MORE MONIST IDEALISM: Review of Graham Harman's BELLS AND WHISTLES

by Terence Blake
Argument: Graham Harman judges science and common sense in terms of the crude philosophical criteria of another age and finds them lacking in knowledge of reality. He posits a shadowy "withdrawn" realm of real objects in order to explain the discrepancies between his naive abstract model of knowledge as access and the concrete reality of the sciences. Works such as THE QUADRUPLE OBJECT, THE THIRD TABLE and BELLS AND WHISTLES, like the whole of his philosophy, are the record of Harman noticing the discrepancies, but refusing to revise the model. His solution is a dead-end, the timid, nostalgic, and fundamentally misleading propounding of an antiquated epistemology under the cover of a "new" ontology.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM

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OOO: A DEMI-POST-STRUCTURALISM
1)NOSTALGIA FOR THE STRUCTURE vs DECONSTRUCTION ALL THE WAY DOWN We are living through a period of intellectual regression in the real of !ontinental "hilosoph#$ a ne% regression that erel#

proclai s itself to &e a decisive progress &e#ond the

negative and critical philosophies of the recent past' (et the pluralist philosophies of Deleu)e$ *oucault$ Derrida and L#otard cannot &e su ed up in the one+sided i age of pure criti,ue'

Their critical dissolution of the dog atic residues contained in even the ost innovative philosophies the# had encountered did

not leave us in a po%erless void of negativit# and paral#sis' Their -deconstruction- %ent all the %a# do%n$ deconstructing even the notion of criti,ue and li&erating the possi&ilit# of ne% asse &lages and ne% processes of su&.ectivation' /e#ond the criti,ue of the ne% figures of transcendence and ontotheolog# the# gave concrete s0etches of ho% to see the %orld in ter s of a ver# different sort of ontolog# &ased on i diachronic ontolog#' anence 1 a

2) OOO AS REGRESSIVE SUCCESSION The recent pro otion of philosophical successors to this constellation of thin0ers of i anence$ such as /adiou and

MORE MONIST IDEALISM 3i)e0$ has not led to an# real progress &ut to a la&our of travest#ing the past 4one has onl# to loo0 at /adiou5s DELE63E and 3i)e05s OR7ANS WIT8O6T /ODIES9 and to a return to such intellectual dead+ends as Lacanian ps#choanal#sis' /ut even these regressive philosophers re ain in dialogue$ ho%ever one+ sided and un.ust$ %ith their illustrious predecessors$ and strive to confront the at the level of conceptual richness that

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characterised their %or0' 3) OOO AS POP FORMALISM The ne:t step %as ta0en &# the epigoni; Meillassou:$ %ho still retains an elevated st#le and at least an intention of conceptual rigour< and its pop variant in 8ar an5s adaptation of /adiousian for alist ontolog# for the asses' The ethod %as to

0eep up the general aura of having -gone &e#ond- the older supposedl# negative thin0ers &ut to radicall# si plif# the conceptual level$ presenting eas# su ar# presentations of the

ne% thought %hile convenientl# forgetting the conceptual paths follo%ed'

4) DEMI-POST-STRUCURALISM Thus certain figures have e erged in !ontinental "hilosoph# that occup# a conceptual space that is half%a# &et%een structuralis and post+structuralis ' One could call the de i+

post+structuralists' /adiou is a good e:a ple$ %ith his

MORE MONIST IDEALISM athe atical reductionis ' Still stuc0 in the pro&le atic space opened up &# the Althusser+Lacan con.uncture$ these thin0ers tr# to privilege Lacan as an alternative %a# out of structuralis #et the# tr# to -rationalise- their pro&le atic &# appeals to notions of speculative 0no%ledge &ased on ethodological rigour'

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5) ONTOLOGICAL CRITI UE IS A FORMALISM The pro&le %ith the pri ac# of for alist ethod ethod is that it

is not content neutral' A for al

a0es su&stantive clai s

a&out its do ains of application coded into it' The opponents of - ethod- are not cra)# spontaneit#+addicted narcissists &ut people li0e /ohr and Einstein %ho clai ed that the e pirical ethod %as either the &otto +up heuristic li&ert# to e:plore an# h#pothesis &# eans of an# suita&le procedure or else a post hoc

clarification$ not an a priori for alist topdo%n i perative' The sta0es do not involve &lindl# insisting on the priorit# of creation$ &ut i pl# having a place for the possi&ilit# of novelt# and creation versus closing off in advance so e possi&le develop ents$ often %ithout even noticing'

!) "ADIOU REMAR#ETISED: SET-THEORETIC REDUCTION FOUNDS OOO$S AFFECTIVE REDUCTION One can agree %ith &oth Mehdi /elha. >ace and Ale:ander

7allo%a# that it is /adiou5s set theoretic philsoph# that

MORE MONIST IDEALISM e:presses in its purest and ost general for the ne% paradig ? that articulates e:plicitl# %hat is else%here .ect+oriented ontologists' I sa# far less -a &itious.in the sense of conceptual a &ition$ &ecause their a &ition is of a different order' The# are the ar0etised version of the /adiou+3i)e0 constellation$ and so the e:tre el# politicised tone has &een discreetl# dissolved to leave a ore de agogic pac0aging to the stale ideas that OOO tru pets a &itiousl# as the ne% construction after so uch criti.ust &lithel# presupposed as a for of thought too evident to even &e a%are of' The# indicate that the ne:t step in consolidating the regression that /adiou5s philosoph#$ ho%ever innovative$ does not initiate &ut rather registers and legiti ates$ corresponds to the far less a &itious productions of the o&.ue' The# pro ulgate a du &ed do%n de+ ar:ised version of the set+theoretic universe e:plicated &# /adiou' %) OOO AS SYNCHRONIC ONTOLOGY LAGS "EHIND LARUELLE$S NONSTANDARD PHILOSOPHY It is nor al that in this conte:t *ran@ois Laruelle5s philosoph# is at last co ing into its o%n' It could not full# succeed %hile the %or0 of Deleu)e and Derrida %ere in progress$ as his criti.ues of that %or0 %ere onl# half+true$ &ased on giving it an ulti atel# uncharita&le reading as re aining %ithin .

