WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO DISCUSS OOO?

Given that I admire Feyerabend’s pluralist realism, and that I detest their antithesis as formulated in Harman’s object-oriented philosophy, it is a legitimate question to ask: why do I continue talking about OOO?

One reason is that I am very stubborn and “counter-suggestible”, as Feyerabend recounts that he was accused of being counter-suggestible. The OOO crowd have systematically tried to reduce me to silence, mostly by ignoring me, occasionally by suggesting I talk about something I like instead of criticising them. They should be so lucky!

Secondly, I am Popperian enough to think that strong criticism is essential to make us progress, and Feyerabendian enough to think that alternative ideas give content to each other. It is necessary for me to keep commenting on OOO to give content to what I like in Latour, Deleuze, Laruelle, Stiegler, etc: ontological pluralism. For me there is no need to choose between Feyerabend, Popper, and Kuhn, but if I had to I would choose Feyerabend as the more original, more critical, and wider-ranging thinker. Feyerabend’s philosophy as it evolved over the 1980s has yet to be assimilated. In particular, his last book CONQUEST OF ABUNDANCE is a major contributon to the elaboration of a pluralist ontology. OOO has one good function in demonstrating the interest and necessity of an ontology capable of refuting its ineptitudes, and of providing a better form of the thought.

A third reason is that some of the recent horrible re-writing of intellectual history is not limited to OOO, but has gained more general currency. I am very critical of Bruno Latour’s perspective on this point, despite liking his positive philsophy far more than Meillassoux’s and Harman’s.

A fourth point is that both Feyerabend and Deleuze, the two philosophers that I admire the most, practised negativity and critique with great polemical skill and conceptual inventivity: Feyerabend quite explicitly and Deleuze far more than he acknowledged.

Finally, I am glad if people laugh or smile at some of what I write. I have written here very seriously indeed in order to explain where I am coming from, and what I think I am doing. But for me humour is of the essence, and I have had enormous fun discussing some of Harman’s naively self-important howlers, fallacies, inconsistencies, and non-sequiturs.

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