Harman: Prince of Networks #1

“The question is only whether we grant sufficient reality to objects when we say that a thing is not just known by what it ‘modifies, transforms, perturbs, or creates’, but that it actually is nothing more than these effects. If the pragmatism of knowledge becomes a pragmatism of ontology, the very reality of things will be defined as their bundle of effects on other things.” (95)

It is unclear for me from Harman’s writing if this is meant to be a critique or a positive observation. I have a feeling that because Harman is attempting to develop an object-oriented philosophy and not an event-based philosophy he would say it is a critique. So far this is the best comment in his book, however, so I thought I better post about it.

If you are concerned with events as constituting reality, then you begin with a concern with onto-epistemological problems. I am still reading so I am not sure if Harman goes on to argue that we can somehow know reality and discuss it in any sensible fashion without relying on assumptions of what is happening beyond its effects (what with certain qualifications Deleuze would call an ‘event’). If reality is in part consituted by the relations formed with an observer, then we cannot even know the full extent of these relations let alone the ‘objects’ we form them with!

I already have about 12 pages of notes which shall form the basis of a critical review.

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