ect shines forth no% against the &ac0ground of the regression that /adiou+3i)e0+ Meillassou: and the OOO:ians represent' &) OOO AS SYNCHRONIC ONTOLOGY LAGS "EHIND LATOUR$S COMPOSITIONISM Despite his insinuations to the contrar#$ /runo Latour %ith his co positionis is the direct application of deconstructionist and post+structuralist thought$ %hich he is ver# fa iliar %ith' 8is tal0 a&out his -e pirical.MORE MONIST IDEALISM the nor s of standard philosoph#$ and refraining fro considering other possi&le readings' Laruelle has pursued over the decades his un%avering co it ent to i anence and his A criti.research is ver# isleading and contains overtones of scientistic &ravado$ is in an# places a logical continuation of the as his s#ste %or0 of on these predecessors' 8e is ho%ever a good populariser of good ideas$ and his %or0 should &e encouraged as long as %e do not accept his o%n conte:tualisation of his ideas' Latour is ve# uch an inheritor of Deleu)e$ L#otard$ *oucault$ Derrida$ and Serres$ and also the intellectual conte porar# of Laruelle and Stiegler' It is this philosophical inheritance that gives his %or0 its superiorit# over /adiou5s and of 8ar an5s$ not an# pri ac# of the e pirical over the philosophical' ') OOO AS SYNCHRONIC ONTOLOGY LAGS "EHIND "ERNARD STIEGLER$S .ue of sufficient philosoph#$ and this pro.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM PHARMACOLOGY /ernard Stiegler is activel# re+reading and re+thin0ing thin0ers such as L#otard$ Deleu)e and 7uattari$ *oucault$ and Derrida &ecause he finds that despite the conceptual advances achieved &# this generation the# represent also a degree of failure in not helping us thin0 ade.uite up front a&out the influences on his ideas and the need to re+read such philosophical sources %ith ne% e#es$ i'e' in relation to conte porar# events' B 1() HARMAN$S ONTOLOGICAL CRITI UE IS TECHNOCHRATIC FORMALISM /ernard Stiegler has argued that it is regretta&le that in !ontinental "hilosoph# a direct confrontation %ith Althusser5s positions on the science+ideolog# distinction never too0 place' This non+engage ent %ith Althusser5s dualist and de arcationist episte olog# left the field free not .ust for scientis &inar# opposite$ relativis 9 &ut also unprotected fro 4or its the hege on# of technocrats and the t#rann# of e:perts$ and also fro the pri ac# of anage ent over politics' A distant 8ar an5s conse.uiring of us a ne% orientation in our e:istences' 6nli0e /runo Latour$ Stiegler is .uence of this neglect has &een the rise of 7raha OOO pac0aged as conte porar# !ontinental "hilosoph# %hen it is .uatel# the transfor ations in the econo # and in digital technologies that are i pacting our lives and re.

ect9 overcoded onis and de arcationis 4the hu anist$ the scientific$ and the co on sense o&.MORE MONIST IDEALISM in fact its e:act opposite$ a regression to a for of C Althusseris $ onl# de+ ar:ed$ depoliticised$ and de+scientised' 11) HARMAN CANNOT UNDERSTAND SCIENTIFIC ANTI-REDUCTIONISM *or e:a ple$ in T8E T8IRD TA/LE 7raha 8ar an gives a of popularised version his o%n theoretical position in the for a fla%ed reading of and an unsatisf#ing response to Sir Arthur Eddington5s fa ous parado: of the t%o ta&les' 6nfortunatel#$ 8ar an sho%s hi self incapa&le of grasping the anti+ reductionistic i port of Eddington5s argu ent and proposes an a&stract philosophical dualis to replace Eddington5s pluralist vision of scientific research' It is tacitl# i plied that the theoretical .ect is real9 e &edded in a s#nchronic ontological fra e 4ti e is not an ontologicall# pertinent feature of real o&.ects are -si ulacra-$ onl# the %ithdra%n o&.ects' .ustification for this unsatisf#ing presentation is to &e found else%here in 8ar an5s %or0s$ &ut this is not the case' 12) HARMAN CANNOT UNDERSTAND EPISTEMOLOGICAL ANTIREDUCTIONISM 8ar an5s position is one of a surface pluralis there are &# a deep 4for 8ar an ultiple rDgi es of 0no%ing for an O&.

uiped to engage the ideas of the true creative successors' *ar fro a ne% inaugurating ore constructive philosoph# that &uilds on the positive achieve ents of the past %hile rectif#ing or a&andoning its erroneous pro&le atics and procedures$ 7raha 8ar an5s /ELLS AND .deconstruction is an e pt# &luff' 14) OOO$S FAILED ENCOUNTERS: TRAVESTY OF THE PAST) INCOMPREHENSION OF THE PRESENT The OOO:ians never understood the argu ents of their philosophical predecessors$ despite their pretentions To &eing the conte porar# response to and inheritors of the philosophies of deconstruction and of post+structuralis that flourished at the end of the last centur#' Thus the# are ille.ect+oriented philosoph# is at a loss' Its hac0ne#ed set of critical ter s 4philosoph# of access$ sha s and si ulacra$ lavala p# over ining$ ato istic under ining$ strea s of &eco ing$ correlationis 9 clearl# have no point of application at all to the ne% lines of research opened up in recent !ontinental "hilosoph# &# a.MORE MONIST IDEALISM E 13) OOO: ONTOLOGICAL ACTIVISM) POLITICAL PASSIVISM Toda#$ o&.or thin0ers such as /runo Latour$ /ernard Stiegler$ and *ran@ois Laruelle' One has onl# to loo0 at the utter inco prehension that OOO:ians anifest %ith to regard to Laruelle5s non+philosoph# to see that their clai .ove &e#ond.

ects$ all the rest are -utter sha s-' More i portantl#$ his o%n 4philosophical9 0no%ledge of o&. 12./+0.ects is the onl# real 0no%ledge' All that is ordinaril# thought of as 0no%ledge$ &oth theoretical and practical$ is also utter sha .*s1 8ar an5s ontolog# reduces the ultiplicit# and a&undance of the %orld to -e ergent.*2.678 /9650. Repeatedl#$ 8ar an goes to great lengths to criticise a generic &ut non+e:istent -reductionis -$ #et he see s to have no idea %hat reductionis is' 8e easil# %ins points against stra% .uite cohered into a philosoph#' 2( THESES ON GRAHAM HARMAN$S A"STRACT MONIST IDEALISM 1) OOO *s +. -8u an 0no%ledge deals %ith si ulacra or phanto s$ and so does hu an practical action.de+realises ever#thing e:cept his o%n a&stract 0no%ledge and his %ithdra%n o&.*s. MORE S"E!6LATIHE REALISM is a sterile co pendiu OOO5s fa iliar &ut disappointing histor# of of FG isunderstandings and failed encounters$ and its pu&lication is a fitting funerar# onu ent to a set of affective gesticulations that never .MORE MONIST IDEALISM W8ISTLES.ects are the -onl# real. +-s.o&.4/ELLS AND W8ISTLES$ F29' 8ar an5s -realis .unities that e:clude other approaches to and understandings of the %orld 1 his o&.ects' 2) OOO *s 3/2425.

ects have none of the e pirical predicates of co on sense e:perience or ere a&stract of scientific o&servation and research$ the# are posits' 4) H+/1+.to give the i pression that he is a concrete thin0er$ %hen the level of a&straction ta0es us to the heights of a ne% for of negative theolog#.$s .ect.uivocates %ith the fa iliar connotations and associations of -o&. the invisi&le$ un0no%a&le$ ineffa&le o&.ects of the ever#da# %orld$ and the less fa iliar o&.27=8 *s 9>5*v20+7 In OOO %ords do not ean %hat the# see to' 8ar an e.ects of science$ %ith so ething -deeperand -inaccessi&le-$ &ecause %ithdra%n' These real o&.ect such that it replaces the fa iliar o&. 8ar an produces a a highl# technical concept of o&.*2. *s +.:6/+.ect that %ithdra%s' No concrete e:a ple can &e given$ as it %ould &e ta0en fro the sensual$ i'e' sha $ real ' (et 8ar an repeatedl# gives e:a ples$ %hich in his o%n ter s is the ver# categor# ista0e that his philosoph# is designed to prevent' . the reduction of the a&undance of the of untoucha&le$ un0no%a&le$ FF %orld to an a&stract hidden real #et intelligi&le$ -o&./+0.MORE MONIST IDEALISM en$ and then proceeds to advocate one of the %orst for s of reductionis i agina&le.ects-' 3) T:9 .9/1*. /9+7 2-<90. +-s.*..

