Nonsense! Ridiculousness! The usual suspects rage.
So now we need to try and reel it in. If the fish has been snagged by the line, then we need to start to bring it back away from the fish of mere ideas, back from objectival discourse that sees authors and their ideas as True Things to be apprehended in their in-itself-ness, where the fish was swimming around looking for food and found it on the end of a hook and decided (whether it be of ‘natural’ instinct or not) to bite — we need to bring back the fish that has been snagged by the line.
See that this is not a rebuttal of Object Oriented Ontology; rather the distinction that finds OOO accordant with the divergent move is an occasion to speak about the Significant Event. To say that our issue concerns one’s orientation upon the object, and to further delineate that reality concerns a faith in the True Object, is actually the converse of Harman’s Object Oriented Ontology, and not its ‘opposite’ that would be then the ‘subject orientation’ necessarily.
To explain: Our thesis involving the pocket veto has implicated the Speculative Realists as dealing with reality in reality. If we have not been explicit, theirs (but Graham Harman in particular) is concerned with closing the ‘gap’ that appears to separate the subject and object in an extended discursive analysis based in traditional Western Philosophy, the gap that appears poignantly with Kant; Harman speaks about “how two objects touch”. Yet we should see that the primary concern that appears shaded if not explicitly avoided there is how to bring the subject individual human being into direct relation (contact) with the object. Harman moves for a leveling of the playing field by categorizing all real things, including the human being, as objects. The notice enacted here is that there was a previous discursive situation that presented a conceptual structure for reality that allowed for the gap. Thus SR divergence in this first sense, a real divergence.
What we should then see is that it is the subject-centered ‘reason’, ala Quentin Miellassoux, by which we may come to an idea of how one in reality is oriented upon objects, because it is by such subjective centrality that objects may be presented as such. The issue is put forth in the essays of Constructive Undoing as having to do with subjects, human beings, that are oriented upon True Objects. This is to mean that the individual of reality sees and references itself by and through Objects, and because such Objects cannot be known in-themselves, i.e. known as True in the sense of giving to us information about them that has nothing to do with our (subjective) perceiving or comprehending them, neutral data, so to speak, their Truth, the Truth about objects that we take and behave with as if they indeed are absolutely True is an act of faith. Such it is that reality in itself is a manifestation of faith. Hence, a divergence in a second sense that distinguishes what is True from what is real, that is, what is ironic from the faith in the True Object.
As shown in part 7 of this essay, the significance which links these two senses of divergence is the show of power. Specifically, it is the basic real assumption of post, but at least, post-post modernist assertion, that discourse determines reality. We have outlined how Miellasoux frames this in his ‘Correlationalism’, the weak and the strong forms. What is divisive (if we can follow the same type of categorizing for divergence) in the weak sense, is that such reality, if we may use this in the strong as well as weak correlational sense, already assumes that discourse does indeed reside as the omnipotent power for reality, so much though, that it is assumed and proposed given to include even our ‘innermost’ person, the makings and structures of our thoughts, such that there is no human being that is not determined in its manifestation as well as its moves (read: choices, options for movement) by discourse, that indeed discourse had and has determined what reality is. It is by this correlation that we have discussed the ‘individual of reality’ that is the individual of faith in the the True Object, and have thereby offered the strong divergence that succeeds from what we have called the ‘hard’ correlational limit.
It is by this designation that we argue the SRs are dealing with reality in reality; they are subject to the hard correlational limit, and thereby diverge from the previous determination of reality, the ‘subject orientation’ to the proposed new determination, ‘object orientation’. Due to the hard correlationalist model, because they were are already invested in reality, where the weak and strong correlationalism functions, they were already dealing in their being oriented upon the True Object. Hence the irony involved with Harman, at least, noticing this limit and finding his vector back in the limit to find and discuss what this True Object is, how it manifests in reality as reality. He is discussing the ‘subject as object’ and the real ramifications of this move. So it is also that what he is finding and what he is saying evidences the significance of divergence; both its weak and strong moves evidence the pocket veto.
