Being and Motion, 2018 (Free Download)

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2 thoughts on “Being and Motion, 2018 (Free Download)

  1. From the Introduction to _Being and Motion_:

    “Contemporary politics can no longer be adequately understood through the paradigm of static states, immobile borders, and stationary citizens. This theoretical framework no longer fits the reality of global mobility, fluctuating borders, and constant migration. ”
    Q: Is this assertion a postulate of the philosophy of movement, or does the philosophy of movement undertake to prove this assertion?

    ” An increasing number of scholars across a range of disciplines are coming to recognize the primacy of social mobility and movement.”
    Q: Scholarly ‘recognition’ is not proof, or even evidence, of such a claimed ‘primacy’. Isn’t the claim that the primacy of social mobility and movement is being ‘recognized’, rather than ‘theorized’ or ‘hypothesized’, inconsistent with rational inquiry? I fear it is a dogmatic assertion about an underlying reality without any suggestion of proof for that assertion. No?

    ” The expectation that the world of mobile bodies will conform to a static model of states, borders, and political behavior is causing millions of people around the world to undergo immense suffering.”
    Q: This statement appears to claim that “the expectation” that physical bodies will exist in physical spaces is the cause of immense suffering to millions of people. Am I reading this right?
    States are physical spaces defined by those ‘mobile bodies’ inhabiting them. The physical bodies of the migrants are the essence of those migrants, in the Materialism I believe Prof. Nail holds. These material bodies move about in physical spaces; those physical spaces are the ‘static’ states, and divisions between those static spaces are what borders are, ontologically. Physical bodies cannot help but conform to this ‘static’ model; however they move about in space they are still in space, and space is what states, surrounded by borders, are. This recognition of the nature of human existence causes no suffering; suffering is caused by those who refuse to recognize it and attempt to act as if it is not real. It seems similar, to me, to how those who have refused to recognize the realities of economics have created mass suffering (and death) by taking actions which contradict those realities. I hope I am not too contentious when I point out that many individuals who deny the one kind of reality also deny the other.


    1. Thanks for your interest in my work Jeff. Q1: The quote you pasted is defended at length in The Figure of the Migrant (2015) and Theory of the Border (2106), and I cannot try to summarize things here, but in my interviews I have tried. Q2: I did not claim scholarly recognition was “proof,” just that if one was curious to learn more about this point there is an important tradition to consult alongside my own claims. Q3: The quote does not say we should not expect peoples movement to conform to “physical spaces” but specifically to “state spaces.” This is simply an empirical / historical point defended at length in my books on this topic. Please see the long list of footnotes cited from the section you are quoting from to see where these claims are coming from. I do not expect that the brief claims made in the section your read would satisfy everyone’s questions, that is why the section is heavily footnoted with the sources of all the arguments.


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