DisappointmentToward a Critical Hermeneutics of Worldbuilding

DisappointmentToward a Critical Hermeneutics of Worldbuilding

Jarrett Zigon

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780823278237

Publisher: Fordham University Press


For many today politics is characterized above all else by disappointment. Inspired by years of ethnographic research with the global anti-drug war movement, Disappointment addresses this disappointment by offering a framework for a politics that rises to the demand of our radical finitude. A politics that rises to the demand of radical finitude is a politics that finds its problems, antagonists, motivations, strategies, tactics, in a word, its call to action, in a world grounded in nothing other than the situations and existents that constitute it. This book takes up the challenge of offering such a framework by showing how ontological starting points have real political implications. A central argument of World-Building is that what is normally called ontology, politics, and ethics are actually three aspects or modalities of the same tradition, and therefore a critical engagement with one necessitates a critical engagement with the other two; that is, with the ontological tradition as a whole. This realization allows us to see how an alternative ontological starting point may lead to alternative political and ethical possibilities. With this as its task, Disappointment offers a critical hermeneutics of the dominant ontological tradition of our time and does so by means of both deconstruction and conceptual creativity. The politics of world-building that results seeks to move beyond metaphysical humanism and its exhausted concepts such as rights, responsibility and dignity, and begin to enact an ontology of worlds by means of such concepts as situation, dwelling, and attunement.