The object-oriented ontology group of philosophies, and certain strands of posthumanism, overlook important ethical and biological differences, which make a difference. These allied intellectual movements, which have at times found broad popular appeal, attempt to weird life as a rebellion to the forced melting of lifeforms through the artefacts of capitalist realism. They truck, however, in a recursive solipsism resulting in ontological flattening, overlooking that things only show up to us according to our attunement to them. Ecology and biology tend to get lost in the celebration of “thingness,” which puts on par artifacts, trash, and living beings. Such abstractions fail to understand the political, ethical, and ontological implications of eliding the animate/nonanimate distinction, which from the opposite direction (of flattening) reproduce the same violences of historical colonialism (hierarchical humanism). I argue that ontological flattening entails epistemological narcissism, fails to take into account plural (interspecies) perspectives, and propose biosemiotics can address these shortcomings through becoming-with nonhuman knowledge.
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 4 Jan 2023|
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