Quantitative and Qualitative Multiplicities

I’ve written previously about spatial and temporal integration. Luhmann argued that in modern society temporal integration becomes more powerful than spatial integration. Here is an excerpt from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Bergson. It illustrates the concept of quantitative multiplicity: When we look at a flock of sheep, what we notice is that they […]

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Identity Politics and Alliance Politics

Identity politics differentiates; it draws distinctions to reveal social oppression or, in Butler’s terminology, precaritization–occupying or being held in precarious position. Identity politics  emphasizes differences that have historically been suppressed in the interest of domination by the most powerful. We can look at a social movement with a particular identity attached to it (e.g., people […]

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The inclusion of the excluded

Judith Butler, in Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly (2015), argues that marginalized or ignored populations performatively establish “the right to have rights” by participating in mass demonstrations. They appear, or assemble, in public and claim/occupy that space.  They don’t have to say or write a word. Their amassed bodies alone make a claim […]

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Neither optimism nor pessimism

Optimists and pessimists are equally wrong. Given the complexity of contemporary global society, there are no solid grounds for predicting much of anything, especially in the long term. But even short-term predictions are often unreliable. The entire enterprise of prediction or forecasting is suspect because we can no longer assume that the future will even […]

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