Graham Harman [US]
Under the title Hyperpresent, five contemporary thinkers will give a talk on a new idea that they introduced themselves. Afterwards, they will engage in a conversation with philosopher Laurent De Sutter – who curated this series.
What objects exist in the social world and how should we understand them? Is a specific Pizza Hut restaurant as real as the employees, tables, napkins and pizzas of which it is composed, and as real as the Pizza Hut corporation with its headquarters in Plano, United States, planet Earth and the social and economic impact of the restaurant on the lives of its employees and customers? The founder of object-oriented philosophy Graham Harman will discuss his approach in order to shed light on the nature and status of objects in social life. While it is often assumed that an interest in objects amounts to a form of materialism, Harman rejects this view and instead develops an ‘immaterialist’ method, providing a counterpoint to the now ubiquitous social theories of constant change, holistic networks, performative identities, and the construction of things by human practice.
• Graham Harman is professor of philosophy at SCI-Arc in Los Angeles. His work on the metaphysics of object led to the development of Object-Oriented Ontology. He is a central figure in the Speculative Realism movement in contemporary philosophy. His latest book is Speculative Realism: An Introduction.