o#s$ all our suffering and struggle$ all that %e strive for and value &elong to the %orld of illusion' Nothing fro the e pirical %orld 4none of its o&.2 ?/9+7 2-<90.o#s and struggles of real hu an &eings 4-The %orld is filled pri aril# not %ith electrons or hu an pra:is$ &ut %ith ghostl# o&.ects-$ this e:pression is an e pt# place+ ar0er in 8ar an5s ontological for alis ' !) OOO *s + s0:227 3:*72s23:8 8ar an5s OOO is &# no eans a return to -naIvetD.ects %ithdra%ing fro all hu an and inhu an access-$ T8E T8IRD TA/LE$ F29' Despite its pro ises$ 8ar an5s OOO does not &ring us closer to the richness .:9/9 +/9 .s? *.ect can &e given' All that is given in e:perience$ all that is contained in our co on sense and scientific 0no%ledge$ all that %e can see and touch and create and love is -utter sha -$ -si ulacra-$ -phanto s-' All that %e 0no%$ including %hat %e 0no% a&out ourselves$ is unreal' All our hopes and .s9 No e:a ple of a real o&.272=*0+7 .$s s9.ects of our e:perience OOO deals in generalities and a&stractions far fro the concrete .*:*7*s1: . H+/1+.MORE MONIST IDEALISM F2 5) OOO *s 2..and to the o&.ects or properties or relations9 is real$ so 8ar an is left %ith nothing to populate his real %orld' 8ar an5s ontolog# of the real is e pt#' There are no -real o&.

ects are -deep-$ deeper than their appearance to the hu an ind$ deeper than their relations to one another$ deeper than an# theoretical or practical encounter %ith the ' This -depthof the real is a 0e# part of 8ar an5s ontolog#$ as is its transcendence' 8ar an5s OOO is not flat at all$ &ut centered on this vertical di ension of depth and transcendence' ') H+/1+. 8ar an sa#s repeatedl# that real o&.) .:98 .MORE MONIST IDEALISM and co ple:it# of the real %orld &ut in fact replaces the ultiplicitous and variegated %orld of science and co on sense F2 %ith a set of &loodless and lifeless a&stractions 4-si ulacra-$ -phanto s-$ -ghostl# o&.6 *or 8ar an$ %e cannot 0no% the real o&.2. 47+.s *s .ects transcend our perception and our 0no%ledge$ the# transcend all relations and interactions' &) WITHDRAWAL IS VERTICAL: OOO$s 2.ect %e 0no% is unreal$ a sha $ a -si ulacru -' Real o&. .ect' The o&../+.:6/+.2. *s 93*s.ects is unclear$ oscillating &et%een the idea of an a&solutel# .272=8 24 /9+7 2-<90.91*0+778 +1-*=525s The episte ological status of OOO5s real o&.*.$s /9+7 2-<90.s09.s 62 .ects-9' %) OOO$s /9+7 2-<90.

91272=8 1+s>59/+6*.2.ue to of so+called -philosophies of access-$ %hich leads hi propose an alternative episte olog# disguised as an ontolog#' The as..= +s +.@.+-79 "hilosophical intellection in 8ar an5s s#ste has the contradictor# role of 0no%ing ontologicall# the real$ as that %hich %ithdra%s fro 0no%ing' In effect$ science is de oted to the status of non+0no%ledge$ as the real cannot &e 0no%n' 8ar an is caught in a series of contradictions$ as he %ants to have his un0no%a&le realit# and #et to 0no% it' !o on sense cannot 0no% realit#$ nor the hu anities$ nor even science' 11) OOO *s +.ects he is o&liged to place all t#pes of 0no%ledge$ including the scientific one on the sa e plane 40no%ledge of -si ulacra or phanto s-9$ as illusor#$ and at the sa e ti e presu e that %e can 0no% so ething a&out these o&. .2. 2.:9 5.uerade is necessar# to give the i pression that he has found a solution to %hat he sees as the i passe of access' 6nfortunatel# no solution is given &ecause 8ar an is still .MORE MONIST IDEALISM un0no%a&le$ uncaptura&le realit# and the idea that it can &e captured in so e ver# a&stract and indirect %a#' In virtue of the un0no%a&ilit# of his o&.272=8 The &asis of 8ar an5s s#ste is an episte ological criti.2 @. 93*s.ects 4e'g' that the# e:ist$ and that the# %ithdra%9' F= 1() OOO 07+*1s .

ects to e:plain the discrepancies &et%een his naive .udges science in ter s of the crude philosophical criteria of another age and finds it lac0ing in 0no%ledge of realit#' 8e is then o&liged to posit a shado%# -%ithdra%n.*v*s1 8ar an5s episte olog# is relativist$ de oting science to an instance of the general relativis of for s of 0no%ledge$ all &elonging to the %orld of si ulacra' 8o%ever$ &# fiat$ his o%n philosophical intellection and so e artistic procedures are partiall# e:cluded fro this relativisation' (et no criterion of ust suffice' de arcation is offered' 8ar an di:it 12) F2/ OOO /9+7 @.91272=*0+7 /97+.796=9 *s *132ss*-79 8ar an .real of real o&.or philosoph# of the 2Gth !entur#' To hide the a&sence of solution 8ar an is led to posit a solution in a previousl# un0no%n ontological di ension' This o&fuscation accounts for the strange i:ture of ontological and episte ological considerations that caracteri)es 8ar an5s philosophical st#le' This generates such contradictions as pretending to acco plish a return to the concrete and giving us in fact a&straction$ and pretending to critici)e reduction and in fact perfor ing an even ore radical reduction' 11) OOO *s 93*s.MORE MONIST IDEALISM F? oving inside the pro&le atic of access$ a pro&le atic %hich %as a&andonned &# ever# a.2.

ect %hen it is one of the i agina&le' Ti e is unreal$ and so is ever# co and ever# ph#sical o&.MORE MONIST IDEALISM a&stract odel of 0no%ledge as access and the realit# of the FA sciences' /ELLS AND W8ISTLES9$ li0e the %hole of his philosoph#$ is the record of 8ar an noticing the discrepancies$ &ut refusing to revise the odel' 8is solution is a dead+end$ a ti id$ nostalgic action propounding an anti. 3/*1+/8 42/ H+/1+.272=8 *s .uated episte olog# under the cover of a -ne%.ontolog#' 13) OOO *s *69+7*s1 7raha 8ar an proclai s that his philosoph# is realist$ ost thoroughgoingl# idealist philosophies on sense o&. 8ar an5s real pole ic is in the do ain of episte olog# against a stra% an position that he calls the philosoph# of hu an access' No i portant philosoph# of at least the last ?G #ears is a philosoph# of access$ so the illusion of a revolution in thought is an illusion generated &# the isuse of the notion of -access-$ inflating it into a gra&+all concept under %hich .ect' All are declared to &e -si ulacra-' -Space-$ one a# o&. neither co ph#sical space 4&oth -si ulacra-9$ 8ar anian space is an a&stract -%ithdra%n.intelligi&le space' 14) O.ect$ is real for 8ar an$ &ut that is no on sense space nor space one %ould ever recognise..2.

