SCIENTISM AND SELF-SOKALISATION

Scotty to Kirk: Captain, we’ll just put the OOOotron in the neo-Sellarsian tesseract and reverse the de-inferentialisation of the Brandomions. With any luck the Sokalian drive will hold out.

You would not know it from most discussions for and against OOO, but I have done a lot of work on this subject e.g.here. I have not limited myself to analysing Graham Harman’s version, but have also considered some of its variants. Unfortunately, even more recent versions of OOO that dare to jettison some of its assumptions and vocabulary are still very unsatisfactory.

Some of OOO’s critics represent a regression to pre-OOO scientism, and so cannot hope to be effective.  Girard on mimetic desire well describes such internet debates: neither OOO nor its promoted critics acknowledge my existence or arguments. The scientistic critics of OOO just want to “trounce” Harman, and don’t give a damn about any of the more positive aspects of his work. This simplicity is the reason for their popularity within their own camp.

Contrary to these scientistic critics my discussion of OOO is from a pluralist perspective, I do not wish it to regress back to scientism, as Bryant is constantly trying to do. I criticise OOO for not going far enough, and for sliding backwards from some of its own insights. I criticise OOO for not enough pluralism, whereas the scientistics criticise it for too much pluralism.

It is important to note that Harman has actually read Latour, and has seen the importance of his ideas. Brassier and his acolytes show no familiarity with, and no understanding of, Latour’s ideas. They act as if OOO can be conjured away with scholastic mantras. It sounds like Star Trek: de-activate the neo-Sellarsian dis-inferentialisation of the Brandomions.

I do not agree with Harman’s counter-propositions to Latour’s ontology, but at least he has studied Latour and knows what he is talking about.

Bibliography

For some parallels between Harman and Wolfendale see: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/wolfendale-vs-harman-the-place-of-mathematics/

For the superiority of Harman’s position to Wolfendale’s see: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/in-praise-of-graham-harman/

On Zizek as a fruitful alternative both to OOO and to its scientistic critics see: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/scientism-as-blindspot-zizek-vs-wolfendale/

A reminder about previous critics of OOO who have conveniently been forgotten by both sides see: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/being-fair-to-wolfendale/

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