GRAHAM HARMAN’S POST-CHARISMATIC STRESS SYNDROME: fighting concepts with the statistics of success

Recently Brian Leiter referred to me as “Some fellow named Terrence Blake, who teaches English in France”. This is bad writing, and Graham Harman, who without false modesty admits that he “writes in an engaging fashion”, is right to shorten things considerably, and to refer to me as “some”.

“Some have implied that OOO has emerged as the most successful branch of the former Speculative Realism due to some sort of devious brainwashing mind-control charisma on my part”.

Despite its promising beginning, there are quite a few problems with this sentence. I have not “implied” any such thing. I have said outright that OOO makes use of brain-washing and mind-control techniques. Nor is this use in any way “devious”: it is naive and obvious to all observers. It is not even unique to OOO, as the whole of academia is rife with it. The addition of “charisma” is a pure counterfactual interpolation. There is no charisma involved in such customer loyalty programmes. Nor do I use these notions to explain the “success” of OOO (which is quite microcosmic) but rather its hold on its followers.

Harman’s stress is understandable as we are at last moving towards a situation that he fears as a worst-case scenario. Deprived of its initial but short-lived charisma, OOO will be subjected to philosophically literate analysis.

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One Response to GRAHAM HARMAN’S POST-CHARISMATIC STRESS SYNDROME: fighting concepts with the statistics of success

  1. Pingback: Quick links (#16) | Urban Future (2.1)

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