Founding Post-FoundationaLism: A Political Ontology

Oliver Marchart

in Post-Foundational Political Thought

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9780748624973
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672066 | DOI:
Founding Post-FoundationaLism: A Political Ontology

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One of this book's initial assumptions was that, if we want to delineate the contours of current post-foundational political thought, it is not sufficient to develop the conceptual history of the emerging concept of the political. This chapter focuses on theories that employ the term within the post-foundational framework of what was described as left Heideggerianism. It once again recapitulates the thesis: in most such theories, ‘the political’ in its difference vis-à-vis ‘the social’ and ‘politics’ serves as an indicator of precisely the impossibility or absence of an ultimate foundation of society. As an indicator (but only by way of being differentiated from politics), ‘the political’ can assume the phenomenal or conceptual form of ‘event’, ‘contingency’, ‘antagonism’, ‘freedom’, or ‘undecidability’. In some theories, the political also indicates the moment of partial closure and founding: the moment of institution of society. This chapter first discusses post-foundationalism and democracy before turning to the political displacement of politics, political thought as first philosophy, and the political difference as political difference.

Keywords: left Heideggerianism; political; politics; society; post-foundationalism; democracy; political thought; first philosophy; political difference; contingency

Chapter.  9660 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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