IMMATERIALISM OBJECTS AND SOCIAL THEORY THEORY REDUX

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Immaterialism

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9781509500987
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84.9 MB
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What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Wichita, the United States, the planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? In this book the founder of object-oriented philosophy develops his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and develops instead an “immaterialist” method. By examining the work of leading contemporary thinkers such as Bruno Latour and Levi Bryant, he develops a forceful critique of ‘actor-network theory’. In an extended discussion of Leibniz’s famous example of the Dutch East India Company, Harman argues that this company qualifies for objecthood neither through ‘what it is’ or ‘what it does’, but through its irreducibility to either of these forms. The phases of its life, argues Harman, are not demarcated primarily by dramatic incidents but by moments of symbiosis, a term he draws from the biologist Lynn Margulis. This book provides a key counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice. It will appeal to anyone interested in cutting-edge debates in philosophy and social and cultural theory.
Category: Philosophy

Towards Speculative Realism

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9781846943942
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53.61 MB
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These writings chart Harman's rise from Chicago sportswriter to co-founder of one of Europe's most promising philosophical movements - Speculative Realism. This collection of essays and lectures show the evolution of his object-oriented metaphysics from its early days into an increasingly developed philosophical position.
Category: Philosophy

Object Oriented Ontology

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9780241269176
Genre : Nature
File Size : 25.94 MB
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What is reality, really? Are humans more special or important than the non-human objects we perceive? How does this change the way we understand the world? We humans tend to believe that things are only real in as much as we perceive them, an idea reinforced by modern philosophy, which privileges us as special, radically different in kind from all other objects. But as Graham Harman, one of the theory's leading exponents, shows, Object-Oriented Ontology rejects the idea of human specialness: the world, he states, is clearly not the world as manifest to humans. At the heart of this philosophy is the idea that objects - whether real, fictional, natural, artificial, human or non-human - are mutually autonomous. In this brilliant new introduction, Graham Harman lays out the history, ideas and impact of Object-Oriented Ontology, taking in everything from art and literature, politics and natural science along the way. Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at SCI-Arc, Los Angeles. A key figure in the contemporary speculative realism movement in philosophy and for his development of the field of object-oriented ontology, he was named by Art Review magazine as one of the 100 most influential figures in international art.
Category: Nature

The Rise Of Realism

Author : Manuel DeLanda
ISBN : 9781509519064
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42.78 MB
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Until quite recently, almost no philosophers trained in the continental tradition saw anything of value in realism. The situation in analytic philosophy was always different, but in continental philosophy realism was usually treated as a pseudo-problem. That is no longer the case. In this provocative new book, two leading philosophers examine the remarkable rise of realism in the continental tradition. While exploring the similarities and differences in their own positions, they also consider the work of others and assess rival trends in contemporary philosophy. They begin by discussing the relation between realism and materialism, which DeLanda links closely but which Harman tries to separate. Part Two covers the many different meanings of realism, with the two authors working together to develop an expanded definition of the term. Part Three features a spirited exchange on the respective virtues and drawbacks of DeLanda's realism of attractors and singularities and Harman's object-oriented theory. Part Four shifts to the question of the knowability of the real, as the authors discuss whether scientific knowledge does full justice to reality. In Part Five, they shift the focus to space, time, and science more generally, and here Harman offers a defence of actor-network theory despite its obvious anti-realist elements. Lively, accessible and engaging, this book is the best attempt so far to clarify the different paths for realism in continental philosophy. It will be of great value to students and scholars of continental philosophy and to anyone interested in the cutting-edge debates in philosophy and critical theory today.
Category: Philosophy

Tool Being

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9780812697735
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 88.41 MB
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Tool-Being offers a new assessment of Martin Heidegger's famous tool-analysis, and with it, an audacious reappraisal of Heidegger's legacy to twenty-first-century philosophy. Every reader of Being and Time is familiar with the opposition between readiness-to-hand (Zuhandenheit) and presence-at-hand (Vorhandenheit), but commentators usually follow Heidegger's wishes in giving this distinction a limited scope, as if it applied only to tools in a narrow sense. Graham Harman contests Heidegger's own interpretation of tool-being, arguing that the opposition between tool and broken tool is not merely a provisional stage in his philosophy, but rather its living core. The extended concept of tool-being developed here leads us not to a theory of human practical activity but to an ontology of objects themselves. Tool-Being urges a fresh and concrete research into the secret contours of objects. Written in a lively and colorful style, it will be of great interest to anyone intrigued by Heidegger and anyone open to new trends in present-day philosophy.
Category: Philosophy