We have come to an odd point that is in fact so odd that the fast reader might even miss it; I say ‘fast’ and immediately indicate the point of contention. Either this odd point is not so odd but is noticed as capable of being odd, or it is rejected. What is really odd though is if it has been rejected, we can account for it: the rejection is based in the assumption of (a prior posterior maxim, an experience of which is given prior to the experience) the real common humanity of individuals of whom the reader is part and in which the reader is invested through his her identity. The rejection is so commonplace of reality that the fast reader misses it, and often misses that a rejection has even been called for, and this is because the rejection is based in the maxim that all individual human beings have available the resource of intuition; so to say, as the previous segment Part 7, that Miellassoux has come by his argument by intuition is to say nothing more than he is a human being. Yes; this is true. But the point here, as we discuss the point of contention, is to say that which everyone assumes as true, out loud, to their face. It is to point to what it is we say is real and to elicit a reaction where what is revolutionary has been missed. The point is to expose that upon which the assertion of a unitary discourse of the real gains its stature, and thus be able to begin to speak that which historically remains silent; to indicate that what is missed cannot be ‘re-placed’ as another discourse of method that says it is now ‘practice’; to indicate not merely that while what is missed is indeed missed by its objectival understanding — even as what is ‘radical’ poses as this space, or the revolution that is proposed by this space, this ‘missing’, this ‘indivisible remainder’ (Zizek) — and is indeed the ideology functioning as ideology, is the discourse ‘working’ (Heidegger, the Work of Art) as it is supposed to as the condition of reality as knowledge, but more significantly, that such ‘indivisible space’ is in the ‘pocket’ of real discourse, in one case as potential but in the other rather as completely missed; and this is to say, again, the rejection is the evidence of consciousness functioning to supply reality, of distancing the individual from its object through identity, consciousness ‘denying’ that the True Object is not just true-real.
While the conventional (real) discourse may evidence its own saturation of meaning in terminology and thereby be able to slice and mash, dissect and describe, deconstruct and recombine term-object singular identities so to bring about a sufficiently dense description of the picture of reality and to thereby gain purchase upon a new solution to the old, this method of process never gains its object beyond the mere Kantian intuition of true meaning gained by the terms that are poised in faith to avoid their own objectivity; at best, such a method succeeds in describing the ‘reality of the moment’. What this means is that the same discourse of reality that discounts any real ‘god’ through its argumentation is allowing for its ability to grant or convey truth by relying upon a transcendent yet unspeakable power that is denied in the asserted and apparent power of discourse to convey its truth (God does not exist/ there is no God and the atheist position in general). It thus becomes obvious why there have been arguments made as to a particular definition of ‘existence’ that excludes some ‘actuality’ of God, to justify why we can thus say ‘God does not exist’ and be truthful in as much as there is a ‘truth in God’. The ‘speculative’ only gains its (Aquinas) stature as such by virtue of the ‘practical’; by virtue of the speculative itself, it is not speculative, but rather indicates what is not practical except that it has to be distinguished because what is practical is ubiquitous to (common) sense, or for another word, reality. Hence, we can begin to speak again of — not merely duality, but more so, dual bases of power that do not combine but instead evidence the limitation of a discourse that proposes itself in the human act as the One omnipotent and ubiquitous truth.
One world is necessary. The problem is what this world is, but if we have more than one world then what is the ‘whole’? Many are already discounting such a question; so let Reality be said to account for the one world; for all the problems that arise whether mental, social, psychic, material, physical, etcetera, all the scenes and issues are dealt with through a reductive method that finds a solution for the question of what we are to do, so that every solution is a momentary manifestation that defines for humans their place of activity — this ‘one place’ where a reduction of meaningful categories amounts, is reality, and the argument that would attempt to displace or discount this proposal, a real argument. This necessary situation of humanity is thus contingency, every situation is contingent upon another situation. This place is ultimately a place that settles for consciousness its own operation in its operating. There is no manner of thinking upon things that can remove the fact of thinking about them (as far as we can think we know of thinking), so let us grant that to offer any notion whether subjective or objective or any of the proposed philosophical turns and solutions is always a notion of consciousness in the attempt to place itself in the real world; it is the same with thought. The only way to avoid this feature of consciousness is to deny this feature, and this is also a feature of consciousness; what is reductive, as to method, is based in denial, and the place where reduction occurs to find solution as to what to do is called reality. That method which relies upon such a denial of operation for the sake of the reliance is what we call conventional, since it is the appearance of the world that takes what is presented as the common arena of human effort for the sake of the One thing to be addressed and solved. Every proposal of how such reality is manifested is a discursive strategy for approach based upon meaning and significance. Hence, to argue that the world is constituted through objects, and only objects, is a particular solution for how consciousness has been placed and is being placed in the world for the moment. This argument then is ironic, for it begs its own question of how it is able to come to such a conclusion for all argument, which is to say, for all reality; it is the expression of contradiction as meaning, as opposed to contradiction indicating limit.
It is this feature of human process that now arrives in a necessary divergence. For within such a framing, which is a real historical discursive framing whereby various proposals have been offered and challenged through the method of determining truth by the criterion of contradiction, the world as we know it or have argued has brought us to the place where our ability to offer solution is seen to be merely a vanity, merely consciousness doing its universal operation — and this is denied. What has occurred here then is consciousness through its own function of creating meaning has come upon its own process as transparent, that is, the meaning is that it only makes meaning and this meaning has no true basis beyond the establishing of true objects (identity), regardless of any necessary objectival in-itself point of reference, and distanced itself from this meaning. This issue then is called the point of contention’, for the issue concerns not only reality and how it functions — the contradiction is overcome by faith –but also reality as such that it is distinguished now as another object in itself.
