Morton’s Rhetoric and Object Oriented Ontology Course

Check it here, as he moves through the history of (Western) philosophy.

First, excuse my obvious ignorance, but is it supposed to be Bennett in that last class?

Second, this gives me a chance to ask about the role of Plato and/or Socrates here. Harman has continually argued for Plato’s place in the OOO canon, which is better than simply being cannon fodder for all that’s wrong in philosophy. But,  not to sound like the most toolish reader of Ancient philosophy—sshh, don’t tell me students—but it seems to me that the Socratic move is precisely to a care for the self, an ethos that is different from (most) pre-Socratics. Now, part of Harman’s reading, as I take it, is of a “Levinasian” Plato–his notion of the Good, etc., points to the ultimate concealment of things.

But many of the arguments in Latour, Harman, and Bogost feel closer to the pre-Platonic traditions, especially given discussions of material monism, theories of change, etc. Yes, obviously, their work is meant to take on the Parmenedian equation of thought and being, though I’m never convinced of the full Hegelian reading of him, since Parmenides is simply saying that thought is a better guide than appearances (thus the place of judgment about distances, etc.), and that what is thought is, while doxa is not. And he simply takes this to its ontotheological extreme: since thought can’t account for change, it must not be. In any case, if we agree—and I think we do—that the pre-Socratics (even the Milesians) were not just bad naturalists, but attempting a non-mythological (if possible) account of on qua on that is not simply an extension of human politics and mythologemes, then this seems a better fit.


Comments are closed.