Graham Harman. Speculative Realism. 2013

let’s start with an apparently external sociological distinction that gets made between analytic and continental philosophy I realize that means more to people in professional philosophy than to those who are not and I realize it also means more on the Anglophone worlds but everyone most people have some idea of what this is Dziedzic put this humorously if you work on a rats vertebra that’s philosophy if you work on Hegel that’s complet that’s the way it’s viewed in the American Universities these days it’s very popular now to say that this distinction is meaningless that it’s exaggerated that it’s merely sociological I hold on the contrary that it contains a very essential difference between two approaches to philosophy and it’s and this I think this distinction was theorized by France brentano in 1894 when tano of course was the great Austrian philosopher the teacher of Edmund Husserl and Sigmund Freud and he also a wonderfully acerbic way of delivering lectures and in the lecture he gave him Vienna in 1894 he said that philosophy has a two-fold major on the one hand philosophy is like the Natural Sciences it makes cumulative progress it uncovers truth gradually that’s one side of philosophy on the other side you have the fact that philosophy is more like the arts the fine arts that has rising periods of rightness and following periods of decay there are great periods in philosophy it’s not necessarily cumulative just as the arts are not necessarily cumulative and this has not really been picked up but I think this is essentially the difference between analytic and Canon or philosophy in the analytic philosophers see themselves as natural scientists they see themselves as making cumulative progress in detail on small frontline research programs in short journal articles to the culture of the sciences very much whereas cardinal philosophy is a tradition of great figures great periods in philosophy like German idealism or phenomenology that seem to rise above the rest and philosophy has not treated as cumulative so I think there’s a lot more to be said about that and I talk as though that the difference between these two kinds of philosophy is scandalous two kinds of philosophy even though there are twenty-four thousand five hundred species of fish somehow having two kinds of loss of view supposed to be this horrible intellectual scandal that we need to eliminate immediately even bought you one of our own claims to be beyond this distinction because he works on set theory he also works on poetry but I don’t think that’s quite it you need to look at a deeper sense in which philosophy is polarized between these two ways of looking at truth one that truth is a gradual cumulative process of piling up my new discovery on my new discovery the other sense in which truth comes in bursts and ironically but use is not really beyond that distinction but you as an archetypal continental philosopher in the sense right because his theory of the events it’s not something that gradually gets better and better and better the subject is formed only intermittently at certain times in history so body is actually the textbook example of a kind of philosopher and that’s fine I’m in that camp myself but I think this deadlock will was not resolved by brentano and it will continue forever until someone comes up with a new kind of philosophy that incorporates both of those somehow but that’s not my theme tonight that’s only an appetizer my theme is that in the Continental tradition to which I and probably almost all of you belong and so far as you do philosophy realism has never been a serious option among analytic philosophers you can always find people who say the real world exists outside the minds we can know it using certain methodological procedures and content of philosophy it’s been viewed with scorn as a kind of pseudo problem or a waste of time in this sense it’s ditched realism altogether I’ve been telling this anecdote in my seminars today about the Richard Rorty archive which does exist UC Irvine friend of mine was in there and saw a letter from Rory to somebody that said every 10 years or so somebody writes a book with a title something like beyond realism and idealism and it turns out always that what’s beyond realism and idealism is idealism so in other words you you say it’s a false problem because we ourselves are the ones who posit the very difference and so the difference in realism and idealism is already contained in our very addressing of the question that’s an idealist position a realist position is much more straightforward it doesn’t just mean that the world exists outside of our minds but that’s the first essential step there are some things that realism also doesn’t contain and some other features that are very important that I’ll get to tonight I’d say it wasn’t until about the last 10 or 12 years that you started seeing explicitly realist positions in content of philosophy with a straight face without smirks or winks or crossed fingers brutal Natur for example one of my philosophers alive today uses the term realism and pandora’s hope in 1999 but he doesn’t really mean it he’s trying to redefine the term so that doesn’t mean what it used to mean durians now a lot of trillions are saying Derrida is actually a realist but all they’re trying to do is redefine the term realism so that’s not this threatening outside so that it’s always already incorporated into what they read I was doing which is a explicitly anti-realist project Manuel de Ronda along with the speculative realism before Manuel de Landa was a EGS faculty member was the one who was saying that de Luz is a

realist de Luz believes as an external reality outside the mind and that’s why he’s not a post modernist and that reading of the Lewis has certainly been contested I’m going to try to explain tonight though why realism is not just a reaction to postmodernity and relativism but that it’s interesting and even weird that it’s actually the weirdest thing going if you if you look at it the right way it’s a kind of realism without at equation not that there’s a real outside of us that can be known as in a realism but the real is precisely that which cannot be known which is already articulated so that’s the what I’m going to try to develop tonight’s of course phenomenology including both who soul and Heidegger treat realism as a pseudo problem they say this idea whether the world exists outside of our mind is simply not worth the time of a serious philosopher we got the search one side of carnal philosophy that dismisses the problem the other side of course is from the return to Hegel where jejak is a good example of this one of my another one of my favorite philosophers who sees of course the difference between real and idealist I’m not positive within the subject itself you can’t really talk about a naive thing in itself outside of the subject for Dziedzic as part of the sigilian turn a number of scholars are cited regularly Adrian Johnston one of the best commentators we have on Dziedzic sites by tzer’s book on German idealism the struggle against subjectivity and Biser tells us that recent scholarship proves the German idealism was not subjectivist well it’s not that simple it’s not that you just go and do the scholarship and an objective result falls out that shows us that the German idealist were not subjected us you have to interpret of course as well and that’s a philosophical enterprise what Beiser says is simply that they the German I do is eliminate subjectivism by getting rid of any outside at all by getting rid of Kant’s naive thing in itself in other words by idealism so you get rid of subjectivism by idealism which is paradox are going and that doesn’t work the thought the difference being thought unreal becomes a distinction internal to thoughts which makes it very strange when all these people accuse phenomenology of being idealist they’re nothing but contempt for wholesales from these circles but they’re a bit as idealists and socialists phenomenology is now let’s talk about Mansu for a seconds may assume one of the promising younger philosophers in Europe right now mayor su in the interview I did with him in the appendix to my book on masu accuses Dziedzic and perhaps about you falling into this concept of the wobbly subject that there’s the traditional Cartesian subject and it’s something outside of it that it can incorporates is this traumatic kernel of the real that disrupts the symbolic universe in G’s X case and perhaps body Lee doesn’t elaborate on how perhaps but he was guilty of this that’s his teacher and but master says a wobbly subject is still a subject just like a wobbly chair is to a chair now it’s interesting Dziedzic addresses this point in the new Hegel book where he’s got 20 or so pages on there sooo interestingly Dziedzic concedes the point he concedes the point that maybe may us who is right GJ even goes so far as to say that Mansu talks about the ARCA fossil he talks about things that really exist prior to the existence of the human subjects and even about you in logics of worlds says of course dinosaurs existed before humans existed that’s not problematic for body claims but GJ goes so far as to say in that response that actually