TRIPLE O THE PSEUDO-FOE: notes on the Zizekian gentrification of OOO

Graham Harman’s OOO was born refuted. Incoherent in its fundamental premises, responding to a non-existent problem, positioning itself in a totally …

TRIPLE O THE PSEUDO-FOE: notes on the Zizekian gentrification of OOO

——- I feel obliged to represent rebuttals. Personally, I think many of them are kind of weak, and show really a misunderstanding of Harman’s proposals. I have read Harmon’s book “tool being”, I have read probably half of “gorilla metaphysics”, and I think the most significant thing that I’ve read by him is the essay that I have reposted called “on vicarious causation”. And I’ve read at least a few of those links that Terrence gives on agents form there, as well as agent swarms on critique. And I’ve read bits and pieces of arguments against Triple-o. To me, I’m not sure if any of them are really holding any water. I mean, they hold water within their own domain I suppose. But when I read Graham Harmons work, it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. There is no phenomenologist of the 20th century that even comes close to the significance that I find in Harmons work . so that’s just me.

But that being said, Terrence has talked about Fayerband for sometime now, and I finally bought one of his books. And I got to say this dudes on point so, there’s that.

It seems that Terrence Blake and I overlap and concur in so many ways, but then in discussing it, we seem to differ on very basic and fundamental premises.



I don’t know what I would say to someone who is giving me a rebuttal based on a misunderstanding of what I’m saying. Of course, I would try to explain it to them. But one should imagine that after a while of encountering the same kind of rebuttals, the same kind of questions, eventually, sooner or later, I would begin to be able to tell very quickly whether or not this person is “starting off on the right foot” toward or into my proposals, say. So after a while of repeated incidents.I would probably Learn that it is futile and just stay quiet and address those rebuttals which appear to me as Being closest to comprehending what I’m putting forth.

My analogy example that I’ve given at least a couple times in posts somewhere in my blogosphere here, is that there’s no amount of description of snow that I can give to someone who has never encountered snow to get them to understand what it is, let alone believe that it exists. Any approximation in their mind that they would have from my description of what snow is would fail at every instance until they actually encountered snow itself.

So I agree with Harmon in his celebration; “to the things in themselves!” 

But of course, as with everyone who has an ax to grind, if I don’t respond to your prodding, then that shows you evidence that I have no ground to stand on against your questioning. And ironically, indeed I wouldn’t! Because the ground of that persons understanding is fundamentally different. So indeed in that person’s domain there is no ground that I can occupy, because everything that I would say would necessarily sink into his quagmire of shifting sands. 

It would be as if I went into a programmer’s office and started telling him how the formatting of his coding is incorrect, or giving him arguments about how he should change things. Indeed, I know what all the numbers and symbols and letters are, I can even understand what lines of code are. I know where and what the computer is. Etc. But just because I know what the symbols are doesn’t mean that I understand one tidbit of the coder’s world so far as the coding functions toward an application. So it is the terms of discourse themselves likewise are analogous to this situation under certain conditions when two philosophers get together to compare notes.  The idea of discourse does not even then Keynote a common category through which we can all understand each other. In the same way that a professional baseball players understanding and approach to the world cannot be comprehended buy a librarian, nor vice versa.  there is nothing that either could say to each other, no description that either could give to the other, which would do justice to either of their experiences. We have to let a librarian be a librarian, and a baseball player to be a baseball player, in themselves.


So again, as I keep giving examples of as well as keep attempting to explain, we have evidence of two routes Upon objects. And, yes, I have attempted to give an example to round out how philosophy itself can be an object in my recently published essay “an essay concerning the possibility of a unified theory of counseling” (see my post with the link).

It is a kind of exercise in futility against which one retains more integrity by remaining silent.

Four, how loud would a baseball player have to be, how violent would she have to get upon the librarian in order for the librarian to agree that the baseball players world is actually the true world? And yet philosophers don’t see this as a violence, nor do they see themselves yelling, because they don’t even admit that within the category of philosophy there are baseball players, librarians, landscapers, and rocket scientist. Philosophers would say that all those categories must answer to philosophy and that philosophy is able to address The one in total category. 

It becomes obvious, though, after a while of trying to entertain people who claim to understand, as I’m trying to speak to them or speak to the rebuttals or comments, that they just plain do not get it. And it isn’t really as much that they don’t understand, as much as it is that the basis of their understanding is unable to formulate the conceptions. And this is not an insult. For the insult falls into the assumption that everyone who claims philosophy does have access to all things of knowledge. Actually, it is just a description of the facts. 

The overwhelming and obvious evidence is that there are two fundamentally different views, what I say are Orientations, upon what knowledge actually is.

It is not an argument about some reductive quality of a unified category of “knowledge”. Harman clearly distinguishes this in his works. What is phenomenal, has a form in as much as what is formal is likewise a phenomenon. These two causes overlap, but in essence they do not reduce to either one successfully nor truthfully.

