The Political Ontology of Automobility

Braun, RobertORCID: and Randell, Richard (2023) The Political Ontology of Automobility. Mobility Humanities, 2 (1), pp. 22-42.

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This paper develops an outline for conceptualising the ontology of automobility. It does so not through engaging with traditional metaphysical ontological discourses but by focusing on the politics of ontology construction. That which goes by the name “automobility” is a political order, it is argued, that may be described as an ontocracy. Spatially, automobility circumscribes an ontosphere. The science through which automobility represents, constitutes and reproduces itself is ontology. The practitioners and personnel of this science may be described as ontologists, the agents who perform the routine work of sustaining what we call “the ontos of automobility.” Ontography is the work of reality inscription, of écriture, by which the political ontology of automobility is constituted and sustained. All the above are intertwined with, components of, made possible through, the exercise of ontopower, a form of constitutive power. Collectively, these terms allow for the identification of the ontopolitical activities and practices, agencies and properties, through which the automobility ontos is constituted, of which they are each reflexively components. The political ontology of automobility that is outlined in this paper is not unique to automobility, but is one example of, manifestation of, constituent element of, something larger, the political ontology of the late-Anthropocene. The concluding section of the paper contrasts the political ontology that is outlined here with the claim that the ontology we inhabit is a “mobilities ontology.”

Item Type: Article in Academic Journal
Keywords: Ontocracy, Ontography, Ontologist, Ontology, Ontos, Ontosphere
Funders: Supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), Czech Science Foundation (GAČR)
Research Units: Current Research Groups > Science, Technology and Social Transformation
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2024 09:31
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2024 08:23
DOI: 10.23090/MH.2023.
ISSN: 2799-8118

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