OOO AND MESO-MINING: the lazy man’s reductionism

Objects in Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology occupy a middle ground between undermining (intelligibility in terms of atomic components, the scientific prejudice) and overmining (intelligibility in terms of subsuming ensembles of qualities and relations, the humanistic prejudice).

objects cannot be reduced to anything else, and must be addressed by philosophy on their own terms (THE QUADRUPLE OBJECT, 138)

Objects are irreducible, and as such are the source of intelligibility for everything that exists:

the tensions between objects and their qualities and other objects can be used to account for anything else that exists (THE QUADRUPLE OBJECT, 138)

However, this view is itself a reductionism, the reduction of the world to objects, rather than to facts (Wittgenstein), events (Deleuze), or processes (Whitehead). Such objectal reduction may be called meso-mining.

Harman’s “third table” is the meso-object, “deeper” than the scientific, the humanistic, and the common sense table because it is shorn of all sensible and knowable predicates. Completely untestable the hypothesis of the primacy of the meso-object is without any explanatory power.

For details see my review of THE THIRD TABLE here:, and its sequel explicating some positions with more explanatory power (Latour, Laruelle, Feyerabend) here:

Everything reduces to objects, but objects themselves are irreducible, they are the ultimate foundation of intelligibility, intelligible on the basis of nothing else than themselves.

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One Response to OOO AND MESO-MINING: the lazy man’s reductionism

  1. landzek says:

    I like it. Itself a ‘middle’ that rejects all positions, routing any proposal into its space back into the predicate of its own ontologyZ.

    Would you agree with that statement about Meso-objects?


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