.As I say in many places in previous posts, what we are witnessing is that there is no traversal across a category. For any given category that I might bring up, it is apparently obvious that it fails, no matter how much or how detailed I would wish to describe the extent of that given category, the problematic category whatever it is, Communication is simply not taking place. It is not a communication that I don’t like, as some theorists would want to say that communication is always occurring, it’s just you may not like what communication is occurring. What people don’t like, in truth, is to admit that there’s no communication  in this case taking place. It is a kind of stubbornness, indeed a phenomenology of subjectivity involved in the assertion of its own privilege and privacy, instead of actually looking at, viewing, and understanding the truth of the situation that is presented. It is what we could call a modern denial and justification of an inherent offense to one’s own being. 

I say no; in this particular case of philosophy, there is no communication that is taking place. The open presentation of sensible discourse, of arrangements of clauses and disseminating of definitions is not being communicated in its integrity to these other parties. Definition, no matter how detailed, has failed. This is what is occurring despite the protestations. One can even go so far as the contemplations of the end of history, in the end of philosophy, and the decline of civilization, is coinciding with a denial and failure to address this inherent failure of communication . It’s like we have to double down on the denial because were so offended. 

So as I say, in these particular cases of philosophy and interaction, it is more responsible to allow a tree be a tree and a rock a rock, instead of demanding that there must be some sort of fundamental essence that makes a rock a tree, and a tree a rock, some essential ether, or some basic material of which both a rock and a tree are made of which thus negates the Rockness or the Treeness, except as a further abstract category. 

As I put in my previous post, the question that we have to ask ourselves is what are we trying to do when we engage with philosophy?

And this demands honesty. And this demands responsibility for what we are doing or trying to do.

Are we are trying to find some essential of oneness at the heart of everything, whether it is an infinite relativity of discursive gymnastics, or whether it’s a basic and fundamental big bang at the beginning of everything, or whether it’s a prime creator.

 or, are we involved in just talking about what there is without any presumptions about how knowledge should proceed in order to be knowledge.

Or, are we involved with something else.

Philosophy, often enough, as soon as I say the word philosophy, all the sudden the assumption is is that we are all involved in this grant process of reducing everything to one unitive truth.  So I guess another question I have is are we able to discuss things to their ends, to the fundamental causes, without then having to reduce whatever series of final causes, to a great and wonderful “big unitive cause”?

I don’t know. All I’m saying is that I’m not involved in trying to reduce something to one great unitive cause. There might be other projects. But I’m also saying is that most often people will not admit what they’re really trying to do, and this is why I ask for honesty and responsibility. Because it would go along ways not only to accept the situation as it is, but allowing people to be heard. 


While I respect Terrence’s Philosophical approach and work, and he and I have had lengthy interactions and discussions in years past, it is simply a matter to me that many people are simply not understanding the text in front of them as it is intended.

In fact, in a post that I wrote maybe four or five years ago, I talked about how Harmons answering and rebuttals to critiques or a bottle of that obviously do not understand where he’s coming from, amounts to an effort of bad faith on Harmons Part. Namely, that he is reifying the mistake, in terms of Lacan. But also, I attempt to correct that mistake by pointing to the issue of orientation, instead of standing in a firm position of object oriented ontology. The issue is orientation. The issue is not whether or not Harmon has an argument. Indeed Harmon Hass to have an argument because he makes his living doing philosophy. But the significance of his work, Ironically, is that he’s almost required to defend his position against three bottles from people who are missing the mark. (as I describe all through my blog).

The failure is not in the misunderstanding or the mistake that everything should be able to be understood of everyone else’s position philosophically. No; The failure is in philosophy, as a discipline, as a whole effort that various people think they are involved with, admitting where junctures and differences actually arise. It is not argumentative, in fact I would go to the extent to say that it is ante- or pre- argumentative.  The division or the juncture occurs before any argument can be made in rebuttal. Because what is required is the first understand the position that is being described. It is not a matter of understanding the position as an argument. see again my two routes. 

It is not difficult to find this occasion of failure, and then begin to comprehend what is actually happening socially and in reality. Not only in the context of race relations, but mental health in general, we find everywhere in critical circles that intention is not sufficient. It does not matter what my intention is, because it fails. What matters is that I become open to the possibility of other despite my intention.

And we see this in the political realm presently also. It is not difficult to see what is happening in American politics is conservatism sticking to the centralized intentional subject, as its values and beliefs are understood as essential to the universe and human beings, or at least people who live in the United States, the citizens. This conservatism is located in the figure of Donald Trump. This figure at every turn just claims hey, I’m a good guy, I don’t mean to offend anyone I’m just speaking my truth. As Zizek suggested 4 years ago, Trump is the epitome of phenomenological intention, Despite what the left would want to say about its subjectivity.

But then we could say on the other side is the Black Lives Matter kind of thing. This side represents the opening to the possibility of the other. The willingness to give up my concrete intention and good willingness for the sake of believing someone else and their experience might fall outside of what I am able to understand.


So when we Juxtapose these two situations, philosophy, politics and reality, and we have a sort of triad of mixture of juxtaposition Ing, we can find a reason why I am able to speak to philosophy itself being viewed as an object. And as well that there is this “thing” that I call “conventional philosophy” which demands that anything I say is able to be understood, comprehended, and addressed by anyone else using language, But so long as we play the game of phenomenalism and its brother in law, discourse.

  yes, I say, it is possible and indeed we do find that demand. But in the end, again I say, it is not very responsible for what is true of the situation at hand.


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