“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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

OOO and Ecology

Realist Magic has returned to Aristotle, but not out of some atavistic desire to wipe away the achievements of modernity and return to an oppressive theocratic regime. It is simply that modernity has now reached a certain limit.This limit is characterized by, to cite only too brief examples, the decisive appearance of nonhumans in human social, psychic and philosophical space.The current ecological emergency consists in this appearance. Some deep paradoxes concerning the Law of Noncontradiction have also emerged, within the very thinking of mathematics that grounds modern science (Cantor, Hilbert, Russell, Gödel,Turing). The contradictory beings that this lineage of mathematics and logic discovered has necessitated an attentiveness to ways in which logic itself might need to violate LNC, the Law of Noncontradiction, especially when it comes to thinking objects.That this appears to be the case despite the founding of modern thinking upon LNC, provides more evidence that humans are now exiting the modern. Meanwhile, physics has discovered formal causation in the shape of nonlocal quantum interactions. I take these events to be symptoms of the pressure exerted by real beings on the glass window of epistemologically-inclined modern knowing.

These beings press on the glass like the uncanny faces in a painting by the Expressionist James Ensor. They are what OOO calls objects, and it’s time to let them in—or rather, to let ourselves out. 
--Realist Magic (final two paragraphs)

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