Object-Oriented Octopus


I hereby nominate this very clever octopus to the post of official mascot of object-oriented ontology. If there was any doubt that humans (and primates and ants and birds and so on) were not the only creatures that can use tools, then this should settle it. Even an invertebrate knows how to use tools. More than that, this octopus uses tools to build a dwelling, for the very practical and sensible reason of protecting and furthering its existence. As Heidegger put it, “Dwelling, however, is the basic character of Being in keeping with which mortals exist. (…) Building and thinking are, each in its own way, inescapable for dwelling.” (p. 158). If that’s the case, then it’s time perhaps to freshen up Heidegger a bit. Enough talk of man, how about octopus?

“What if octopus’s homelessness consisted in this, that octopus still does not even think of the real plight of dwelling as the plight? Yet, as soon as octopus gives thought to his [or her] homelessness, it is a misery no longer. Rightly considered and kept well in mind, it is the sole summons that calls mortals into their dwelling. ” [After Heidegger, p. 159]


Heidegger, M. (1975). Poetry, Language, Thought. New York, Harper & Row.


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