dinosaurs are a retro actively projected fantasy don”t dinosaurs did exist in the past for us now dinosaurs cannot be thought of as existing really outside of us in the past dinosaurs are something positive by the subject now as a fantasy a retroactive fantasy and it’s interesting to note the bruno latour got in trouble for a far more modest claim than that maybe people just haven’t finished gzx big book yet and haven’t scolded him for this yet well Brunel it’s worse said in an article some years ago that earned him the permanent contempt of √•land so call and his friends is the tour said we can’t say ramses ii the Pharaoh died of tuberculosis because tuberculosis hadn’t been discovered yet so it’s a it’s an anachronism to say that he could have died of tuberculosis that seems like going a bit far to me but gzx saying something even more extreme which is that we cannot say that dinosaurs really existed in and of themselves prior to the emergence of the subjects and jejak ends by saying actually masters right we can’t accept that we can’t escape the correlation circle correlational circle is the circle where you say we can’t talk about a thing outside of thoughts because by talking about it we’re thinking about it and there’s no way out of the circle this is the path idealism it’s also the path to what Mansu thinks is his own philosophy Dziedzic says again we can’t escape it mayor su admits at the first stage that we cannot escape but we cannot just say there’s a world out there naively we have to go through this complicated serpentine argument in mayor’s whose philosophy to get to a thing in itself but gee check at the end of this chapter of masters there’s no we can never get out of it and he seems to have this idea that may assuage the stain juris naive realistic thinks we can get outside the subject and that’s bad that’s why he’s aiming this critique at mansu I claim that mayor’s who never escapes the circle either I don’t think I think he and Dziedzic are a lot closer together in their idealism then either Dziedzic or mayor’s who want to see what does mayor sue try to prove Mansur tries to prove that even though there’s this correlational circle we can’t talk about

a thing in itself because then we’re already talking about it so it’s already part of thoughts we have to go through this indirect routes and through this indirect route we find out that there are things in themselves outside thought according to masu but what does he mean by this all he really means the things in themselves outlive us that’s not what the thing in itself metric count but think of itself or continent the thing the appearance is right here before us but we can’t get to the reality the noumenon behind the thing here and now from answer that’s not what it means remain so it just means that the thing in itself existed could have existed a billion years ago and it could exist a billion years after all humans are extinct but that’s not really getting at the heart of what makes the thing in itself the thing in itself because of course Mansu thinks the real is whatever can be mathematize very much in keeping with bud you as teacher the primary qualities of things no one really likes the distinction between primary and secondary qualities anymore this comes from either la cour de cartes depending on who you credits with doing it first the primary qualities of the qualities the thing has even when no one is looking at them the secondary qualities are the ones that require us to look at them so the food in your refrigerator the taste of the smell of the food is a secondary quality but it needs you there in order for it to exist the primary quality will be the matter of the food is made that’s still there and the sure Berkeley even when you’re not looking at the roof inside the refrigerator may s who wants to retrieve this concept of the primary and the secondary qualities but he says the primary qualities are the ones that can be mathematize the what I sing the things you can get get it what is real in them now you might ask and I have asked this why doesn’t this turn him into a pythagorean someone who believes that only mathematics exists that there’s nothing outside of mathematical equations formula formalizations mansu’s way of trying to escape this is saying he’s a materialist why is he mysterious because he also believes in dead matter there’s dead matter outside of the mathematics dead matter outside of us and he claims there’s been this great conspiracy against materialism since Berkeley that everyone in the modern era has been trying to absolute as the subjects this is what he calls subjectivism and there are two kinds of subjectivism one kind of subjectivism is the idealist kindness of berkeley in the extreme sense if that Hegel got shelling you’ve got other ideas sounding philosophers Dziedzic people who claim that we cannot really get anything outside the subject because the subject is absolute iced it’s not limited it encompasses the whole of reality but there’s also what he calls vitalists and that includes me the these people he things also absolute eyes the subject because we put the subject everywhere because for me of course I agree with counsel pointed by finitude I agree that the in itself is unreachable I simply think Cohn should not have restricted this to people Cohn the German idealist move is to say conscient of at finitude think of the in itself is already a thought and therefore we don’t have to think of a another that’s outside the circle of thought that’s the german idealist move i think there should have been a german realist turn in philosophy in the early 1800s that was missed and it could have happened because of Leibniz his influence it didn’t and that would have been to say that here on counts right about finitude we can never get at the things themselves but objects cannot get the things that each other is things in themselves either so when fire burns cotton the famous example of Islamic philosophy fire is not making contact with the color or smell of the cotton which are in some sense they’re they’re only making contact with the flammability of the cotton and so object object relations are just as haunted by finitude as human object relations I think this is a path that was never taken could have been taken think of it as a kind of combination of Heidegger and Whitehead you’ve got Heidegger is withdrawn ungraspable being and you’ve got whiteheads Kozma world in which all relations are on the same footing the human world relation is just a special case of the collision of two rocks or a sand grain dropping on the table it’s not some poignant tragic human fate that we are finite it’s the fate of all objects relations never exhaust objects you cannot define objects in terms of their relations or their effects now that saw Manso everything can be mathematize man so even says without without irony that he believes he can deduce absolute and eternal truths he puts absolute maternal in quotation marks the always subtract rotation marks when people put them around key terms they mean them they just are trying to distance themselves from the full consequences NASA thinks he’s deducing absolute eternal truths by mathematical means so you have mathematician you also have scientism more and more in the Continental tradition and ray brosseuk was probably the first to try this and the main difference of course between mathematics and science is Amira scientistic philosopher you can’t really claim to have direct access to the absolutes in the straightforward sense that mathematic mathematic philosophers can form a it’s one thing for Mayo so to say he has absolute access to the primary qualities of things with mathematical formalization all right I don’t agree with him but he can claim this if you’re a Brasi a you can’t really say this because scientific theories change over time theories are always giving might other theories and so it’s hard to claim that you ever have the final theory of anything the way people try to deal with this is by getting into what they call structural realism which is to say yeah the theory has changed but there’s a mathematical core that stays the same over time so some of Newton’s mathematical insights are preserved in Einstein and and so forth so it mathematics is used as the eternal and absolute supports of science which is always failing always being falsified

