Graham Harman on Speculative Realism

Graham Harman, American philosopher, talking about speculative realism, philosophy, natural sciences, fine art, correlational circle, object, plasma. In the lecture Graham Harman discusses the concepts of phenomenology, pre-socratics, quality, in relationship to Bruno Latour, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Heidegger, Whitehead, Deleuze, Meillassoux, focusing on surplus, materialism, idealism. Public open lecture for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe 2013 Graham Harman.

Graham Harman (born May 9, 1968) is a professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a contemporary philosopher of metaphysics, who attempts to reverse the linguistic turn of Western philosophy. Harman is associated with Speculative Realism in philosophy, which was the name of a workshop that also included the philosophers Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Quentin Meillassoux.

Central to Harman’s philosophy is the idea that real objects are inexhaustible: “A police officer eating a banana reduces this fruit to a present-at-hand profile of its elusive depth, as do a monkey eating the same banana, a parasite infecting it, or a gust of wind blowing it from a tree. Banana-being is a genuine reality in the world, a reality never exhausted by any relation to it by humans or other entities.” (Harman 2005: 74). Because of this inexhaustibility, claims Harman, there is a metaphysical problem regarding how two objects can ever interact. His solution to this problem is to introduce the notion of “vicarious causation”, according to which objects can only ever interact on the inside of an “intention” (which is also an object).

His works include Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (2002), Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures (2010), Circus Philosophicus (2010), Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012) and Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism (2013).


Categories: Rethinking The World

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