Process Rising (Updated)
by Adam Robbert
Update: Levi Bryant has weighed in here, and, somewhat surprisingly, has identified himself as a process philosopher. I’m quite happy about this, as the more I put the magnifying glass on the situation the more I find similarities between the two camps. Perhaps the discussion should now move away from whether or not OOO and process philosophy are incommensurable (there are still important differences, even if increasing hybridity seems inevitable), and onto the more interesting discussion between what OOO and process, particularly Whitehead’s speculative philosophy, have in common, where they differ, and what each can offer contemporary issues (some of which has already begun, yet the dialogue still remains largely in the domain of theoretical explication). Bryant makes several noteworthy contributions in this area – particularly by calling attention to the lacking, and necessary, political dimension that should be a part of ontological thinking. Bryant specifically cites political activism in this regard (e.g., revolutions in America, France, Haiti and Russia). In the flurry of recent discussions I’ve similarly argued that Whitehead lacks both a substantial political and ethical dimension- even if both can be coaxed out of his system by many folks who have been influenced by his thought (I’m thinking particularly of Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, and Isabelle Stengers). The question I now have is this- can one rightly call themselves an object-oriented process philosopher? Have we reach a point of interesting intersection, or have things become even further “muddled”?
Several responses concerning the previous post are now up. I only have a few moments to pass along the links, I highly recommend each one, particularly Steven Shaviro, who has written a lengthy response in defense of process here. Adrian from Immanence is here, Matt from Foot Notes to Plato here, Leon at After Nature here, and Jason from Immanent Transcendence has three posts, starting here. I may get a chance to respond to everyones commentaries tonight, time permitting.