Reality is conventional; divergence ironic. The former sees progress instilled and innate in the meaning of every statement, whether it be for or against, the stasis of term-object identity in an historical temporal discursive movement of and toward the One truth, whether it proposes to be gainable or not (for the assertion that it cannot be gained is likewise an assertion upon the progressive nature and ability of humanity, that we have through trial and error found that this is the case). The latter sees the ‘control’ of terms, subjects and objects, to be in the terms and objects themselves, as objects in themselves. Hence we have (again, inevitably, perpetually), in consideration of the SRs, a dual divergence; Graham Harman who steps into the object (objects is all there is) finds a reality that though logically consistent is nevertheless somewhat difficult if not contrary to any common human sense, which is of course what he would find (what is an object divorced from a subject? What is a subject if it is only an object?). Yet he asserts such true object as actually and really true, as if he is privy to a more true reality that everyone should now understand (the ‘thought police’ assertion). Then we have aphilosophy, which upon reflection might be better termed as “philosophy-A”, as there is supposedly already a ‘philosophy-X’ which seems (maybe) already still conventional. Here discourse is all there is and because of this all terms, their meanings and or definitions, are objects. This latter does not privilege the subject, nor attempts to arrive at the object by denying the historical formulation of the subject, but instead speaks of effects of consciousness. On one hand, the effect of consciousness comfortably distanced from its own operations (in denial so it “Don’t Even Know I Am Lying”) so it can operate effectively with the tool of logic develops conventional reality in general as a primary base upon which the subsequent base may take form in the fantastical extreme of ‘logically real’ nonsense, for which we can probably begin see the evidence of faith at work (Speculative Realism, and Object Ontology). On the other hand, the effect of consciousness that compromises the distance consciousness would impose for itself in reality arrives with the meaning of contradiction as meaning (irony, and — wink, wink — philosophy-A). But nevertheless such Objects must necessarily exist given the conventional allowance for plausibility in negotiation coupled with the capitalized identity. One can only wonder if the people in Liberia who raided an Ebola treatment center based upon their belief that no such disease exists, that it is a Western capitalistic conspiracy, needed some thought police.
Yet I leave such real conventional possibilities to their proper domain; the ontological description of objects that are not merely terms, real objects, grants a description of the interrelating of terms as an objective field. Yet this field comes about in the holding out from the subject, because it will collapse in the subject.
I thereby suggest the divergence that has a more substantial propositional base, even if, indeed, such a proposition is admittedly not real. For what is collapsing is in the tension that develops by the holding apart that which is natively indigenous. When there is no tension, then the subject may be breached as to how the object manifests reality. Hence, the dual nature of the divergence of which we speak.
I agree with Graham Harman’s assessment of the Kantian failure, that Western philosophy is caught and spends its time now reiterating the same arguments, the faults and merits of ideas that stem from a human subject center attempting to mitigate an apparent gap between the cogito and the object. Divergence thus takes two forms. We argue that Harman and Miellasosux and the ‘speculative’ sort lack in their approach, i.e. they are found in what we see is the hard correlationalist limit, and it is this limit that justifies their route into the object through the conventional Sartean existential revolt (from the limit back into the limit), the (Kantian) subject and its route having been played out is now retreading its own ground through different terms, so invested in the state of reality conventional philosophy is, and they are in effect missing — or perhaps not missing it; this is the significance of the pocket veto — the fault of the object-term identity which is the Kantian thesis; which is to say, they flat out do not recognize it, in denial through plain ignorance or in denial in the face of the contradiction.
This situation unfolds in the following manner: They are either relying fully upon the true object of faith, and if so are at once accepting their (Kantian) intuitive faculty as a common faculty of human consciousness, and so read Kant’s ideas as a true (historical) object to be discerned and built upon in the progress of human knowledge, thereby missing the significant feature of at least “The Critique of Pure Reason”; or, they are being deceptive in that the intuition they have had is a particularly significant inspiration such that the degree of such inspiration would impose an offense upon the audience in which they engage, that is, the philosophical audience, by suggesting a privilege that is not available to everyone but which nevertheless they have due to the very intuition that is common among real humans, but ‘specialized’ in them. But the discourse of the Significant Event offers that to suggest that they are merely very educated or intelligent or have an otherwise unique view but without the intuited transcendental operation is to flat out deny the very aspect of their being human as being human; that is, unless they were indeed inspired by a transcendental and undisclosed aspect or influence. The progress that they thereby propose as a ‘new’ route upon the given discourse suggests that humanity might move out of a particular paradigm of thought, but not move out from being human, and thereby tells and reifies the conventional route: that discourse defines what and how human beings are as real human beings, and this is to say that somehow human beings are being not only influenced but indeed controlled by a power for which humans have no control except that they use discourse, and further this is to propose the greatest offense: such ‘special’ philosophers are especially privy to coming upon ‘inspired ideas’ (that are — nod, nod, wink, wink– not ‘transcendentally inspired’) that somehow allow them to gain purchase upon the center of power of discourse. This assertion through denial is exactly the Kantian proposal: that we can intuit an object’s truth due to the very nature of human consciousness being limited in its functioning. But the Speculative Realists deny this is true.
