RE-CONCEPTING THE DEBATE: Wolfendale’s anamnesis

As I explained in the previous post, Harman is fighting concepts with the statistics of his own success instead of with argument. This is OOO’s typical technique of de-concepting the debate and of pre-emptive counterfactual profiling to invalidate not only the objections (now senseless with the concepts and arguments removed, and their persistence framed as obsession) but also the objectors (unsuccessful grouchers and grudgers, once their noetic passion is removed, and their motivation is framed as resentment). All that is left is, as Harman writing “in an engaging fashion” puts it  “buckets of spittle”.

I read Wolfendale’s preface as just as philosophical as the rest, and not as some sort of extra-philosophical appendage. It gives precious indications about what it can be like to be in the grip of a philosophical problem: the desire to go deeper than the doxa, the need to resist the doxic masters’ discouragement, the feeling of not being understood and of not understanding oneself, of being an “idiot”, that the formation of one’s own incommensurable perspective entails.

Really one should read Harman’s THE WELL-WROUGHT BROKEN HAMMER, where he proposes the practice of “counterfactual criticism”, and says we could consider MOBY DICK without the whale. Considering Wolfendale’s preface and Brassier’s postface without engaging with or even mentioning the arguments is an application of the same ideal.

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