In comments Cogburn gives a really remarkable formulation of some of the points Graham and I make in response to Vitale. As Jon writes:

The point about language ties to Grahams’ claim that OOP adopts a not a third person “God’s eye” perspective, but a zero person perspective. If the infinitary third person perspective is thought of as the perspective from which all truths about the object are known, then OOP argues that this still leaves something out. Some of the things I want to think a *lot* more about are (1) in what sense such a creature would be impossible, (2) what exactly is left out by the closest possible version of such a creature (actually I think “closest possible” is probably the wrong way to put it), (3) how much of the denial trades on thinking of knowledge in too linguaform a manner.

On the third point, if properties in the world are radically non-linguistic, and if we have a more original non-linguistic kind of knowledge, perhaps a god-like being could have total knowledge of an object (via some kind of practical mastery of an non-rule governed infinite set of dispositions that the object has). I take it that whatever rules out the possibility of this kind of creature would be quite different from what rules out the creature who has propositional knowledge of a set of linguaform propositions that completely describe an object.

I hadn’t thought about the idea of a “zero perspective”, but this is exactly right. Object’s aren’t perspectives at all– though they all have perspectives –they’re just objects. In my constant bitching about the difference between epistemology and ontology, this is what I’m trying to get at (though I agree with Clark that this distinction can’t be made clearly in practice). The problem is that discussion keeps shifting back to points of view on objects, rather than just attending to objects themselves.

Cogburn’s remarks about the infinite refer, I think, some offhand comments I make about what an object-oriented theology would have to look like (repeating Graham’s points). Like any other object, an object-oriented theology would have to argue that God is withdrawn from both itself and that all other objects are withdrawn from God (i.e., that God has no privileged access to creatures).

I’m not sure if Jon caught my reference to Judge Schreber or not (or whether he’s familiar with Schreber). Schreber is a famous psychotic in Freudian, Deleuzian, and Lacanian circles who wrote an account of his illness entitled Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (which, incidentally, is a great read). My suggestion that Judge Schreber comes the closest to articulating an object-oriented theology was not a malicious dig at theology. Rather, I think Judge Schreber comes closest to articulating certain elements of what an object-oriented theology would look like. One of the running themes throughout Schreber’s Memoirs is that God has no access to the inner world of his creatures. OOT would have to argue something along these lines (and as Graham suggests, I think it would solve a lot of theological questions were such a theology developed– there’s also fertile cross-over with Zizek’s understanding of God as impotent in The Puppet and the Dwarf here).

Now obviously I’m having a little fun here and hoping others will take the time to read up a bit on Schreber and psychoanalytic readings of Schreber. No doubt some will say “you’re seriously claiming that a psychotic delusion can contain theological insight?!?!?!” and will see this as a mortal insult. Let’s not forget that Joyce, Goedel, Cantor, and Nash were all psychotics who taught us a lot about literature, mathematics, and the infinite. There’s no reason philosophers and theologians can’t occasionally learn something from a psychotic.

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