The past decade, in particular, has seen the rise of “a unified theory or ontology of objects”, Object-Oriented-Ontology (OOO), to the forefront of academic philosophy. But there will be no headlines on the work of thinkers such as Graham Harman, Timothy Morton or Bruno Latour for contemporary philosophy at the moment poses no match to the LHC in terms of spectacular imagery. It is a shame, because this field might actually hold the keys to forge the alliances necessary to deal with global concerns such as global warming, indigenous survival and mass bio-extinction.
The narrative surrounding the announcement at CERN threatens to further subjugate vast fields of human knowledge, both academic and traditional. Now that the time for redistribution of power seems to be on the works, shutting down the voices of local gods would be a setback. The powerful language used to build the narrative of the LHC, “mankind”, “reality”, “triumph”, “god particle”, etc makes the issues of knowledge hard to think freely about. This is precisely why it is important to examine the inner workings of the way this story has been presented.
By this I don’t mean to argue that the experiments conducted at the LHC are illegitimate; the science indeed seems sound and the sheer amount of labour concentrated in this thing is mind blowing. Still, the LHC shouldn’t overreach, making the project more legitimate or “global” than it really is. Its findings are relevant within the confines of modern rational materialism, but they are not the unique and universal model of existence. To say that the Large Hadron Collider is the final “global” jury on the matter of ontology because they have international collaboration programmes is like believing that the locally customised versions of the McDonald’s meal accurately represent the world’s cuisine.
This article is great! Exactly why OOO and new feminist materialisms are so important.