OOO is confused.

I think OOO is confused. Why do I think that? I’m not sure I can articulate it all, it’s a nagging sense I get as I read Harman et al. The problem here is there is so much I do agree with and I see the project as a late phenomenological attempt to rescue things (objects). It’s informational interactions seems good, there’s definitely something I agree with there. But what are the problems: I think the lurking Heidegger interpretation is somehow wrong. This withdrawal notion has been (at least to me) misunderstood. But maybe that’s because of my Wittgensteinian (at least of a sort) position. I’ve always lumped the difference between present-at-hand and ready-to-hand as being basically the same as the Augustinian (naming) language picture and meaning as use.  I’m not the first to find this harmony and I won’t be the last and maybe its in making this identity that my OOO disagreement comes.

I cannot see how Wittgenstein can be escaped. Philosophy carries on fascinatingly after the Investigations and maybe not even pointlessly but what it must do is establish there being an escape route post-Wittgenstein. This I have not seen elsewhere (it is what I try to do here precisely because I see he has made a serious blockage). Cavell thought and maybe still thinks the ripples of Wittgenstein have still not landed properly and I can heartily agree with this.

Why is this? Well for me it turns on trying to articulate this notion of ‘meaning as use’ and what the implications of this are. I think it can only in a sense mean that contrary directly to the OOO speculation in fact there are no objects at all. I then have to immediately retract that statement because that isn’t true either. I have truly in this instance run up against the limits of language. Do we have to remain silent? No not at all, its just that we have to try harder.

Why are there (kind of) no objects? Well part of it runs like this:

If the meaning of a word is its usage then it never actually reaches out to anything. To think the words mean unique pieces of the putative outside is a mistaken understanding of how language is working. This is true at least, if some kind of continuing spatio-temporality is true.  In the common place manifestation of spatio-temporal continuity (which I assuredly must acknowledge much of the time less I become an inert gibbering wreck), this point of awareness that I articulate with ‘I’ (I too is a use term) does various things, and can see various objects. Can’t it? The grammar, the rules that I use for this world that I find ‘myself’ in need a word like objects, at least for the kind of creature I am. I recognize various separate things, things that I can lift, things that I can’t, different regions in this ‘world’. I am taught a word in a context and I apply the rule for it as best as I understand it. If I had two identical contexts with some discoverable difference later down the line I would use the same word for them. I wouldn’t be wrong because the matter isn’t sorted by this later to be discovered ontological criterion (which would mean there was a thing that was determining the meaning). Indeed if that indiscernible difference is never discerned the that’s just what the word means. Words don’t designate, they are just use terms. This applies to meta-terms like objects. It sounds confusing because it makes you make nonsensical statements like ‘there are no objects’ when you can blatantly see there are. This is a grammatical confusion. ‘There are objects’ is a grammatical sentence that makes perfect sense but its just a use term in the meta-context of being-in-a-world. Object exerts such a powerful effect precisely because no one can say very well what the grammar of ‘object’ is. What is the grammar of the copula ‘are’? Obviously that’s a big question, but you could answer by saying simply that it is those instances in which we wish to link use terms in a certain nested way (this is this).

OOO wants to escape Kant and Heidegger but I don’t think you can, or at least not by that route. These grammatical objects might have no identity outside of the our being.  It is a coherent manifestation to say that we make the discretion and contemplating their external to us existence as if they were persisted discretely is not necessary.

Meillasoux comes upon the same problem: You don’t know that our awareness isn’t having an effect upon what ever it is that’s out there (note I’m not saying you don’t know awareness isn’t having an effect on objects, as actually they’re quite keed on that. I’m playing with the manifestation of our kind of awareness having a particular kind of effect on things, a reifying kind of effect and yes this does need expanding on). To be fair, OOO is called speculative philosophy and isn’t claiming a rigorous foundation ( I hope not anyway). But now you wonder ‘what am I talking about? I was on about Wittgenstein and now I’m saying something very very unWittgensteinian?

Yes, it’s a problem isn’t it.  This answer relates to the paranormal parts of the discussion herein. The synchronicity argument takes the inference to be that in the manifestation in which the synchronicity obtains information itself must have effected the putative ‘external world’. The ladies dream brought the scarab beetle out of the dream world.

