Abject Withdrawal? On the Prospect of a Nonanthropocentric Object-oriented Ontology

Booth, Robert (2021) Abject Withdrawal? On the Prospect of a Nonanthropocentric Object-oriented Ontology. Angelaki, 26 (5). pp. 20-37. ISSN 0969-725X

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Despite exerting considerable influence on other academic disciplines and mainstream environmental thought, object-oriented ontology has attracted little critical engagement from academic philosophers as a philosophy in its own right. Here, I address one aspect of this oversight by exploring Timothy Morton’s claim that “being ecological” – cultivating the anticolonial and nonanthropocentric mindset to disrupt environmental crises – requires an object-oriented purview. Working against the backdrop of the Anthropocene, I firstly reconstruct Morton’s two main arguments for the power and ecological promise of object-oriented ontology. With some help from (eco)feminist theory, I then argue that, despite its radically nonanthropocentric façade, object-oriented ontology retains some problematic aspects of the dualistic thinking that it rightly pits itself against. More specifically, because object-oriented ontology retains the absence/presence binary of the subject/object dualism as one of its basic metaphysical commitments, it appears destined to perpetuate an insidious anthropocentrism by either fetishizing or collapsing the alterity of the nonhuman things it aims to rethink. Object-oriented ontology seems, therefore, poorly suited to the task that Morton sets for it.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in on 1st September 021. Available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0969725X.2021.1963075
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Education > Education Studies
Depositing User: Robert Booth
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2021 13:17
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2021 13:17
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/3393

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