always evolving so one one consequence of this scientistic view of continental philosophy is it turns into a taxonomy a division of labor it says Natural Sciences deal with reality and there’s also illusions and literature and arts in history deal with that by the division of labor very bad division of labor as though science never deals with illusions and as though these other fields never deal with realities it shouldn’t be a taxonomy it should simply be that all of reality has these two phases there’s the reality withdraws from us there’s the reality insofar as it becomes present to us but you can’t say that’s more or less true and the Natural Sciences than it is in the arts literature or any of these other fields now our brass e8 distinguishes following Wilfrid Sellars between the scientific image and the manifest image scientific image is what the scientists tell us about ourselves which is that we’re just a bunch of neurons or even smaller things and that all the things we learn from introspection about ourselves like our personalities and our moods and emotions and all these things these can be eliminated in favor of the according to some people eliminated in favor of the scientific discourse that explains us that reduces that human level of us to the underlying scientific level brassia actually goes along with sellers and saying we shouldn’t tends to agree that we shouldn’t reduce either level to the other but the scientific image is always privileged for these people now there’s a problem with this there’s a couple of problems with this one of the problems is that the scientific image and the manifest image are both images and so we have a philosophy that looks like the most hard-nosed scientist ik philosophy there is and yet what it does is it says all that exists in the world are images there’s two kinds there’s the scientific kind which are good there’s the manna-fest kind which are bad and what we need to do is find criteria so we can eliminate the manifest image and find the the underlying scientific image which usually turns out to be very boring like when you find this in Churchland that for example that some the manifest image is to say somebody’s depressed and the scientific image is to say they have a chemical imbalance in their brain but I don’t I don’t know why you need a whole scientistic metaphysics to account for that we can already do that psychiatrists already do that there’s that duality Dziedzic has some sympathy of course for people like Metzinger and these other neuro philosophers but for him it’s only as part of a parallax right because for procedure act there’s this irreducible parallax between ourselves as we know our cells through introspection and the fact that there’s nobody home and the gray matter behind the skull it’s not that he privileges either of those it’s that he finds and undecidability between those two anyway the problem of course with brassia is that philosophy becomes the hand made of the Natural Sciences just like philosophy was the hand made of theology and little agents in fact there’s a sense of which the sciences and sometimes politics I would say are replacing theology at the center of all these humanistic disciplines they have to be the ultimate result of all of our work otherwise they’re worthless just like theology was in the high points of all these disciplines in the Middle Ages and what we find however is that a lot of the most innovative scientists don’t want this they don’t want us to be their hand mates they don’t want philosophers to serve them and I know at least two great recent examples one of them is Carlo Rovelli who said in an interview with collapse which is a very scientistic we minded publication in Carnival philosophy that uh philosophers should stop trying to limp along after the scientists and explain what the scientists have already done when I jump out ahead and take risks and then it documental last summer I met Anton Zeilinger the Austrian physicist and he said the problem he has talking with philosophers is they’re too timid they don’t want to say anything about the real worlds because they’re they’re worried that the sciences have already cornered the markets on an animate matter and philosophers don’t think they have anything to add about this but if you think about the role of Leibniz in math for Einsteins physics there was a time when when physicists really took these sorts of speculations seriously when they were inspired by them and this can happen again and so it’s important that we stop ghettoizing philosophy either in the human realm or in the realm of the relation between human and world and start being able to talk about any interaction between any two objects at all even if they’re chemicals not in order to replace science but in order to speculate alongside science and perhaps service inspiration if we’re lucky so anyway the scientific image is still an image which makes means that it’s still a form of idealism if all you have are the scientific images and the manifest images you can be as rigorous sounding as you want about reducing all the manifest world to the scientific images but you’re still you still wash in a world of images there’s nothing deeper than the images and brascia complains for example that phenomenology tries to he says phenomena would just claim that science wants to reduce all experience to this micro physical level but actually phenomenology is reductionist phenomenology tries to reduce science to everyday experience and say that it’s grounded it may be true of phenomenology but it misses the points the point is not that we’re trying to reduce science to everyday experience the point is that both science and everyday experience are abstractions of something deeper this point comes up in Heidegger for example Heidegger has this famous tool analysis the hammer which I and being in time which i think is the most important moment in 20th century philosophy widely recognized by many people as such but often misinterpreted this idea of course is that against famine ology which talks about appearances everything should be described in in exact detail as to how it appears to consciousness Heidegger simply points that most things did not appear in consciousness most of the things we deal

with are unconscious the floor in this room that you didn’t think up until I mentioned it’s the air the oxygen in the air which actually in Sasuke I do I do think of it because it’s very hard to breathe here walking up from the low end but under normal circumstances you don’t think of the oxygen you don’t think of your bodily organs as long as they’re functioning well if you’re listening to a language you know well you don’t think of the grammar consciously all that stuff is in the backgrounds okay very interesting point he makes that the phenomena are derivative of this deeper layer of unconscious reality the problem is this is read too often in pragmatist terms people read this is meaning that Heidegger shows that all theory is grounded in practice before we theorize anything or look at anything there’s this background of practices they’re sometimes called social practices so Hubert Dreyfus is the most popular commentator on Heidegger in terms of number of citations reads it in sociological terms he says what this means is the Japanese babies and American babies are raised differently and so they perceive the world differently it’s a problem with this which is that practical use of things doesn’t exhaust them any more than staring at them does so any more than theory does so if you have a theory about this chair whatever that would be here if you look at the chair your abstract increa of the chair because the chair is withdrawn from all those perceptions the chair is deeper than any possible perception we have of it if you’re abstracting from that when you do when you do that you’re also abstracting when you sit in the chair by sitting in the chair I’m not exhausting all of its features either a dog could smell things in the chair that I cannot smell a mosquito can detect perhaps electromagnetic vibrations coming off the chair or whatever mosquitoes do mosquito has some access to the chair that I don’t and so forth so you cannot say that either practical or theoretical dealings with things exhaust them and this I think is the real inside of Heidegger that needs to be pushed even a step further so first of all what Heidegger is really showing us is not the the praxis is deeper than theory but that objects are deeper than both practice and theory those are both forms of abstraction and you have to push it one step further which strikes some people as crazy and say that this is true of all relations it’s not just the human praxis in human theory has this special tragic fate of oversimplifying things of reducing things the translations or caricatures of their true being this is the case with any any interaction at all I mentioned the fire and cotton example from Islamic philosophy the fire is not interacting with the whole of the cotton and vice-versa there’s always a limited interaction between things and so this is why I said that Kant’s the problem with kana is not that he had things in themselves with that he did not he did not push the things in themselves far enough he did not push them into the inanimate realm where if we do that we’ll find that causation can never occur directly you fire and caught the fire cannot touch cotton completely that means fires not really touching cotton fires touching an image of cotton so you get what I call vicarious causation in direct causation it’s not just that people sometimes complain about representational ism in philosophy that I can’t see the microphone directly I’m seeing a representation I think that’s actually true but it goes further than that it’s that the microphone on the table can’t encounter each other directly the microphone on the table have to interact through a caricature of each other and so any two real objects have to be mediated by what I call a central object there are two kinds of objects the real is mediated by the central the central is mediated by the real which is even easier to see I’m