The Importance of Object Oriented Philosophy | Lecture and conversation with philosophers Graham Harman and Arjen Kleinherenbrink
The Importance of Object Oriented Philosophy | Lecture and conversation with philosophers Graham Harman and Arjen Kleinherenbrink

The Importance of Object Oriented Philosophy

Thursday 18 April 2024, 8 pm - 9:30 pm
English lecture and conversation | Radboud Reflects, Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies and Publisher Boom

Venue: De Vasim, De Kolk 15, Nijmegen


We think wrongly about the world, argues American philosopher Graham Harman. The world is not as processual, dynamic and changeable as we often think. It consists mostly of unruly objects that rarely actually change. It is precisely this stubbornness of objects that makes it so incredibly difficult to effect change, whether you want to save an ecosystem or change an organization. Come and learn from philosophers Graham Harman and Arjen Kleinherenbrink why objects are so important and why their nukkiness determines the fate of the world.


With his philosophical movement the Object Oriented Philosophy, Graham Harman shows that individual objects, from teacups to multinational corporations, call the shots. Objects are petulant, and do not easily coalesce into more fluid processes. They collide and repel each other, which makes the world a place full of obstacles. Objects all have an essence that is terribly difficult to change. Everyone recognizes this: companies, for example, never really seem to change, despite the large number of visionary consultants or workshops employees participate in.  Or think about how incredibly difficult it is to change the course of decaying ecosystems in times of climate change.


Real changes only occur five or six times in an object's lifetime, according to Graham Harman. For people these include major events such as finding your great love, moving to another country or a traumatic event. The rest of the changes that happen to you are trivial because they don't actually make you who you are. Just think about losing skin cells and hair. That is why change is much more dangerous AND vulnerable than we think, because you almost never change and if something really affects you you are stuck with it for life.

Object Oriented Philosophy

Whether you like living somewhere is determined by the objects, by the bench, the stream, the bike lanes and the width of the sidewalk according to Graham Harman. Not by political ideologies. Harman explains why Object Oriented Philosophy is important. Philosopher Arjen Kleinherenbrink joins him to discuss the nukkiness of objects. There are far more objects than we think, and these are far more nukky than we think. And despite this, change is much rarer than we think.

This programme will be in English.  

About the speakers

Graham Harman is an renowned American philosopher. He is the founder of the new philosophical movement Object Oriented Philosophy. In April, the Dutch translation of his book Object Oriented Ontology; a new theory of everything (Boom Publishers) will be released. 

Arjen Kleinherenbrink is a philosopher at Radboud University Nijmegen and director of the Research School of Philosophy. He has written several public books including Alles is een machineAvonturen bestaan niet (with Simon Gusman) and De constructie van de wereld. He wrote the introduction tot he Dutch translation of Objectgeoriënteerde ontologie; een nieuwe theorie over alles.


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This is a programme of Radboud Reflects and Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies and Publisher Boom.

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