There is a grammar of weird that is cogent precisely because we don’t know things like ‘what being is like outside of our perception’. If we knew that in a strong sense we could dismiss this grammar yet the manifestation of the paranormal, information interfering with solidity world persists. This persistence guarantees the grammatical application.

If you stay with the informational interference manifestation then you must in some sense be tied to a kind of idealism. There is is the notion of the externality but everything you that is about you is equally a concept.

Now the problem is: If there are no objects, the words don’t designate, then how does the informational interference obtain? And now we can return to a state in which I agree with OOO. Accepting the paranormal manifestation, words actually reach out to something. This something unlike in OOO is not an object talking to other objects in its disclosure withdrawal, but it is an accretion of informational substance that I have called pneuma. There is as stated, the idea of externality (which I have called umbra) but pneuma is all we can experience because we must conceptualise (we have no choice). Is it a duck or a rabbit? the flipping is a pneuminous flip, a different accretion is exposed.

The manifestation of the umbratic solidity is strong, is suggests its presence. Pneuma affects umbra under certain circumstances ill understood (magick). Use terms, readiness to hand terms create their accretive correlate. As pure use, there is no object, just a meta-term.

As pneuminous accretion there is a something that can be uniquely or generally designated. OOO in my opinion is studying accretions, and within a certain framework we can make these imaginings. However without certainty of the strength of affect the perceiving being is having granting these objects autonomy as objects is a manifestation that needs a hefty presupposition (I know I know speculative) to get it going. There is more to it than this but this is a stab at articulation.

Manifestationism 0.1

Manifestationism says the manifestations continue even if there is something objective underneath. This is why it is a product of the synchronicity argument. The synchronicity argument says you cannot remove the appearance of the paranormal world by appeal to saying some putatively object ontology holds. This not possible precisely because the appearance suggests exactly that said ontology does not obtain.

Manifestationism is a wider meta-philosophical strategy that extends this point. It says that all of these philosophical appearances persist in various competing ways. This a pro and against dialectics. Warring manifestations will generate new manifestations. This however does not entail that the previous incarnations have gone, rather these pneuminous creatures proliferate, accreting to each other in dubious alliances to take control of the endless turmoil that is the pneuminous territory.

Manifestationism

By means of a terminological clear up it seems evident to me that the terms manifestation, phantasy and reality are all related.

Manifestation is a way in which being can discloses itself, idealism, materialism and endless permutations thereof.

Phantasies are manifestations not considered ‘reality’ but which nevertheless occupy a space that such that they could be considered  ‘real’. They do not at a given time hold the power of being interpreted as dominant ideologies.

Reality is just the manifestation that is dominant at a given time. This manifestation will have incoherent borders to the competing phantasies that hover around it awaiting their turn.

Incoherence 3.4

Incoherence is a feature of the way we exist in pneuma. The structure of incoherent coherence and coherent incoherence have been described elsewhere, but briefly let us remind ourselves that the former describes the ordinary manifestation of the concept insofar as it appears to adequately demarcate its territory, whilst the latter is what we come to know about the concept upon analysis -that it is incoherent.

This notion though features in three notable places in a more general philosophy. The first of these is the perennial problem living and non-living. True this is just the same incoherence problem, as however the case is so important the invocation of the term also must be considered so. The issue crosses over and might be considered identical with conscious non-conscious, though the accretions are different. No particular answer sharply differentiation between the two is found in definition precisely because of the borderline phantasies of the awareness of the putatively unaware. This position says that essentially there is no answer in the sense we would like one. The borderline is incoherent and can be known to be so (with the caveat of a phantasy of knowing apodictically  lurking around). Whitehead’s solution of a mental pole that exists from electron to human in various scales is all well and good but it remains ontological speculation. We would be better to acknowledge that there is a manifestation of supposedly inert matter as also conscious in some sense. This receives greater and lesser grammatical grounding depending  what kind of accretions one is an agent for. A propos this post of mine the situation is confused further by the possibility that whether or not the supposedly unaware is aware or not turns on whether or not it is treated as aware or not, thus compounding the incoherence even further.

Thus a Whiteheadian theory can then be seen as the rise of a competing accretion in the pneuminosity rather than as the truth. The truth would be the competing/interacting pneuminous accretions.