not seeing the full being of the microphone I’m not seeing the full being of the glass these are images what be the eights the two images it’s obviously me as a real entity that is encountering both simultaneously otherwise they have no relation to each other I’m the mediator for these and this is the mediator between me and the real microphone and you have to universalize this so it’s not just about humans so already we’re getting a strange sort of realism and this means that the real cannot be accessed directly all of these mathematic and scientistic versions of Canon or philosophy that are becoming so popular these days hinge on being able to have a privileged mathematical or scientific access to reality and it’s succeeding to some extent because cotton or philosophy has been so anti science and sort of a weak way for so long that the return of the repressed the mathematics and science are coming up and getting more status than they deserve perhaps because I think in direct access to reality is perhaps even more powerful and more importance and I hold that you cannot paraphrase the real you cannot paraphrase the real by by trying to turn it into us into some set of properties that corresponds to that real more about that in a second but I do think that unlike the sciences which are under pressure to paraphrase things in my paraphrase I mean electron is just a nickname for all the facts that we known about electron right now electron is not something over above all those facts that’s there to be a typical way of looking at science the truth electron has the following 54 features probably not even that many six and that defines what an electron is an electron is nothing more than a nickname for all the features it has the sciences are under pressure to do that because the sciences are under pressure not to posit hidden entities behind what can be measured of them but if you think about the arts the visual arts and literature this exactly the opposite pressure is it work you’re not going to literary critics are known for a long time that you cannot paraphrase a poem you cannot state the meaning of a poem in prose terms that exactly replicates exactly translate without information loss what the poem means you try to do this you’ll find that it’s impossible there’s a

certain excess a certain surplus in the poem that is non-discursive that cannot be brought into the realm of propositional discursive statements in the case of artworks you would not unless you’re doing it as a deliberate Taoist exercise you’re not going to go into an art gallery and replace each of the words of the type to prose description that there used to be a painting here by Picasso and this is what he meant by it this is what he was trying to do by it this would be a very clumsy maneuver unless you were doing it deliberately and then it’s a more complicated structure already that would have to be analyzed that’s why I wrote a notebook for document two last year called the third table what I was doing there there’s this famous set of lectures by Eddington the physicist who verified Einstein’s general relativity with his Eclipse observations this is what made Einstein world famous and Eddington then went on to give the Gifford lectures in Edinboro in which he talked about two tables there are two tables here he said not one there’s the scientific table which is mostly empty space and it’s just particles swimming around it’s not really a solid thing at all and it’s multiple it’s made up of all these parts and then there’s the practical table which is the table that we use the table that we put stuff on and use in practical terms my claim in this essay was that neither of those is the real table the real table is the third table in between those two extremes you cannot reduce the table to the physical particles of which it’s made because the table can endure even if the particles change you also cannot reduce the tables of the use that’s made of it because they use can change and in some sense it’s still the same table so you have to get at the third table you cannot get at the third table by direct means because the only direct means for describing the table or to talk about what it’s made of or to talk about what it does and neither of those gets it what the table is because the table is more than what it’s made of and the table is less than what it does because I can always do other things than the ones it’s doing now and I held in this note in this the less a that’s the the arts are more aware of this already you’re not going to do either of the extremes in the arts you’re not going to say my my sculpture is composed of 74% marble 20% such-and-such and 5% you know would you lose it as an artwork then unless that’s part of the artwork which is again a more complicated you might imagine an orbit that structure that way but in most cases no you’re also not going to say this artwork is identical to my feelings about it or to your feelings about it or it’s the way it’s currently positioned in this gallery right now it’s something more than that it’s something that that’s durable that can be moved around to different shows that can sustain different interpretations I’d say the better the artwork is the more interpretations it can sustain you know literature I would guess that Hamlet can sustain a lot more interpretations than Batman because he’s a richer character precisely because he’s less reducible the different things that could be said about him and interestingly enough there are two senses of critique that mean exactly the opposite thing and this is what Hegel calls the speculative words right that have opposite senses in German I think these do about the critique also certainly in English as the two opposite senses and I think in German also critique on the one hand convene a reductive Enterprise by critique you either reducing a thing to its underpinnings and saying you know you you think there’s a God but actually it’s just your class interests that are speaking through you and it’s superstition and it’s your rationality so that’s a kind of critique of religion you’re reducing it to its underpinnings you can also critique a thing by saying it’s just a series of effects the example I use this morning was somebody says there’s a witch in the village and you can say no no there’s no witch there’s just all these five or six coincidental things that make people think there’s a witch there’s a baby that died suddenly and blood on a doorstep and poison in the well and and somebody heard laughter at night from over the rooftops and then you combine all these things together and say oh it’s a witch actually there’s not a witch you’re critiquing it by saying oh that’s just a series of effects that are not related that’s one kind of critique where you’re debunking something and saying it’s not real all that’s there are the pieces or all that’s there are the effects that’s the usual sense of critique but there’s the other sense of critique that I think is much more interesting which is wine criticism art criticism literary criticism theater criticism where you’re doing exactly the opposite where you’re not reducing the work you’re trying to get at the work and directly let me start with wine criticism Daniel Dennett’s one of the most reductionist philosophers live from the analytic tradition has this passage in one of his essays where he mocks wine tasting and he give us the example of a flamboyant and velvety Pinot but lacking in stamina very funny example alright this could be completely pretentious some want to be wine critic talking like this there’s always that risk but what Denon wants to do instead is pour the wine in the top of the Machine that analyzes it chemically and spits out the chemical formula though the worst kind of reductive wine criticism this isn’t going to tell you anything about the wine it’s a gift to do good wine criticism you need the poetic sense you need to be able to use the adjectives and yes it can lead to pretentious crap sometimes but that there is a difference between good and bad wine critics just as between good and bad critics in any fields and with experience you gradually learn this there’s no foolproof method for knowing who the good ones are with the bad ones are but critique can also mean this kind of respect for the intermediate media realm without breaking it down it’s the opposite sense of critique the one that I prefer all right now moving on here there’s a guy named Lee braver who’s a continental philosopher in the United States and he’s written a wonderful book because it’s so exactly wrong called a thing of this world of history of continental

