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PHILOSOPHICAL
LITERARY
JOURNAL
ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Shaviro Steven

Shaviro Steven

Helen DeRoy Professor of English, shaviro@shaviro.com. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), Wayne State University (WSU), 5057 Woodward, suite 9408, 48202 Detroit, MI, USA.

Publications

The Universe of things / Logos. 2017. № 3 (118). P. 127-152
annotation:  This article is dedicated to the aesthetic dimensions of the existence of things. The discussion draws on Alfred Whitehead’s philosophy and on Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology. The article opens with an illustration of the nonhuman experience with reference to a case from Gwyneth Jones’s novel “The universe of things.” The author discusses the instrumentality of things and juxtaposes it with the presence of things, using ideas brought forth by Graham Harman and Martin Heidegger. The author pinpoints the moment when he must side with Heidegger and Whitehead over Harman, arguing for the referentiality of things beyond their presence. The author demonstrates the insufficiency of placing things between their presence and their use, and thus argues that we should pay attention to the aesthetic relationships between things. In this context, the author compares Harman’s idea of “allure,” which breaks with context, and the idea of “metamorphosis,” which widens the web of meaning. All of this works to capture attention, since, according to Whitehead, things have causal efficacy. This causal efficacy unites things into a complicated web of traces, or into a “universe of things.” These things are different from each other, but they are united by the fact that they belong to a common universe. The author discusses the feelings and emotions of this universe. In conclusion, the author offers three theses on the “democracy of things.” The first thesis states that that all aesthetic structures discussed here are universal rather than specific to human beings. The second thesis follows from the first and argues that all things are alive and are creative. The third thesis follows from the previous two and alludes to the fact that we are witnessing a return to panexperientialism or panpsychism.
Keywords:  tool-being; presence; aesthetic relations; allure; metamorphosis; causal efficacy

Shaviro Steven

Helen DeRoy Professor of English, shaviro@shaviro.com. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), Wayne State University (WSU), 5057 Woodward, suite 9408, 48202 Detroit, MI, USA.

Publications

The Universe of things / Logos. 2017. № 3 (118). P. 127-152
annotation:  This article is dedicated to the aesthetic dimensions of the existence of things. The discussion draws on Alfred Whitehead’s philosophy and on Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology. The article opens with an illustration of the nonhuman experience with reference to a case from Gwyneth Jones’s novel “The universe of things.” The author discusses the instrumentality of things and juxtaposes it with the presence of things, using ideas brought forth by Graham Harman and Martin Heidegger. The author pinpoints the moment when he must side with Heidegger and Whitehead over Harman, arguing for the referentiality of things beyond their presence. The author demonstrates the insufficiency of placing things between their presence and their use, and thus argues that we should pay attention to the aesthetic relationships between things. In this context, the author compares Harman’s idea of “allure,” which breaks with context, and the idea of “metamorphosis,” which widens the web of meaning. All of this works to capture attention, since, according to Whitehead, things have causal efficacy. This causal efficacy unites things into a complicated web of traces, or into a “universe of things.” These things are different from each other, but they are united by the fact that they belong to a common universe. The author discusses the feelings and emotions of this universe. In conclusion, the author offers three theses on the “democracy of things.” The first thesis states that that all aesthetic structures discussed here are universal rather than specific to human beings. The second thesis follows from the first and argues that all things are alive and are creative. The third thesis follows from the previous two and alludes to the fact that we are witnessing a return to panexperientialism or panpsychism.
Keywords:  tool-being; presence; aesthetic relations; allure; metamorphosis; causal efficacy

Shaviro Steven

Helen DeRoy Professor of English, shaviro@shaviro.com. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), Wayne State University (WSU), 5057 Woodward, suite 9408, 48202 Detroit, MI, USA.

Publications

The Universe of things / Logos. 2017. № 3 (118). P. 127-152
annotation:  This article is dedicated to the aesthetic dimensions of the existence of things. The discussion draws on Alfred Whitehead’s philosophy and on Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology. The article opens with an illustration of the nonhuman experience with reference to a case from Gwyneth Jones’s novel “The universe of things.” The author discusses the instrumentality of things and juxtaposes it with the presence of things, using ideas brought forth by Graham Harman and Martin Heidegger. The author pinpoints the moment when he must side with Heidegger and Whitehead over Harman, arguing for the referentiality of things beyond their presence. The author demonstrates the insufficiency of placing things between their presence and their use, and thus argues that we should pay attention to the aesthetic relationships between things. In this context, the author compares Harman’s idea of “allure,” which breaks with context, and the idea of “metamorphosis,” which widens the web of meaning. All of this works to capture attention, since, according to Whitehead, things have causal efficacy. This causal efficacy unites things into a complicated web of traces, or into a “universe of things.” These things are different from each other, but they are united by the fact that they belong to a common universe. The author discusses the feelings and emotions of this universe. In conclusion, the author offers three theses on the “democracy of things.” The first thesis states that that all aesthetic structures discussed here are universal rather than specific to human beings. The second thesis follows from the first and argues that all things are alive and are creative. The third thesis follows from the previous two and alludes to the fact that we are witnessing a return to panexperientialism or panpsychism.
Keywords:  tool-being; presence; aesthetic relations; allure; metamorphosis; causal efficacy
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