Ontology and Epistemology

Levi Bryant is up with a lengthy post that basically shows the Heideggerian heritage of object oriented ontology. That is, the move that Heidegger makes against Husserl and the neo-Kantians is a parralax but momentous shift to the (null) ground in terms of ontology. What can I know? is no longer the question and later this question only came back in terms of language, and thus OOO can be read as coming back to this Heideggerian insight (of course with much more going on) to combat the turns to language. Those, like me, that think that various methodologies focused on discourses, etc., like Tim Morton, then do their work by showing that language is not a Kantian in-itself (and let’s face it, there’s a lot of work like that) and is in fact not a mode of “access” for and by humans, but is an ontological feature or quality of the things themselves.

4 comments

  1. I’m kinda surprised by this characterization of my argument because 1) the post is mostly about Roy Bhaskar’s transcendental realism, and 2) Heidegger is not a constant reference of mine. Where are you seeing the Heidegger?

    As for your point about language, for me symbolic entities are actants or objects too. Because of that, they are structured according to the same logic of the split, translation, and withdrawal. As a consequence, I don’t see a lot of inconsistency between semiotic and semiological modes of analysis and what OOO is proposing. My criticism of semiotics and semiology would be that it reduces other objects to signs, treating them as constituted by language or signs. OOO, by contrast, would examine the manner in which signs and other non-semiotic objects are entangled with one another and what sorts of qualities or effects this produces, without it being possible to reduce or overmine one of these types of objects in favor of the other.

  2. i knew that would be your response! As I was writing it, I said to myself, “watch him write you to tell you he’s not thinking of Heidegger.” I was saying it was analogous (though I didn’t make that clear) to Heidegger’s move against the neo-Kantians and Husserl; it’s not your move, per se, but I was attempting to offer a translation to those who write me and wonder if object oriented ontology doesn’t just miss the whole Heidegger part of Continental philosophy: I think, especially obviously with Graham, it does. As for the second part, entirely agreed.

  3. “but I was attempting to offer a translation to those who write me and wonder if object oriented ontology doesn’t just miss the whole Heidegger part of Continental philosophy: I think, especially obviously with Graham, it does. As for the second part, entirely agreed.”

    With me it *misses* the Heidegger part? Surely that’s a typo, eh? If there’s anything I’ve spent significant time on, it’s H-E-I-D-E-G-G-E-R.

  4. Yes, of course, that is a typo or actually just awkwardly worded…

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