Paying Attention

I think Harman is generally right about this position, though I would say that one of these is not like the rest:

But of all the objections to OOO so far, the one I am least able to grasp is this: “if you’re saying that humans aren’t the center of ontology, then you must be saying humans are worthless.” According to this view, humans must be God or nothingness, with no options in between.

I don’t get that. Did Copernicus demonstrate the “worthlessness” of our planet by putting it in motion? Did Darwin really demonstrate that we are a “worthless” species?

I would say that SR is not like Copernicus or Darwin in the sense that while these two are describing the movement of the Earth and the emergence of life on Earth, SR or OOO is focusing its attention elsewhere since it is saying that value is elsewhere. In other words, one can imagine (or actually just see in the 19th century) a philosophy that focused wholly on human experience, since that is all that is valuable. But the very practice of SR is saying that this is not all that is valuable, meaningful and so on—beyond the will to truth of getting a description of reality “right.” And that’s why I do tend to think, as I’ve noted, SR alongside, for example, recent anti-anthropocentrism in environmental philosophy, since the latter provides a normativity to what is going on elsewhere in SR and OOO. This is not the normativity as we normally think of it, that what is good for singular humans, but rather that what is good is not just human.