Back to Objects? Ontology in a Time of Progress Cover Image

Back to Objects? Ontology in a Time of Progress
Back to Objects? Ontology in a Time of Progress

Author(s): Radu-Cristian Andreescu
Subject(s): Social Philosophy
Published by: Editura Lumen, Asociatia Lumen
Keywords: object; ontology; humans; Anthropocene; realism;

Summary/Abstract: How could the new movements in contemporary philosophy such as speculative realism and object-oriented ontology give insight into the changes the world experienced in the last decades? We argue that a shift of paradigm inside the philosophical approach to the status of objects is symptomatic of those practical, cultural, historical, and technological issues that emerged from the decline of the modern view on subjectivity and the rise of certain realities, such as the Anthropocene, which gradually escape human control. Thus, the invasion of objects forces philosophy to surpass its post-metaphysical indifference to the outside world, that is to bring into focus the status of objects which transcend human knowledge as defined by Kant. This counter-revolution is expected to overcome the limits of human conscience imposed by the Kantian philosophy and consequently to deal with what we call the complex of Noah in transcendental idealism, namely the idea that human conscience is an ark inside which all species are apprehended by the subject, regardless of the status of the outside world. Instead of trying to conceive the subject in the absence of the outside world, contemporary philosophy steps outside the conscience in the need to grasp the objects and rather conceives the possibility of the world in the absence of human conscience. This shift brings us to the argument of ancestrality proposed by Quentin Meillassoux, namely the pre-human reality approached by today’s sciences, and also to Graham Harman’s theory of withdrawal, according to which real objects are never directly accessible. The main issue is whether human scientific knowledge could indeed enable us to grasp the objects themselves, and whether an absolute knowledge beyond finitude is possible without returning to old metaphysics.

  • Issue Year: 2/2020
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 08-21
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: English