Unity Versus Multiplicity in Object-Oriented Ontologies

Are objects unities?  Identities?  Or, on the other hand, are they multiplicities?  This question is answered in different ways in different kinds of object-oriented ontology.  Object-oriented philosophy (represented by Graham Harman) is more focused on unities and identities, whereas onticology (represented by Levi Bryant) prefers multiplicities.  Consider Bryant’s remarks in a recent post: While objectsContinue reading “Unity Versus Multiplicity in Object-Oriented Ontologies”

Climate Change in Michigan: Buckeyes are Coming!

How do you get people in Michigan to care about climate change?  Let them know that the Buckeyes are coming. The USDA has updated their Plant Hardlines Zone Map for the first time in over a decade.  It’s the map that indicates what plants can grow in which regions of the country.  Ann Arbor hasContinue reading “Climate Change in Michigan: Buckeyes are Coming!”

Speculative Philosophy and the Specter of Religion

Reflecting on an upcoming conference, Thinking the Absolute, Levi Bryant posted some thought-provoking remarks on the implications of the speculative turn in philosophy for thinking religion.  The topic reminds me of the anthology edited by Anthony Paul Smith and Daniel Whistler, After the Postsecular and the Postmodern: New Essays in Continental Philosophy of Religion (2010).  Bryant’s concludingContinue reading “Speculative Philosophy and the Specter of Religion”

Plato and Ecstatic Trance

In a passage from the Phaedrus (265a), Socrates provides an outline of the varieties of mania, of which there are two main types, “one arising from human diseases, and the other from a divine release of customary habits.”  Although discourses such as that in the Timaeus (86b) focus on mania as a disease, specifically dementiaContinue reading “Plato and Ecstatic Trance”

A Climbing Poem

In previous posts, I discussed the possibility of interpreting poems in terms of their poeticity (i.e. as their own integral units) and not reducing them to their references or their relations to speakers and listeners.  I also considered how this would lend itself to an object-oriented linguistics, for which poeticity does not happen only inContinue reading “A Climbing Poem”

Hurry Up and Slow Down!

I like slow reading, the slow food movement, slow cookers, and other kinds of slowness.  Sloths are adorable, far from apathetic or uncaring (in contrast to the “sloth” of the Christian seven deadly sins).  Slowness is a virtue.  I agree with those scholars and activists who argue that the pervasive focus on quickness and immediacyContinue reading “Hurry Up and Slow Down!”

Outside of Time in Time

There is a radical temporality of things, such that any present thing harbors an uncanny past that is always already past, never present or presentable.  This past that was never present is, for Maurice Blanchot, an “outside of time in time.”  It is inescapably ungraspable.  The infinite obscurity of this radical temporality is what makes creativityContinue reading “Outside of Time in Time”

Debating Religion and Science with a Post-Secular Prophet

A Time article from a few years ago presents highlights from a debate between two scientists of evolution and genetics, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins.  The topic: the tension between religion and science (as the article puts it, “God vs. Science”).  I work with a lot of people doing religious studies and theology, and IContinue reading “Debating Religion and Science with a Post-Secular Prophet”

Alien Phenomenology: Of, By, and For Things

I am anxiously awaiting the publication of Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing.  Alien phenomenology is a great phrase.  It is important to distinguish Bogost’s alien phenomenology from that developed by Bernhard Waldenfels.  Reminiscent of Husserl, Schutz, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas, Waldenfels’ Phenomenology of the Alien explores the place ofContinue reading “Alien Phenomenology: Of, By, and For Things”

Notes Toward Object-Oriented Linguistics

Words have conventional meanings, but do they also have their own meanings, apart from the meanings that humans assign to them?  For an object-oriented linguistics, a word is its own thing, distinct from any references or any speaker or listener that encounters it.  This would suggest that a word has its own meaning, its own styleContinue reading “Notes Toward Object-Oriented Linguistics”