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An outline of object-oriented philosophy

Posted on 21. February, 2014.

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The term “object-oriented philosophy” was initially borrowed in jest from computer science, but took on a life of its own. It is one variant of a broader philosophical trend known as speculative realism. Together these schools raise interesting questions about the relationship between philosophy and science, and the role of metaphysics in human knowledge. 

In this article, Graham Harman, Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo,  summarises the principles of object-oriented philosophy and explains its similarities with, and differences from, the outlook of the natural sciences. Like science, the object-oriented position avoids the notion (quite common in philosophy) that the human–world relation is the ground of all others, such that scientific statements about the world would only be statements about the world as it is for humans. But unlike science, object-oriented metaphysics treats artificial, social, and fictional entities in the same way as natural ones, and also holds that the world can only be known allusively rather than directly.

Science Progress (2013), 96(2), 187–199

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