I wrote my review of Graham Harman’s THE THIRD TABLE before I had fully elaborated my critique of OOO. THE THIRD TABLE is very interesting and revealing, as it contains a concise overview of the central themes of Harman’s object-oriented philosophy. The style is quite engaging as Harman manages to expound his ideas in the form of a response to Sir Arthur Eddington’s famous two table argument.
This argument famously contrasts the familiar solid, substantial table of common sense with the the insubstantial swarm of particles moving rapidly in what is mostly empty space that constitutes the table as modern physics envisages it. Referring to Eddington’s classical argument allows Harman to couch his own analysis in terms of a running engagement with reductionism, in both its humanistic and scientistic forms.
To overcome the conflict between Eddington’s two tables, Harman posits the existence of a “third table”, the only real table, that is meant to exemplify his OOP’s new nonreductionist approach to objects. In my review I argue that Harman’s account of each of the three tables is very unsatisfying.
Finally, I compare Harman’s OOP with Paul Feyerabend’s ontology, and I conclude that OOP is a naïve and dogmatic form of negative theology.
I am quite pleased with my review, but I would like to rewrite it, taking into account what I have learnt since then. All suggestions are welcome.