“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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Subject to Change Liveblog 1

Poems and Things Panel 1

Joe Albernaz (UC Berkeley), “William Blake’s Apocalyptic Ontology: An Encounter between Blake and Object-Oriented Philosophy”

OOO (displacing the human from its centrality) <> Blake (human form divine)

Blake actually quite close to OOO! 
Albernaz now gives a brief introduction to SR
rejection of post-Kantian preoccupation with human being and human access
>> OOO
>> definition of “object” 
definition of encounters between any objects at all as exemplifying the zuhanden/vorhanden gap

Then an introduction to Blake
Shelley, Wordsworth, Clare, can be appropriated as OO (Morton) but Blake seems tougher
final plate of final major work, Jerusalem: 

Such is the Cry from all the Earth from the Living Creatures of the Earth
And from the great City of Golgonooza in the Shadowy Generation
And from the Thirty-two Nations of the Earth among the Living Creatures
All Human Forms identified even Tree Metal Earth & Stone, all
Human Forms identified. living going forth & returning wearied
Into the Planetary lives of Years Months Days & Hours reposing
And then Awaking into his Bosom in the Life of Immortality.
And I heard the Name of their Emanations they are named Jerusalem

“all human forms identified” even tree and stone
we are quite close to OOO here
not exactly mystic animism or panpsychism: the human form is something unidentifiable (can’t be reduced to its properties); human forms withdraws into its individuated core

without this individuated essence you just have Satan’s rocks (just mathematizable, “shapeless chunks of nonentity”--nice!)

Blake on Joshua Reynolds: identities are neither cause nor effect but eternal

>> how is causation possible (Harman)
>> a brief account of vicarious causation

A similar problem emerges in Blake
each individual constitutes a fully organized cosmos
“in every bosom a universe expands” (Jerusalem)
but how do these universes interact and in what universe are they interacting?
Harman: “without vicarious causation we would be left with countless private universes”

Blake: “a natural cause only seems” >> one needs spiritual causes (resembling the thought of occasionalism)

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