On Nancy and OOO

Effervescent Crucibles writes about the connection between “deconstruction” and object oriented philosophy here. He mentions Harman’s critique of Nancy’s “whatever” being, which Harman makes in terms of Nancy’s corpus in an edited volume on Nancy due out from SUNY Press. The point is not to critique Harman’s view of Nancy, but more potently, the more sensible way often missed in our hyper-critical culture: if your view is that Harman is wrong that Nancy offers a new formless background to being, a new version of Thales water, well don’t just fall down the well of back-and-forth criticism (Nancy is right, Harman is wrong), then the best way to show this is to use Nancy to show that Harman is right (about OOO in general, not, obviously, Nancy).  Reverse the tediously typical hermeneutic strategy: instead of saying how Harman gets Nancy wrong and then citing various places in Nancy to this effect, begin by saying how you’re going to show how Nancy’s work bolsters Harman’s realist account. Then you can demonstrate, perhaps, ways in which Nancy’s work explores places of sense as of now left out unaddressed in Harman’s work (namely, for example, the linkage between his sense of the world and the sensibility of art). Then that shows Nancy or some other figure (this is just an example) to be a theoretical tool for provoking thought on these topics, rather than simply taking the hammer to hit the saw and forgetting about the wood to be worked.