Guerrilla Metaphysics

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9780812697728
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 62.97 MB
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In Guerrilla Metaphysics, Graham Harman develops further the object-oriented philosophy first proposed in Tool-Being. Today’s fashionable philosophies often treat metaphysics as a petrified relic of the past, and hold that future progress requires an ever further abandonment of all claims to discuss reality in itself. Guerrilla Metaphysics makes the opposite assertion, challenging the dominant "philosophy of access" (both continental and analytic) that remains quarantined in discussions of language, perception, or literary texts. Philosophy needs a fresh resurgence of the things themselves—not merely the words or appearances themselves. Once these themes are adapted to the needs of an object-oriented philosophy, what emerges is a brand new type of metaphysics—a "guerrilla metaphysics."
Category: Philosophy

Heidegger Explained

Author : Graham Harman
ISBN : 9780812697483
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 26.71 MB
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Heidegger Explained is a clear and thorough summary of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger (1889–1976). It gives a fascinating explanation of all stages of Heidegger’s life and career, and shows his entire philosophy to emerge from one simple but profound insight. Many philosophers believe that Heidegger was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century. His influence has long been felt not just in philosophy, but also in such fields as art, architecture, and literary studies. Yet the great difficulty of Heidegger’s terminology has often scared away interested readers lacking an academic background in philosophy. Author Graham Harman shows that Heidegger is actually one of the simplest and clearest of thinkers. All the diverse topics of his writings, and all the lengthy analyses he gives of past philosophers, boil down to a single powerful idea: being is not presence. In any human relation with the world, our thinking and even our acting do not fully exhaust the world. Something more always withdraws from our grasp. Neither being itself nor individual beings are ever fully “present-at-hand,” in Heidegger’s terminology. This single insight allows Heidegger to revolutionize the phenomenology of his teacher Edmund Husserl. The method of Husserl was to focus entirely on how things present themselves to us as phenomena in consciousness. Heidegger understood that the things are always partly hidden from consciousness, living a secret life of their own. Human beings are not lucid scientific observers staring at the world and describing it, but instead are thrown into a world where light is always mixed with shadow. For Heidegger, the entire history of philosophy has reduced being to some sort of presence, whether by defining it as atoms, consciousness, perfect forms, the will to power, or even God. In this way, past philosophers have all chosen one specific kind of privileged being to represent being itself. Yet this is impossible, since being always partly withdraws from any attempt to define it. For this reason, philosophy needs to make a new beginning, one that would be just as great as the first beginning in ancient Greece. The book ends by shedding new light on Heidegger’s concept of the fourfold, which is so notoriously difficult that most commentators avoid it altogether.
Category: Philosophy

Speculative Realism

Author : Peter Gratton
ISBN : 9781441163677
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 66.80 MB
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Speculative realism is one of the most talked-about movements in recent Continental philosophy. It has been discussed widely amongst the younger generation of Continental philosophers seeking new philosophical approaches and promises to form the cornerstone of future debates in the field. This book introduces the contexts out of which speculative realism has emerged and provides an overview of the major contributors and latest developments. It guides the reader through the important questions asked by realism (what can I know? what is reality?), examining philosophy's perennial questions in new ways. The book begins with the speculative realist's critique of 'correlationism', the view that we can never reach what is real beneath our language systems, our means for perception, or our finite manner of being-in-the-world. It goes on to critically review the work of the movement's most important thinkers, including Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, and Graham Harman, but also other important writers such as Jane Bennett and Catherine Malabou whose writings delineate alternative approaches to the real. It interrogates the crucial questions these thinkers have raised and concludes with a look toward the future of speculative realism, especially as it relates to the reality of time.
Category: Philosophy

A New Philosophy Of Society

Author : Manuel DeLanda
ISBN : 9781441114488
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 44.75 MB
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Manuel DeLanda is a distinguished writer, artist and philosopher. In his new book, he offers a fascinating look at how the contemporary world is characterized by an extraordinary social complexity. Since most social entities, from small communities to large nation-states, would disappear altogether if human minds ceased to exist, Delanda proposes a novel approach to social ontology that asserts the autonomy of social entities from the conceptions we have of them.
Category: Philosophy

Persons And Things

Author : Roberto Esposito
ISBN : 9780745690681
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 59.67 MB
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What is the relationship between persons and things? And how does the body transform this relationship? In this highly original new book, Roberto Esposito - one of Italy’s leading political philosophers - considers these questions and shows that starting from the body, rather than from the thing or the person, can help us to reconsider the status of both. Ever since its beginnings, our civilization has been based on a strict, unequivocal distinction between persons and things, founded on the instrumental domination of persons over things. This opposition arose out of ancient Roman law and persisted throughout modernity, to take its place in our current global market, where it continues to generate growing contradictions. Although the distinction seems to appear clear and necessary to us, what we are continually witnessing in legal, economic, and technological practice is a reversal of perspectives: some categories of persons are becoming assimilated with things, while some types of things are taking on a personal profile. With his customary rigour, Roberto Esposito argues that there exists an escape route out of this paradox, constituted by a new point of view founded in the body. Neither a person nor a thing, the human body becomes the decisive element in rethinking the concepts and values that govern our philosophical, legal, and political lexicons.
Category: Philosophy