The Object-Oriented Philosophy Symposium at Georgia Tech was a fantastic success. It was terrific to finally meet Harman, Shaviro, and Bogost. Harman gave a wonderful paper on how object-oriented philosophy relates to the history of philosophy and gave us a sneak peak on the new work he’s doing with his diagrams. For the first time I understand what he’s doing with the four-fold and I’ve discovered that our positions are much closer together than I thought. I’ll be making use of the diagrams in my own future work. They really are illuminating once you get them down and generate a number of powerful theoretical tools. I’ve especially gone away with a new appreciation of Harman’s aesthetics as first philosophy thesis. Shaviro presented an amazing paper on aesthetics, drawing heavily on Harman’s onto-aesthetic claims and his own work with Whitehead. I’m extremely sympathetic to what he’s doing with Whitehead’s aesthetic claims at the level of the ontology of objects and want to soon engage with his paper more deeply. In particular Shaviro’s paper evoked in me the question of what it would mean to think entities as capable of producing synthetic a priori change within themselves. This was not a question that Steven himself posed, but one that arose in response to his paper in my mind. I think there are all sorts of interesting and important implications here. Finally Bogost gave a rip roaring presentation on flat ontology, anti-methodology, and wonder that did a wonderful job broaching questions of how OOO would change our theoretical practices in philosophy and cultural studies. The discussions following each paper were outstanding and it was a tremendous pleasure to meet and talk with the various faculty that attended from Emory and Georgia Tech and the students. All in all I’m exhilarated with where all of this is going and am looking forward to working with these folks more in the future. Those who are interested can find my slide show here. It’s somewhat difficult to follow without the accompanying paper, but gives a taste of what I did. If you move your cursor to the bottom left-hand corner of the screen a device will come up allowing you to flip through the presentation. To start the presentation click on the title at the top of the main circle and then advance forward with the arrow that comes up in the bottom right-hand corner. With any luck we’ll be publishing the papers as a collection soon, along with the questions and discussion. From what I understand there will also be recordings of the conference posted eventually as well.

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