A Leftist Ontology: Beyond Relativism and Identity Politics by Carsten Strathausen, William E. Connolly

By Carsten Strathausen, William E. Connolly

Rich with analyses of ideas from deconstruction, platforms thought, and post-Marxism, with evaluations of fundamentalist inspiration and the warfare on terror, this quantity argues for constructing a philosophy of being so as to triumph over the predicament of postmodern relativism. Undergirding the contributions are the premises that ontology is an important proposal for philosophy at the present time, that a suitable leftist ontology needs to stay away from the type of id politics that has ruled contemporary cultural reports, and new ontology needs to be located inside worldwide capitalism. A Leftist Ontology deals a well timed intervention in political philosophy, that includes the various top voices of our time.

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He might concur that national unity is not inscribed in a higher purpose of Being but, because of the implacable will to dominance inhabiting him, exploit that absence to impose artificial unity on the state by treating selective minorities as enemies to be conquered, excluded, or both. This means that ontology by itself does not "determine" either an ethical or political orientation. But it does not preclude more loosely woven relations of interdetermination between ontology and politics. The key difference between Schmitt and Butler is one of sensibility, an element that helps to define the tone and spirit of a lived ontology.

Logically speaking, Mouffe's ethical denunciation of political acts that seek to establish social closure falls prey to the same critique she herself levels against liberals such as Habermas and Rawls. Whereas Mouffe appeals to democracy and the political as the highest principles worthy of protection, they appeal to reason and morality instead. On the abstract level of philosophical reflection, however, neither of these terms is more than an empty signifier in Laclau's sense. They are all just rhetorical constructions.

It cannot-at least not on the visceral level of my own physical existence as a human being. The specter of Relativism exists only in the disembodied ether of abstract thought. It is itself relative, not absolute-a fact that professional intellectuals tend to forget due to their preoccupation with "pure" ideas and cognitive language. As human beings, however, we always already find ourselves situated in specific historical contexts and traditions that make us prone to certain beliefs at the expense of others.

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