5 thoughts on “The Universe of Things”

  1. As I listened to the audio version and read the lecture here, it seemed to me that the idea of metamorphosis is intended to serve as an alternative to Harman’s notion of vacuum-sealed essences that withdraw beyond all relation. According to your Whitheadian take, objects in metamorphosis withdraw into relations that have transformative effects:

    “…in the movement of metamorphosis, the web of meaning is multiplied and
    extended, echoed and distorted, propagated to infinity, as the thing loses itself in
    the network of its own ramifying traces.”

    Is this description to some extent derived from Whitehead’s notion of “objective immortality”–i.e. the condition achieved by the subject when it completes its process of concresence, becomming a superject or objective datum for the feelings of other objects?

  2. I concur with Aaron that I take your version of metamorphosis as somewhat directly opposed (alternative) to Harman’s withdraw essences, and I would say does a much better job of explaining how relations and objects co-exist, and even co-evolve, and therefore affords a much richer and also ecological (immanent) account of real-world processes and events. I enjoyed your talk thoroughly. Thanks.

  3. I have been wondering if you would write anything about the BP Oil Disaster. I suppose oil derricks count as things. Carville blasts Obama on this front:


    I know, I know, many of the philosophers would prefer to remain in the ethereal void as it pertains to THINGS, or THANGS, but I’m wondering if you think Obama should turn his attention to this, and get something going.

    The Russians are saying we should cap it with an underground nuclear device.

    I know, ecology and all that. But this is a question of relative evils, as it nearly always is, in the real world.

  4. As a Shelley scholar long familiar with Shelley’s engagement with Spinoza, I can’t help admiring your reading of Mont Blanc. Pulos’s book is rather old hat at this point…

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