During the episode of The Hypermodernity Podcast (see previous post) the question of my engagement with object-oriented ontology came up. I explained how it had served as a useful catalyst for my transition out of an involvement with recent pluralist readings of Heidegger, and in particular with Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Kelly’s ALL THINGS SHINING project.
This was a collective project (comprising podcast lectures, the book, a dedicated blog, a discussion group on Second Life) that attempted to reactivate key ideas from Heidegger’s later philosophy in the contemporary context. At first enthusiastic, I became ultimately dissatisfied with the direction the project was being developed, finding it a half-hearted pluralism at best, nostalgic, élitist, and closed-minded in relation to other, similar ideas.
In this context I discovered OOO and was initially taken with its iconoclasm and sense of freedom to think. However, I soon found its basic ontology to be flawed, and treated as a new doxa, entrenched and immune to further critique. Nonetheless it had served to get me re-invested in contemporary French philosophy (Badiou, Laruelle, Latour) so it was an important, though brief, stepping-stone on my philosophical path.
For a summary of my views on object-oriented ontology
To understand my argument one could read (or re-read) Harman’s THE THIRD TABLE which is very clear and well-written (and inexpensive), and then my reply here:
One can find more context for my review here:
Those looking for a beginning reading list for OOO can find some useful advice here:
I have also written extensively on OOO: