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Affinity and Antagonism: Structuralism, Comparison and Transformation in Pluralist Political Ontology

Turner, Ben (2019) Affinity and Antagonism: Structuralism, Comparison and Transformation in Pluralist Political Ontology. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 45 (1). pp. 27-49. ISSN 0191-4537. (doi:10.1177/0191453718797985) (KAR id:67085)

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This article develops a comparative and recursive approach to political ontology by drawing on the ontological turn in anthropology. It claims that if ontological commitments define reality, then the use of ontology by recent pluralist political theorists must undercut pluralism. By charting contemporary anthropology’s rereading of structuralism as part of a plural understanding of ontology, it will be shown that any political ontology places limits on the political, and thus cannot exhaust political experience. This position will be established through an analysis of the role of Claude Lévi-Strauss in the work of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe and a comparison with the political ontology represented by perspectivism and potential affinity. Anthropology’s lesson for political theory is that ontology cannot simply be revised and treated in the singular, but that political ontologies must be analysed comparatively to reveal the shortcomings of, and recursively alter, one’s own political frame of reference.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0191453718797985
Uncontrolled keywords: Pluralism; Political Ontology; Anthropology; Ernesto Laclau; Chantal Mouffe; Ontological Turn; Claude Lévi-Strauss; Philippe Descola; Eduardo Viveiros de Castro
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Ben Turner
Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 09:30 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Turner, Ben:
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