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Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics$
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Abraham Jacob Greenstine and Ryan J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412094

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412094.001.0001

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Object and Ο‎ὐ‎σία‎: Harman and Aristotle on the Being of Things

Object and Ο‎ὐ‎σία‎: Harman and Aristotle on the Being of Things

(p.224) Chapter 12 Object and Ο‎ὐ‎σία‎: Harman and Aristotle on the Being of Things
Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics

Eric Salem

Edinburgh University Press

Eric Salem’s “Object and Οὐσία‎: Harman and Aristotle on the Being of Things” is the last encounter with Aristotelian philosophy. Salem shows that Graham Harman aims to revive realism by putting objects back at the center of metaphysical inquiry. Harman traces his own thinking back to Aristotle, whom he considers to be the first object-oriented philosopher. Yet Harman, by rejecting the ontological importance of nature, universalizing intentionality to all kinds of object-object relations, and defending the reality of objects that Aristotle would not consider to be genuine οὐσίαι‎, claims to provide a weirder version of Aristotle’s theory of substance. Salem finds that the ideas of each can temper the excesses of the other: the cosmos of Aristotle corrects Harman’s overly expansive ontology, while the carnival of Harman supplements Aristotle’s insufficient account of autonomy and unity. Further, both provoke us to again ask – what is a thing?

Keywords:   Graham Harman, Aristotle, Οὐσία‎, Object-Oriented, Form, Substance, Realism

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