After Possession


  • Iain MacKenzie University of Kent



Garcia, Possession, Object, Ontology


Tristan Garcia’s Form and Object has been framed primarily as a contribution to object oriented metaphysics. In this article, I shall explicate and defend four claims that bring it closer to the modern critical tradition: 1) that Garcia’s Form and Object can be read, profitably, within the tradition of reflection upon the nature of possessions, self-possession and possessiveness; 2) that to read the book in this way is to see Garcia as the French heir to C. B. McPherson although it will be argued that what this amounts to is that while McPherson was the anti-Locke, so to speak, Garcia is the anti-Rousseau; 3) that this framing has significant consequences for our reception of Form and Object in that it can be understood as a book that not only marks a moment in debates surrounding speculative realism and object oriented ontology but that it also, and primarily, marks an important moment in debates about the encroachment of things and the culture of possession that, in part, defines modernity; 4) that there is a novel ontological position within Form and Object, one that is neither relational nor individualist, that presents a challenging account of ‘the chance and the price’ of living after possession and how to overcome the deleterious effects of contemporary consumer societies.

Author Biography

Iain MacKenzie, University of Kent

Reader in Politics

School of Politics and International Relations