anti-realism actually in one sense it’s right it’s right because he says cotton or philosophy up till now has been an anti realist philosophy and he celebrates this that’s the part that’s wrong he celebrates this and says it’s great problem is by the end of his book you don’t know where to go next because by Chapter nine or whatever it is Derrida is so thoroughly destroyed realism you can’t do it any more it seems like the end of history philosophy has come to an end with Derrida there’s nowhere to go this this linear progression towards less and less realism has ended okay that’s one thing about the book another interesting thing about the book is he he says realism is an ambiguous term even in philosophy and of course it has different meanings and arts in politics and mathematics even in philosophy it’s a mess to try to know exactly what’s meant by it so braver makes a list of six things that realism means and the most basic one is that there’s a world outside of the mind independent of us all right fine but there’s there’s also one that I don’t think necessarily belongs to realism which is that this thing outside the mind can be known that seems to me to be an added bonus thesis isn’t necessary and he misses the seventh he misses the all-important seventh which is that object object relations must be on the same footing as human object relations human object relations cannot be at the center of philosophy like they were four counts and onward and even from a asou again their two sides the cons I can’t member would I mention this in this lecture already earlier today but I’ll say it again the two sides the con one is that there’s this there these things in themselves we cannot grasp because we’re finite that’s one side of count that’s the side that German idealism reverses that’s decided that made us who wants to reverse his book is called after finitude because he thinks that’s that’s horrible we can get absolute knowledge that’s the side master wants to reverse I think you can’t reverse that side I think there’s the finitude is always there what you can reverse is the human world priority so that in a continent framework there’s no way to talk about two billiard balls colliding in themselves you have to say what is it like for us when two blue balls collide if is a phenomenon for us cause and effect is a category of the understanding four counts and so you can’t say that the two billiard balls really interact outside of us at all I think that’s the site that needs to be reversed and that’s why I said German realism not German idealism this kind of global theory of things withdrawing from each other and interacting only indirectly all right I would say actually the Whitehead reverses both of those in the tour too that’s why their philosophy is very different they try to reverse the finitude and they also try to reverse the Amman world priority okay so I hold that objects are the starting point of philosophy because I hope that they’re the real is there for high daguerreian reasons I hold that the real withdrawals behind any of its present hand configurations any of the way it appears to us and not just the way it appears to us in theory or praxis but the way objects appear to each other in their relations that there’s something deeper there’s a surplus in the things why do I talk about objects why don’t I just talk about an undifferentiated lump that the human mind carves into objects as lovey now sometimes says as younger plants see sometimes says as even Metzinger says men see Metzinger this hard-nosed philosopher of neuro philosophy says that in itself the world is a quasi liquid allistic network which fine that’s a fine idea but I can’t imagine that someone like Messing or a hardcore scientific eliminative astiz saying something like this the world is a quasi liquid a holistic network without objects in it it’s it’s not your old-fashioned philosophy of science the world as a whole it only gets carved up later by our concepts you know Barracks own says things I this you won’t expect Metzinger to say it’s okay so objects is the starting point of philosophy individual objects already articulated withdraw from the relations this in itself is not a completely new idea because Austrian philosophy from Brentano through my normative Adamski up through who Cyril already took objects to be the central theme of philosophy why well because philosophy is supposed to be universal supposed to be able to talk about everything an object seemed to them like the most universal thing you can talk about you can talk about real objects imaginary objects square circles centaurs and unicorns any of these things count as objects in a certain sense and now we’ve got Tristan Garcia coming in French philosophy the young young French philosopher in his early 30s who publishes his huge book in English early next year it’s already out in French for male je and he comes very much from this standpoint post mine only in philosophy that everything is an object and to be analyzed as a flat ontology on the same level okay so why would anyone object to this if it’s so obvious that objects are the most universal theme and talking about objects allows you to talk about material clumps about armies about mountains about the EGS about square circles and unicorns in all you talk about anything why would you object to that there are really only two ways you can object to that and both of these ways have recurred throughout the history of philosophy there’s what’s called undermining and there’s what’s called over mining and there’s their combination which I call dual mining so a very quick tour the history of philosophy here just a few minutes what what happens at the beginning of Western philosophy and Western science the pre-socratics is that they’re not taking seriously intermediate everyday objects like horses and tables and trees and houses these are all made of something more fundamental this is how philosophy and physics is born in the West what’s the first answer the first thing is that the first principle of everything is water in theories water is what everything is composed of why because there’s moisture in your breath living things need water water covers most of the Earth’s etc etc water is the first

principle of everything annik simony his disciples that it has to be air that air something by condensing air very tightly you get all the hard things like bone and metal and bloods and the by expanding air you get fire and so it rises because it’s lighter than air then you have of course you can meet hierarchal itis as saying fire aristotle wonders why no one ever used earth as the first principle that was never tried then you get finally in pedicle eise who’s the really the founder of the tradition of the so called traditional for Greek elements air earth fire and water mix by love and hates his motivation for having four is that you can’t say for example that water is the principle of everything because then fire would have to be made of water and that’s the opposite fire made of water would quench itself so they need to be these four equal primordial elements joined by love separated by hates and then finally you have the atomists the atomists to say that everything’s actually even less specific than that it’s a bunch of particles tiny particles moving through the voids and of course this is still very respectable today in scientific materialism theory of atoms has been acceptable again since the early 20th century even late 19th century after a long period of oblivion so that’s one kind of pre-socratic philosophy they’re saying that individual objects of the medium size are not real you have to get down to this tiny layer of tiny particles whether it’s air earth fire water all of and combines or atoms but there’s another kind of pre-socratic philosopher that says even all those things are too specific because whatever is primordial must allow everything to emerge from it everything we see and this is what they call the optimum I don’t have a marker I don’t think that everything emerges from and passes back into and the debate here is what is the status of this up here on in time did it exist in the past does it exist now will it exist in the future so you’ve got some philosophers who think that there was an au pair own there was this individual infinite unarticulated lump at the beginning of time and it broke into pieces somehow to give us all the objects we see in for Pythagoras this happened when it inhaled void it sucked in and this created bubbles and it split the world up into individual things in the case of an X address it was because a very powerful mind started thinking and started rotating the op heroine very rapidly it started vibrating it started breaking into pieces and that’s why we have individual objects then you’ve got Parmenides or things it’s here now we calls a being being is not being is not so why do we see all these individual things our senses are deceiving us if you use reason if you use the logos you’ll see there’s everything’s one and Zeno’s paradoxes are in many ways designed to support this theory this motion cannot happen because of the following paradoxes change cannot happen and then you’ve got Anaximander the first of the ap1 theorists who says it will exist in the future the existence of opposites such as hot and cold justice and injustice rich and poor these will be eliminated over time gradually and you’ll end up with this indeterminate whole that doesn’t have any properties in particular and this this was probably an influence on Marx and the the end of the class structure over time since Marx did write his his PhD thesis on these early Greek philosophers and knew them very well so that is also around today scientific materialism follows this one kind of pre-socratic that breaks things down to particles and that’s very respectable today but on the other end we have