Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Object-Oriented Approach to Philosophy

By: Sarah Hassan, Hania Elkady and Mayar Maged

Cairo, Egypt - The American University in Cairo hosted a lecture on “Object-Oriented Method in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Art and Architecture” on Sunday, March 30, where Dr. Graham Harman introduced his new approach in philosophy, discussing the various criticisms posted against his view.

Harman initiated the event by discussing the term object-oriented, as he assumed the audience had no background about the method. Apparently, the term is driven from computer science in which he borrowed from the object-oriented programming without having prior knowledge in the field.

Although he uses many terminologies, Harman stuck with naming the term “object-oriented” because he realized that people became more familiar with it.

Harman defined what an object is, and how its definition varies from ordinary people to the one that he believes in. According to him, an object for most people tends to be limited to midsize durable things and does not include ideas, events and large collections of objects like armies, countries or universities.

Despite what others perceive, he believes that the definition of an object is broader. An object contains all of those cartoon characters like squares or circles. It is also anything that has a certain individual consistency to it as well as anything that cannot be reduced either to its component piece or to its effects.

“I think his view goes against most famous ones and many people attack him on the Internet. I was eager to hear what he has to say about this,” Mathew Crippen, philosophy professor, said as he was commenting on the fact that Harman has a lot of opponents against his object-oriented approach to philosophy.

When asked what he has to say about the criticism held against him, Harman replied, “criticism can be a good sign, especially if you are being criticized for opposite reasons. Some people say I’m too based on science, some people say I don’t take science seriously enough. It’s a good sign that both of them are missing the point.”

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