45s96 8ar an s#ste aticall# confuses access$ contact$ relation and interaction' 8is argu ent to esta&lish the ina&ilit# of relational ontologies to e:plain change e:hi&its rather his ina&ilit# to understand relations and to a0e si ple conceptual .ues such as that of Ale:ander 7allo%a#$ &# an# than denial' eans other 1!) OOO *s 02.6 3/+0.093..2.ect$ al&eit$ strangel# enough$ a -non+ph#sical.796=9 +. +.uence of the reduction of 0no%ledge and practice to the status of e pt# phantas s and illusions of access is that glo&al change is i possi&le' The ontological neutralisation of our 0no%ledge is allied to its practical 4and thus political9 neutralisation' This e:plain5s 8ar an5s ina&ilit# to deal %ith criti.*09 +/9 *775s2/8: /+6*0+7 0:+.6 .MORE MONIST IDEALISM an#thing and ever#thing can &e su&su ed' /ut a philosoph# of non+access is still episte ological$ in 8ar an5s case it ta0es the for of a pessi istic negative episte olog# that su&tracts eaningful hu an theoretical 0no%ledge and FB o&.=9 *s *132ss*-79 One conse.ects fro practical intervention 4cf' T8E J6ADR6"LE O/KE!T$ %here Eg#pt itself is declared to &e an o&.5+778 *.02:9/9.one$ and so un0no%a&le and untoucha&le9' 15) #.9/1*.272=*0+778 02.

:6/+. + .5*.4"RO!ESS AND REALIT($ 2A9' 1') W*..?A 8ar an cannot e:plain an# interaction at all$ in ter s of his s#ste ' One is entitled to as0. ?69-. ho% can a %ithdra%n o&.ust posit such de+%ithdra%al$ %hich is %h# his s#ste is conde ned to &e a dualist re%rite of ore co ple: relational thin0ing' Withdra%al is a&solute$ universal$ a priori$ and non+e pirical' There are no degrees of %ithdra%al' 8ar an .*9s +/9 1*s-69s0/*-96 -8 ?.:6/+. 2-<90. -continuit# is a special condition arising fro our i the societ# of creatures %hich constitute ediate epoch.+7? 8ar an cannot thin0 that %ithdra%al is itself one t#pe of relation a ongst variant of the an# others$ and that it constitutes onl# one ore general class of discontinuous relations' In contrast$ Whitehead tells us that.:6/+.MORE MONIST IDEALISM distinctions' FC 1%) H2.093t .0.+7 /937+09s 021379B 6*s.s .*.*.:6/+.: + s*1379 3s9562-02.*. 0+.ect -de+%ithdra%-L 8e can onl# .*.ust postulates an a&solute &ifurcation &et%een interaction on the one hand and %ithdra%al on the other' 8ar an cannot thin0 %ithdra%al or its opposite 4interaction9 as an e pirical concept appl#ing onl# in certain circu stances' 1&) D*s02.*2.*..*.

.ects are neither .ects .u ps$ ruptures$ intervals$ or discontinuities is a far ore useful concept than the %holesale FE &ifurcation operated &# the notion of -%ithdra%al-$ %hich is &oth too si ple and too a&solute 4there are no degrees of %ithdra%al$ all %ithdra%al is of the sa e t#pe$ there are no special conditions for %ithdra%al$ it is a purel# non+e pirical concept9 and splits the %orld in t%o 4realMsensual9' 8ar an5s s#ste is too a&solute %ith its su ar# dualis s to &e a&le to deal %ith the fine+grained distinctions that co e up in our e:perience' 2() OOO$s /9+71 24 /9+7 2-<90.ualified and de+.*4*96 v2*6 Real o&.s *s + 69->5+7*4*96 +.MORE MONIST IDEALISM The notion of cuts$ .ualitativel# distinct 4in ter s of e pirical predicates &elonging to the phantas atic real s of co on sense$ the hu anities$ the sciences$ and even athe atics9$ nor are the# nu ericall# or .ects are not .uantified void and 8ar an5s real real .uantitativel# distinct 4as athe atics is itself a reductionist phantas 9' So is a de+.ualifia&le in ter s of the e pirical predicates of co reductionist' W8ISTLES on sense or of science$ &oth declared to &e Nor are real o&.6 69>5+.uantifia&le' In /ELLS AND 8ar an declares several ti es that e:plaining things athe atical structures is reductionist' So finall# in ter s of his real o&.

/+.as against the -%a# of the philosopher-' *e#era&end5s references to Mach 4and to "auli9 sho% that this -%a# of the scientist.69.4pFEB9' .ections to OOO concerns the .uestion of pri ac#$ %hich re ains oot in conte porar# philosoph#' 8ar an5s ontological turn gives pri ac# to 4transcendental$ eta+level9 philosoph#' *e#era&end articulates a Machian position$ one that gives pri ac# neither to philosoph# nor to ph#sics$ &ut defends the open+ indedness of e pirical 4though not necessaril# scientific9 research' 2) R9s9+/0: *s .sv9/s+7 This can &e clarified &# e:a ining *e#era&end5s defense of the -%a# of the scientist.+7 3:*72s23:8 vs 913*/*0+7 /9s9+/0: One of the &iggest o&..is transversal$ not respecting the &oundaries &et%een scientific disciplines nor those &et%een the sciences and the hu anities and the arts' So it is ore properl# called the -%a# of research-' *e#era&end tal0s of Mach5s ontolog#5s -disregard for distinctions &et%een areas of research' An# ethod$ an# t#pe of 0no%ledge could enter the discussion of a particular pro&le .MORE MONIST IDEALISM his philosoph# is an intellectuall# de&ased for of nihilis ' 2G THE SRCOO PROPAGANDA ?TUTORIAL? 1) P/*1+08: ./+.s09.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2F 3) E/. vs P75/+7*s.4the . M+0:: P2s*.s.ualities that co pose the %orld$ ere &undles of sensations' 8e %ould thus &e a 0e# 8ar an in T8E J6ADR6"LE O/KE!T calls e:a ple of %hat 7raha -over ining-' *e#era&end has sho%n in a nu &er of essa#s that this vision of Mach5s -philosoph#.are logical constructions &uilt up out of the sensor# . *e#era&end$ on general grounds &ut also after a close scrutin# of several i portant episodes in the histor# of ph#sics$ proceeds as if there is no clear and sharp .*v*s. Ernst Mach is often seen as a precursor of the logical positivists$ an e:ponent of the idea that -things.9/+7 M9.uotation ar0s are necessar#$ according to *e#era&end -&ecause Mach refused to &e regarded as the proponent of a ne% -philosoph#--$ S!IEN!E IN A *REE SO!IET($ FE29 is erroneous$ &ased on a isreading &# the logical positivists that confounds his general ontolog# %ith one specific ontological h#pothesis that Mach %as at pains to descri&e as a provisional and research+relative specification of his ore general proposal' 4) G9.:26272=8 *ollo%ing Ernst Mach$ *e#era&end e:pounds the rudi ents of %hat he calls a general ethodolog# or a general cos olog# 4this a &iguit# is i portant.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM de arcation &et%een ontolog# and episte olog#$ %hereas 8ar an$ %ithout the slightest case stud#$ asserts the e:istence of such a dichoto #' 8ar an5s actual practice$ I have argued$ proceeds &# ignoring the distinction and i:ing in a confused %a# 22 episte ological and ontological considerations9' 5) MACH$S ONTOLOGY *e#era&end discusses Mach5s ontolog# in S!IEN!E IN A *REE SO!IET(4FEA+2G29 and a0es it clear that it is one of the enduring inspirations of his %or0' 8e clai s that Mach5s ontolog# can &e su arised in t%o points. i9 Individual entities of various different scales 4not .ust tin# .ects %ithdra% fro relation' . i9 the %orld is co posed of ele ents an their relations ii9 the nature of these ele ents and their relations is to &e specified &# e pirical research !) HARMAN$S ONTOLOGY One su a# note a rese &lance %ith 7raha 8ar an5s ontolog#$ arised in his .uar0s and electrons9 are the ulti ate stuff of the cos os' ii9 These entities are never e:hausted &# their relations'''O&.&rief SRMOOO tutorial-$ reprinted as !hapter F of /ELLS AND W8ISTLES.