these philosophies of the pre individual like C model or the early letting us people who think that there was this inarticulate thing that somehow got broken up or it’s a pre individual thing anyway it might not be fully homogeneous lump but it’s a pre individual thing it’s before individuals are articulated so you see both of these today these are both undermining kinds of philosophy as far as the other kinds over mining undermining theories you tend to see them in the sciences over mining theories you tend to see them in the amenities these are the ideas if undermining says objects are too shallow objects are so shallow how could you believe in horses and trees obviously there are smaller things that they’re made of objects are too shallow the over mining theories say objects are too deep why do you need a theory of objects there’s just events so there’s just language or there’s just appearances or there’s just networks of power relations or there’s any any mathematize ations that’s all there really exists there’s this surface that’s not hidden from us it’s accessible to us these are the over mining theories the theory that you don’t need to go deeper than appearances do this something is already imminent to us all the philosophies of imminence there is so popular now are over mining theories Bergson’s matter and memory in which everything that exists is an image that’s a kind of over mining theory and so that’s the exact opposite in some ways let’s go over to a tour promoters idea my favorite living philosopher but still I disagree with him completely on this point so idea the thing is nothing more than its actions there is no thing hidden behind its actions a thing is nothing more than whatever it transforms modifies perturbs or creates there’s a prop there’s problem the problem with the undermining theory I holds is that it cannot explain emergence since it’s reducing everything to the tiniest stuff of widgets Bilt’s it cannot explain the fact that things are robust to some extent to changes in their pieces the atoms are leaving your

body constantly and being replaced by new atoms from the food you’re eating doesn’t mean you’re a different person does it just because you lose a few atoms here and there would make no sense to call you a different person it would make no sense to call the EGS a different institution every time somebody leaves or arrives you know lightness didn’t think the Dutch East India Company was a real entity because it’s an aggregate made of different parts why isn’t the Dutch East India Company every bit as real as an atom it didn’t last as long but it had a certain durability you know could some of the ships could sink and it could replace them it’s still the Dutch East India Company within certain limits that can come a point at which a thing changes too much but within certain limits a thing can withstand certain changes and its internal pieces but a thing can also withstand changes in the effects it has in its environment if I move myself one metre back for the rest of you you’re not going to say I’m a different person that does follow though from theories like the tours and whiteheads because everything is a giant relational network and as soon as you change your place in the network you’ve changed completely the problem with over mining philosophies is that they cannot explain change i old aristotle already saw this if i am nothing more than my effect on all of you right now and the effect of my family members who are thinking of me my effect on the atmospheric oxygen now and my banking things going on if I’m nothing more than my effect on those other things how can I be different five minutes from now or a year from now or ten years from now there must be something in me that’s a surplus that is not fully inscribed in my current actuality that is not fully expressed it might never be expressed maybe maybe I’m really really good at something and I don’t maybe I’m the best marksman I’ve never fired a gun in my life maybe I’m the best marksman and I’ve never tried it will never try it and so I’ll never activate this side of me but it could be there as a surplus that is not expressed now or in any past period of my life so that’s the problem of both of these undermining an over mining and these are basically the only two strategies for getting rid of objects you either say objects are too shallow or they’re too deep those the only two things you can say to critique it the funny thing is that these two usually enter into conspiracy with each other they support each other their parasitical off of each other because they need each other so give some examples scientific materialism looks like an undermining theory because it says this stuff isn’t real you have to go down to the tiniest level of small particles or mathematical structure so it seems like the thing is so deep in an inaccessible deeper than anything we can see it’s an undermining gesture but then it reverses because it says those things aren’t unknowable they’re totally mathematize abode science can tell us what the equations are for these things and so it comes back up to the surface where it’s knowable it because comes back to the human level where we can understand where we can master it to knowit’s and so what’s getting destroyed in that case is the intermediate level of real things all you have is the bottom level structure and the upper level structure or humans are talking about things in mathematical terms that’s one example lady Minh and Ross I’ve written a critical article of on James lady linens on Ross on the one hand are uncompromising scientistic philosophers they say that all that exists is mathematical structure at the bottom of everything all the objects you see don’t really exist in the usual sense that’s an undermining philosophy but then they have to account for why things exist that aren’t physics like geology they respect all the sciences so how does geology exist if it’s not talking about particles how does biology exist if it’s not talking about particles and any other science they even say there could be a science of traffic jams if somebody did it the right way okay how can how can a science of traffic jams exist if traffic jams aren’t just particles they come up with this weird theory that says well traffic jams do exist in mountains do exist in frogs do exist but only for the scientists they emerge simultaneously with the scientists and in that sense these objects exist at a level for us but they’re still independent of us they claim because they’re outside of us they’re not inside of our minds they never explain how that’s the case those are two kinds of what I call dual mining another case will be looked for because the tour as I said is the wonderful philosopher of relational networks where thing is nothing more than its effects when you move a thing to a different point in a network you have to explain why it’s the same thing as the thing five nights ago had a different place in the network you can’t assume that I now and I ten years ago I’m the same person in an actor network theory you have to show there’s an equivalence so that’s a very much an over mining philosophy that a thing is totally determined by its its effects on the environment but then the tour starts to realize in the last 10 years or so that you can’t really explain change this I mentioned it was Aristotle who discovered this Aristotle was arguing against the megarians who Ramon his rivals at the time the Megerian said no one has a house builder unless they’re building a house right now if you’re not building a house right now you’re not a house builder you only are what you actually are there’s an obvious problem with this which is let’s say a master house builder is asleep and someone else is awake who doesn’t know anything about building houses you’re not going to say that they’re on the same level right you’re going to say that the sleeping master house builder is a potential house builder in much stronger sense than this person who doesn’t know anything about it who happens to be awake and standing near the house so Aristotle saw there had to be something called potentiality that is withdrawn from the current state of things I wouldn’t call potentiality but that’s a side issue Latorre starts to realize that you need this – you need a reservoir and the things he even calls it virtuality sometimes it’s in the

