“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Object-Oriented Buddhism 17--Zubiri to the recuse

He's talking about chairs, which are only one syllable away from chariots. What he says is strongly in line with Gautama Bryant:

the chair ... qua chair, is not real, because "chair" is not a character which belongs to it "of itself"

This is from Of Essence, which arrived a few weeks ago. Graham Harman talks about this in Tool-Being, page 248.

Buddhists are likewise not nominalists: a chariot isn't a chariot because you call it one. Furthermore--there it is!

Thus OOO comes closest to profound theories of emptiness. The superficial understanding is that "form is emptiness"--modernity, from capitalism to scientism to process philosophy, kind of has that bit down.

What OOO grasps better than anything I've yet seen, the next proposition, which nicely reverses the polarities, like Graham's reading of Levinas and Zubiri:

Emptiness also is form

This is the future folks!


skholiast said...

Among the several services OOP has rendered philosophy, not the least is renewing interest in Zubiri. Of course, people will want to read him for more reasons than just to see how he informs the OO project; but almost no one I knew of was reading him until Harman cited him. The only exceptions were Mario Bunge, who dismissed him as obscurantist, and Ignacio Ellacuria, whose work -- mostly theology -- is (like Zubiri's) almost all still only in Spanish (I know only of secondary works in English). But doubtless there are others -- maybe I should just get out more.

Timothy Morton said...

Thank you. It really is wonderful to read Zubiri.