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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nihilism and OOO

Levi has a terrific post up on nihilism. So I'll add to what he wrote only this:

OOO is the least nihilistic view I've found within philosophy. Why?

OOO studiously avoids ontological nihilism. The world does not appear as a function of a distorted void. Nor does it spring from mathematical relationships. If you want a plenum of unique entities for company you need OOO.

Since there is no top or bottom object, it makes no sense to reduce or overmine things. You will be hard pressed to get to nihilism if you can't do those.

OOO does to nihilism, and even more importantly to the theism-nihilism tango that forms most of our world, very much what Buddhism does to nihilism. It makes it irrelevant. Rather than assaulting it from the position of theism, which often reinforces it, like an immune response.

Go ahead, be a nihilist. You will be doing so amidst the plenum of unique entities. So what? Think what you like, it's a free universe. Your nihilism simply doesn't dent reality.

It's the difference between ignoring or attacking something--and not identifying with the game of attack and defense and so forth.

If you want nihilism, look no further than correlationism itself. You will find the ingredients of "indifferent universe plus pathetic human meaning" there. Not in OOO.

1 comment:

Bill Benzon said...

"A game of chess between a computer program and a human master is just as profoundly silly as a race between a horse-drawn stagecoach and a train. But the silliness is hard to see at the time. At the time it seems necessary to establish a purpose for humankind by asserting that we have capacities that it does not. To give up the notion that one has to add "because . . . " to the assertion "I'm important" is truly difficult. But the evolution of technology will eventually invalidate any claim that follows "because." Sooner or later we will create a technology capable of doing what, heretofore, only we could."

From section 4.1 of this paper: