Friday, November 9, 2012

More on hyperobjects and differance

Following is more from the IPS OOO thread, quoting Morton some as it relates to my recent posts in this regard with comments following. Here are some excerpts from Morton's response in Speculations to a review of his book The Ecological Thought:

"The entire Universe is what in chapter 3 I call a hyperobject, massively distributed in spacetime.... Hyperobjects are a good way to understand my concept of mesh.... In this sense the idea is Spinozan—there is really only one substance, modulated in different ways.... I believe I was careful to say that the mesh doesn’t exist apart from the entities that directly are it."

I've referenced Morton's essay before, "Materialism expanded and remixed." A few edited excerpts relevant to my latest tangent.

"The 'particle' doesn't truly exist—it's only an abstraction of a deeper reality that Bohm calls the
implicate order, 'implicate' in the sense that everything is folded into everything else. We are not really observing two particles—we are seeing an unfolding of the implicate order, which in a sense is 'one' thing in that it's undivided, but not a thing or 'one' in a more precise sense, since for 'one' to exist there must always be an other."

"Bohm argues that this must be the case with reality as such—every piece of it enfolds information about the whole. Bohm means the hologram to stand metaphorically for something far less reified... Nonlocality means that 'Here' and 'there' are superficial labels. Thus 'myself,' located here and now in spacetime, is a rather abstract generalization.... We are 'in' something (if 'in' has any meaning here) that has no center or edge. We are certainly not pieces in a jigsaw puzzle that's larger than all of us put together. This kind of view, known as holism, means that there is a whole greater than the sum of its parts. This holistic whole remains separate from its parts in some sense.... The holographic view, or implicate order, is not a view of oneness or harmony—there's nothing to become one, nothing to harmonize. Since the whole is undivided, there is nothing to compare it with: it is utterly singular, which means that it can never violently express itself as One."

"Meaninginfulness multiplies in Derridean thinking—it doesn't wither and die. Deconstruction discovers all kinds of entities appearing between or beyond or within existing metaphysical categories. Deconstruction is not destruction.... Deconstruction is not claiming that nothing means anything; deconstruction is claiming that meaning only arises because of a play of difference, not because of some intrinsic meaning. The sub-quantum level that Bohm hypothesizes is very much this play of difference."

I'm not sure of the last article's date but it does raise a few questions on the relation to Bryant's work. For example, Morton's "the particle doesn't truly exist" seems to contradict Bryant's firm statement in the absolute singularity of the smaller-scale object. It is but an implicated relation to the hyperobject, the latter being "really only one substance modulated in different ways." Bryant is particularly (pun intended) critical of that sort of monistic goo. Hence you also get Bryant's disagreement about non-locality being 'in time,' whereas for Morton it transcends time with simultaneous communication across space-time since they really aren't two distinct particles but of one thing.

Also they'd appear to disagree about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. There is no doubt for Bryant that an assemblage does indeed display properties and qualities not contained in its parts. And more so, it's substance is more than those parts. Granted he'd agree with Morton that it is not an assholon totality, but they are emergent wholes nonetheless.

Morton seems able to accept this for the undivided whole universe, itself utterly singular. But not its constituent parts? And no hyperobjects outside the universe? No other universes? At the same time Morton asserts that this singular universe is not One but is in its parts. Again, it might be the One but it is singular, meaning a one. And as a one it has boundaries, temporary as they may be. Hence time-bound differance does indeed apply to the universe and its parts.


For example, from Bryant's hyperobjects paper:

"Objects [including hyperobjects] are built out of other objects, they are emergent from other objects, yet also take on an internal structure of their own that renders them independent from or irreducible to the objects out of which they are built....larger scale objects have powers and capacities that can nowhere be found in the smaller scale objects composing the object" (92).

And from this Bryant post:

"Hyperobjects, like all objects, are internally differentiated or structured while remaining a unity."

"Remember, that according to objectological mereology that the parts of a larger scale object are themselves independent objects in their own right. This entails that they are withdrawn from the larger scale object to which they belong. In Harman’s terminology, larger scale objects only ever encounter smaller scale objects that compose them obtusely."

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