Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
In my research today I came upon this interesting article, “Here comes everything: the promise of object-oriented ontology” by Timothy Morton. (New link, old one broken.) It is of interest not only to speculative realism but also to some recent discussions on Caputo's ontology, modes of apprehension of such, and quantum theory. The article is 27 pages of text so I've culled some excerpts, lengthy in themselves.
Speculative realism...asserts the deep mystery of a Non-Nature....object-oriented ontology (OOO)...goes further than this, rejecting essentialist Matter.... OOO is a form of realism that asserts that real things exist--these things are objects, not just amorphous “Matter”.... OOO extends Husserl's and Heidegger's arguments that things have an irreducible dark side: no matter how many times we turn over a coin, we never see the other side as the other side--it will have to flip onto “this” side for us to see it, immediately producing another underside. Harman simply extends this irreducible darkness from subject–object relationships to object–object relationships.... Causation is thus vicarious in some sense, never direct. An object is profoundly “withdrawn”--we can never see the whole of it, and nothing else can either.... We've become so used to hearing “object” in relation to “subject” that it takes some time to acclimatize to a view in which there are only objects, one of which is ourselves.
The notion of the “withdrawal” of objects extends my term strange stranger to non-living entities. Strange stranger names an uncanny, radically unpredictable quality of life forms. Life forms recede into strangeness the more we think about them, and whenever they encounter one another--the strangeness is irreducible....the uncanny essence of humans that Heidegger contemplates extends to nonhumans.... The more we know about a strange stranger, the more she (he, it) withdraws. Objects withdraw such that other objects never adequately capture but only (inadequately) “translate” them....This is what “irreducible” means.
Rhetoric is not simply ear candy for humans: indeed, a thorough reading of Plato, Aristotle and Longinus suggests that rhetoric is a technique for contacting the strange stranger....[it] amplifies imagination rather than trying to upstage it, and it revels in dislocation, not location.... Harman's imagery differs from ecophenomenological ecomimesis that confirms the localized position of a subject with privileged access to phenomena.... Harman's rhetoric produces an object-oriented sublime that breaks decisively with the Kantian taboo on noncorrelationist scientific speculation....ekphrasis is not about the reaction of the (human) subject, but about rhetorical modes as affective-contemplative techniques for summoning the alien.
The aesthetic, as we shall see, is the secret door through which OOO discovers a theory of what is called “subject”.... Melancholia is precisely a mode of intimacy with strange objects that can't be digested by the subject.... To lapse into Californian, OOO is so about the subject. There is no good reason to be squeamish about this. The more the ekphrasis zaps us, the more we fall back into the gravity well of melancholy. Sentience is out of phase with objects, at least if you have a nervous system. So melancholia is the default mode of subjectivity: an object-like coexistence with other objects and the otherness of objects--touching them, touching the untouchable, dwelling on the dark side one can never know, living in endless twilight shadows. If the reader has experienced grief she or he will recognize this state as an object-like entity that resides somewhere within the body, with an amortization schedule totally separated from other temporalities (in particular, the strict digital clock time of contemporary life). Through the heart of subjectivity rolls an object-like coexistence, none other than ecological coexistence--the ecological thought fully-fledged as dark ecology . The inward, withdrawn, operationally closed mood called melancholy is something we shake off at our peril in these dark ecological times.
Melancholy starts to tell us the truth about the withdrawn qualities of objects. OOO thus differs from theistic ecophilosophy that asserts, “There is a Nature.” It maintains no absolute distance between subject and object; it limits “subject” to no entity in particular. Žižek's suspicion of SR to do with the “feminine” self-absorption of objects: precisely what he doesn't like about Buddhism. Changing “self-absorption” to “withdrawal” or “operational closure” discloses what's threatening about Buddhism: an object-like entity at the core of what is called subjectivity. Like ecomimesis, Harman's passage affirms a real world beyond mentation. Unlike ecomimesis, this world doesn't surround a subject--it's a world without reference to a subject.
If OOO construes everything as objects, some may believe that it would have a hard time talking about subjects--indeed, Slavoj Žižek has already criticized SR in general along these lines. This subjectivity is profoundly ecological and it departs from normative Western ideas of the subject as transcendence. Thus we see off Nature and its correlate, the (human) subject. I argue that OOO enjoins us to drop Matter just as we must drop Nature, and that this means that it can save the appearance of the most coherent and testable physical theory we have, namely quantum theory.
