Download Fictive Theories: Towards a Deconstructive and Utopian by S. McManus PDF

By S. McManus

Tracing the fictions that lie on the center of political theory's makes an attempt to flooring itself in nature, fact or wisdom of the true opens the gap for a brand new mode of political theorizing. This new mode of (self-consciously) fictive theorizing has, McManus argues, either epistemological and moral merits. Methodologically reflexive, half epistemological critique, and half political manifesto, this ebook unfolds an artistic epistemology of the potential, a utopian and deconstructive mode of political idea which strikes past a politics in accordance with legislative drives. this suggests relocating from a political-theoretical mode fascinated with types of governance, to a significantly utopian mode, involved in emancipatory knowledges and resistance.

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Extra info for Fictive Theories: Towards a Deconstructive and Utopian Political Imagination

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Magic allows for multiplicity; Hobbes allows for a singular, unitary story. But does this hold? What are the constituent parts of Hobbes’s universe? Hobbes’s central concern, then, is the creation of a bounded, finite ontology, and his metaphysical materialism, his conception the universe as composed of “matter in 28 / fictive theories motion” is core to this: The World, (I mean not the Earth Onely [. ] but the Universe, that is, the whole masse of things that are) is Corporeall, that is to say, Body; and hath the dimensions of Magnitude, namely, Length, Bredth, and Depth [.

44 There are grave problems with Hobbes’s account of the human subject; but those problems are not to do with the materialism of his universe, but with its foreclosure of possibility. To draw out the logic and dangers of anti-utopianism in Hobbes, it is time now to turn to the body, and what it can know. While my reading of the Hobbesian subject is a critical one, I also want to remain alert to potentialities in his restraining fictions / 29 anti-essentialist and embodied account of subjectivity: for how else could we begin to understand a fictive subjectivity (a subjectivity attuned and alert to the future potential, the very temporal but yet material shivers and thrills of anticipation and dread, to say the least)?

Consider, as a lateral comparison with Hobbes’s resolutive-compositive method, Jane Bennett’s suggestive account of magic, drawing on Paracelsus, a fifteenth-century alchemist and medic: for Paracelsus, magic was a means by which the elements of the world could be made to form new alliances. Magic broke down the usual structure of a thing and then reconfigured the newly released parts with each other or with the disaggregated bits of other (former) wholes. 37 What I find specifically productive for now, however, is recognition of an underlying conceptual shift that the comparison provokes.

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