Graham Harman Essay

Graham Harman’s The Current State of Speculative Realism might be of interest to the matter in hand.


5 thoughts on “Graham Harman Essay

  1. Is anyone there…(!!!)

    1) Meillassoux’s Cartesian argument for an absolute in the factiality essay is extremely convincing..but lets not forget that throughout he is making the claim; thought can distinguish between both thought and non-thought, being and non-being and object and subject. I almost want to go along with him until i get to the last one – how can a ‘subject’ be thought without objectifying it (whether an objective or non-objective objectification)? Hegel helps us here when he talks of utility as a process which is also concurrent with an object (the object that is utilizable or non-utilizable) and in a sense, the ‘deployment’ of thought (using Meillassouxs own vocabulary) is a utilty that individuates (making subjects by hypo-statizing as objects). But we all know Hegel absolutizes the correlation. So its Hegels absolute idealism versus Meilassoux’s absolute un-reason. who wins?


  2. I’m not satisfied with Meillasoux in various ways I cannot yet properly articulate, I feel there is a trick going on here that I cannot quite pinpoint. However unarticulated complaints aside Meillasoux wins, as Hegel’s absolutism is kind of still subject to the correlationist’s final move of saying we can conceive of the non-being of the correlate and the remainder -even if as only idea. From here Meillasoux can wheel out the facticity of the correlate and its contingency hence the correlate is not an absolute but the contingency of the correlate is. Does this mean everything is contingent? Well it says that under a certain kind of reasoning contingency can be shown to belong to the ground of epistemology. I say this instead of ontology as isn’t it still our knowledge relation that this talks about. I can see this is kind of missing the point from his perspective and I’m kind of re-transcendentalising but surely the comprehension of the ground as absolute contingency is sadly only from the human perspective. I can feel the glibness of this as I write it but I’m suddenly less sure of his escape route. If he could say the contingency was ontologically necessary it would be stronger but I’m not sure it is. The comprehension of the necessity of contingency whilst possibly logical is still only logical and how can we know anything other than the transcendental security of logic and not the in itself.
    This is even before we start on the whether logic is even applicable properly outside of a formal realm with these kind of concept i.e. some of the concepts would be impossible to define properly and such how could the deductions be said to be actual.The demon incoherence creeps in through all these holes.
    Started with one thing ended with entirely another there sorry.

    1. Firstly, the comprehension of the ground of the absolute contingency should not be seen as relapsing into a human perspective (human perspective being different from the correlation) because there are thoughts that erupt within human activity, behaviour and discourse (which i am happy to call dazein thoughts of mineness,concern,etc) but many thoughts can be thought without being a human perspective (Descartes infinity necessarilly thwarts this perspective, and many of Meillassoux’s thoughts are doing this). Just because we use thinking or rationality to speculate them this does not mean that they are cursed to be products of human behaviourism, naturalism, pragmatism, ‘human-perspective’ etc.. Plus, the comprehension of necessary contingency is reached qua Cartesian rationalism but is itself not rational (“we must inject un-reason into the ‘in-itself’ / the absolute).


  3. We looked at this speculative realism stuff in the philosophy forum a couple of years ago, and I decided then that it was sophisticated sophistry. But now I can’t find my notes on it. I’m wondering now whether those notes are real… Maybe they WERE real but are no longer real. Maybe they are real but I can no longer access them, i.e. I no longer have knowledge of them. Oh dear, what am I to do?


    1. So your notes are not present-at-hand? How very fitting with Harman’s model. You only had access to their sensual qualities anyway…

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