Christian Thorne has a brilliant, challenging post up about the impasses of political ontology. The guiding question is simple: If you’ve figured out how things are, then where does the politics come in? His example is an ontology wherein everything is made of fire — what political program would correspond to this? Are we supposed to make more fire somehow, or…?
Of particular interest is his discussion of Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, which as I recall was the subject of a book event around these parts (though I can’t find a link at the moment).
Naturally, I found this challenging since I put forward an ontology in Politics of Redemption that I claim issues in some normative commitments. My way out of the impasse, in retrospect, was to embrace a special role for humanity, which I could hardly fail to do given that my ontology was developed out of the Christian tradition. Yet I’m not getting off scot-free here, as I notice that Thorne’s paradigm renders me suspiciously close to the hierarchical ontology that I’m trying to fight against.
In short, read it. Everyone should find something to ponder in it.