This new book by the Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito addresses the profound crisis of contemporary politics and examines some of the philosophical approaches that have been used to try to understand and go beyond this crisis. Two approaches have been particularly influential – one indebted to the thought of Martin Heidegger, the other indebted to Gilles Deleuze. While opposed in their political thrust and orientation, both approaches remain trapped within the political ontology that has framed our conceptual language for some time.
In order to move beyond this political ontology, Esposito turns to a third approach that he characterizes as ‘instituting thought’. Indebted to the work of the French political philosopher Claude Lefort, this third approach recognizes that the road to reconstructing a productive relation between ontology and politics, one that is both realistic and innovative, lies in instituting praxis. Building on this insight, Esposito conceptualizes social being as neither univocal nor plurivocal but as cross-cut by the dual semantics of political conflict.
This new book by one of the most original European philosophers writing today will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, social and political theory and the humanities generally.