During the Past & Present Reading Group’s progress through Kohei Saito’s volume Karl Marx’s Ecosocialism: Capital, Nature and the Unfinished Critique of Political Economy (Monthly Review Press, 2017), we noticed a lurking, recurring reference to ‘negative ontology’. This workshop is an exploratory session into this concept as it appears within contemporary debates around critical theories of the state, social domination, and abstraction. These larger theoretical debates form the conceptual backdrop for a deep-dive into ‘negative ontology’ through the work of Chris O’Kane (Assistant Professor, UTRGV).
Chris O’Kane has kindly accepted our invitation to engage in a dialogue with this workshop through the forum of the Progress in Political Economy blog. It is our intention to prepare, from the workshop, a set of queries and provocations for him to respond to, in much of a similar manner as Daniel López’s recent “10 Questions on Georg Lukács.”
All are welcome to attend the workshop via Zoom, and we hope to have a scintillating discussion.
ZOOM LINK: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/86459620456
On 7 October, 4:00-6:00pm AEST on Zoom we will meet to discuss the papers listed below and our reflections on ‘negative ontology’. These readings are available by clinking on the links below:
- O’Kane, C. (2021). ‘Critical Theory and the Critique of Capitalism: An Immanent Critique of Nancy Fraser’s “Systematic” “Crisis-Critique” of Capitalism as an “Institutionalized Social Order”, Science & Society, 85(2): pp. 207-235.
- O’Kane, C. (2020). ‘The Critique of Real Abstraction: From the Critical Theory of Society to the Critique of Political Economy and Back Again’, In: Oliva A., Oliva Á., Novara I. (Eds.) Marx and Contemporary Critical Theory. Marx, Engels, and Marxisms. London: Palgrave.
- O’Kane, C. (2021). ‘Reification and the Critical Theory of Contemporary Society,’ Critical Historical Studies, 8(1): pp. 57–86.
- OPTIONAL: O’Kane, C. (2018). ‘Society maintains itself despite all the catastrophes that may eventuate’, Constellations, pp. 1-15.