Milan Stürmer (TP1) recently published an article with Daniel Bella in Theory, Culture & Society. In it they state that “Isabelle Stengers’ cosmopolitical proposal is an influential attempt by a European philosopher to transform the burdensome legacy of Western thought.” While “[r]econsidering her comprehensive engagement with the cosmology of the British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead,” their “article reveals two concepts as foundational to Stengers’ cosmopolitics: civilization and commerce. While not usually associated with a critical political theory, in her development of what” Stürmer and Bella “call a commercial political ontology, Stengers explores the modes of inheriting these ostracized notions. By tracing the genealogy of this political ontology back to Pericles’ first explicit defense of persuasion as a requisite for civilization,” they “argue that Pericles’ famous funeral oration provides the structure for Whitehead’s cosmology, and, ultimately, Stengers’ cosmopolitics. As such,” they “understand her cosmopolitical proposal as a dress rehearsal of a funeral eulogy for bourgeois society.”
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