Force-full: power, politics, and object-oriented philosophy

Shaw, I. G.R. and Meehan, K. (2013) Force-full: power, politics, and object-oriented philosophy. Area, 45(2), pp. 216-222. (doi:10.1111/area.12023)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/area.12023

Abstract

In this paper we construct an object-oriented approach to power and politics. Building on the work of Graham Harman, we argue that objects are engines of power, able to fully shape the contours of existence through the production of difference and affectivity in the world. We present four key points to underpin our argument. First, we define an object by expanding on the Heideggerian idea that objects are split between their ‘present qualities’ and ‘absent qualities’. Second, we discuss why objects are irreducible to scientific naturalism or social relativism. Third, we contend that the world is ‘policed’ by objects that act as phenomenological viruses. And finally, we explain that such policing is never exhaustive and autonomous forces are constitutive of new commons. We conclude that a speculative metaphysics is vital for building new geographic understandings of objects and power, and a politics of action—one brick at a time.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Shaw, Dr Ian
Authors: Shaw, I. G.R., and Meehan, K.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Area
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0004-0894
Published Online:09 April 2013

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