bearing no relation and no resemblance to what we know and perceive as objects.
This philosophy is a form of absolute ontology comparable to that of Parmenides: Being is immobile (time is unreal), non-empirical (all scientific, sociological, and common sense objects are “shams”), maximally intelligible (the only direct access is a priori intellectual intuition and deduction, however indirect access exists for art guided by this philosophical Stimmung), and exclusive (any entities other than these real objects are “sensual” illusions, deprived of real being).