Alien Phenomenology (What It’s Like to Be a Thing) + Carpentry & Art

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…Related to Infographics for Aliens

Humanity has sat at the center of philosophical thinking for too long. The recent advent of environmental philosophy and posthuman studies has widened our scope of inquiry to include ecosystems, animals, and artificial intelligence. Yet the vast majority of the stuff in our universe, and even in our lives, remains beyond serious philosophical concern.

In Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing, Ian Bogost develops an object-oriented ontology that puts things at the center of being—a philosophy in which nothing exists any more or less than anything else, in which humans are elements but not the sole or even primary elements of philosophical interest. And unlike experimental phenomenology or the philosophy of technology, Bogost’s alien phenomenology takes for granted that all beings interact with and perceive one another. This experience, however, withdraws from human comprehension and becomes accessible only through a speculative philosophy based on metaphor.

Providing a new approach for understanding the experience of things as things, Bogost also calls on philosophers to rethink their craft. Drawing on his own background as a videogame designer, Bogost encourages professional thinkers to become makers as well, engineers who construct things as much as they think and write about …




… and what’s the difference between carpentry and art?

  • Anytime art comes up we have a problem, because the twentieth century made it such that anything can be art, whether you or I like it or not. So in that sense, I guess Darius is right.
  • Carpentry is a perspective on creative work that asks philosophical questions. Or differently put, carpentry is what you call it when matter (including art, why not) is used (at least) but especially fashioned for philosophical use.
  • Carpentry is the process of making things that help philosophers (which is just to say, lovers of wisdom) pursue arguments and questions, not just illustrations of ideas that “really” live in the discursive realm.
  • Carpentry it’s not “just” art because it participates in the practice of philosophy, just like a surgeon’s scalpel isn’t art because it participates in the practice of medicine.
  • The above notwithstanding, carpentry surely also has other uses and interpretations beyond the ones I originally conceived.


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Digital Design, General Inspiration, Interactives, UI UX

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