ENTER THE VOID: OOO and the dumbing down of the philosophical mind

It is by now obvious to many people who have tried to make sense of the writings  of the small network of bloggers and commenters that promote or  participate in the discussion of speculative realism that something is seriously wrong with the whole movement of and around OOO. This object-oriented ontology, which announces itself as a great step forward from the major philosophers of the Continental tradition of the 20th Century, embodies and expresses a void of thought and a refusal of all thoughtful dialogue.

Such is the will to mental repression of this movement that a struggle is required even to name the situation. Badiou has taught us, following Deleuze, that to speak in one’s own name, outside the codes of clans and teams, means being able and ready to give things and situations their appropriate name. Calling OOO’s thought “void” and its communicational dynamics “pathological” is a philosophical act that, even though it is an exercise in stating the obvious, is an important intervention in a situation where illusion reigns as truth.

The OOO team and its supporters will scream with rage and fight dirty to win, on their own definition of “winning”. But there is no match here, there never was. Some people, like me, may have been fooled for a while into thinking that a discussion was taking place and that they could participate. But we quickly learned that empty mind-numbing slogans in the place of concepts and crude adulation of the big players and vindictive hounding of the critics was the rule of this situation, that was presented as a noble philosophical movement but has shown itself to be the introduction of baseness itself into philosophy.

There is no “match” because there is no adverse team. Jason Hills, Pete Wolfendale, Leon Niemoczynski, Ray Brassier, Kevin v Duuglas-Ittu (Kvond), myself, and many others do not form a team, and our positive ideas are mostly very different. I think all of us have had the experience of trying to engage in the discussion, of being perplexed that this was not possible, and of finally realising that there was no discussion, and that the seeming ideas had been voided of all philosophical sense and were exchanged as empty tokens connoting concepts that were never forthcoming.

 

 

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