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)
DOI 10.1007/s11007-010-9153-6
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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,204
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Writing and Difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - University of Chicago Press.
Historical Ontology.Ian Hacking - 2002 - Harvard University Press.

View all 34 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Foucault, Politics, and Violence.Johanna Oksala - 2012 - Northwestern University Press.
Ontological Frameworks for Scientific Theories.Jonas R. B. Arenhart - 2012 - Foundations of Science 17 (4):339-356.
Back to the Drawing Board.Joseph Agassi - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (4):509-518.
Does Ontology Exist?Hans-Johann Glock - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (2):235-260.
Keeping It Open: Ontology, Ethics, Knowledge and Radical Democracy.A. Kioupkiolis - 2011 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (6):691-708.
Ontology and Objectivity.Thomas Hofweber - 1999 - Dissertation, Stanford University
Foucault and Enlightenment: A Critical Reappraisal.Amy Allen - 2003 - Constellations 10 (2):180-198.
Practicing Politics with Foucault and Kant: Toward a Critical Life.Dianna Taylor - 2003 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 29 (3):259-280.
The Scope of Ontological Theorising.Stephen Pratten - 2007 - Foundations of Science 12 (3):235-256.
Overcoming Metaphysics: Elias and Foucault on Power and Freedom.Ian Burkitt - 1993 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 23 (1):50-72.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-17

Total downloads

59 ( #88,232 of 2,163,987 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #348,017 of 2,163,987 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums