I'm looking for a particular philosophical term

It appears to be in vogue today- it relates to physical objects that are somewhat stripped of human perception (while still being able to be perceived), and all the accompanying biases, beliefs, values, concepts and social ideology accompanying that perception. I think modern art refers to it as “non-conceptual”. Art that deliberately defies and negates interpretation. It envisages the world of objects with a minimum of human perceptual/conceptual taint. Strip the world of transitive, fleeting human sensation, and you have eternal thingness that rejects all language, all definition, all attempts at rationalization.

It may have inspired films like Snakes on a Plane (if not the movie then the title), and the inexplicable resilience of the Bush presidency.

That’s alot of meaning for one term to carry. I think I understand what you mean, but perhaps you could elucidate by example.

I guess what I’m getting at is the emphasis on "thing in itself"ness, free from greater contextualization and any adjectives anyone tries to throw at it. The thing doesn’t need to justify itself or be understood, whether in terms of purpose or beauty; it’s mere existence justifies itself. I thought there was a word for this idea beyond “non-conceptual”, but perhaps not.

Some of Cattelan’s work comes to mind:


You may have stumbled into one of my ’ pet hates ’ - irony.

Although, I think you may be referring to post-irony or even post-post-post[etc]-irony.
urbandictionary.com/define.p … ost-ironic


P.S. - Having seen the link you provided, I think I’m right - post-post-post[etc]-irony.

No I don’t think that’s it.

Here’s another example:


Christo and Jeanne-Claude made it clear that the Gates weren’t supposed to mean anything; they just were.


Is this going to be an aesthetics term?



Haecce´ity - (hĕksē´ĭtŷ)


Was that the one?



No, although I suppose its related. What I’m thinking of relates more to the thingness itself, not the essence of the thing. Haeceity makes some attempt to deconstruct, does it not? This idea also emphasizes the deliberate deconstruction of human bias almost to the point of non-existence, leaving just the thing in all the bare purity of its unique being. And the concept of haeceity is very old; this phenomenon is definitely post modernist.

Think about cubism: no matter who looks at an object, their are specific characteristics of that object that will be apparent to anyone and everyone- this is a key to revealing its true identity independent of all human preconceptions and interpretations

I think the closest term other than non-conceptual would be supreme objectivity. However, it relates more to human works of art than to aspects of nature. All things in nature imply some purpose and cause; this rejects it. Hence it emphasizes both the work of art and the act of creating it as ends in themselves, and unrelated to anything. (at least that’s my take; I’m sure there’s a more official explanation. Obviously it’s a form of art and philosophy that doesn’t take kindly to any explanation).

Oh, and it’s also very qualitative- it seems Haecceity is more about the form than the content.

Haeccity, literally is “Thisness”.

-implying both recognition and contextualization. My idea refers more to “Thatness”, where there is neither.

Post-structuralist Gilles Deleuze: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilles_Deleuze


Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t haeccity refer more to the concept of a thing’s uniqueness, rather than the essence of the thing?

But the art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Cattelan negate all concepts. Yes, I see the relation,

I have a problem with that last sentence. How could the qualitative aspect be more empirical than the quantitative aspects? What relation does the “discordant force” have to its individuation from other things? The art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude or Cattelan isn’t prided on its individuation from other phenomena, but on its own qualitative essence.

The problem I have with haeccity is that individuation and essence emphasize form, and form relates to context, which implies meaning. It is too quantitative.