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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What Relationists Hear

"The OOO idea that objects transcend their relations must mean that they think objects are static lumps that THEN enter into relations. This is reactionary. Therefore the inverse must be true. There are relations, of which so-called objects are temporary instances or purely illusory reifications."

When you think that, it is YOU who have the idea that objects must be static lumps. You think it's bad or impossible to think this way.

You are attacking OOO with YOUR extremely non-OOO prejudice about objects.

This is why there is NO objects versus relations "debate." We use the same words but we are in different galaxies.

It's a real Lyotardian differend. Total cross-purposes.

What we hear:

When you say "prior to" you mean "made of." I might be made of all kinds of things. I might be made by God or composed of point particles or sawdust. I might be made of relations for all I know, though to my ear that implies an infinite regress (relations between...what?).

But being made of something doesn't mean I am reducible to that something. If God made me out of his divine substance it doesn't follow that I am God.

You are simply selecting the faces part of a faces-candlestick gestalt and saying it's more real than the candlestick. The candlestick is the "object" and the faces are your "relations."

This is just rearranging the deck chairs on the ontotheological Titanic. You have said nothing ontological yet. We are not talking about competing "views of" reality--there's that staring-at-an-objectified-thing syndrome again.

"But I don't believe in this concept of real. There are a-real, irreal, etc processes that result in or are reified as so-called reality."

Again, to our ears, your concept of "real" is a reification. The mode in which you deny reality is--reification. You are swapping one form of reification for another. Your either/or dichotomizing of what you call "objects" and what you call "relations" or what you call "reality" and what you call "differential processes/negation/whatever term doesn't suck for you" is precisely the problem, a symptom of the metaphysics of presence.

The way you deny you are into presence is still in presence mode.

You see? However one escalates the "debate" you get the same result. There is no "debate" if only one party thinks they are in a boxing ring and that there is a winner between two competing beings. While the other party doesn't think this at all.

I can't tell you how many times relationists try to suck me into this "debate." I refuse because agreeing to the debate is agreeing to its terms, which are relationist. So we have a differend.

3 comments:

nickguetti said...

Yeah. I've met/read/talked to some relationists now, and I think it's true that they and spec real are talking on totally different levels about the same thing. I should say though that a lot of the stuff they're saying works very well for thinking some elements of ecosynthesis: the way being is cracked, and beings are the pieces, and we all have cracks in us as well so that this crackedness is directly us in some way. Of course no ontology of the crack itself has been forthcoming, which is a bug. But I think the differend is easily bridged for the purpose of relationalist/spec-real collectivity: all you have to do is restate relations AS objects. What's the problem then? Who sez an object can't contain other objects it acts as a relator for? Not Graham Harman. Not me, either. I just don't think you can talk about "nothing" (i.e. this crack) relating us any more than about "God" relating us without going occasionalist and M of P (metaphysics of presence) on us. I don't think there's a nothing...or rather, I think nothingness us just a something you can't think directly yet.

nickguetti said...

Yeah. I've met/read/talked to some relationists now, and I think it's true that
they and spec real are talking on totally different levels about the same thing.
I should say though that a lot of the stuff they're saying works very well for
thinking some elements of ecosynthesis: the way being is cracked, and beings are
the pieces, and we all have cracks in us as well so that this crackedness is
directly us in some way. Of course no ontology of the crack itself has been
forthcoming, which is a bug. But I think the differend is easily bridged for the
purpose of relationalist/spec-real collectivity: all you have to do is restate
relations AS objects. What's the problem then? Who sez an object can't contain
other objects it acts as a relator for? Not Graham Harman. Not me, either. I
just don't think you can talk about "nothing" (i.e. this crack) relating us any
more than about "God" relating us without going occasionalist and M of P
(metaphysics of presence) on us. I don't think there's a nothing...or rather, I
think nothingness us just a something you can't think directly yet.

D. E.M. said...

Excellent.
Also putting "debate" in scare quotes: excellent.