The problem of divergence remains as I have indicated; Harman and Miellassoux are still dealing with reality in reality. By my own definition, they are working along the conventional route, so we have then to distinguish what divergence means, and this is the work we have before us concerning the Significant Event. Obviously, The Speculative Realists’ divergence is from the type of philosophy just mentioned above. They diverge from ‘subject oriented’ to ‘object oriented’; this is plain. Yet the significance of their speculative divergence misses what should be seen as the true statement of Kant, to wit, there is no knowable object in-itself that can be gained outside of intuition and that to have achieved a ‘non-intuitive’ position one must be presented in a categorical imperative that then situates the ‘practical reason’ in a manner that is able to distinguish the two in a ‘non-practical’ way. In contrast, the overdetermined and common (mis-)interpretation of Kant allows for Kant’s real meaning that has been appropriated by Harman. Thus, to repeat, in so much as Harman, at least, concerns himself with the Object now, in the same way as described of Miellassoux in the previous segment, his (Harman) presentation seems to be and or otherwise must also be relying upon an undisclosed aspect (the state of categorical imperative that behaves so as to allow practical reason as a categorical precipitate, a hypothetical imperative) that informs his ability to offer a discussion about real-true objects, and so therefore can have no veracity so far as truth beyond what is real (realism), as he admits. But he denies Kant, and so either must derive the categorical and hypothetical reasons as further objects already true, that is, the facticity of their being a part of the philosophical series opens them to their possibility of being false, which is how he seems to see it; or, he is relying upon that very situation that Kant describes, and so is being dishonest. So we have argued that reality relies upon — reality is a function of consciousness, a thing, for the argument is of effects and not so much about describing what an ‘actual’ real object is; that is Harman’s job (or maybe all of conventional philosophy) — a distancing of consciousness from the object of its real involvement or consideration of reality. Harman denies the ‘subject’ philosophical rhetoric and uses another true object by which to gain his stature to be able to say that such subject-oriented ideas are done with; that is, he relies upon the truth of the series of discourse (the true object located of historical argument) to come to his divergence. If I have not been clear, this is saying that his first proposal is that only objects (an object oriented ontology) contain or reflect truth, and so he grants an unimpeachable premise that the historical series is true, by which to make his statement about objects, a statement that denies that the ability to know true objects can only be intuited. This is redundancy in its finest and the mark of the repetition of real argument; this is discursive slight of hand and is indicative of how Slavoj Zizek involves the 5 stages of grief (see a later segment). Thus, the discourse of the Significant Event suggests that Harman (and M) has enacted a ‘pocket veto’ that places the transcendent clause ‘in his pocket’, such that it is already ‘had’, and by this is able to venture out into the world an ‘inspired agent’ of transcendence, motivated by a unspoken of aspect that in other days and discourses would be called ‘God’.
Oh shit. I didn’t just say that. Wait wait wait — aren’t we attempting to remove the transcendent?
Harman’s only saving grace is then by the real divergent move. Two objects touch vicariously and in sincerity. He has thereby re-instated the identity of the basic duality in essential reality, a reality that includes the individual vicariously, that is to say, reality includes the individual in place of the human being; he closes the gap by exchanging real identical categorical imperatives. This is ironic: Harman is arguing a removal of the subject by placing it in the position of the object sincerely, truly, and thus is he able to describe the True Object of the Subject; that is, nothing that is attainable through real tangible sensibility, except real contingency (as an Object), which is a system that defines itself in such a way so as to exclude that which is ‘accidental’. This appears to be the weight of his whole argument (though the jury is still out). Hence, by contrast, what is attainable is to describe the subject of the object, and this (sorry to keep dangling the carrot) is to introduce the significant event.
The odd thing is that hardly anyone will be able to see themselves beyond the terms by which they identify themselves in reality and so they will miss their own veto — if they ever had one — and and the description of the significant event will likely be just as nonsensical, but even more so. Yet if you are ready for more then the fish might not have broken the line.
End Part 8.
* * *
Whew! this essay is really developing.
Next we take up the ramifications of this dilemma I have shown of the Speculators of Reality and bring in some more Slavoj Zizek.
Maybe one day I’ll get back to Heidegger (sorry; I lied earlier).
But for sure, I will eventually get back to the matter at hand, and stop wading in the philosophical pool; but there are some ends that should be tied first.
It would be cool if a few people would comment.
Really End part 8.