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Speculating about the Unknowable Inner Lives of Units

(p.61) [3] Metaphorism
Alien Phenomenology, or What It's Like to Be a Thing
Ian Bogost
University of Minnesota Press

This chapter provides an overview of objective phenomenology, one not dependent on empathy or the imagination. There is a considerable difference between accepting the truth of human accounts of object perceptions and recognizing that, as humans, we are destined to offer anthropomorphic metaphors for the unit operations of object perception, especially when our intention frequently involves communicating those accounts to other humans. As Jane Bennet states, anthropomorphizing helps us underscore the differences between ourselves and the objects around us. Graham Harman contends that things enter into negotiations with other things as much as we do with them. The chapter also argues that objects try to make sense of each other through the qualities and logics they possess.

Keywords:   objective phenomenology, object perceptions, anthropomorphic metaphors, Jane Bennet, Graham Harman

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