Sustaining Affirmation: The Strengths of Weak Ontology in Political Theory

By Stephen K. White | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

WORK ON the manuscript of this book was greatly facilitated by the hospitality and intellectual life of two universities. I would like to thank Marian Verkerk for inviting me to spend a delightful period as a visiting professor in the summer of 1997, with the Philosophy Faculty at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam; and Axel Honneth and Rainer Forst for hosting me for a wonderful academic year in 1997-98, at the Philosophy Institute of the Goethe University in Frankfurt. The latter stay was made possible by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, whose generosity to me over the years has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Thanks are also due to my home university, Virginia Tech, for providing me with a sabbatical; and to the Center for Programs in the Humanities there that, once again, helped fund my work through a Summer Stipend.

I had the opportunity to present portions of the manuscript as papers to various groups: the Political Theory Colloquium, Harvard University; the University for Humanist Studies, Utrecht; the Philosophy Faculty of Erasmus University, Rotterdam; the Philosophy Institute of the Goethe University, Frankfurt; the Postgraduate School of Critical Theory, Nottingham University; the Institute for Cultural Research, Lancaster University; the Olmstead conference, “Instilling Ethics,” Yale University; the Political Theory Workshop, the University of Chicago; the Department of Political Science, Duke University; and the Forum for Contemporary Theory, University of Virginia. I would like to thank the participants at those meetings for a multitude of challenging comments and the hosts (Pratap Mehta, Henk Manschot, Marian Verkerk, Axel Honneth, Jon Simons, Michael Dillon, Norma Thompson, Rom Coles, Patchen Markell, Joshua Dienstag, and George Klosko) for their generosity.

An earlier version of portions of chapters 1 and 2 originally appeared as “Weak Ontology and Liberal Political Reflection,” Political Theory 25 no. 4 (1997): 502-23; portions of chapter 4 originally appeared under the title “As the World Turns: Ontology and Politics in Judith Butler,” Polity (winter 1999); and portions of chapter 5 originally appeared as “ ‘Critical Responsiveness’ and Justice,” symposium on William Connolly's The Ethos of Pluralization, in Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 no. 1 (1998): 73-81.I appreciate the permission to reprint this material.

I want to express my gratitude to those who read and commented on specific chapters: Jane Bennett, Simon Critchley, Patrick Croskery, Fonna Dubin, Bonnie Honig, Kathy Jones, George Kateb, Tim Luke, Debra

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