Graham Harman, “The Concept of Infrastructure,” 2/13 at 4pm

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014
Graham Harman, “The Concept of Infrastructure,” 2/13 at 4pm

Graham Harman is one of the central figures in the philosophical movement that embraces speculative realism and object oriented ontology (OOO). Harman’s ideas have already been influential in the environmental humanities, in science and technology studies, and in the art world. In Harman’s philosophy, objects have agency. OOO is a flat ontology that does not distinguish categorically between humans and nonhumans or life and matter.  Drawing on Heidegger, Harman extends phenomenology’s account of the relation between human beings and the world to objects and the relations among objects. Given the major role of the concepts of relation, network, process, and assemblage for the environmental human sciences, Harman’s critique of relationism, undermining, and “overmining,” and his understanding of objects as real yet withdrawn in their essence, has  been an important intervention. As his blog puts it, OOO mates “the centaur of classical metaphysics with the cheetah of actor-network theory.”

Graham Harman is Distinguished University Professor at the American University in Cairo, and editor of the New Metaphysics book series at Edinburgh University Press. He is the author of eleven books, of which the best-known are: Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (2002), Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things (2005), Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics(2009), Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures (2010), and Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2005).

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