REVIEW OF WOLFENDALE (8): OOO’s Problematic of the Subject

The perceptive reader was able to see that OOO was an imposture already years ago, and Harman’s philosophy was born refuted. But with the rise to poularity and the passage of time Harman became over-confident, expressing the basic struture of his philosophy clearly and simply, without the usual smokescreen provided by his tendentious rewriting of history of philosophy, and the Harman hoax is now apparent for all to see.

My problem with Wolfendale’s book (and also with Brassier’s postscript) is that it still preserves the broad outlines of this historical smokescreen, to which I give no credence. For example, he continues to use the bogus concept of “correlationism” (or in Harman’s variant, the “philosophies of access”) to characterise a problem arising out of post-Kantian philosophy that object-oriented philosophy is trying to solve, and failing. I think that conceding Harman (and Meillassoux) even this much is buying into the smokescreen.

In my writings on OOO I argue that correlationism is incoherent as a concept, that it is a disguised yet inferior imitation of the concept of the “problematic of the subject” already deployed critically by the structuralists (and here I would include Karl Popper among the structuralists), and so that it has no pertinence for a critique of the post-structuralists, who have left the problem it ineptly tries to describe far behind. I prefer to examine Harman in contemporary terms, without his legitimating meta-narrative on the history of philosophy, and to show how incoherent his system is, and that it is in fact a simplistic de-temporalised travesty, or “synchronic shadow”, of recent philosophies such as that of Bruno Latour, Bernard Stiegler, and François Laruelle.

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