At Social Epistemology, Zsuzsa Gille questions whether ontological positions on ‘matter’ have any necessary ‘political valence’ – in response to a piece by Myra Hird on indeterminacy and waste. I find it quite peculiar that people do still make arguments which presume that ontological claims have political significance – mainly, because the significance that they are meant to have always ends up looking a little predictable: things could be different, things are a little bit contingent, things are open to transformation, and by all sorts of influences, things could be more inclusive. Not sure one really needs a strong or even a weak ontology to find those sorts of ideas persuasive – the presumption that one does need ‘ontology’ to open up new political possibilities perhaps tells us more about what people think politics is, rather than what ‘ontology’ is good for.
Just came across this on-line book review journal, Reviews in Cultural Theory. Reviews published bi-weekly. Latest is a review of Braun and Whatmore’s edited collection Political Matter; last month included a review of David Eng’s analysis of queer liberalism, The Feeling of Kinship. Looks like a good way to keep up with the books one should be reading if you worry about keeping up as one of the ‘Now People’ of cultural theory (sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t).