I’m finishing up the first chapter of Harman’s OOO today, but I have to comment on his view of an object, especially in relation to his equivocation of objects and events.
To Harman, “an object is more than its pieces and less than its effects” (53, emphasis his). But what does this really tell us? To me, it means that any conglomeration of any group of things is an object. But each of those things is also an object. I’m assuming that calling this an event means that an object is in time as well as space.
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any issue. However, an object seems to lose all sense of identity when viewed this way. I think my objects extend well beyond identity though. From a New Realist perspective, objects must exist somewhere. Harman combines the object with its space-time location. But consider the nature of reality – it contains everything within it. It eliminates effects – true, but it also makes all objects fall into Harman’s category of objects being less than their effects.
This does not mean that he is wrong, only that he isn’t telling us much in a positive sense. I think that he might fail due to his rejection of a physical basis of objects and the combination of an object with its information.
On another note, the book is quite enjoyable to read and his writing style is wonderful. For now, I’m off to sign some providers up for training and reconcile some Excel sheets.