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Towards a Historical Ontology of Violence

Yusuf Has

My aim in this article is to move the problematic of violence and its role in politics to a historico-ontological plane. I propose a perspective that breaks with the dominant subjectivist concept of human violence and its metaphysical foundations, which fail to distinguish this concept from that of aggression. According to this perspective, we are already in the field of violence in our everyday social existence, regardless of our personal choices or intentions, the sources of which are systemic. The ontological essence of this systemic violence lies in the fact that it is not external to human subjects but is engraved in their very social being by penetrating into the discourses, practices and frames of mind that make up their historical disposition, which makes it in many instances harder to escape than subjective violence. What I call from this ontological perspective the 'violence of closure' has the effect ultimately of suppressing the possibilities of social being open to human beings in their given historical situation, by normalising the existing way of social and political existence, and closing them off to alternatives. I argue that to this violence of closure must be opposed the violence of dis-closure, which, in its various particular intellectual and practical forms, can open up human social existence to its repressed possibilities.

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Strategies of Governance

Michel Foucault on Power

Roger Deacon

How and why is it that we in the West, in our arduous and incessant search for truth, have also built into and around ourselves intricate and powerful systems intended to manage all that we know and do? This, arguably, was the key problem to which Foucault applied himself. Central to his critical, historical ontology of Western, and especially Enlightenment, reason is an investigation of the constitutive relations between the operation of power relations, the production of knowledge, and ways of relating ethically to oneself and others. This article examines Foucault’s account of the relations of power which are said to underpin contemporary thought and to regulate and subject modern individuals. Contrary to the belief that Foucault’s conception of power is dogmatic and all-encompassing, leaving no room for progressive resistance or change and flowing over into the realm of theory such that truth itself becomes questionable, it is argued here that Foucault offers us an analysis of relations of power as ‘strategies of governance’ which depend for their operation on the existence of free subjects capable not only of resistance but of positively producing effects of truth in reality.

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Review

Conceptual Plasticity in Times of Urgency

Adrián Velázquez Ramírez

denatures this concept often taken for granted in sociological and anthropological approaches. Replenishing her historical ontology, Stoler shows us its specificity as spatial delimitation and qualification linked to other political architectures of control

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Book Review

Michael G. Peletz

his unique theoretical and methodological perspectives. Part II: Historical Ontologies includes chapters on Moroccan constitutionalism, the development of forensic psychiatry in Egyptian law and justice, and the legal positivisation of ‘custom

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The Ontological Turn

Taking Different Worlds Seriously

Andrew Pickering

. Historical Ontology . Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press . 10.1007/978-94-017-0475-5_13 Haraway , Donna . 2004 . The Haraway Reader . New York : Routledge . Henare , Amiria , Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell , eds. 2007 . Thinking

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A Theory of ‘Animal Borders’

Thoughts and Practices toward Non-human Animals among the G|ui Hunter-Gatherers

Kazuyoshi Sugawara

. Hacking , Ian . 1983 . Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science . Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . 10.1017/CBO9780511814563 Hacking , Ian . 2002 . Historical Ontology . Cambridge, MA : Harvard

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Populism

The Timeline of a Concept

Juan Francisco Fuentes

.1177/003803857100500305 . 27 Peter Wiles, “A Syndrome, Not a Doctrine,” 44. 28 Ian Hacking, Historical Ontology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002). 29 William Galston, “The 2016 U.S. Election: The Populist Moment,” Journal of Democracy 28, no. 2 (2017): 21