Nathaniel: Revisiting “On Vicarious Causation”

This excerpt from Graham Harman’s “on vicarious causation” from 2007 in the journal called Collapse (it is not difficult to find the PDF online) represents succinctly what Cedric Nathaniel means when writes that his philosophical work is not concerned with “what is behind the scenes”, what he generally ascribes to metaphysics, what he calls “conventional philosophy”, and what Francois Laruelle refers to as “sufficient philosophy”.

Harman’s article here puts in very clear terms what Nathaniel means when he talks about what is ‘actually occurring’, that is supposed occurring right in front of our faces, as opposed to what our introspective minds might dredge up from the underworld of “subjective” or what Nathaniel generalizes as phenomenological truths. (Nathaniel inverts Harman’s categories and says that what is phenomenological is ultimately real, where what Nathaniel calls true is what Harmon calls real).

It is how Harman says; phenomenological sensual Truths ride along top of the real object, and as I’ve said recently in a post of mine, That ideals based in subjective, discursive, linguistic etc. modes ride along top what is actually in front of us (that is, once we get beyond the appearance of the phenomenon) like the Hawaiian islands ride along top of a hotspot in the earths crust.

This (object, as opposed to subject) orientation upon things of philosophy I see is much more useful in its truth than grounding whatever theoretical activity in whatever subjective imagination of sense that an individual might be able to fit together; That is, if we are ever trying to get anywhere in philosophy besides a crate load of artistic freedom of expression. Hence I find in Cedric Nathaniel’s books an interesting move towards a science of philosophy.

I would suggest revisiting Harmons seminal article written in 2007, “on vicarious causation”. And consider it in light of James Hillman’s “healing fiction” just what sort of fiction that conventional (phenomenally based)  philosophy writes for itself, given the evidence of the condition of our world, and where intentional communion with the object of thought might be creating more destruction than indeed healing.  perhaps what we are considering imagination it’s not so imaginative after all.  Perhaps there is a weak consideration of what imagination is so far as it might be applied to real activity, which is to say, a weak estimation, a correlation even, between imagination and what is good for the world, as evidenced by the shape or condition of the world, so far as whether we are actually harming or helping that condition. Slavoj Zizek is tight in his discussions about capitalism as quite difficult to imagine beyond: as Nathaniel says, It is due to the phenomenological redundancy which sees in its own reflection an infinity of objective truth obtainable from intuition of a transcendent other (religious communion), the excess that profit and investment arise from.


And I imagine over December I’ll produce a paper along these lines. 😛

Grow. Begin the hack.