I'm a philosophy student that tends to post about really serious things unseriously and about really unserious things seriously.
I was once described as a "beautiful, intelligent iguana".
I am responding here to some of the comments made by Terence Blake to the second part of my review of Graham Harman’s The Quadruple Object here. In my post, I bemoaned the fact that Harman very often talks about how his philosophy can cope with actual…
Dear God, I just hope and pray for the day that someone will do good commentary on Harman and OOP. It seems that today is not that day.
So, this isn’t really related to anything going on right now, but I’ve been thinking about it since I looked up a bunch of stuff about Speculative Realism today.
It seems like the main baggage that Meillassoux gets for his philosophy is that mathematical statements accurately describe primary qualities. People have generally responded with a baffled “but…but how!”. I mean, on the face of it, it seems like this is an even grander role for mathematics than even Badiou grants it, which is really surprising.
But I think this is due to the fact that the law of noncontradition holds within his hyper-chaos (absolute contingency). For him, the only thing that is necessary is contingency itself - but within this dictum, he goes on at length to show that contradiction (total contradiction, p & ~p happening simultaneously) isn’t possible. From this base, lots of things can be established, even given total contingency, but all of those things fall under the purview of ‘mathematics’, and that’s why I think he gives it so much power.
I don’t think enough people, in evaluating his work, put enough emphasis on the importance of preserving the law of noncontradiction within hyper-chaos. It seems like a cornerstone of After Finitude and his work thus far (at least from what I’ve read).
[Also, somewhat related, Meillassoux’s “The Number and the Siren” is fantastic and everyone should give it a looking over if they can. I haven’t been that enthralled by a work in quite a while.]
I was trying to find things about the newest translation of Heidegger’s “Contributions” from Heidegger scholars (to see if it was any improvement), and came across a good little post from Harman. This was probably the best part:
In recent months we’ve seen a number of crabby critiques of how “real” philosophy can’t be done on the internet. And ironically enough, I agree to some extent with these critiques (except that Levi Bryant is a glowing counterexample of how it really is possible to do much of your best philosophical work on a blog, though I’m more of a traditional academic writer myself in terms of chosen genres).
However, these critiques also miss the point completely. Namely, they assume that blog philosophy should simply be a different venue in which to publish the sorts of things you put in books and articles, and judge philosophy blogs by that same standard.
And that’s simply wrong. The philosophy blogosphere is not another version of books and articles. It is more like a city where you can live or hang out. It is Blogopolis.
What do you do when you live in a city when you’re out in public? You read the news, go to work, hang out in cafés, hear tips from others about what’s happening, share your own news, meet new friends, and so forth.
And that’s what the philosophy blogosophere is about. It’s a kind of loose philosophical bohemia that keeps things stirred up and is able to transmit new currents (such as speculative realism) quickly and enthusiastically.
This is obviously pretty contra Brassier on the whole point.
Obviously the internet isn’t a place for highly technical philosophical work to be done (the kind you’d find in a published work), but it is good for testing out ideas and making connections with others who help tend those ideas.
I think it’s a pretty good example of what Derrida was trying to get at in “Death of the Book and the Beginning of Writing”, and I kind of feel that those who critique attempts to do philosophy online tend to have really conservative and stodgy ideas of what constitutes philosophy ‘proper’. It’s just an annoying thing to still be seeing so prevalently.
The same and the other at the same time maintain themselves in relationship and absolve themselves from this relation, remain absolutely separated.
Levinas, T&I, 102 (emphasis in original)
I mean, seriously, that’s peak Harman.
I’ve been away from this blog for a while because basically I’m sick of all of you, a bit disgusted with humanity and academics at the moment, and have been busy as hell (more the third thing than the other two).
Levi Bryant really gets me.
Bruno Latour, commenting on a lecture given by Quentin Meillassoux at a conference the former was hosting. Quote from Harman’s “Quentin Meillassoux: Philosophy in the Making” p. 2
I think this is a personal goal in how I’d like my philosophical work to be received.
Ian Bogost (via blinko)
This is exactly the point I’ve been trying to make, damnit!
Semi-sudden realization: Harman is mostly just an updated Parmenides. That’s not to deride, though - Parmenides is awesome.