“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Category: Graham Harman

  • Harman’s Crucified Objects and Whitehead’s God: More on Withdrawal

    Continuing the discussion that begin on Knowledge-Ecology earlier today, here are some highly speculative reflections after reading the first few pages of Graham Harman‘s Guerrilla Metaphysics (2005) again: I’m reminded that we must deal with more than the absolute difference between objects and relations, but that between an object and itself. Objects withdraw not just from […]


  • Withdrawal: Ancient and Modern Accounts

    Adam over at Knowledge-Ecology has been in discussion with Michael at Archive Fire regarding the varieties of withdrawal in object-oriented philosophy. Below I’ve pasted my comment in response to Adam’s post: I’ve just read Michael’s piece, and I agree with your assessment of the shortcomings of materialism. Materialism, as you’ve defined it (following Whitehead), only acknowledges the […]


  • God and the Chaosmos: Thinking with Catherine Keller

    Several months ago, a discussion erupted across the SR/OOO blogosphere concerning the implications of various forms of nihilistic and theistic realism. Some of my critiques have since ended up in a Wikipedia article. In one of my responses to Graham Harman and Levi Bryant, I toyed with the idea of Whitehead’s panentheism as a kind […]


  • Occasionalism in Whitehead and Harman

    An important discussion continues to unfold in the comment section of this post over at Knowledge-Ecology. We are trying to figure out what metaphysical work Whitehead’s eternal objects do, among other things. Here is my last comment: I think Whitehead gives you withdrawal without returning to an ontology of substances. Adam and I have been […]


  • Further evidence that Whitehead was already object-oriented…

    From his 1927 lectures published as Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect. While speaking about the way ordinary language can mislead us about the nature of reality, Whitehead begins reflecting on the common term “wall.” “This so-called ‘wall,’ disclosed in the pure modes of presentational immediacy, contributes itself to our experience only under the guise of […]


  • Knowledge-Ecology on Alphonso Lingis: Cosmopolitical Selfhood and Ecology

    Adam has posted a brilliant reflection on A. Lingis’ words about words. A few highlights: “…words act as objects in the world and the manner by which they act is ecological. Words transform not just the environments which they disclose, but also feedback upon the one who uses them, transforming the subjectivity of the speaker in an […]


  • The Divine Function in Whitehead: Not Your Grandpa’s Occasionalism

    In my last post in response Bob Woodard/Naught Thought‘s thoughts concerning the ontological fuzziness of process philosophy, I referred to Whitehead as an “occasionalist” without explaining exactly what I meant. After reading Steven Shaviro/The Pinicchio Theory‘s insightful commentary on the function of God in Whitehead’s cosmology, as well as Levi Bryant/Larval Subject‘s dismissive opinion that Whitehead is “a […]


  • Knowledge Ecology on an Object-Oriented Ecology, and some reflections on substance

    Adam Robbert over at Knowledge-Ecology has posted a great piece on his conception of an object-oriented ecology. He draws primarily from Graham Harman, Tim Morton, and Isabelle Stengers. I’m re-posting my comment to him below: Really well written, Adam. You’ve definitely provided an outline for a robust OOE. I agree with your assessment that it […]


  • Intuitive Thinking vs. Reflective Thought: Harman on Meillassoux

    I’ve just read Graham Harman‘s essay for continent. entitled “Meillassoux’s Virtual Future” (2011). As usual, it is primarily Harman’s style of philosophizing that really excites me. I am fascinated by the way he juggles and plays with ideas, even when I don’t finally agree with his attempts to securely mold a certain set of them into […]


  • Philosophy Blogging, OOO/SR, Nihilism, and God

    It is difficult to describe the effects of the blogosphere on consciousness, especially when the information communicated via blogs pretends to be philosophical. The blog, as a medium, has not yet been swallowed as radio by TV, or the printed word by the digital hyperlink, and so gaining perspective on its effects remains difficult. We’re […]


