Posts Tagged ‘causation’

A New Theory of Causation – lecture by Graham Harman

17 January 2009

Please see the abstract below for Graham Harman‘s forthcoming lecture in Paris on 26 January 2009.

Recent continental philosophy has devoted little attention to the theory of causation, which was so important in the history of metaphysics. Such philosophy remains obsessed with the relation between human and world- whether to posit an infinite gap between them, or to deny that the gap exists. The relation between inanimate objects such as cotton, fire, raindrops, and corn has been treated as a non-philosophical issue best left to the natural sciences. This lecture takes a different view. The world is not made of two distinct zones called human and world, but of countless objects inflicting blows on one another. Yet if we accept Heidegger’s insights concerning the withdrawal of beings into a dark, subterranean reality, the materialist view of causation as physical impact becomes impossible. We need a modified version of the occasionalist vision of two entities making contact only by way of a third. But instead of granting a causal monopoly to a single magical entity called God, occasional causation must be made secular and local- with all objects gaining the ghostly power to relate to others, even while remaining partly veiled from this relation. Reference will be made to kindred insights found in occasionalism, skepticism, and the late Scholastic position of Francisco Suarez.

Recording of Graham Harman’s talk on Manuel DeLanda

28 November 2008

A recording of Graham Harman’s ANTHEM seminar talk at the LSE yesterday, entitled “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda,” and the discussion that followed, is available here (1 hr 47 min). A PDF file of the PowerPoint slides can be downloaded from here.

Harman evaluated the ontological assumptions behind DeLanda’s realism, his notion of assemblage and his theory of causation, by tracing their origins in Deleuze and Bhaskar, among others. He then contrasted DeLanda’s ontology with that of Bruno Latour and concluded by presenting his own object-orientated approach to thinking about causation, objects, and emergence.


Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda

24 November 2008

As announced earlier,  we are expecting Graham Harman to join us at Thursday’s ANTHEM seminar. Dr Harman has also very kindly agreed to give us a talk, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation, in order to summarise but also expand on the main points of the paper (“The Assemblage Theory of Society”) that he has shared with us. The title of his talk is “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda.” The main themes are realism, causation, emergence, assemblages, essence, DeLanda, Deleuze, Bhaskar, Latour, and Harman’s own (Heideggerian) object-orientated philosophy.


Recording of Graham Harman’s lecture at AIB

8 February 2008

Click here to listen to (1 hour 15 minutes) or download (34.9MB) the recording of Graham Harman’s lecture “On the Origin of the Work of Art (atonal remix)” at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth on 1 February 2008. Read the abstract here.