Foucault's politicization of ontology

Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):445-466 (2010)
Abstract
The paper explicates a politicized conception of reality with the help of Michel Foucault’s critical project. I contend that Foucault’s genealogies of power problematize the relationship between ontology and politics. His idea of productive power incorporates a radical, ontological claim about the nature of reality: Reality as we know it is the result of social practices and struggles over truth and objectivity. Rather than translating the true ontology into the right politics, he reverses the argument. The radicality of his method lies in showing how the ontological order of things is in itself the outcome of a political struggle: Ontology is politics that has forgotten itself. I argue that Foucault’s thought accomplishes the politicization of ontology with two key theoretical moves. The first is the contestation and provocation of all given and necessary ontological foundations. He affirms the ontological view that there is a discontinuity between reality and all ontological schemas that order it, and a subsequent indeterminacy of reason in establishing ultimate truths or foundations. After this initial step whereby ontology is denaturalized—made arbitrary or at least historically contingent—the way is open for explanations that treat the alternative and competing ontological frameworks as resulting from historical, linguistic and social practices of power. The second key move is thus the exposure of power relations and their constitutive role in our conception of reality. I conclude by considering the implications of Foucault’s politicization of ontology for our understanding of politics
Keywords Foucault  Political ontology  The political  Politics  Power
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,068
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 22 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Joseph Agassi (2005). Back to the Drawing Board. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (4):509-518.
Thomas Hofweber (1999). Ontology and Objectivity. Dissertation, Stanford University
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-17

Total downloads

37 ( #50,232 of 1,101,814 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #128,762 of 1,101,814 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.