The Democracy of Objects is coming along at a nice clip and I should have the initial draft completed in the next couple of weeks. Right now I’m working on chapter 5, and am right around 73k words. Depending on whether or not I decide to write a chapter on space and time, the book will be six or seven chapters, coming in, I believe, around 100k words. The chapter breakdown is as follows:
Introduction– Towards a Finally Subjectless Object
1. Grounds for a Realist Ontology– Here I draw heavily on Roy Bhaskar’s arguments for transcendental realism and develop the basic framework for the structure of objects.
2. The Paradox of Substance– Drawing on Burke’s critique of substance in The Grammar of Motives I argue that the structure of substance is such that it simultaneously withdraws and self-others itself in qualities. There’s a lot here on Aristotle, Locke, and Kant as well.
3. Split Objects– This chapter develops the relationship between virtual proper being and local manifestation and draws heavily on Deleuze’s account of actualization while revising his concept of the virtual in such a way as to treat individuals as more basic than the virtual and arguing against the thesis that the virtual is a whole or one-All that is then split up into discrete objects.
4. The Interior of Objects– Drawing heavily on Luhmann’s autopoietic theory, I here develop an account of how objects are operationally closed and how they relate to one another through selectively open relations to their environment. There’s also a nice section on the Lacanian clinic in this chapter, showing how it can be understood in terms of object-oriented ontology.
5. Regimes of Attraction and Parts– This chapter tackles the question of constraint or how objects can be constrained by other objects when they are operationally closed and also fleshes out issues of object-oriented mereology. Additionally there’s a nice section in here on temporalized structure that shows how the autopoietic conception of structure allows us to move beyond structuralist and post-structuralist conceptions of structure while maintaining their best features. There are lengthy discussions of developmental systems theory, Luhmann, and Badiou in these sections.
6. Flat Ontology– Here I outline what is entailed by the concept of flat ontology, drawing out my mereological points and working heavily with Lacan’s graphs of sexuation to make the case that objects are essentially “feminine”.
Appendix: Principles of Onticology– The appendix will include my article for The Speculative Turn with a brief discussion of how my ontology has evolved since I formulated the ontic principle (which I’ve now abandoned as a foundational starting point).
If anyone is interested, I could really use some help with the thankless task of putting together the bibliography and/or the index. The latter project won’t come until I have the offprints for the book, but it should be possible to write up a bibliography once the initial draft is completed.