  • SR/OOO and Nihilism: a response to Harman and Bryant

    I’ve already posted a short response to Harman, but I wanted to re-visit the issues explored in that post concerning the difference between Homo Sapiens, as an object among objects, and the Anthropos, as an ideal toward which every object tends. I will also try to disentangle my own “cosmotheandric” position from the generic anti-nihilism […]


  • OOO and Anthropos: Graham Harman responds

    Adam Robbert and Graham Harman have both posted responses to my post about the anthrodecentrism of object-oriented ontology. I think Adam’s summary of my position as regards the relationship between divinity, nature, and humanity is quite accurate. He chose Raimon Panikkar‘s term “cosmotheandrism” to describe my approach. I’m definitely sympathetic to this characterization and have […]


  • Cosmos, Anthropos, and Theos in Harman, Teilhard, and Whitehead

    Knowledge-Ecology has written a reflection upon finishing Graham Harman’s new book The Quadruple Object. Adam writes that “OOO is greatly enriching our sense of cosmos, whilst (somewhat) impoverishing our sense of anthropos.” I’ve had similar reservations about Harman’s anthrodecentrism (if I may diagnose it): Harman and the Special Magic of Human Knowledge. Harman’s is an ontology […]


  • Process Ontology in Schelling and Whitehead

    In preparation for a larger speculative project, I’ve been reading a translation by Judith Norman of the 2nd draft of Schelling’s unfinished manuscript entitled Ages of the World (1813). I’ve been intrigued by Schelling’s philosophies of nature and freedom for several years, but never had the time to do a closer study. Iain Hamilton Grant‘s […]


  • Audio from “Here Comes Everything”: A Speculative Realism Panel @ CIIS (4/8)

    Conference put on by the Interdisciplinary Dialogue Forum, a student group in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS. The History of Access: An Introduction to the Speculative Turn – Sam Mickey and Adam Robbert Ganga – River, Goddess, Thing – Elizabeth McAnally The Astonishing Depths of Things – Sam Mickey Objects in Action: Promiscuous Applications of […]


  • “Here Comes Everything” Speculative Realism Panel summary (via Knowledge-Ecology)

    Adam Robbert has written a nice summary of the panel discussion last week (4/8) on Speculative Realism. I’ve pasted it below. For the audio from the event, click HERE. Here are a few reflections on last Fridays event “Here Comes Everything: An Introduction to Speculative Realism.” Video of the event will be posted later today (hopefully!). The […]


  • Object as subject-superject, or why Harman is wrong about Whitehead

    Graham Harman and Alfred North Whitehead have a lot in common, but they differ in what they say about substance as a metaphysical category. I think Harman overstates this difference. Whitehead suggests “the whole universe consists of elements disclosed in the experiences of subjects” (Process and Reality, p. 166). This multiple disclosure of the One […]


  • Speculative Realism @ CIIS: “Here Comes Everything”

    [For a text review and audio recording of the presentations, click HERE.] Here Comes Everything:An Introduction to Speculative Realism Featuring Keynote Speaker Professor Jacob Sherman at 830pm Food and beverages will be provided! When: Friday, April 8th , 5:30-9:30pm (with a break at 7:15) Where: The California Institute of Integral Studies, Room 210 5:30pm – […]


  • Factish God(s)

    The following is my comment posted in response to a blog by Sam Mickey about the potential of an object-oriented theology. Postsecularity might also be termed “the After Age.” Perhaps the “end of history” is the beginning of an integral phase of civilization, where the transparent permeability of eternity and time, spirit and matter, reason […]


  • Media Ecology and the Blogosphere

    Knowledge Ecology blogged earlier today about the difference between blogging and publishing books, which has become an issue of contention within “the speculative realist movement,” so called, since Ray Brassier’s disparaging comment in an interview last year. Graham Harman, Timothy Morton, and Levi Bryant all chimed in with responses. Below is my response: In light […]


  • Bruno Latour approaching an Object-Oriented Ontology

    The following is another exchange with friend and colleague Adam Robbert in response to an essay by Bruno Latour. First, a short excerpt from the article “On Interobjectivity“: Social worlds remain flat at all points, without there being any folding that might permit a passage from the “micro” to the “macro.” For example the traffic control room […]