This is a question I have often asked myself, and I have given several replies on this blog. The important thing for me is that each time I write I achieve a greater level of generality. Behind my most recent spate of posts and re-posts on Harman’s OOP lies my engagement with Badiou’s « dialectical overcoming » of Heidegger.
Reading Badiou on Heidegger, I suddenly saw that I could group together Harman’s object-oriented philosophy and Heidegger’s ontology, in a clearer way than I had done before, under the general concept of withdrawal-oriented ontologies. When I read Badiou’s earlier seminars, I do so in terms of current relevance, not in terms of the history of ideas.
Secondly, the bulk of my critique is old stuff that bores even me, but if I can incorporate Harman’s OOP as an example in a vaster perspective this gives new interest to my earlier writing. My biggest worry with Harman and company is not his philosophy, which is weak and easy to rebut, but the factitious history of recent Continental philosophy that he has managed to purvey, along with Mellassoux and Laruelle and their disciples.
A third reason is that I have been unjustly deprived of audience and of recognition, and thus of dialogue, by a deliberate and concerted effort of many of those in the OOO, SR, and Laruellean crowds not only to ignore me but also to actively discourage people from taking my ideas seriously.
Much of my earlier blogging sank into oblivion for that reason, as AGENT SWARM was relatively unknown compared to today. When a current concern of mine reactualises my past thinking I seize the occasion to re-think what I have written, and I meet with a far more favourable reaction today.
Where does Whitehead stand in your vision? Have you read much of him?