The last great movement in continental philosophy is called speculative realism. One of the leading figures of this movement is Graham Harman, a philosopher who sees objects as fundamentally autonomous. Before an objects relations, there is just the object itself, and within the object are parts that are deep and inaccessible to the outside, to other objects. But many, like myself, see the relations as fundamental. There is no object before or after relations. Marx, of course, saw objects in terms of social relations and relations of production. Harman, the philosopher of objects, is to deliver a lecture on Nov 21 that will confront/encounter the alien Marxist object and other objects in the market system of value and meaning. This is a big deal in the world of continental philosophy. I really want to read this paper:
Object-oriented philosophy insists on the autonomy of objects outside any relation networks in which they might be enmeshed. In some quarters this has led to the accusation of “commodity fetishism,” since it seems to violate Marx’s principle by fetishizing an object itself outside its conditions of production. The first problem with this claim is that it rests on a theory of value, not of being. Marx would decry the claim that salt has value outside the productive relations that made it usable, but good materialist that he was, would never have denied the reality of salt prior to its entering into such relations. Nonetheless, this charge of commodity fetishism does open up the possibility of a dialogue between object-oriented philosophy and economics. What is an object for this philosophy, and what is an object for Marxist and other economics, and is there any point of intersection between these two?