Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Onto-Cartography as meta-theory and not practice

As a follow up to this post and its comment, in a recent post Bryant provided a link to the intro of Onto-Cartography. A few excerpts:

"I am not convinced that matter is one type of thing. Rather, everything seems to point to the conclusion that there are many different types of matter" (6).

Uh oh, ontological pluralism!

"The work that follows can be described as a work of of meta-politics and meta-ethics. It does not stipulate what political issues we should be concerned with, what we ought to do, or what ethics we ought to advocate, but rather attempts to outline the ontological framework within which political and ethical questions should be thought" (8).

So I'm using the meta-theory of onto-cartography to criticize the lack of specific practical commitments in Onto-Cartography. And to show how the meta-theory might be applied in such political and ethical ways as to effect a better socio-economic system with a more equitable gravitational pull up for everyone. Someone's gotta do it, since this book is just a meta-theory.

Recall this from his pre-book lecture "The gravity of things," which applies to the meta-theory of onto-cartography itself, though aimed here at Zizek:

"Aping Zizek’s style, the question to ask, however, is that of precisely who these critiques are for. [...] When we reflect on Zizek’s critiques, we notice that they require a high degree of theoretical background to be understood. [...] Every entity requires a sort of 'program' to receive and decipher messages of a particular sort from another entity. Reading Zizek ’s work requires a particular sort of training if the recipient is to decipher it. When we evaluate Zizek's work by this criteria and critique him immanently [...] we can ask, on material grounds, about the adequacy of his project. Such a critique is not a critique of the accuracy of his critiques, but rather of the adequacy of his practice. [...] We might thereby conclude that such a practice is actually a mechanism that reproduces these sorts of social relations rather than transforming them as it leaves the ideology itself untouched while simultaneously giving the ideological critic the impression that he’s intervening in some way" (17).

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