Abstract

Abstract:

This article discusses Roberto Esposito's three paradigms of political ontology: destitution, constitution, and institution, based respectively on (post-)Heideggerian, Deleuzian, and neo-Machiavellian/Lefortian concepts. The essay argues that we need to enlarge this conception of political ontology to make room for other ontological theorizing and therefore presents a fourth paradigm, restitution, derived from social anthropology with the aim to integrate environmental justice in the three-fold framework. Restitution here accounts for multiple worlds, composed of different modes of existence. In late capitalist ontology, there is no room for other ontologies. Esposito misses that there are at least a thousand political ontologies that cannot be subsumed into an overarching whole. Restituting is not about reifying or preserving existing ontologies but about reclaiming practices, techniques, and local knowledges for new problems arising from extractivism, the climate emergency, and technological disruptions.

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