Let's turn our attention to... things....how far “down things” does OOO really go? Are these things made of some kind of substrate, some kind of unformed matter? Does “withdrawal” mean that objects are impenetrable in some non-figurative, nonhuman sense? Do objects have a spatial “inside”? Surely they might. But the principle of irreducibility must mean that this inside is radically unavailable. It's not simply a case of the right equipment passing through it, like a knife through butter. Even a knife through butter would not access the butter in all its essential butteriness. The proliferation of things that ecology talks about--from trees to nuclear power--do not compromise a holistic Nature. Nor yet are they comprised of some intrinsic, essential stuff. To dispatch Matter, we must explore the most rigorous and testable theory of physical Matter we know: quantum theory.
Unlike some thinkers who discovered OOO in spite of deconstruction, I backed into OOO through deconstruction. SR tends to mistake deconstruction for nominalism, subjectivism and Meillassoux's correlationism.... Contemporary physics concurs with a principle tenet of Lacan and Derrida: there's no “big Other,” no device, for instance, that could measure quantum phenomena without participating in these phenomena. All observations are inside the system, or as Derrida puts it, “There is nothing outside the text” (or, in Gayatri Spivak's alternative, which I prefer, “There is no outside-text”). Arkady Plotnitsky has traced the affinities between deconstruction and quantum physics. People commonly misconstrue “there is no-outside-text” as nominalism: we can only know things by their names. Far more drastically, the axiom means: (1) Any attempt to establish rigid boundaries between reality and information results in unsustainable paradoxes; (2) Language is radically nonhuman--even when humans use it. It would be a mistake to hold that (1) is correlationism. “There is no outsidetext” occurs in a passage in which Derrida is analyzing Rousseau's position on Nature, so it's worth pausing here since this issue is directly relevant to ecocriticism. Derrida tacks close to the text he’s analyzing, which is why he appeals to close readers in the first place. He is not making a sweeping generalization about reality. Derrida is only saying, “Given the kind of closed system textuality that Rousseau prescribes, there is no outside-text.” That is, Rousseau can’t go around making claims about nature, not because there is nothing out there, but because the way he models thinking sets textuality up as a black hole....[but] Derrida abstained from ontology: he considered it tainted by the generalization-disease. Unfortunately this defaults to various forms of antirealism. Derrida's is a sin of omission.... OOO shares one thing at least with deconstruction--refraining from assertions about some general essence or substance at the back of things that guarantees their existence.
OOO is troubling for materialisms that rely on any kind of substrate, whether it consists of discrete atoms or of a continuum.... Certain uncontroversial facts, demonstrable in highly repeatable experiments, shatter essentialist prejudices concerning Matter.... Quantum phenomena are not simply hard to access or only partially “translated” by minds and other objects. They are irreducibly withdrawn.
OOO is form of realism, not materialism. In this it shares affinities with quantum theory. Antirealism pits quantum theory against its opponents, since quantum theory supposedly shows reality is fuzzy or deeply correlated with perception and so forth. In fact, quantum theory is the only existing theory to establish firmly that things really do exist beyond our mind (or any mind). Quantum theory positively guarantees that real objects exist! Not only that--these objects exist beyond one another. Quantum theory does this by viewing phenomena as quanta, as discrete “units” as described in Unit Operations by OOO philosopher Ian Bogost. “Units” strongly resemble OOO “objects.” Thinking in terms of units counteracts problematic features of thinking in terms of systems. A kind of systems thinking posed significant problems for nineteenth-century physicists. Only consider the so-called black body radiation problem. Classical thermodynamics is essentially a systems approach that combines the energy of different waves to figure out the total energy of a system. The black box in question is a kind of oven. As the temperature in the oven increases, results given by summing the wave states according to classical theory become absurd, tending to infinity.
By seeing the energy in the black box as discrete quanta (“units”), the correct result is obtained. Max Planck's discovery of this approach gave birth to quantum theory. Now consider perception, for the sake of which antirealism usually cites quantum theory. What does quantum theory show about our mental interactions with things? Perceptual, sensual phenomena such as hardness and brilliance are at bottom quantum mechanical effects. I can't put my hand through this table because it is statistically beyond unlikely that the quanta at the tip of my finger could bust through the resistance wells in the quanta on the table's surface. That's what solidity is. It's an averagely correct experience of an aggregate of discrete quanta. This statistical quality, far from being a problem, is the first time humans have been able to formalize supposedly experiential phenomena such as solidity. What some people find disturbing about quantum theory (once in a gajillion times I can put my finger through the table) is precisely evidence for the reality of things. (This is a version of an argument in Meillassoux, AF 82–5).