90.*0 vs D*+0:/2.*2. here again -%ithdra%al.:6/+.6 D*s02. this reduction of the possi&ilities to one$ enshrined in a transcendental principle$ is one of the reasons for calling 8ar an5s OOO an o&. ele ents are o&.ust one possi&ilit# a ong an#' Another advantage of this ontolog# of unspecified ele ents is that it allo%s us to do research across disciplinar# &oundaries$ including that &et%een science and philosoph#' ') TEMPORALITY: S8.*+.+7 vs D9=/99s +. +.is .MORE MONIST IDEALISM 22 %) THE ELEMENTS: M+0:*+.*0 Mach5s ontolog# is diachronic$ evolving %ith and as part of e pirical research' !onversel#$ 8ar an5s ontolog# is s#nchronic$ dictating and fi:ing transcendentall# the ele ents of the %orld' ..*9s 24 C2.ectal reduction9' &) THE RELATIONS: A-s275.9ss vs H+/1+..6 5+7*.*2.ects 4N/. 239.90. /# allo%ing e pirical research to specif# the relations$ Mach does not give hi self an a priori principle of %ithdra%al..9 W*. 072s5/9 The difference is illu inating' Whereas Mach leaves the nature of these ele ents open$ allo%ing for the e:ploration of several h#potheses$ 8ar an transcendentall# reduces these possi&ilities to one.0:/2.

*s. *s ?/9650.*v9 /9650.*2.*s.ects' As this reduction cuts across &oth %orlds$ I propose to call it trans ining-' The difference %ith the preceding is that intra+%orld reduction is an e pirical h#pothesis$ that is to &e tested and to /e discarded if it does not hold up to e pirical investigation' 8ar an5s o&.? 8ar an has invented a ne% voca&ular# to descri&e various t#pes of reductionis various philosophical that he &elieves he has discerned in oves' The ove of e:plaining a 2= acroscopic o&.ect such as a ta&le in ter s of its ato ic and su&+ato ic is called -under ining-' E:plaining the ta&le in ter s of the flu: of perceptions is called -over ining-' 8ar an has recentl# detected argu ents that he has &aptised the a0e &oth oves at once$ so -duo ining-' A nota&le feature of all three oves is that their reduction operates inside onl# one of the %orlds that 8ar an discusses 1 the %orld of -utter sha s-' 11) TRANSWORLD REDUCTION: H+/1+.ectal reduction is an apodictic posit$ invulnera&le to e pirical testing' .MORE MONIST IDEALISM 1() INTRA-WORLD REDUCTION: 9v9/82.%orld of sensual o&.*2.ects$ to that of the -real.9 97s9 -5. *s + s39057+. H+/1+. /ut 8ar an hi self operates a different sort of reduction that reduces the realit# of one %orld$ the -sha .%orld of %ithdra%n o&.

.6 /97+.ects his difficult# %ith the concept of real ti e onto the positions that he supposedl# goes &e#ond. /97+.s. 5.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2? HARMAN$S TEMPORAL DENIALISM: 0:+. 629s .272=*9s We co e no% to one of 8ar an5s against pluralist relationis ore aggressive argu ents 1 that it cannot acco odate change' 8ar an5s philosoph# in fact denies all realit# to ti e and is an e:tre e for of spatialised s#nchronic ontolog#$ #et he pro.s This forgetting 0inetic and d#na ic relations$ and ore generall# 8ar an5s confusion over te poral relations sho%s that .=9 *s ?42/-*669.+7 2. +=+*.*2..+7 2. 1) H+/1+.272=*9s: 0:+.? -8 /97+.*2.*2.+.2. 8ar an5s aster argu ent against relational ontologies is that the# cannot e:plain change$ that if ever#thing %ere related nothing %ould change' This is patentl# false$ as relations include te poral relations' Deleu)e for e:a ple tal0s a&out &oth 0inetic 4relative speeds and accelerations9 and d#na ic 4relative forces$ and relative capacities to affect and to &e affected9 relations' It is ludicrous to clai s#ste entails that change is i possi&le' that Deleu)e5s 2) H+/1+.69/s.=9 *s 42/-*669.

. 24 6*+0:/2.ontologies in general$ e:cept for his aster+argu ent that if ever#thing %ere related change %ould &e i possi&le' 8ar an tries to insinuate that in his ontolog# change can &e accounted for' .2.6 .. 02.093.s*2.$s *.*v9 +.ues onl# stra% an positions that have never e:isted' 8e has no understanding of$ for e:a ple$ Deleu)e$ and .$s +/=519.0213/9:9.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 8ar an5s real %orld has no place for ti e and for change and ultiplicit#' 8ar an constantl# and indiscri inatel# conflates relations in general %ith specific su&sets of relations such as interactions$ and also %ith specific t#pes of relation such as contact and access' 2A 3) H+/1+.ust deprecates his philosoph# %ithout getting into an# detail' 4) H+/1+.5+7 8ar an gives pseudo+conceptual affective refutations %ith no citations and no anal#sis$ ere picture+thin0ing designed to produce the sa e -eure0a.*0 2.s +/9 +4490.to -ti e is stasis-9' *urther$ he has given no su&stantial account of %hat is %rong %ith so+called -relational.272=*9s 8ar an is una&le to understand the positions he is arguing against$ and that he is supposed to have gone &e#ond' 8e criti.e:perience as a co parative pu&licit#' There is no su&stance to 8ar an5s accusation$ %hich is close to an Or%ellian parod# 4fro -%ar is peace.

$s 69. .927*-9/+7 :832. +.8 8ar an .9132/+7*./9+7 42/ H+/1+.*. 8ar an denies the realit# of ti e and so his ontolog# is s#nchronic in a ver# strong sense' 8is understanding of other philosophers is &ased on a s#nchronic reduction of their st#le' Even his reading 4in T8E T8IRD TA/LE9 of Eddington5s t%o ta&les argu ent falsifies it &# e:tracting it fro the %hole ove ent of Eddington5s -Introduction.:9 .MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2B 5) T*19 *s 5.ust doesn5t -get.: "+6*25 1) H+/1+.:9s*s We have traversd a period of polarisation during %hich the neoli&eral do:a reigned uncontested al ost ever#%here$ e:cept in .6 .te poral relations' 8ence his repeated$ and a&surd$ clai that if ever#thing %as co posed of oving faster or slo%er relations nothing %ould change' As if than$ accelerating faster or slo%er than$ &eing attracted or repelled or pushed or %hirled around %ere not relations' HARMAN$S A"STRACTIVE ONTOLOGY: 0213+/*s2.*+7 24 .to his &oo0 T8E NAT6RE O* T8E "8(SI!AL WORLD$ and fro in general' his vision of the ove ent of research !) H+/1+.

