Without a world: The rhetorical potential and “dark politics” of object-oriented thought


By way of generative critique, this article considers the premises, potential, and consequences of object-oriented ontology (OOO) and object-oriented rhetoric (OOR). To do this, it moves through four progressive and accumulative sections: first, the primacy and necessity of meaning-formation (signification) in any meaningful ontology, and thus the rhetorical exigency of any ontology in the first place; second, the potential and pitfalls of any specifically object-oriented rhetoric; third, the function of doxa (and episteme / logos) as means to recalibrate OOO and bridge it to a proper OOR; and fourth, extending from such a doxical approach, the ethical and political consequences of OOO/OOR, which we mark as a “dark politics” for two reasons-(1) the appropriately withdrawn, but nonetheless actual, politics of OOO/OOR, and (2) how such an ontological politics, whether intended or not, has “dark” (destructive) potential for bodies and lives.

Publication Title

Philosophy and Rhetoric