Quantum theory specifies that quanta withdraw from one another, including the quanta with which we measure them. In other words quanta really are discrete, and one mark of this discreteness is the constant (mis)translation of one quantum by another. Thus when you set up quanta to measure the position of a quantum, its momentum withdraws, and vice versa. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that when an “observer”--not a subject per se, but a measuring device involving photons or electrons (or whatever)--makes an observation, at least one aspect of the observed is occluded (QT 99–115). Observation is as much part of the Universe of objects as the observable, not some ontologically different state (say of a subject). More generally, what Niels Bohr called complementarity ensures that no quantum has total access to any other quantum. Just as a focusing lens makes one object appear sharper while others appear blurrier, one quantum variable comes into sharp definition at the expense of others (QT 158–61). This isn't about how a human knows an object, but how a photon interacts with a photosensitive molecule. Some phenomena are irreducibly undecidable, both wavelike and particle-like. The way an electron encounters the nucleus of an atom involves a dark side. Objects withdraw from each other at a profound physical level. OOO is deeply congruent with the most profound, accurate and testable theory of physical reality available. Again, it would be better to say it the other way around: quantum theory works because it's object-oriented.
Probing the quantum world, then, is a form of auto-affection. Bohr argued that quantum phenomena don't simply concatenate themselves with their measuring devices. They're identical to it: the equipment and the phenomena form an indivisible whole (QT 139–40, 177). This “quantum coherence” applies close to absolute zero, where particles become the “same” thing.
Implication and explication suggest Matter being enfolded and unfolded from something deeper. Even if it were the case that OOO should defer to physics, in the terms set by physics itself objects aren't made “of” any one thing in particular. Just as there is no top level, there may be no bottom level that is not an (substantial, formed) object.
To this extent, “object” (as a totally positive entity) is a false immediacy. Positive assertions about objects fail because objects have a shadowy dark side, a mysterious interiority like the je ne sais quoi of Kantian beauty. Is this nothing at all? Is there a path from the carnival of things to a bleak nothingness? Nihilism, believing that you have no beliefs, maintains that things emerge from an impenetrable mystery. Nihilism, the cool kids' religion, shuns the inconveniences of intimacy. We have objects--they have us--under our skin. They are our skin. OOO can't be a form of nihilism. It's the opposite view (relationism) that tends towards nihilism. Relationism holds that objects are nothing more than the sum of their relations with other objects. This begs the question of what an object is, since the definition implies a potential infinite regress: what are the “other objects”? Why, nothing more than the sum of their relations with other objects--and so on ad obscurum. At least OOO takes a shot at saying what objects are: they withdraw. This doesn't mean that they don't relate at all. It simply means that how they appear has a shadowy, illusory, magical, “strangely strange” quality. It also means they can't be reduced to one another. OOO holds that strangeness is impossible if objects are reducible to their relations. Since relationism is hamstrung by its reluctance to posit anything, it tends towards obscurantism. Relationism is stuck in a Euthyphronic dilemma: objects consist of relations between other objects—and what are those objects? An object as such is never defined. So while ecological criticism appears to celebrate interconnectedness, it must in the end pay attention to what precisely is interconnected with what.
This radical finitude includes a strange irreducible openness.
I stand by the (nostalgic) claim that most avant-garde Western theory has focused on what I would call the causal-gross relationship, which are rendered pretty admirably in Bryant, but which generally tend to minimize the subtle dimension. None of this asserts that Bryant ignores the subtle -- only that he does a good job at the task which many subtle-ignorers focus upon.
However it seems like meta-physical is exactly the right word which should mean that all thought, play & visions require some material... since the meta requires rather than excludes the physical. I continue to ponder the point at which our ancestors would view these mereologically emerging, ultra refined, delicately material concepts as precisely what they meant by metaphysical. How much apparent continuity and how much apparent novelty do we want? I waver daily.
As usual, thanks for the links.
