Graham Harman, Immaterialism: Objects and Social Theory

Theory, Culture and Society 36 (3):121-137 (2019)
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Abstract

The philosopher Graham Harman argues that contemporary debates about the nature of reality as such, and about the nature of objects in particular, can be meaningfully applied to social theory and practice. With Immaterialism, he has recently provided a case-based demonstration of how this could happen. But social theorists have compelling reasons to oppose object-oriented social theory’s 15 principles. Fidelity to Harman’s aesthetic foundationalism, and his particular use of serial endosymbiosis theory as a mechanism of social change, constrain the very practices which it is supposed to enable. However, social theory stands to benefit from object-oriented philosophy through what we call posthuman relationism – characterised as a commitment to the reality of the nonhuman, but not divorced from the human. The emphasis in object-oriented social theory on how objects withdraw from cognitive or affective capture and representation needs to be tempered by an equal focus on how objects appeal.

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Paul J. Ennis
University College Dublin

Citations of this work

A Differential Theory of Cinematic Affect.Lisa Åkervall - 2021 - Deleuze and Guattari Studies 15 (4):571-592.
Spectres of Nature in the Trail Building Assemblage.Jim Cherrington & Jack Black - 2019 - International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure 3:71-93.

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References found in this work

Realism Without Materialism.Graham Harman - 2011 - Substance 40 (2):52-72.
Indifferent Globality: Gaia, Symbiosis and 'Other Worldliness'.Myra J. Hird - 2010 - Theory, Culture and Society 27 (2-3):54-72.
Heidegger, McLuhan and Schumacher on Form and Its Aliens.Graham Harman - 2016 - Theory, Culture and Society 33 (6):99-105.

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