Alien Phenomenology, or What It's Like to Be a Thing by Ian Bogost

By Ian Bogost

Humanity has sat on the heart of philosophical pondering for too lengthy. the new introduction of environmental philosophy and posthuman reports has widened our scope of inquiry to incorporate ecosystems, animals, and synthetic intelligence. but nearly all of the stuff in our universe, or even in our lives, continues to be past severe philosophical concern.

In Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s prefer to Be something, Ian Bogost develops an object-oriented ontology that places issues on the heart of being—a philosophy during which not anything exists any further or lower than the rest, during which people are parts yet now not the only real or perhaps basic parts of philosophical curiosity. and in contrast to experimental phenomenology or the philosophy of know-how, Bogost’s alien phenomenology takes with no consideration that every one beings engage with and understand each other. This event, although, withdraws from human comprehension and turns into available purely via a speculative philosophy in line with metaphor.

Providing a brand new technique for knowing the event of items as issues, Bogost additionally calls on philosophers to reconsider their craft. Drawing on his personal heritage as a videogame clothier, Bogost encourages expert thinkers to turn into makers besides, engineers who build issues up to they believe and write approximately them.

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Yet Spufford underestimates the ontological scope of lists. Lists do not just rebuff the connecting powers of language but rebuff the connecting powers of being itself. As he observes, “No one scribbles down a helpful sonnet before going shopping. . ”20 Philosophers, literary critics, and theorists spend so much of their time dealing with textual material that they risk forgetting about the ordinary status of such material. When made of language, lists remind the literary-obsessed that the stuff of things is many.

Just behind, a station wagon’s transmission assembly extends down from its chassis, almost reaching the painted asphalt surface of a crosswalk. Everywhere, all across the image, objects tousle one another. To list them underscores the difference between a Latour litany and a Shore ontograph: floodlight, screen print, Mastercard, rubber, asphalt, taco, Karmann Ghia, waste bin, oil stain. The Latour litany gathers disparate things together like a strong gravitational field. But the Shore ontograph takes things already gathered and explodes them into their tiny, separate, but contiguous universes.

It’s a phenomenology, to be sure. But it’s a phenomenology that explodes like shrapnel, leaving behind the human as solitary consciousness like the Voyager spacecraft leaves behind the heliosphere on its way beyond the boundaries of the solar system. ”73 Black is the color of sonic noise that approaches silence, allowing emissions of but a few spikes of energy. Similarly, in physics a black body is an object that absorbs all the electromagnetic radiation it encounters, emitting a spectrum of light commensurate with its temperature.

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