Redefining anarchy: from metaphysics to politics

Frantzanas, Sotirios (2019) Redefining anarchy: from metaphysics to politics. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study is inspired by the current debate between the traditional anarchist views, the post-left and post-anarchist understandings of anarchy. It claims that the depictions of anarchy by both sides are primarily negative and develops an original and positive definition of anarchy. In particular, it argues that anarchy is the concept that refers to a way of being with the cosmos and thus instead of being posterior to the political it is in fact prior to it. This is to say, it is neither political nor ontological but can only be seen as metaphysical in the sense of what cannot be spoken of in terms of a primary cause or a founding principle.
Methodologically, it follows Martin Heidegger’s understanding of anarchy as an-arché and his idea to look into pre-Socratic, as in non-teleological thought, to define anarchy. But it then adopts Emmanuel Levinas’ approach that anarchy refers to what escapes the thesis- antithesis dialectic. It draws mainly upon Ancient Greek philosophy and literature as this is where anarchy appears as a term for the first time. In particular, it criticizes the Aristotelian ontological and political thought, while it is mainly assisted by the thought of Democritus as the only pre-Socratic whose work escapes ontological thinking. Moreover, the development of a positive definition of anarchy ultimately leads this study to defend the communal nature of traditional anarchism while rejecting its association with the political.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Anarchy, politics, metaphysics, post-anarchism, anarchism, Aristotle, pre-Socratics, Heidegger, Levinas, Democritus, arche, teleology, freedom.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Precurrent Departments > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Supervisor's Name: Franks, Dr. Benjamin
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Mr Sotirios Frantzanas
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-72983
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 May 2019 11:00
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 13:01
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.72983

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