The idea of form is that the formal cause Of a thing, in short, is the shape that it’s in. The cause of a thing is it’s form. Graham Harman proposes to be able to develop an ontology based on form.
Most philosophy that we encounter in the continental tradition, otherwise known as the phenomenological tradition, assumed that when we speak of cause, as well as any ontology, we must be thinking of efficient cause. We must be speaking of agency and how something acts upon another thing to bring it into being￼.￼￼
The significance of Triple-O , is that it does not have to answer to the phenomenological efficiency of cause. But, indeed he does try to all over the place . Yet when one is routed being in efficiency , in agency , and subjective privacy , there is no argument that will pull them out of that , so to speak , gravitational pull of self-centeredness￼.
This is 100% the whole of the speculative realist move. It rejects the notion of a centralized thinking subject which provides over all of existence.
It is well known, for at least the past seven or eight years, that Harmon does not do a great job at all at getting people out from the phenomenological standpoint, which we’ve known about for 150 years at least. Continental philosophy, when we speak of the big names, is speaking about phenomenalism. And so inherently people who want to be philosophers, in so much as the continental tradition and phenomenology might be interesting to them, they are taught, they are indoctrinated into the self evidence of a centralized thinker.
Almost everyone knows who knows that Harmon does not successfully make an argument which bridges subject centered into object centered. He does make some arguments, but ultimately he is starting from the standpoint of form. He is not starting from the standpoint of efficient subjectivity. His take on Heidegger is indication, but his mentor’s (Alphonso Lingis) works give a better view into what may have inspired Harman’s move.
As I keep repeating, if you start from subjectivity, or phenomenalism, as the standpoint from which all knowledge is gained, through which all knowledge is knowable, then to speak from an object oriented ontology is ultimately ridiculous. There is no argument that can be made to move someone over into this kind of object orientation.
This is why I see the significance is the orientation. The significance is not in what arguments that Graham Harman can make about why object oriented ontology should be philosophically viable, For the reason I just gave. The significant issue is what orientation is being evidenced.
I suppose that in order to be able to distinguish between the two, we would first have to develop criteria so far as what might constitute such evidence. yes. However…Personally, I do not believe that such evidence can be pointed out philosophically, again for the reason I just stated above. The deck isstacked, the dice are loaded to always come up phenomenological subjectivity: centralized thinker that thinks about things in different ways intentionally.
But further, it doesn’t matter whether he can make a successful argument that bridges the gap.
So far as I might speak of orientation upon objects, and the two routes, the significant conjunction here is “and”.
Phenomenological Centralized reasoning is true; it’s method is true and valid￼￼￼￼￼.
Object oriented reasoning is true; it’s method is true and valid.
Now, in order to understand the “and”, we have to take a dip into non-philosophy. But unfortunately, that is another philosophy that is hugely misunderstood as well as discredited by the conventional route.
But to make it simple.
There is a tree, there is a dog. Each has its own ontologically reductive form. Which does not reduce to the other. The dogs form cannot be ontologically justified to the trees form. Just as the trees form is not ontologically justified by the dogs form.
Objects retain their own integrity. In this manner of viewing we are thus also able to notice a thing in the universe called a subject. This thing can also be identified to its form, as well as its method of ontological justification, which we know now is, generally speaking, efficiency.
There are many authors philosophers in the 20th century who have refuted the idea that the human being, and the condition of knowledge, as well as the way, the manner, the perception, the cognition, the conceptualization of what knowledge is in relation to the universe or reality, is not the same as a human being which lived 2000 years ago. So similarly the words and symbols of books that people put down supposedly 2000 years ago, do not translate through time to arrive at us intact, as if there is some static knowledge or static data that gets cemented into the symbols, into the form of the book to thousand years ago that with stands the forces of the universe to bring us human beings now information from that which is true. There is valid arguments which suggest that all that is occurring right now is, what I call, the modern mythology, Or what I call the modern religion.
It is not that the Egyptians, or the Mayans, or the Greeks, or the Han Dynasty, or the Aryans, didn’t know as much as we did. As if their knowledge had holes in it. As if each human being somehow was missing pieces of knowledge of the world, or groups or cultures as a whole was missing some key information that the universe is holding in store as if in a vault waiting for us to discover￼.￼￼￼￼￼
Every human being has the total capacity of its knowledge and ability to know reality. As well as any culture, any group that we would identify. What we identify as “myths￼”￼￼, or in past civilization as “superstition” or “religion”, is a way of deferring the equivalency of the human creature to the say that what is happening for me right now is not really what was happening for human beings 500 years ago. But Because we are the same human being. We like to know that my experience and knowledge of reality has historical validation. Namely, that We have the same capacity for intelligence and knowledge and information is able to be passed through time from my brain or cultural storehouse 2000 years ago, to my brain present. We do not like to feel that we are valid unto ourselves as a creature and being of the universe the same as an atom, a star, a vaccum, or a smear of ink upon another valid being we call a piece of paper. Human beings naturally like to view themselves as above or higher than everything else in the universe
As we find in at least a couple of the big-name philosophers, the key issue is technology. The key issue is not agency.
And yet it is and it isn’t. We are higher AND we are not.
For indeed if we are involved in an intrinsic mythology, If we are indeed caught in a mythology, a cosmology, a religious beliefs system, which is indeed effective and in effect, then it becomes exceedingly difficult to be able to see or view anything outside of those mythological categories.
There is what Kierkegaard calls a quantitative difference required for authenticity. Not merely a meaningful qualitative change.
But nevertheless, the mythology indeed functions to establish reality. For me, for you, for all human beings that ever existed.