My analysis of OOO differs from Wolfendale’s in that he tries to reconstruct a single coherent ontology of OOO whereas I think that Harman proposes, as if they were one, at least three different ontologies. My reserve about Pete Wolfendale’s critique of Harman’s ontology is that his version of the principle of charity leads him to give too much weight to the “fourfold” and its metaphors, that for me are a series of epicycles linking Ontology 1 (unknowable imperceptible unimaginable timeless withdrawn real objects) and Ontology 3 (everything is objects).
Harman’s talk of “molten cores” etc. constitutes a mediation between these two ontologies, that we may call Ontology 2. So in my critique of Harman, I do not so much disagree with his choice of metaphors as with their position in his ontological geography. A philosophical argument belongs to the space of reasons, which itself belongs to the space of concepts and meanings. One cannot begin to understand an argument without, at least tentatively, situating it inside conceptual space.
Harman’s rhetoric of objects creates confusion as to his actual claims and conflates into an ambiguous unity these three ontologies.