There have been several criticisms of Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) from the political Left. Perhaps the most frequent one has been that OOO’s aspiration to speak of objects apart from all their relations runs afoul of Marx’s critique of “commodity fetishism.” The main purpose of this article is to show that even a cursory reading of the sections on commodity in Marx’s Capital does not support such an accusation. For Marx, the sphere of entities that are not commodities is actually quite wide, including all the beings of nature not subject to exchange, as well as bartered goods, and tithes and rents paid in kind to feudal lords. In short, the theory of commodity fetishism is a theory of v a l u e, not an anti-realist theory of b e i n g, and thus does not touch on OOO at all. In closing, I make some brief comments on Marx’s relation to Kantian formalism and to Heidegger’s famous account of present-at-hand (vorhanden) and ready-to-hand (zuhanden).
Object-Oriented Ontology, Marx, commodity fetishism, Heidegger
How to cite:
Harman, Graham. “Object-Oriented Ontology and Commodity Fetishism: Kant, Marx, Heidegger, and Things.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 2, no. 1 (2017): 28-36. https://doi.org/10.26319/2913.
Southern California Institute of Architecture
960 East 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Bacon, Francis. The New Organon. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Mind and Meaning. Durham: Duke University Press, 2007.
Brassier, Ray, Iain Hamilton Grant, Graham Harman, Quentin Meillassoux. “Speculative Realism.” Collapse III (2007): 306-449.
DeLanda, Manuel. A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity. London: Continuum, 2006.
Fried, Michael. Art and Objecthood: Essays and Reviews. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
Greenberg, Clement. Homemade Esthetics: Observations of Art and Taste. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Harman, Graham. Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects. Chicago: Open Court, 2002.
Harman, Graham. Dante’s Broken Hammer: The Ethics, Aesthetics, and Metaphysics of Love. London: Repeater, 2016.
Harman, Graham. Object-Oriented Ontology: A New Theory of Everything. London: Pelican, 2018.
Heidegger, Martin. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Translated by James S. Churchill. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1962.
Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time. Translated by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. New York: Harper & Row, 2008.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment. Translated by Werner S. Pluhar. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
Kant, Immanuel. Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Translated by James W. Ellington. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2001.
Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993.
Marx, Karl. Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume One. Translated by Ben Fowkes. New York: Vintage, 1977.
Phillips, Wesley. “The Future of Speculation?.” Cosmos and History, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2012).
Scheler, Max. Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values: A New Attempt Toward the Foundation of an Ethical Personalism. Translated by Manfred S. Frings and Roger L. Funk M. Frings & R. Funk. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973.
Scheler, Max. “Ordo Amoris.” In Selected Philosophical Essays, 98 -135. Translated by David Lachterman. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1992.
Open Access Statement:
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.