things that’s not fully actualized here and now but then it gets a little weird he calls this the plasma and he he blames the plasma for all changes that happen pretty much he says why did the Soviet Union collapsed overnight with no one expecting it the plasma plasma was this ultimate sized reservoir of potentiality of virtuality beneath the Soviet Union that we saw even if even if the Soviet Union had been working perfectly this plasma could have ruptured it suddenly okay why do love affairs and friendships break up suddenly when no one expects it the plasma and my favorite slide is the most mediocre academic musician suddenly write a brilliant symphony I don’t know if it happened ever but the plasma and he says that all the networks between things are the size of the London Underground’s the plasma is the size of London as a whole but it’s just the Opera again it’s this giant indeterminant lump there are two problems with it one of them is that all situations would seem to be equally fragile and non fragile if the plasma can randomly rupture things then the most stable relationship could be destroyed by the plasma just as much as the most fragile relationship which is counterintuitive the other thing is that the plasma is inarticulate it’s the same plasma that’s destroying the Soviet Union and causing the composition of a brilliant symphony which also seems counterintuitive the same underground inarticulate reservoir that Wells up and changes things Garcia this is up-and-coming young French philosopher whose book is coming out next year we’re very close in many ways intellectually but he says that that I talked about the third table that’s neither it’s it’s pieces nor its environmental banks Garcia says the table is the difference between those two it’s the difference between its pieces and its effects the problem with that is that means it’s oversensitive in both directions that means the table changes if it’s atoms change or if its position changes so there really isn’t a table there’s just a thing that’s hypersensitive to both its internal and its external components these are all kinds of dual mining and you know Heidegger talks about presence at hand area talks about presence Mansu of our correlation isms the great enemies in the history of philosophy I think the greatest enemy in the history of philosophy is dual mining this idea that you lose the things by reducing them in both direction simultaneously the thing is nothing but it’s particles and it’s nothing but its effects you lose the thing itself and philosophy was meant as an attack on this as my argument philosophia means love of wisdom it means you’re never getting at the thing you’re getting closer to the thing you love the thing you’re getting at wisdom Socrates never defines what virtue is he asked for the definition but he never gets one you’re approaching it somehow but you cannot explain a thing either by decomposing it into its elements or by talking about how it affects other people philosophy is trying to get at that third table it’s trying to get it philosophy and I would say the arts this is their hidden union both are trying to get at the third table that cannot be paraphrased they’re both they’re both activities that deny the possibility of paraphrase if they’re if they’re done well so this requires an indirect approach to objects and the usual complaint is oh this is just negative theology you’re just saying you know we can’t know anything about the table so you the negative theologies of God where you’re saying God is not physical God is not evil guys no it’s not really a negative theology it’s a no it’s an indirect theology and it’s not even a theology but if it were it would be an indirect theology that you’re talking about things indirectly whether through metaphor through rhetoric through strategic silences this has been known a long time this is not some crazy new idea this has been known for example in the study of rhetoric in ancient times Aristotle tells us what rhetoric is rhetoric is about saying something without saying it you’re not saying it directly you’re hinting you’re saying his famous example is this man has already been crowned three times with laurel wreaths in greece you didn’t have to say because he won the Olympics three times and we always give this prize the winners of the Olympics because all Greeks knew this would have been treating them as stupid to state it at that time Marshall McLuhan treats media as rhetorical in this sense that the the fact that there’s a good or bad television show is unimportant compared with the fact that it’s television are not radio it’s altering your ratios of sense perception it’s influencing you in a background way so in a sense television is more important than the content of any given television show just the way that it’s influencing you from the background so there’s that rhetorical aspects i’ve often referred to the example of the godfather making you an offer you can’t refuse which is far scarier than spelling out the threats right saying if you don’t give my friend the part in the movie I’m going to cut off your horse’s head and throw it in your beds which is grotesque and grisly but it’s not somehow not as frightening because you can counter that threat in various ways if it’s too specific it’s better to leave it vague metaphor also is this has been known by a number of critics cannot be paraphrased in discursive terms you could not say here’s what this metaphor means any attempt to paraphrase it is doomed to fail because there’s always a surplus and the metaphor a surplus in any artwork that is going to elude that sort of prosaic description and so this is another way in which all of these examples of indirect communication into indirect access are better examples for philosophy than mathematize amour sciencism which claimed to be able to replace a thing either with the math eeeem mathematize double formula or with scientific discovery okay now very

quickly we’re doing okay right another five minutes just to wrap up then there have been three schools of philosophy perhaps that have avoided this dual mining by focusing on the reality of individual things the first of course being Aristotle’s where he’s the first to say that the the primary substance is an individual thing that was risky because eros thought was the first to say that the primary substance is destructible for all these earlier philosophers in the pre-socratics we think that water is the primary thing water cannot be destroyed atoms cannot be destroyed Plato’s perfect forms cannot be destroyed Aristotle was the first to say that the ultimate constituents of reality can be the story you’ve got horses they can be killed in the bodies can rots so individual things of the primary reality for Aristotle and for his followers such as lightness and scholastics the problem being that Aristotle tends to privilege natural things around natural so that you can you Aristotle especially lighten its lightness says a person is a thing but a circle of people holding hands is not a thing the Dutch East India Company is not a thing a weird example a diamond is a thing but a pair of diamonds glued together is not a real thing it’s strange because even one diamond takes a lot of work it’s very artificial to polish it and cut it the right way so that’s the problem with that school in my opinion is that Aristotle cannot account for compound objects or artificial objects technological things social objects such as armies countries societies all of these things friendships then you’ve got Latour and Whitehead that’s Orion Whitehead are a bit broader they’re able to account for any kind of entity including artificial ones including very large ones including imaginary ones but they tend to over relation eyes things they boil things down to the relational effects they have on other things don’t see this surplus that’s there then finally this phenomenology and I’ll talk very quickly about the two kinds of objects I mentioned Heidegger already that he’s trying to say there’s something deeper than phenomena can access there’s a deeper reality a deep object this was drawn from the surface of appearances but there’s also who Cyril who even though he does look like an idealist who does look like there’s nothing beyond the appearances does make a decisive breakthrough in the history of philosophy against empiricism and Pyrrhus ism tells us that there are no objects in experience there’s just qualities there’s attributes that can bundle together by habits so there’s not an apple in your hand there’s red cold sweet hard juicy spherical and because I see those things come together so often I say oh I’m going to invent a nickname called Apple which is shorthand for all these attributes but really it’s just habit it makes me think that there’s thing called an apple that’s it’s there in the same all the time phenomenology totally overturns this it reverses it it says the thing comes first in the attributes comes second revolutionary step why because fulsol notices that you don’t turn the Apple on your hand and say here’s a series of closely connected appearances that resemble the one of a millisecond ago therefore it’s probably the same thing of a series of appearances that link them all together no you don’t say that you say this is the same Apple and I’m seeing different parts of it at a given time and the whole point of phenomenology is to analyze each appearance and figure out which of those qualities can be dispensed with and which of those qualities are essential which of the qualities are essential to the thing so you have these central objects in literal that have central qualities but they also have real qualities because they have qualities that they need in order to be what they are the Apple doesn’t need to be seen from precisely this angle but there are certain features it needs in order to be an apple you can’t explode it into a million pieces since the leatherby an apple for example this there was a certain physical integrity to give one example so you’ve got Heidegger’s real objects which your hidden you’ve got us whose rules what I he calls them