No History or Society to be Found: Object-Oriented Ontology and Social Ontology

Bennett Gilbert


The apparent advent of a new geological age called the Anthropocene will alter the relations between the human and the natural through a new shape of social ontology of temporality. This takes the form of a moral challenge to overcome our traditional anthropocentrism. Speculative realist ontologies, including object-oriented ontology, reject any view of change, time, history, and society based on an anthropocentric point of view. Their rigid rejection of anthropocentrism requires a specific view of history and sociality proposed by proponents of object-oriented ontology. But the social ontology on which rejection of anthropocentrism is based has never been examined as an understanding of historical change over time. This ontology is based on a specialized form of the totalized logic of identity, the concept of antitypy; and by careful examination this is found to be inadequate because it cannot admit actual change of human affairs in time. The consequence is that rigid rejection of anthropocentrism from ontologically speculative-realist point of view therefore fails since it is necessarily based on a logic that must be rejected because it cannot account for social relations and history. A better approach relies on the necessity of relatedness in moral and social thought.


anthropocentrism; constructivism; object-oriented ontology; philosophy of history; social ontology; speculative realism

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ISSN: 2281-3209                DOI Prefix: 10.7408

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