The Essences of Objects: Explicating a Theory of Essence in Object-Oriented Ontology

Open Philosophy 3 (1):01-10 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this paper, I will discuss the need for a theory of essences within Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) and then formulate one. I will do so by drawing on Graham Harman’s work on OOO and Martin Heidegger’s thought on the essence of being, presented in his Introduction to Metaphysics. Harman touches on essences, describing them as the tension between a withdrawn object and its withdrawn qualities, but fails to distinguish between essential and inessential qualities within this framework. To fill in the gaps, I will turn to Heidegger’s explication of phusis in order to show that an essential aspect of being is how one enters into causal relations and continually reveals oneself to other beings. In bringing OOO and Heidegger together, I will find that each object has a unique way of exerting itself in the world and that the domestic relations that make up this unique profile are essential to it, while other domestic relations, those that do not influence its particular way of exerting itself, are inessential. Thus, the essence will be found to be the set of domestic relations that make up the determinate form, or unique causal profile, of the object.

Similar books and articles

Being (with) Objects.Anna E. Mudde - 2017 - In Marie-Eve Morin (ed.), Continental Realism and its Discontents. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Object-Oriented Ontology and Commodity Fetishism: Kant, Marx, Heidegger, and Things.Graham Harman - 2017 - Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 1 (2):28-36.
Material Objects and Essential Bundle Theory.Stephen Barker & Mark Jago - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):2969-2986.
On the Difference Between Being and Object.James Osborn - 2019 - Philosophy Today 63 (1):125-153.
Book Reviews. [REVIEW]Peter Byrne - 1993 - British Journal of Aesthetics 33 (1):90-91.
Knowing Essentials.Robert Sokolowski - 1994 - Review of Metaphysics 47 (4):691 - 709.
Artifact and Essence.Brandon Warmke - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (3):595-614.
Postmodernism, Phenomenology and Afriphenomenology.Diana-Abasi Ibanga - 2016 - Sophia: An African Journal of Philosophy and Public Affairs 16 (2):60-72.

Analytics

Added to PP
2020-01-31

Downloads
63 (#246,026)

6 months
49 (#81,177)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

References found in this work

Poetry, Language, Thought.Martin Heidegger - 1971 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (1):117-123.
Poetry, Language, Thought.Martin Heidegger - 1971 - New York: Harper & Row.
An introduction to metaphysics.Martin Heidegger - 1953/2000 - New Haven,: Yale University Press.
Introduction to Metaphysics.Martin Heidegger - 2000 - New Haven: Yale University Press. Edited by Gregory Fried.

View all 9 references / Add more references