Like many of us, I did like what the Speculative people were getting at, but also as we know, they really failed to come full with the promise.
But the horse is already out of the gate, and the nature of our reality, which is based in the developing of identity for the purpose of generating excess capital, just tells us that they are merely doing what everyone else does. Nothing wrong with that. But the problem with their philosophy is that they are now trapped in their identity they proposed to do away with through Objects. They are already on our list of great philosophies, so any critique that would poke a real good hole in there foundations of their start, is usually useless. They are laughing to the carnival bank. “$5 a show!!” or “$130 a book for this most significant piece of philosophical chicanery!!” If we take it as what is really is, entertainment, then maybe some of them are worth $100. But not for its substantial philosophical content, in many cases.
the main critique Ive heard of the SR (and extensions) is that they are merely repeating old phenomenological tropes in different terms, that we aren’t really hearing anything new. I think I got a more significant handle in a critique, but I doubt any of the career philosophers will address these issues regardless of how sound a critique it is. That is the beauty of SR and our day for the production of philosophy: As much as they might ask, our modern media prevents them from having to hear any valid and good critique. Maybe in a few years they will. But I doubt it.
In particular, Harmans’s Object Ontology is about objects’ Being only inso far as he is involved with the topic of objects, this is to say, the Speculative turn is one based in an apparent misunderstanding of the issue, and this is to say because :
1)the argument that says reality equals discourse.
2)discourse is affected by human agency (the thinker)
3)continental tradition is constantly proposing that we can therefore change the situation of Being human itself by addressing the different terms of discourse.
4)Specultive turn thereby proposes to change where the human being is positioned in the universe by changing the focus to objects.
5)what happens is that indeed discourses change, but the human being stays right at the center of it.
6)the Specultive turn is based in a suspension of credibility, and deception. Like a magic show that people like to be entertained by. They are no longer involved with something foundational or basic, but quite suspenseful and speculative. Like a modern movie that never resolves, they merely precipitate out in a quite noticeable fashion the ‘sand-like’ nature of much of philosophical activity, falling through ones fingers as they attempt to hold it, washing away and shifting with the tide. Like a façade on a building that advertises the business, but in this case, a façade that is proposed to be actually occupying and representing the substance of the building itself — even as Quentin Miellassoux talked about the problem of ‘magical thinking’.
7)this goes well with out current Capitalist state because it proposes that the idea as well as reality of change breaks through the correlational cycle into actual substance (chaos, super-contingency). It therefore not only relies upon capitalist maxims and operations, but uses it to support capitalist ideological foundations.
8)this is not wrong or incorrect, but inherently either based in ignorance (in so far as they see the manner by which they come to their arguments and how they use them as achieving something philosophically different or progressed), or deception (in so far as they see that the manner is based in a denial of what should be obvious).
The Speculative turn will go down in history as a marker of philosophical division, a division that I don’t think any SR will expect or approve of.
I should say again, they are not wrong in their way. I actually enjoy much of their stuff. It is only that they could not produce what it seemed was promised, in a manner of speaking. And I wonder if they just went with it despite knowing that their ideas were – can I say it?? – kinda empty.