Being (with) Objects

In Marie-Eve Morin (ed.), Continental Realism and its Discontents. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2017)
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Abstract

In this paper, I explore some of the ambivalent potential of Graham Harman’s post-humanist object-oriented ontology for thinking about human beings as objects, and for how to be with human beings as objects. In particular, I consider the work of feminist phenomenologists attuned to objectification as both having a tradition of object-orientation and as already contesting the idealism that Harman opposes. Objectified human beings inhabit a site of ontological duality, often knowing themselves as objects for others, who thus experience the ontological and epistemological disruptions that can emerge from the human activity of objectification. Absence of these analyses in OOO constitutes an important oversight, since the analyses draw attention not only to object relations among human beings, but thereby also point to ways of understanding human concept relations with non-human objects.

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Anna E. Mudde
University of Regina

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