I Am Also of the Opinion that Materialism Must be Destroyed – Harman (2010)

Graham Harman – I Am Also of the Opinion that Materialism Muse be Destroyed

The Reduction of Objects to Interrelations is bad as it fails to explain change, and fails to explain the appearance of new relations 

I am also of the opinion that Carthage must be destroyed – Cato

The two dichotomous view addressed here are refuted – as two forms of bad materialism: 

  • Undermining
    • science based metaphysics
    • knowledge can make contact with reality lying outside thought 
    • “tears objects down to reveal their deeper physical foundations, as if mocking them from below”
    • universalist tendencies: Pythagoras’ mathematical descriptions, Anaxagoras’ accounts of the homoiomereiai
    • Ladyman, Metzinger, Churchland, Sellars, Laruelle
    • Ladyman and Ross
      • scientism 
      • ‘structure is all there is’
      • resembles noumena to Harman, although they would deny this
      • physics as a special science (universal) versus special sciences which uncover ‘folk’ patterns (geology, sociology, etc.) 
      • “people can think and communicate about extra-representational real patterns but don’t usually try to; scientists often try and succeed in so thinking and communicating”
      • Eddington’s two tables
      • Things appear to relation on different, unconnected levels
      • For Harman the contradiction is: the lucid sphere of human intellection, with a largely formless phyiscal remainder lef over as a ‘realist’ component:  idealism with a realist alibi
  • Overmining
    • Neo-scholasticism – whatever exists is itself, an incommunicable, individual substance
    • “rejects reality of these objects for precisely the opposite reason, denying them any depth beneath the way they are given to us, as if jeering from above”
    • dialectical materialism – where things are fetishes, appearances by us as “manifest image” obsessed creatures 
  • Object Oriented Ontoloty
    • Latour, Whitehead, Zubiri, McLuhan, Lingis
    • The ‘middle way’ of the two above accounts


  • (Humanist?) Philosophy as “a war of competing apriori intuitions”
  • Noting again here the different genres of more- and less- anti-correlationist critiques that arise through realism

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