Critique Between Renewal and Negativity: Some Comments on Social Ontology

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 14:15
Location: Hörsaal 45 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Stefan FORNOS KLEIN, Universidade de Brasilia (UnB), Brazil
The hereby proposed paper plans on taking up the concept of critique and, specially, the idea of a “renovation of critique”, as brought forward by Luc Boltanski and Ève Chiapello foremost in their book Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme (The new spirit of capitalism), and problematize the answers presented by them in a postface from 2011, where they briefly address the problem of the “double ontology of the social world”. To take this through the argumentation will synthesize the concept of “network” (réseau) as defined by them in order to understand its position among the clarifications and answers presented in the postface.
If the authors make a reference to the development of Marxist thought and most notably understand how in the French context of the social sciences ontology develops into its rhizomatic or reticulaire formulation, I would rather direct my reflections to those contributions that can be found in the Positivist Dispute in German Sociology (Der Positivismusstreit in der deutschen Soziologie), with special attention to its “Introduction” by Theodor W. Adorno. The intention is to advance traits of this interpretation, allowing to focus on (some) sociological traits of Adorno's critique to ontology, therefore not discussing – what would be impossible in a short exposition – those (philosophical) pressuppositions, but rather aiming to delineate an immanent critique pointed towards the notion of social critique as suggested by Boltanksi and Chiapello, laying the foundation to better understand how a dialogue between so called critical theory of society and these two authors could direct itself to capitalism and therefore be appropriated to foster a critical debate on (social) ontology as an important and neglected theoretical aspect.