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Tag Archives: work

What Ontology does for my Anthropology

Ontology has been the key buzzword in anthropology since late last year – perhaps earlier – and I’ve, of course, been engaged with the “ontological turn” for a few years now. But ontology in anthropology has taken a turn that I didn’t expect and that doesn’t reflect my own interests in the approach. Ontological anthropology […]

Pluralism, Ontology, and Composing a Common World

In the last couple of days there have been a flurry of posts referring back to mine on “The Value of a Turn.” The response isn’t so much a response to that post, but a discussion of ontology and pluralism sparked by Levi Bryant’s posing the question here – how do we reconcile pluralism with any […]

Redefining Struggle

I’ve said in the past that I distinguish conceptually between “work” and “struggle” – the former being the unintentional process of composing a world by one’s very existence, and the latter being the intentional process of working to make a better world for everyone. But I’m having a new thought. If utopia is not an […]

What Makes a Difference?

I’ve made the distinction in my philosophy between work and struggle before. It’s been on my mind lately, though, and so I want to reiterate and explore it some more.  The question above, “What makes a difference?” is the key. I follow Levi Bryant (and Latour and a few others) in subscribing to what he […]

The Miracle of Existence

In the beginning, there was nothing. No ground. And then things began to come together – literally come together.  Through the forging of relationships, beings began to compose themselves and one another.  Began, as well, to join together in new and ingenious ways to compose beings more complex and more diverse than before.  If there is […]

The Ontology of Knowledge

The following quotes come from John Steinbeck’s The Log from the Sea of Cortez (co-written, supposedly, with Ed Ricketts, but he is not credited on my edition): “… the Mexican sierra has ‘XVII-15-IX’ spines in the dorsal fin. These can easily be counted. But if the sierra strikes hard on the line so that our […]

Beyond Tragedy

What do we make of two of the major tragedies that occurred in the US this past week?  One in which two men violently ripped into the vulnerable flesh of people who wanted nothing more than to enjoy a day of peace and joy (as well as the rush to judgement based on superficial factors […]

Precarity and Vulnerability

In the recent discussions on vulnerability (also, see here for Andre’s excellent contribution), the terms “vulnerability” and “precarity” (the latter coming primarily through Judith Butler) have been used more or less interchangeably.  However, I want to throw a bit of a wrench in that. Precarity – when I think of precarity or the state of […]

Letting Go of Vision

Making the world better for everyone (struggle) requires us to recognize that our own visions for a better world are 1) incomplete and 2) only one way of making the world better.  Our visions are incomplete because they are models – simulations without real world correlates, and different ontologically from their actual enactment.  Because enacting […]

Graeber on Revolution, Work, and Utopia

I just came across this article by David Graeber titled “A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse.”  Since the ideas expressed in the article have much in common with the project of Struggle Forever, I thought I would share some key excerpts and add a few thoughts of my own. First of all, Graeber […]