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World out of difference: relations and consequences

Ioris, Antonio A. R. 2022. World out of difference: relations and consequences. Philosophy and Social Criticism 10.1177/01914537221101316

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Abstract

The article deals with the ontological configuration and political appropriation of difference in modern, capitalist societies. Against fragmented accounts of difference, it is examined the evolution from situations of wide socio-spatial diversity to the gradual instrumentalisation and selective hierarchisation of those elements of difference that can be inserted in market-based relations, whilst the majority of differences are ignored and disregarded. The instrumentalisation of difference under capitalism – the reduction of extended socio-spatial difference to the interests and priorities of the stronger segments of society who emphasise their distinctive features in the attempt to exert power and control over those considered inferior and subordinate – has more than just an impact on social or interpersonal relations but constitutes an active worldmaking force that operates, primarily, via the promotion of indifference. The analysis is informed by the Hegelian framework of consciousness and reason that is based on what the German philosopher calls the laws of experience accumulated through social interaction. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit can, therefore, move social theory forward to a critical interrogation of lived and contested differences. The instrumentalised metabolism of difference, following Hegelian metaphysics, is basically the result of self-estrangement and externalisation of the self, not because of self-serving interests but exactly because of its incompleteness and the need to be actualised in the other, who is also incomplete. Likewise, all particulars are moments actualised in the universal, which is also a changeable moment of itself. Thought the negation of otherness, followed by a negation of the negation, difference can be then embraced in its entirety, as it remains a central explanatory concept for social criticism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0191-4537
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 April 2022
Date of Acceptance: 24 April 2022
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 16:16
URI: https://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/149428

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