In this talk, originally given in French at Bernard Stiegler’s Summer Academy (2012), I compare Graham Harman’s bifurcationist ontology of objects to its precedent and model, structuralism. In particular OOO bears a close resemblance to Althusser’s philosophy of science, which differenciates in very similar terms between two types of object: the real object and the theoretical object (which can be either scientific or ideological). Harman’s philosophy can be seen as a de-scientised and de-politicised form of structuralism.
Althusser’s structurali]sm also rejects, under the name of the “problematic of the subject”, the subjective idealism that Quentin Meillassoux and his followers call “correlationism”. I go on to contrast these two instances of epistemological and ontological monism with Paul Feyerabend’s pluralism.
Harman’s OOP (object-oriented philosophy), like Althusser’s structuralism, can be seen to be a form of synchronic ontology, and its contradictions and aporia can only be overcome by means of a different form of ontology, that can be found in Feyerabend’s works, but also in those of Michel Serres, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Bernard Stiegler, and Andrew Pickering.