By Greg Kennedy

ISBN-10: 079146993X

ISBN-13: 9780791469934

ISBN-10: 0791469948

ISBN-13: 9780791469941

Plastic baggage, newspapers, pizza packing containers, razors, watches, diapers, toothbrushes … What makes a specific thing disposable? Which of its houses permits us to regard it as though it didn't subject, or as though it really lacked subject? Why achieve this many gadgets seem to us as not anything greater than short flashes among checkout-line and landfill? In An Ontology of Trash, Greg Kennedy inquires into the that means of disposable gadgets and explores the character of our prodigious refuse. he's taking trash as a true ontological challenge as a result of our unsettled relation to nature. The metaphysical force from immanence to transcendence leaves us in an alien international of gadgets tired of significant actual presence. as a result, they turn into interpreted as beings that in some way primarily lack being, and exist in our technological international simply to vanish. Kennedy explores this tricky nature and appears for chances of salutary switch.

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Sample text

There he writes: Waste 19 The market-industrial system institutes scarcity, in a manner completely unparalleled and to a degree nowhere else approximated. 16 Sahlin argues that true affluence belongs to unsophisticated hunter-gatherer societies, rather than to the materially excessive, though structurally impoverishing affluence of industrial systems. This does not mean that we must immediately start fashioning spearheads out of our credit cards. But it does mean countenancing the serious faults of a culture that presumes to have overtopped all limitation.

What is naturally meaningless consequently becomes the very determinant and defender of social order. As in the case of feasting and sacrifice, waste sheds its repellent nature when it is purposively placed within the human project of meaning. Veblen further bends the nature of abundance to the incipient consumer culture’s requirement for meaning in the absence of traditional ritual when he writes: With the exception of the instinct of self-preservation, the propensity for emulation is probably the strongest and most alert and persistent of the economic motives proper.

Thus, the sacrificed object gains value to the extent that it escapes its use-function. With respect to utility, its value corresponds inversely to its being consumed. Like the feast, sacrifice transcends, by this means, the exigencies of survival. Feast and sacrifice seem to overlap, for there can be little joy without gratitude; and gratitude without joy is a grudging contradiction. If we care to listen to Baudrillard, as well as to our own experience of disappointment and dissatisfaction, the modern consumerist feast lacks the primary qualities of its traditional antecedents.

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An Ontology of Trash: The Disposable and Its Problematic Nature by Greg Kennedy


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