In my understanding of Bryant (and Harman and several related philosophers), gross, subtle, and causal are all encompassed within their concept of object. Here, they are quite content to call a self-image, the glowing tigles that manifest during sky gazing meditation, and the Eye of Sauron "objects." While I think both would agree with Wilber that thinking is "embodied," their description and definition of "objects" does not depend on embodied cognitive neuroscience: as a metaphysical category, a thought or wish or visionary mandala is as much "object" as a train, a hat, or two diamonds glued together. They do not qualify such assertions with the claim that these thoughts must also require some material "support." (To do so would be to engage in the common materialist strategy of "undermining," as Harman would point out: undermining one type of object with the insistence that it depends on some "more fundamental" object or category or process or field.)
P.S. Regarding your speculations about Badiou's skepticism about the nature of "one," Bryant appeals to Badiou's thoughts on this as well when critiquing the supposed priority of identity over difference. And regarding your thoughts on every "increase by one" entailing a multiplicity or a swarm of patterns, Harman (following Fuller, among others) argues that any "unit" is at minimum "two." This entails a potentially infinite holon-like "regress." Here is what he says (in the context of his discussion of philosophical undermining):
...[Contrary to Heidegger's contention,] the hammer as a real tool-being is not located in the basement of the universe at all, since a layer of constituent pieces swarms beneath it, another layer beneath that one, and so forth. Instead of saying that the regress into constituent objects is indefinite, I would go so far as to call it infinite, in spite of the ban found in Kant's Antinomies on ruling either for or against an infinite regress of pieces. After all, to be real means to have a multitude of qualities, both real and perceived. And given that an object must inherently be a unity, its multitude of qualities can only arise from the plurality of its pieces. Thus there is no object without pieces, and an infinite regress occurs. Despite the easy and widespread mockery of the infinite regress, there are only two alternatives, and both are even worse. Instead of the infinite regress we can have a finite regress, in which one ultimate element is the material of everything larger. Or we can have no regress at all, in which there is no depth behind what appears to the human mind. Both options have already been critiqued as undermining and overmining, respectively. And if the infinite regress is often mocked as a theory of "turtles all the way down," the finite regress merely worships a final Almighty Turtle, while the theory of no regress champions a world resting on a turtle shell without a turtle.
I'll let Bryant speak for himself, from the linked thread above:
"As a materialist, I want to argue that only matter and the void exist. Consequently, for me anything that is must be material in some way. Symphony’s, for example, must have some sort of material embodiment whether it be in sound waves, pieces of papers, brains, computer data banks, etc. I’m not suggesting that the symphony is identical to its transmission through sound waves– I think all sorts of other material processes and interactions have to be involved in order for a symphony to be a symphony –only that there has to be material embodiment and material processes for that symphony to be real. Even the thought of the symphony later is, for me, a material process.
"I certainly don’t, for example, wish to reduce symphonies, signifying systems, etc., to neurological events. As I’ve argued in our discussions and elsewhere, neurology doesn’t tell us a whole lot about a signifying system because it’s a different level of materiality. It’s necessary to study material phenomena at their appropriate level. Just as we can’t understand hurricanes by investigating individualwater and ice particles, we can’t understand signifying systems by looking at individual brains. At most brains put constraints on signifying systems. They don’t get at the features of signifying systems themselves. This is why theories of emergence are so important to me: it is not just the parts that are important, but the interactions or relations between the parts that are important as well.
"Perhaps one of the central reasons that I’m so insistent on the materiality of things like discourses, signifiers, signs, and so on is that emphasizing this materiality allows me to underline the fact that ideas, signs, meanings, signifying systems, cultural practices, etc., have a spatio-temporal geography. One of the central features of material entities is that they are situated in space and time (though here it’s necessary to specify what the nature of space and time are, which this post won’t do)."
I would say that that is his definition of "materialism," not his definition of "object." (These are related but subtly different arguments). As both Bryant and Harman say, "Popeye" or an imagined pink elephant are equal to a sailor or an African elephant in their being "objects." While Bryant defines himself as a materialist (Harman is more reluctant to use this term), both argue against conventional reductive materialists when they attribute equal reality to subtle/visionary objects and gross objects (seeing both as "real objects in the world," meaning "differences that make a difference.")
Even Bryant's 'imaginary' object like Popeye is material according to his expanded definition.