The second incoherence involves the difference between humans and animals and the third between natural kinds and human made things. More will be said on these accretions in due course. However we note that between three of them they seem to constitute the fundamental field of incoherence.

 

 

 Consciousness after death

If consciousness survived  physical death in any sense resembling discretion, there would be no reason to presuppose such a survived consciousness should be in any privileged epistemological position over ourselves. It might have various dimensional perceptions open to it currently barred from this mode of existence, however it’s continued intimation of separation indicates it would be in no better position to display ultimate answers any better than we can. This implication is part of the naturalising of such phenomena.

Pneuminous Connection to Solidity

If we accept the manifestation of pure pneuma then we find the following is also true. This self same manifestation also contains within it the manifestation of being as solid and continuing outside of awareness. As an idea it is hence an hence an accretion of pneuma. This paradoxical accretion we have called the umbratic.

If what we perceive as reality shows itself in a way such that the pneuma can interact with the umbra then it raises the possibility that the umbratic as an accretion formed within the pneuma is actually becoming a reality that can exist outside of consciousness when it previously was not.

This would be a kind of inversion of being becoming conscious of itself. It implies the notion that possibly being was aware in itself,  but ironically through the generation of beings within itself that possess a self awareness -pieces unable to process their essential connection to the whole- these beings, as emissaries of Being conceive being through epistemological restraint and in this process create a notion of externality as solid and disconnected from awareness. This very conceptualisation dialectically feeds back into Being creating exactly this kind of independent solidity. Rather than existence slowly gaining in awareness, it is actually losing it through the conceptual action of its own agents.

 

This is an interesting idea, a consequence of certain disjunctions. Of course it has no necessity, it is an extreme possibility. Yet it remains possible if the solidity and the information interact. More interestingly we might ask: if it isn’t true then why not? For it not to be true, either the information doesn’t interact with the externality or there are limits/conditions under which this is the case. The latter seems more likely. This means the question is: what are the restraints on the information such that it maintains the appearance of a cogent solid externality?

Further questions regarding the actual conceptualisation of pneuma also arise. If Being is pneuma, how does being that is not a pneuminous being relate amongst itself within the idea of the externality? You can say that this doesn’t matter, because a la Husserl everything is contained within consciousness a priori. But the pneuma also contains the idea of the solid externality (the continuous world), as such it contains the incoherent idea of beings not ordinarily perceived as conscious interacting with each other outside of field of awareness as we would ordinarily conceive of one. The paradoxical idea arises within pneuma that there are umbratic places in which there is no pneuma, and now we are a stones throw from a more regular scientific conception. If we say there is pneuminous relations going on at all levels we grant some kind of panpsychism and seem to admit that the umbratic exists external to awareness all be it attenuated slightly by a kind of Whiteheadian pneuminous pole.

The problem clearly needs more thought but what is said here confirms a basic sense that the notion of pneuma creates an umbratic so strongly that its manifestation is that it could be independent of it. Ontological speculation is not the aim here and hence the Whiteheadian route is barred.

Meaning

The nihilistic problem is scarcely solved by pneuminosity. Yet nihilism too is an accretion so maybe there is some insight to be had in that. It follows that all meaning is an accretion. Any meaning that is forged is forged with being. Meaning as a sound, as a word of course is an accretion too. We cannot say it escapes but we can say meaning and pneuma are distinctly related. Meaning is part of the clue to existence of pneuma. When we seeking the kind of meaning that might justify existence it has invariably been couched in some kind religious doctrine. Anything other than this gives nihilism.  Even the religious doctrine must presuppose that the God possesses a notion of purpose transcendent to anything we can conceive of or the question is begged as to what the God wants. Infinite continuous or simultaneous being does not confer meaning. But because meaning is constructed in pneuma -the idea of teleological meaning- a teleology is in a sense real when reified. The meaning isn’t local to the inside of a given pneuminous being, it exists within the pneuma at large. In a slightly Hegelian way this means that the successful construction of an idea that gives meaning that overcomes nihilism would not be a repression but being realising its own meaning. When we conceive ourselves as humans, discretely bound such an idea is just one more human construction, but when we are seen as an expression of the pneuma itself, our meaning is its meaning.