11 thoughts on “Graham Harman: Objects and the Arts

  1. When I am listening to him I realise that he speaks so fast to cover his lack of knowledge. i think people who like him have the same level of knowledge, sad but he shouldn't call himself a philosopher

  2. When he talks about under-mining and says that it cannot account for emergence, I'm not sure that I see the problem he is having. He talks about the atoms in the body changing about every seven years yet we are still the same people, but we aren't really the same people every seven years, we aren't really even the same people over shorter spans of time. Of course I don't mean that we have entirely new identities, but we are not indentical in many ways. Often there are changes in our physical appearance, state of health, what we know, and so on. Even if I look at my hands, they are quite different than they were seven years ago.

    The second part of this is that, the thing that accounts for us being the same (not entirely different) could be whatever force or process causes atoms to conglomerate in our particular selves. Unfortunately I cannot say exactly what that force or process is, I would probably defer to science to describe the process which causes our atoms to be changed.

    Another example would be a table or a house, if you change a plank of wood in a wooden house, it remains the same house, yet it is different by the quality of having the new plank, or a table having a new leg. If you replaced every plank in the house it would in fact be a new house, it would merely be constituted (theoretically) on the same model as the previous one, as well as on the same plot of land, and perhaps be given the same name (of people named their house, some people say the "______" household, etc, or give it a street number, and so on) as well as certain emotional connections we would have to the house.

    Anyone care to explain where I'm going wrong with this?

  3. The point about surrealism requiring aesthetic realism to effectively transmit its message was a good one, I think, as indeed the subject matter of, say, a Dali for instance, could not be readily conveyed through cubism. If Harman should happen to revisit this point in a future talk, he'd do well to reinforce it by alluding to the brief and disastrous impressionistic phase of Magritte, a low-point in the artist's oeuvre.

  4. An inexhaustible thing in itself, always finite in its given relations, begs to be further explored and allows for more personal, actual connection- there's always a door. It's like the William Carlos Williams "No ideas but in things" credo, still always a gap between the image and the reality.

  5. I´ve been out of uni for a few years but recently have gone back to Heidegger while reading Harman and find it very enjoyable. Thanks for the video.

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