Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review of Hyperobjects

This Morton blog post led me to a review of his new book Hyperobjects. I provide a few excerpts consonant with some of my criticism of Morton in the OOO thread (like here and here).

“Morton adopts a Heideggerian notion of world as sphere to which humans have privileged (if not exclusive) access. ‘World’, from this perspective, is a reified object which floats in a metaphysical ‘void’, immune to the extrusions of other objects and to change. This is, from my viewpoint, an extremely limiting notion of ‘world’.

“I prefer the non-metaphysical (and post-Heideggerian) conception of world developed by Jean-Luc Nancy (see my previous post on this topic). […] He is concerned with understanding how a new world can emerge without metaphysical grounding. Like Morton, Nancy suggests that the ‘event’ (like the object) ultimately ‘withholds’ itself or ‘withdraws’, leaving a strange ‘absence of presence’. It is from this ‘nothing’ that ‘world’ cultivates itself, as a form of creation-as-being. ‘World’ from this perspective, is being-with, or the direct relation of beings to one another. It has no outside, no metaphysics and no teleology. It is also the condition of ‘being-toward’ – that is, the co-constitution of plural beings – rather than a metaphysical plane in which beings are separated.”

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