ects$ &ut rather a -sensual.ects$ and sha ti e' 3) U.ects of co on sense and of the sciences$ -utter sha s-$ /ELLS AND W8ISTLES calls the -phanto s.or aristocratic criti.*19 *or 8ar an ti e is not a real relation &et%een real o&.8 24 .ue %as ela&orated' The philosophical result 2C of the e:tenuation of this cognitive polarisation is in part the develop ent of an a&stractive 4and a+political9 ontolog# of o&./9+7*.MORE MONIST IDEALISM a fe% acade ic and para+acade ic enclaves$ %here a -refined.*0 S5337919. In &oth /adiou and 8ar an %e have a truncated for pluralis .ects$ i'e' the o&.and -si ulacra9' *or /adiou ti e in the strong .6 D*+0:/2.ects as legiti ation$ rela# and effectuation of the neoli&eral h#pothesis 47raha 8ar an9$ and in part the ultiples as unist h#pothesis ela&oration of the su&tractive ontolog# of legiti ation$ rela# and effectuation of the co 4/adiou9' 2) T/5.ects$ in the illusor# do ain of si ulacra 4T8E T8IRD TA/LE calls these sensual o&. a s#nchronic ontolog# of o&.ectal of ultiples %here the diachronic di ensionis added on after%ards as a supple ent' /adiou has t%o ontologies grafted together 4/eing AND the event9$ 8ar an has ontologicall# real o&..0+.relation &et%een sensual o&.96 P75/+7*s1 +.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2E sense &elongs to the event in the na ing intervention$ and there also$ as for 8ar an$ see s to &e dependent$ at least in part$ on su&.*s1 *or 8ar an the real is a uni.ects$ prehended in 0no%ledges' At the for al or eta+level %e have transcendental restrictive categorisation and the pri ac# of philosophical intellection' 5) O..ects are not necessaril# si ulacra$ nor is 0no%ledge of the necessaril# sha 9' In &oth cases there is ontological pri ac# of .ects of co athe atical ultiple$ and the on sense$ &ut also of the sciences and of the ultiples 4it is to -hu anities-$ are constructed out of these &e noted$ and this signals an i portant difference &et%een /adiou5s and 8ar an5s s#ste s$ that for /adiou these constructed o&.ectivit#' 4) S5/4+09 P75/+7*s1 +.6 Ov9/026*.ue and separate do ain$ real o&.272=*0+7 M2.ects of co on sense$ of the hu anities and of the sciences are pure si ulacra' *or /adiou the real is the non+.ualified o&.= M2.ects are -%ithdra%n-< the o&.*s1 There is also a onis %hich co es to overcode this ontological pluralis $ at &oth the ontological and the episte ological level' At the ultiples of aterial or sensual level %e have ultiple ultiples or plural o&.

ualified in ter s of its o%n nou enal properties' !) E3*s.ualified in ter s of 0no%a&le co on sense or scientific properties$ even if it is .*s1 *or 8ar an co on sense and scientific 0no%ledge do not accede to the realit# of o&.ust one' .ects is un.MORE MONIST IDEALISM one do ain placed over and a&ove the others' *or /adiou the un.ualified do ain of ultiples of ultiples has pri ac# and so 2G Mathe atics is ontolog#' *or 8ar an the do ain of real o&.udices resultng fro the suture of philosoph# to .91272=*0+7 M2.ect+oriented ontolog#$ %hich dissipates the ontological and episte ological illusions$ such as the naturalist pre.ects$ the onl# possi&le 0no%ledge is indirect and appertains to philosophical intellection or to the arts under the control of o&.ust ore pluralist one of these truth+do ains' /adiou here is again than 8ar an$ as he recognises the e:istence of four truth+ do ains$ and not .uncture and also to dissipate the pre.udice and the scientistic pre.udice' Si ilarl#$ for /adiou$ to each do ain there corresponds a generic and paradig atic truth+procedure 4 athe e$ poe $ political invention$ love9' "hilosoph# in /adiou5s s#ste is not itself a truth procedure$ &ut serves to asse &le the truths of an epoch and to enounce the co on configuration of the paradig atic procedures of the con.

$s +-s./+0.) F2/1+778 M2.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2F %) T:9 6907*.ect-$ and consigns ti e and change to the real the -sensual-$ i'e' of sha s and si ulacra' .272=8 A&stractive and su&tractive ontologies are in regression co pared to the pluralist philosophies of their predecessors' The# are the co ple entar# representatives 4a politicised co unist version in /adiou5s case$ a -de+politicised- neoli&eral version in that of 8ar an9 of truncated pluralis $ the s#nchronic shado% of the diachronic ontologies that the# ape %ithout &eing a&le to rival in their force of thought' &) H+/1+. 8ar an5s OOO is a specific variant %ithin the general paradig set out &# /adiou5s philosoph#' The ter inological ultiples differences are i portant' /adiou spea0s in ter s of and events$ 8ar anin ter s of o&.*v9 2..*s./+0..272=8 +.$s "+6*25s*+.9 24 H+/1+.9/*+778 P75/+7*s.ects' /adiou e:plicitl# e phasises the pluralist aspect of his ontolog# &# the choice of the ontologicall# &asic ter roo of .6 "+6*25$s s5-.ultiples.*v9 2.*s1: M+.and anages to a a0e for ti e and change 4events9$ even if he gives the secondar# place in his ontolog#' 8ar an prefers the ter ore unitar# of of -o&.

47+.9/1*. 1) HARMAN CONFLATES #NOWLEDGE AND ACCESS 8ar an argues against -philosophies of access-$ &ut this is .ust to redo$ onl# uch ore sloppil#$ the critical %or0 done &# "opper and Sellars$ Juine and >uhn$ /achelard and *e#era&end$ Lacan and Althusser$ Wittgenstein and Rort# refuting and dis antling the dog as of e piricis ' *ar fro going &e#ond the post+structuralists 8ar an has not even caught up %ith the structuralists' No i portant philosoph# of the 2Gth !entur# has &een a philosoph# of access$ and 8ar an5s OOO is a regression on ost of the preceding philosoph# that he clai s to criti.5+7 02.the .ect accessed is erroneous' Thus -%ithdra%al.has no sense as a general concept' These ter s .ue and surpass'>no%ledge is not -access-' 2) HARMAN CONFLATES RELATIONS AND INTERACTIONS >no%ledge is neither access nor contact' "ropositional relations are not access' An interaction is not in general access$ either' More i portantl#$ a relation is not the sa e thing as an interaction' 8ar an conflates all this to o&tain so e &lurr# stra%+ an that even a FG #ear old child %ould have no trou&le refuting' So the %hole picture of relations as not -e:hausting.6 02.272=8 +.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 22 HARMAN$S CONFUSIONISM: +1-*=525s .093.ualities of the o&.*2.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM -access-$ -e:haust.ues of the post+structuralists and the post+ e piricists' 4) HARMAN$S CONTRADICTIONS ARE DISGUISED "Y AM"IGUOUS TERMINOLOGY AND CONCEPTUAL CONFLATION 8ar an5s OOO relies on a s#ste atic a &iguit# in his 0e# ter s 4o&.are nor all# part of a te poral$ d#na ic voca&ular#' The# are used illegiti atel# in 8ar an5s s#ste and serve to give an allure of te poralit# to 22 %hat is in fact an ontolog# of stasis' 3)HARMAN DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE PLURALIST CRITI UES OF MONISM 8ar an is so concentrated on criticising the privilege given to hu an access and to anthropocentric assu ptions in general$ a rearguard action if ever there %as one$ that he has no understanding at all for the recent and conte porar# pluralist philosophies that atte pt to trac0 do%n and dissolve the privilege given to reified categories and to onist assu ptions in general' 8ar an5s ontolog# falls under the pluralist criti.ualities and relations$ a&solutel# no .ect 4 eta+categor#9 &ut he constantl# gives e:a ples fro different do ains 4categor#9' Withdra%al a&straction fro eans ulti ate sensual .ect$ %ithdra%al9 &et%een their use as eta+categories and their use as categories' We can never see or touch or 0no% an o&.-%ithdra%al.

