STIPULATING OBJECTS: pseudo-realism in the world of Continental Philosophy

Graham Harman’s book THE THIRD TABLE (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012) begins with an account of Sir Arthur Eddington’s famous two tables argument, and proposes a “third table” to exemplify a purportedly new and non-reductionist approach to objects.

Eddington’s argument famously contrasts the familiar, solid, substantial, reliable 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.

This allows Harman to couch his own propositions in terms of a running engagement with reductionism, in what Harman sees as its humanistic and scientistic forms.

In my review I examine Harman’s accounts of each of the three tables (common sense, scientific, and “real”) and argue that they are ultimately unsatisfying. Finally, I compare Harman’s OOO with Feyerabend’s ontology and conclude that OOO is a naïve, dogmatic, and self-contradictory form of negative theology.

Review here.

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One Response to STIPULATING OBJECTS: pseudo-realism in the world of Continental Philosophy

  1. landzek says:

    His third table is an object in itself: the concept and everything ‘custructed and reducible’ determined by that in itself object. An ‘object oriented ontology’ is an ontology that is ‘oriented’ by the object in itself, as opposed to an ontology that is oriented by some ‘thoughtful philosopher human’. It arises as a different teleology.

    Perhaps my post: Evidence of Divergence, might clearify.


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