For example, in this post, when asked about Popeye:
"First, it’s important to note that for me there is no distinction between ideas and matter. For me ideas are material things, just as everything else is a material thing. They are material things inscribed in brains, pieces of paper, radio waves, fiber optic cables, computer data bases, and that take time to travel through the void or space.... Far from being incorporeal entities, simulacra or atomic entities are diaphanous material entities that must travel from node to node in networks, and this takes time and has limits depending on which medium transmits the simulacra.... Materialism places these sorts of considerations front and center in a way that realism– that admits the existence of incorporeal entities free of the constraints of material finitude –do not."
This site is tremendous for accessing material, speculating about its similarities, differences, resonances and connexions... but is the quantity of such activity in proportion to its value? Difficult to say. For example, Balder, I would be a thousand times more interested to hear what you have concluded about reality than about what you have concluded about what X, Y & Z appear to be saying. Obviously the situation is not totally lopsided but I do pause periodically on this forum to wonder where philosophy begins to drown in philophilosophy. Even the highest kind of gossiping is a little dubious...
Where do you come down on this infinite regress business?
Privately I am of the "good infinity vs. bad infinity" feeling. I accept the necessity of endless activity, infinite time, in which the virtual discovery of indefinite layers (always more sub-sets than sets) is postulated. But I do not accept infinite space and therefore am quite content to embrace a Bottom Turtle when it comes to the material universe. If we drastically expand the use of the term material to include what might otherwise be called "the subtle" then perhaps we find a range of items whose presentation is increasingly time-ish and decreasingly space-ish (such that they resemble the endless iteration-potential of algorithms).
Yet what interests me is the seemingly equivalent (an apparently absolute) boundary-intensity which is shared by a "bottom turtle" and an "infinite regress".
As for Heidegger's hammer, well, he always did worship the colloquial...
I understand your concern, and respect your request. In fairness to this site -- you've just arrived here a short time ago, and we've been exploring quite a few topics and engaging in a lot of discussions, working out our own views, over a number of years here, so it's probably a bit early for you to come to conclusions about what this site is primarily focused on or what kinds of discussions take place here. But the focus in more recent months, yes, has been more intensely philosophical.
Regarding OOO and its related philophers, I have less "decided" or "conclusive" things to say about them, since I am just getting to know them and am still working out how I feel about them and their views. For me, talking about these views does not constitute philosophical gossiping, since my intent in doing so is primarily to better clarify the respective philosophical landscape on the way to refining my own understanding (and engaging in some self-challenging inquiry).
For instance, I am not fully "on board" with the OOO project -- I still identify as an "integralist" (if an increasingly uncomfortably-fitting one) -- but I think OOO and its sister schools (speculative realism, Bhaskar's work, etc) present several significant and worthy challenges to mainstream/"official" integral thinking that have been interesting and fruitful for me to explore. I'm speaking here, primarily, of the critiques of these thinkers of "correlationism" (Integral in its more idealist-Vedantist forms veers in this direction) and the related issue of the "epistemic fallacy." Both issues are discussed in this thread, but I can come back to them later if you like.
Regarding where I stand on infinite regress, I don't have any particular problems with it. (Joel Morrison makes a good case for a metaphysics of positive infinity in the SpinbitZ book I referenced on Oleg's thread). In my understanding, infinite form (no bottom turtle) is implied in a view, such as Integral Theory, which gives conceptual primacy to the notion of holon. A bottom turtle or a top turtle (what theurj humorously calls an ass-holon) would be, by definition, not a holon. However, I am not (yet) decided whether the actual is spatially infinite. I am comfortable saying that, in a holonic and evolutionary-enactive kosmos, there is infinite potential for object-form-ation or the enaction of forms at all conceivable scales (without final bottom or top). Perhaps at any given snapshot-moment of the kosmos, there is an actual horizon; but it vanishes the next moment (or shifts with time). (I'd be interested in your thoughts here: given the intimacy of time and space -- such that we now contract them as spacetime -- why do you accept infinity only on the temporal side?).