ects$ al%a#s ore than our i 2= eans the ediate e:perience of the ' We get a contradictor# s#nthesis &et%een a Northern asceticis and a Mediterranean sensualis ' /ut in the last instance this concrete a&undance$ this aesthetic sensualis is declared to &e an -utter sha -' 5) HARMAN$S SYSTEM IS "ASED ON HOMOLOGY It is at the level of his ontolog# as rudi entar# set of eta+categories that the ho olog# of 8ar an5s OOO %ith speculative capitalis can &e affir ed' /adiou accepts the e:istence of this ho olog# for his o%n ontolog#$ and ta0es it ver# seriousl# as a pro&le ' 8ence his repeated engage ent %ith the concepts of the event and change$ re.ues that his s#ste the internal ho olog# &et%een that instantiate the 4%hich has received' Nevertheless it is eta+categories and the categories a0es of 8ar an5s s#ste an ela&orate pla# on %ords9 that a0es possi&le the e:ternal and various concrete do ains$ ho ologies &et%een 8ar an5s s#ste including the econo #' !) OOO$S PHILOSOPHICAL INTELLECTION HAS PRIMACY: +77 97s9 *s .ust inco prehension and denialis $ as %ith all the other criti.uiring hi to co plete his s#nchronic ontolog# %ith a diachronic supple ent' 8ar an5s response is .MORE MONIST IDEALISM direct contact or relation 4 eta+categor#9$ or it .ust sensual richness of o&.

uestion' One ust as0 of each philosoph#. the# situate philosoph# on the sa e level as the sciences 4and the arts9 &ut capa&le of a0e philosoph# eta+operations that ta0e -functions. to %hat does it give on sense pri ac# 1 to philosoph#$ science$ art$ religion$ or co 4or to none9L /adiou and 8ar an give pri ac# to 4transcendental$ eta+level9 philosoph#' Laruelle is ore a &iguous$ giving pri ac# to science$ #et including non+standard philosoph# on the sa e level as the sciences' Deleu)e and 7uattari in W8AT IS "8ILOSO"8(L are so e%here &et%een the t%o positions$ and so see to avoid the pitfalls of pri ac#.in ph#sics 4and affects and percepts in the arts9 as o&.ects of its o%n philosophical concepts' .MORE MONIST IDEALISM *775s*2. The .uestion of pri ac# re ains oot in conte porar# 2? philosoph#' Despite repeated allusions to the collapse of foundations and the atte pt to construct a post+foundationalist philosoph#$ conte porar# thin0ers still grapple %ith this .

ect to the %orld of sha s$ %hich leads to a -reurn of the repressed-$ in the for of an i plied su&.ectif# his philosophical vision %ith e:pressions connoting a su&.ective encounter 4an a&solutised$ and thus -sha -$ conte:t of discover#9' This splitting de otes the su&.ustification9 and sensual or su&.ectivit#$ &ut one that he is either una%are of or un%illing to endorse e:plicitl#$ adapted to the neo+li&eral order' *ar fro su&. -The real is so ething that cannot &e 0no%n$ onl# loved- .ectivit# fro eli inating the %orld of o&.uerading as its &# an all+pervasive degraded su&.ectivit# that is ruled out &# the strict application of that philosoph#' 2) WITHDRAWAL CAN "E PARTIALLY OVERCOME: O"DECTUAL LOVE AND THE ART OF O"LI UITY Wa:ing l#rical$ 8ar an tal0s of ho% %e ust love the o&.conte:t of .MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2A HARMAN$S CONTRADICTORY HERMENEUTICS OF SU"DECTIVITY 1) OOO SPLITS EEPERIENCE INTO A"STRACT INTELLECTION AND CONCRETE ILLUSION 8ar an5s OOO splits her eneutic$ i'e' participative$ e:ploration of the %orld into o&.ect.ective speculation 4an a&solutised and thus -%ithdra%n.ectivit# opposite' 8ar an then proceeds to re+su&.ects 8ar an5s OOO is su&tended as.

ective attitude of those %ho endorse it' 8ence the constant tal0 of o&.ective conversion to a hard+headed noetic asceticis of intelligi&le of the o&.4F=9' All this tal0 of loving and hunting and approaching and alluding to$ all these e:pressions are strictl# ill+for ed' A sensual su&.ect cannot love$ hunt$ approach$ or even allude to a real o&.ects coupled %ith a soft+hearted sensual e:oticis aesthetic pla# of si ulacra' (ou can &e a gee0 and an esthete at the sa e ti e$ %ith the contradiction &eing covered up &# the edial su&.ue.uite.uite &e ade present.4F29$ and -allude to o&.ects cannot -.ective participation in the theor# as vision of the %orld' The o&.ect' It5s not that o&.uit#$ and of diaphonous allusion' .&e ade present$ the# cannot &e ade present at all' Withdra%al is all or none$ it does not ad it of degrees' 3) OOO IS A CONTRADICTORY MIE OF NOETIC ASCETICISM AND SENSUAL HEDONISM (et to give appeal to the theor# 8ar an has need of descriptors of the su&.ects that redounds in unthe atised su&.ectal conversion as the passage to the constructed -naivetD.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 4T8E T8IRD TA/LE$ F29< thin0ing ust &e indirect$ -its approach 2B to o&.ects ever#%here is thus a su&.ects can onl# &e o&li.ects that cannot .that sees o&.ectivit# of loving indirectness$ of hunterl# o&li.

is .uate and erroneous$ as is his her eneutics of the histor# of philosoph#' 8ar an5s 0e# ter s$ such as -%ithdra%al. %hile tr#ing desperatel# to contain it %ithin his conceptual reductions it seeps out and conta inates the %hole %ith a gee0o+esthetic co pound su&.and -access-$ are ill+for ed her eneutical concepts$ giving a grotes.ectivit# in various 0e# aspects of his philosoph#.ectivit# fusing cold intellectual anipulation and %ar sensual en.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2C 4) OOO PROSCRI"ES THE ETHICAL ENCOUNTER Despite appearances to the contrar#$ 8ar an in fact privileges su&.o# ent$ thus erel# proscri&ing the ethical encounter %hich can &e neither conceptual nor t%o' erel# esthetic nor so e conflicted h#&rid of the 5) OOO CANNOT ACCOUNT FOR #NOWLEDGE 8ar an is in denial of her eneutics$ and as %ith his denegation of episte olog# 4%hich results in his ela&orating a &ad episte olog# under the guise of ontolog#9$ ends up doing &ad her eneutics' 8is her eneutics of specific te:ts such as Eddington5s -Introduction.ue si plification and defor ation of the histor# of philosoph# and of conte porar# rival philosophies' *e#era&end and Latour argue that the sciences are not a&stract cognition onl#$ &ut also have a .uite inade.