intentional objects I call them sensual objects it’s a better name which do not exist outside of our access to them because I can analyze in from analogy I can analyze a unicorn that appears in my hallucinations I can analyze myths and and delusions and these sorts of things so you have two kinds of objects and also two kinds of qualities because the real object also has its real qualities I want progress on the board you can read my book the quadruple objects if you want to see these diagrams but there ends up being a tension between the two kinds of objects the two kinds of qualities and I argue in the book that this is where time-space essence innate also generated from there generated from these are not pre-existing continua they are generated by the tensions between objects and their qualities and so whereas most kinds of philosophy try to collapse differences tries to collapse a real thing it’s just a series of appearances or it tries to collapse an apple into its attributes that we can see object-oriented philosophy is about examining the tension between all objects and their qualities so polarizing things it’s about playing with those and seeing what happens when the thing is in tension with its qualities when it cannot be reduced to them now I also should have said that one of the implications of high tahir’s theory since things withdraw from each other I did say this the beginning since things withdraw from each other you wonder how they can make contact at all right and the classical solution for philosophies that think objects can’t make direct contact is what’s called occasional ism it’s to say that God it enables the contact this started in Islamic theology where some of the rather extreme conservatives held that it’s not just blasphemous to say that other things are creators besides God it’s also blasphemous to say anything as a causal agent other than God so it’s perfect to say that I pick up this glass it’s blasphemy because only God can be

the causal source of everything and so my touching the school seeming to touch this glass is simply the occasion for God to raise the glass this was originally an Islamic position brought into European philosophy because of Descartes because of the distinction between the two substances the physical and the mental how could they possibly touch each other they can’t unless is coordinating the two there’s not really a body body problem for date cards it’s a mind-body problem the body body is okay for Descartes because he thinks of it as one giant physical thing there’s not only gaps there but malla branches great disciple in France also brings God back in for body body interactions all right now you might laugh at this you might say hey this is very quaint but nobody in the Western world really believes that God is intervening and picking up water glasses and things like this what’s the point this kind of thing that undergraduate students make fun of when they learn about it all right fine actually some of my students in Egypt do hold to some version of occasional in the Western world it’s true that nobody does for the most parts but notice that we still believe in a version of this we still think that they’re the problem with occasional ism isn’t that it’s God and we’re all enlightened intellectuals or shouldn’t believe in gods the problem with occasional ism is that it gives one entity a monopoly on causation god we do the same thing that with the human minds look at human counts what does causation for humans I had it it’s customary conjunction of things we can’t say there’s cause and effect outside the minds we see things happening habitually the same way over and over and over again and so we assume that there’s a causal link between them even though there isn’t that’s humans version conversion is to say that cause and effect as a category the understanding we can’t say that it exists outside the understanding so in a way these are upside on occasion lists human cons who are still considered sober figures and you can go get a job in a philosophy department at a university saying I believe humans right about everything or I believe condos right about everything you know if you were to say I believe Spinoza is literally right about everything they might look at you funny you’re like nuts but with human count we enter to some extent the contemporary period of philosophy because you can still literally believe those two they’re saying the same thing as the occasion lists they’re just turning it upside down and they’re saying that the human mind has a monopoly instead of gods all right Whitehead even resurrects the god parts Whitehead even says that’s that you know I’m seeing this guy’s white shirt but actually all the different colors of the rainbow were in his shirts and if I were more intelligent like God I would pretend all those colors in him instead I’m very limited in my perception pretensions and so I’m only seeing white there when there’s actually a multitude of colors so everything goes through God all the relations go through God for white head which is very bold in the 1920s to say something like this Latura though pushes it a step further that’s war who’s in many ways a an heir of whiteheads intellectually secular eise’s occasional causation he secularize is it I’ll explain what I mean Latour despite being in many ways more religious in a personal level than Whitehead was never appeals to God in his metaphysics like that the tour is never just going in and pulling God in to solve problems the way Whitehead does with relation what lets or says is that any two things are mediated by a third thing locally and his famous example from Pandora’s hope is saying who links politics with neutrons who would have thought that politics and neutrons or anything in common nobody thought that there weren’t even neutrons were not discovered until 1929 and in for a few years nobody thought they had a political connection and then finally Frederick giulio the French physicist the son-in-law of the Carrey’s said politics and neutrons are connected we need to start our atomic bomb project very fast before Hitler gets his and so he was the first at least in France to establish a connection between politics and neutrons and so the Torah says that means it wasn’t God or the human mind it was one particular person Giulio who connects politics of neutrons by showing that there’s a link there’s a big big problem here though that I mentioned in my seminar which is that if you if politics cannot touch neutrons then Wieck and Giulio touch politics and Wieck and Giulio touch neutrons you just push the problem a step back further and you can you can analyze that a bit you can say Giulio touches neutrons with a with some kind of scientific instruments how does he touch the instrument with his eyeball how does he touches eyeball with the nervous system how does Giulio touches own nervous system and the torque cuts off this infinite regress through a pragmatic strategy he says you stop when it’s no longer interesting so you can analyze it as far as it’s interesting and then you can give up whenever you want because it’s boring they ask how Giulio touches his nervous system it’s a no purely medical question the problem is that never does that doesn’t solve the problem that allows you to cut it off and not bore people but it it doesn’t solve the problem without any two things can make contact the reason this happens for the tour is because the tour has a flat ontology meaning all actors are on the same level they’re all of the same kinds there’s no difference between between a human canoe and a unicorn and Popeye and all these things are on the same level and so therefore any two actors you pick you have to put a third term in and they have to put a third term in between those and another words we know another between those and it becomes like Zeno’s paradox where you can’t walk to the door because there’s always an intermediate point between where you are on the door no matter how close you get so I say the only solution to this is to have two kinds of objects and so that objects can only touch the opposite kind of object it’s like magnets magnets cannot make contact if you touch the same poles together northern north

they’ll repel but if you link north to south and south to north and north to south and south to north you could make an infinite chain of magnets by doing it that way and I think that’s how it works with objects the real objects are mediated by the central objects central objects emulated by real ones that is the the heart of object-oriented philosophy indirect discourse such as the arts metaphor rhetoric these should be our models rather than the science we worship slavishly in the deductive mathematics we’ve worshiped slavishly in philosophy for the last 400 years Whitehead makes a very good case the deductive method is not the way for philosophy to go anyway and in this sense I think the analytic content will split not does not need to be bridged but needs to be intensified even more until it something better replaces it but for now let’s widen it let’s widen the strife widen the differences between them that’s really our only chance of getting beyond it thanks very much I probably did go a little long thanks for this thing