Regarding Bryant's identification with materialism, I've registered my reservations about that (both on this thread and with Bryant personally). I do not have an objection to his main argument -- that so-called subtle phenomena such as thoughts or feelings are physical-energetic -- but rather just have sort of a bias against the word "materialism." It has baggage I'd rather do without. One, we're not even quite sure "what" matter is. In this regard, I appreciate Bryant's (and other OOO philosophers') efforts to revitalize "matter" and "objects" and reveal formerly hidden strange depths. But to focus on "matter" as the primary "thing" to which to attach one's -ism-ing is too limited, for me, even with OOO's expansion and revitalization of the term. Using some of the primary "attractors" around which my current thinking swirls, I'd want to describe my preferred worldview-model as enactive/participatory, evolutionary, pansemiotic (of some kind or other), and embodied (holonic or not, which we sometimes have referred to as inter- or cross-corporeality), and which is interested equally in aesthetics/art, philosophy, psychology, and spirituality/transformative practice, among other things. So, if I have to attach an -ist to something, I'd still prefer integralist over materialist. In the past, I'd say my views leaned more in the direction of non-realism than realism (even while formally espousing a "middle way" approach), so I appreciate the OOO nudge towards realism, which is allowing me to feel more comfortable now to speak in both registers (while still retaining my postmetaphysical cred).
All the best,
I was just thinking along similar lines to Balder's reply above, in that this is a learning forum. We explore a lot of others' ideas and have to hash out what the hell they mean first before we can include them into our own idiosyncratic translations, interpretations and confluences. I share with Balder many of the same attractors but we each have our own emphases and preferences, as it should be. One recent difference of preference is per his last post, where I'm more comfortable with materialism as defined by Bryant. And I become less enamored each day with integralism.
Plus Layman just laid claim to the eternal return of identity, so to expect one to come up with something that completely breaks with what came before would break that identity. Or at least that continuity.
And as is my wont I tend to create theurjianisms to express my polymorphous perversity. Hence my ism might be for short theurjism, since it contains jism with which I am apparently obsessed. I also like khorajismism. And a/crosscorporeal trans(en)action. And intergraal instead of integral. And more, all in the neologism thread.
I'm still keen on postmetaphysical though... Spirituality not so much, despite Harris.
Speaking of which, in this recent post Bryant has a neologism for his gravitational cartography, tarraism. He also has added 3 additional types of object relations: satellite, spectral, and black hole.
I think the utility of a "learning forum" and the obviousness of "having covered many personal views before" and the simple delight in exploring interesting systems of thought is terribly good and appropriate. I am not even slightly trying to make assertion about the nature of this site. How could I? This is just "personal feedback". I even adore the way it is... it is only that I must also honor this periodically flickering hunger which wants to hear more conclusions, make more conclusion, adjudicate rather than correlate, etc.
For me "philosophical" always means something very personal, something operates on an escape trajectory from the discussing-of-philosophies, studying of philosophies, learning and loving of philosophies (what i call philophilosophy).
There is no pejorative implication to "philosophical gossiping". It the best, or nearly the best, for of gossip -- which an honorable human endeavor. Bad gossip is heavy with trivial things and learns nothing, converts the world into soap opera trash and anti-mindfulness. Good gossip is curious, eternally educational, mind-sharpening, differencing, relating, always hungry for new terms, new glances, new styles. Who could be a thinker today, even an educated person, without a healthy interest in such superlative streams of gossip?
So -- letting all that stand "unstressed" as one among several background elements of my comments on this forum -- let me move on to summa dem points...
I do not particularly accept the simple contraction into spacetime (since I believe Einstein's conversion of a time in a "fourth spatial dimension" in order to employ a particular algebra of for his geometrized physics was provisional at best). I lean toward Bergson on these issues. Time and Space are qualitatively distinct manifolds despite their intimacy. Both are required for any "occurrence", but this does not mean they can be realistically calculated or conceptualized as an amalgam.
I accept infinite time because I find that "not ending" is thinkable in terms of a moving process. I reject infinite space (and here I largely agree with Einstein's "finite but unbounded") on the grounds that it is not thinkable. One cannot truly refer, in thought, to an endlessness of space but rather one refers cryptically to the endlessness of time during which one is still in relation to space. There is not infinity quantity as a realized substance. To think "infinite space" is to presume to conceptually encapsulate an unending process (i.e. to treat it as ended).
And that said, I appreciate the more personal quality of the statement in the post I am replying to -- it is does one good, does the community good, to always (or at least periodically) refresh discussion with the individual instincts that must ultimately be like the magnet toward the iron filings of ever-new intellectual stimulations, systems and terminologies.
All the best,
Shaviro has appeared in this thread at various points. In researching something else in the forum today I came upon this old post on Shaviro in another thread, on teleology and other relevant themes here. This was long before I knew of OOO.