48ar an5s %ord fro the opening of T8E J6ADR6"LE O/KE!T9' 8ar an is &# far the .ects and their supposed sensual instanciations' OOO: A SU"DECT WITH A NOT SO GREAT PAST Over the last fe% #ears the OOO:ian ove ent has ultiplied signs of success at the sa e ti e as sho%ing un ista0a&le s# pto s of decline' /ased on a denial of episte olog# and on &lindness to its o%n status as 4&ad9 episte olog# OOO %as a&le to capture the attention of those %ho %ere loo0ing for a ne% speculative st#le$ after the Science Wars and in opposition to those %ho %ere content to .ust parrot Deleu)e or Derrida or *oucault' Stanle# !avell and Richard Rort# had each in his o%n %a# sought to attain to the status of ho egro%n A erican !ontinental "hilosoph#$ &ut their Wittgensteinian and 8eideggerian fra e%or0 %as too o&scure and a&struse$ too Dlitist and erudite' A and 7raha ore pop version of the sa e a &ition %as needed 8ar an5s OOO satisfied a strongl# felt need to have done %ith deconstruction and return to -naivetD.MORE MONIST IDEALISM 2E constitutive$ and thus necessar#$ her eneutic di ension' This is %h# even the sciences provide so e resistance against neo+ li&eral neo+lei&ni)ian a&straction and speculative anipulation' 8ar an5s odeling and odel is not enough to account for 0no%ledge$ and it is he %ho is &eing reductionist %ith his real o&.

ectual conversion re ained a potent possi&ilit#' With the pu&lication of T8E T8IRD TA/LE this anti+epste ological posture %as revealed as an i posture$ OOO %as revealed not as superior insight over and a&ove co the narcissis on sense and scientific realities$ thus gratif#ing of the artistic co unit# %hile saving it fro ode of the accusation of post odern relativis $ &ut rather as a philosophising that %as intellectuall# inco petent to give a satisf#ing account of the do ains of science$ the hu anities and co on sense' Instead of an account %e get dis issive gesticulation.ects are -si ulacra.udice that vitiates the %or0 of these thin0ers' (et this superiorit# of 8ar an5s position could onl# &e aintained &# stic0ing to the pathos of an escape fro episte olog#' As long as 8ar an did not e:plicitl# engage %ith episte ological the es in his o%n na e the denegation of its status as episte olog# on %hich his %or0 %as &uilt gave it even ore force of conviction and persuasive po%er' The o&.ects to the athe atis of Meillassou:$ the scientis of =G /rassier$ and the Lacanian naturalis of /r#ant' 8ar an alone has &een %illing to discard the scientistic pre.or -phanto s-' The a&sence of an# understanding of diachron#$ fro the diachron# of science and that of co on sense$ to the diachron# of a si ple argu ent is patent' Real .MORE MONIST IDEALISM ore radical thin0er %hen %e co pare his ontolog# of %ithdra%n o&. these do ains are -sha -$ their o&.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM philosophical positions and argu ents are replaced %ith a&surd caricatures %hich are then easil# re&utted$ giving the =F i pression of a livel# pole ical force read# to accept and repl# to o&.:9 0+s9 24 OOO We easil# tal0 a&out our enthusias s in philosoph#$ as if our path of thin0ing %as one of the accu ulation of truths and eli ination of errors$ one of progress' /ut disappoint ent is .ust as i portant a driving force$ a non+philosophical affect that shado%s our enthusias s' A philosoph# can see to e:press %hat %e find essential to hear at a turning point in our life$ and to pro ise a ne% %orld of insight and freedo $ onl# to turn out to &e a lure$ a deceitful pro ises' irage una&le to live up to its When I first read 7raha 8ar an5s &oo0s I found the pro ising' At least there %as a reference to conte porar# pluralist thin0ers and a %illingness to engage in e:planation and argu ent' It too0 e onl# a couple of onths to realise that the pro ised e:planations %ere either totall# inade.for e:a ple is aintained onl# &# loft# ignorance of huge parts of recent philosoph#$ and .uate4the #th of -episte ologies of access.ections' ON DISAPPOINTMENT IN PHILOSOPHY: .

uic0l# found far ore satisf#ing and intellectuall# challenging thin0ers 4/runo Latour$ Kohn La%$ Andre% "ic0ering$ Willia !onnoll#$ /ernard Stiegler$ !atherine Mala&ou$ and *ran@ois Laruelle$ to na e a fe%9 and &egan to ela&orate the non+standard pluralist philosoph# that I had discovered in Deleu)e and *e#era&end and 8ill an$ and that I thin0 has still not seen its da#' I decided to deconstruct OOO as a %a# of clarif#ing %h# I had initiall# &een attracted and %h# I thought it %as a great step &ac0%ards' I do not care for OOO in an# of its variants$ and I thin0 its onl# value is pedagogical.%as in fact a regression to &arel# disguised rehashes of old refuted ideas' I %as astounded at the pretentiousness of the clai s of OOO$ given their fli s# &asis$ and at the credulousnesss of the supporters$ too #oung to have personal 0no%ledge of the prior avatars of these ideas' Luc0il#$ I .ected to a thoroughgoing criti. a %arning of the stupidit# that dogs us all of enthrall ent %ith the plausi&le products of cognitive ar0eting' I thin0 that OOO5s popularit# is &ased on a .ust glo&al denunciation9 or not forthco ing' The initial shoc0 of recognition %as te pered &# the realisation that 8ar an %as &uilding on ideas that %ere %idespread in !ontinental circles 2? #ears ago$ and that I had alread# su&. .ue &efore oving on =2 to so ething else' 8is -progress.MORE MONIST IDEALISM &# refusing to engage an# real reading of te:ts.

MORE MONIST IDEALISM cruel isunderstanding' "eople see to thin0 that OOO announces =2 a return to the things the selves$ &ut as %e have seen this is not so' Nor is it a return to the concrete diversit# and a&undance of the %orld' This i pression is an illusion' OOO gestures at the %orld$ even as it %ithdra%s an# real possi&ilit# of e:ploring it and co ing to 0no% it' In # o%n case$ I have used OOO to help e clarif# # o%n ideas on pluralist ontolog#$ and especiall# on Deleu)e and *e#era&end' OOO is a de&ased s#nchronic travest# of the diachronic pluralis that *e#era&end and Deleu)e espouse' What people are loo0ing for and thin0 the# find in OOO is the e:act opposite of %hat is there' "eople are loo0ing for intellectualit#$ strange ne% concepts to go further on the paths opened &# the preceding generation of philosophers$ and concreteness$ an engage ent %ith the a&undance of the %orld$ its passions$ its pleasures$ and its pro&le s' /ut OOO5s intellectualit# is a ta%dr# sha $ and its concreteness is a c#nical &luff' 8ar an5s OOO is the %orst for of dualis i agina&le$ a the great dualist episte olog# and ontolog# in regression fro pluralist philosophies that preceded it' Are these pluralist philosophies that I ad ire perfectL No the# are ver# inco plete and one+sided$ developped in response to concrete conte:ts that are no% &ehind us' Are the#$ these deconstructive philosophies$ .

ourne# %ithout t#ing it to a fi:ed road-9' This is %hat I have &een calling diachronic ontolog#' It is the e:act opposite of the path that OOO has chosen$ %here %e find a s#nchronic ontolog# incapa&le of dealing %ith ti e and change$ and a onis of transcendent %ithdra%n entities' .MORE MONIST IDEALISM the selves i == une to deconstructionL Not at allN The# the selves even call for their o%n deconstruction$ and Stiegler$ Latour$ and Laruelle continue the effort and deconstruct$ each in their o%n %a#$ %hat re ains undeconstructed in their predecessors5 ideas' A li&eration fro the conceptual sche as of philosoph# is possi&le if$ as "aul *e#era&end invites us$ %e thin0 and act outside sta&le fra e%or0s 4-There are the an# %a#s and %e are using all the ti e though often &elieving that the# are part of a sta&le fra e%or0 %hich enco passes ever#thing-9 and fi:ed paths 4-Is argu ent %ithout a purposeL No$ it is not< it acco panies us on our .