A Good Synopsis Of Harman’s OOO and the Laruelle-Harman link.


How are we to take the Object Oriented Ontology of Graham Harman?

Well, any way we would like.

But the way I take it is specifically philosophical. And by this approach I mean to position my self from that of non-philosophy, which is to say, what Francois Laruelle meant as opposed to what his congregants would want him to mean; and by this I mean to say that by understanding what both these authors mean, I have the single critique against both in as much as there are people who would be non-philosophers or object oriented ontologists as a philosophical position. I am neither. But I understand both. And I propose that it is through understanding what both these authors are saying in the context of philosophy, that I am a philosopher who’s object is philosophy.

I have said elsewhere that I think Graham Harman offers us the most significant philosophy of our time.  I also argue in various places that philosophy only concerns itself. And I often use the example of walking along absorbed in your cell phone and you walk into a low tree branch. My point is that such an event is utterly impenetrable by, what I work to call, conventional philosophy.  This is not to say that I cannot have a philosophical position about what happened or what the branch is or what the gash in my forehead is or the blood, or my scratched glasses; rather, it is to say that the meaning of the event or it’s ontological status is not all there is to talk about.

As I have in an earlier post, what we are dealing with is the difference between the nothingness at the inside-end of the phenomenal reduction which is the lacuna or gap and well as the magical ‘filler’ of capitalist subjectivity, and the in-itself essence of the object that withdraws from view.

I see my hypothetical anecdote, and the conclusion I have just put forth, in line with both Laruelle’s and Harman’s philosophies.  My critique of both of them is that the way they distinguish their particular philosophies from any other is based in discursive semantic distinctions that have nearly nothing to do with reality.  This is to say, the reality that they both propose in their manners is exactly a philosophical reality that has nearly nothing to do with the branch smashing into my forehead.  It is exactly the certain kind of viewing upon their own work which allows them to be saying anything about reality, and yet never be a part of it.  This is not to say that they are wrong, but only that they do not recognize what they are doing, or if they do then they are involved with a sort of deceit (see my posts on Bad Faith which I wrote like 5 years ago).

My other proof-anecdote I have used is that I doubt that Harman goes to grab a beer with lunch and friends and sits with the server for and hour or two to make sure that everyone knows the truth of what they are getting themselves into (or whatever) by ordering food and drink, both Harman and his friends and the server, the cooks and brewmasters, etcetera, all understand the reality that they are involved with before he even starts to order.  Let alone the car (he does live in LA) and all the philosophical ideas that must go into him even starting a car.  For how could the server bring him a beer if he is not privy to same the ontological ground as Harman? How does he ever even get to the pub?

The point I am making here is exactly a non-philosophical point that Laruelle makes (and others); namely, that the idea that there is an extension of actuality beyond the argumentative motions of philosophical work is itself based in a kind of faith.  It is in no uncertain terms indeed a belief that what the thinking subject has come upon in the philosophical moment extends to include the ordering of dinner and a drink behind the scenes of the actual situation. And this is exactly what Harman talks about so far as “behind the scenes” (what I call transcendence).

Anyway. I must save the more in depth analysis of this linked essay for a submitted paper.

In short, I am a counselor and a philosopher.  The philosophy exists as a thing in-itself (ala Harman) for the knowledge which dismisses itself from itself for another object; as these objects withdraw from the scene to do their own business, they thus involve me and the other phenomena vicariously, each drawing upon the another to do their relative business in the real world: Actual non-philosophical business of dealing with real things philosophically, which is to say, completely separated from any causal linkage to the theoretical base, incidentally coincides with various Marxisms and critical theories that also have sense.



{artwork from the book Subjects with Objects}


The Moment of Decisive Significance.

Do we really understand human nature?

Can we generalize humanity into a common nature?

What is modern philosophy?

What is religion?

Is it all ‘relative’?

“…Through a truly unique telling of the Gospels… Lance Kair confronts philosophical assumptions that have accompanied philosophical and religious approaches alike through the ages.”
-Cedric Nathaniel.

– “No longer are we to merely sit and argue over theism and atheism, religion and science…, Mr. Kair has given us the beginnings of a whole new manner of looking at not only the Bible, but the institution of philosophy itself.”
– Edmund Doza; The Heights Manner

“…simply crass and confrontative to most of what we have been given…”
The Complicit Cosmonaut.

– “Religion, Spirituality, philosophy, history… in the latest installment of The Philosophical Hack, Mr. Kair pulls no punches. He is willing to step out on a limb and tell us that the categories by which we traditionally reckon human subjectivity are, at best, weak estimations of Being that have become nearly useless for talking about what is occurring in the human condition. In fact, he suggests, they are real approximations that always serve to keep human Beings in a state of deference.”

– “Calling to our prejudices and vehement opinions about religion, Mr. Kair asks us to place “what is first, last” in order to understand what we are dealing with in the philosophy that proposes itself a secular and separate entity from religion and religious comment. He deliberately and unflinchingly challenges us to place what is “last, first”; he knows the conventional philosopher will balk, and the priest will turn away from such a suggestion.”

– “I found that, though as a philosopher I was resistant at first, I could [not set aside] Mr Kair ‘s proposal.”

– David Smith.

– “Excellent… Confronting. Startling.”

– Sonja Alejandra Pritchett.



* Please look for the revised edition, soft cover, out soon. *


Thanks guys.
In the interest of fairness, Dave has this to say

-“… in his context and within The Bible’s context, and he showed little regard for what the Gospel of John says that Jesus did.”

But, also in fairness, I think Daves appraisal is based on our discussions and not the book itself.