Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Monday, February 14, 2011

Intense Harman Post on Aristotle


How come I missed this? Perhaps in the melée of getting back to school it got lost in the mix. It's great to read it at last. I had the best summer last year re-reading Aristotle and doing a Buddhist retreat. Graham does a great job of summarizing some of the many fine things about Levi's book The Democracy of Objects. One of these is the idea that objects can't really be dialecticized if they have, as Aristotle argues, no opposites. (Like, what's the “opposite” of a chair? You know?)

Graham is right on about Heidegger on Aristotle, the last time anyone really tried, I guess. That approach is so much more about Heidegger than it is about Aristotle. I do like what Heidegger has to say about rhetoric though—that it's an art of listening...

I like what Graham has to say about the Medieval Aristotle. It's a big deal that OOO is shifting the debate towards Aristotle for historical reasons. The turn to modern science, the collapse of rhetoric (see Dark Chemistry's great post on that), the use of the term “scholastic” as a term of abuse, the sneers about angels and pins—it all has to do with a very long history that forms a dark shadow stretching back behind correlationism. Perhaps a pre-echo, the setup if you like, of correlationism. It's all about Aristotle.

Non-dialecticizable objects. You know I have to say, I really love that. And when Graham says, boldly, “No, it's not possible to be a Hegelian today,” I have to cheer, having just taught Hegel. Hegel's aesthetic theory being one big piece of the modernity puzzle that I'm claiming we just exited...More on this in the near future.

2 comments:

daz hastings said...

in my notes I wrote "can't be dialecticies" !! gawd knows how i got there from "can't be dialecticized"/ I must be excited about all the "delicacies" in OOO to have equated the two threads simultaneously. Rock on. I feel my own "turn" is not far off; this post cements my certainty. Thanks for finding the words that give all of this the right weight.

daz hastings said...

in my notes I wrote "can't be dialecticies" !! gawd knows how i got there from "can't be dialecticized"/ I must be excited about all the "delicacies" in OOO to have equated the two threads simultaneously. Rock on. I feel my own "turn" is not far off; this post cements my certainty. Thanks for finding the words that give all of this the right weight.