(This is a slightly revised version of the piece I posted a few hours ago…)
I haven’t posted about the debate between object-oriented and process-relational ontologies for a while here, in part because I said I’d had enough of that debate.
But the more I read of Levi Bryant’s work — both in Democracy of Objects (which he’s kindly sent me a pre-publication version of) and on his blog — the more convinced I am that there isn’t much of a debate, at least not over fundamental and incommensurable differences, between his version of OOO and my understanding of PR ontology.
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It’s nice to see Speculative Realism capturing the attention of SF writer and all-round idea impresario Bruce Sterling – see his Speculative Realism as “philosophy fiction.” As a long-time SF lover, the idea of “philosophy fiction” has always appealed to me. Some of the best writing in the genre has been profoundly metaphysical, which is to say speculatively realist.
One little point: Process-relational philosophies have long been speculative and realist. And many of these (along with a lot of ecophilosophy of the last 25 years) reject the centrality of the human-world “correlation,” just as Quentin Meillassoux did in his 2006 book that has been so influential for the Speculative Realists (caps intended).* Whitehead’s Process and Reality is perhaps the most obvious modern example of a speculative metaphysic that is realist through and through, but there have been plenty of others. View full article »