Research
Philosophy

We all live our philosophy. It may not be well thought out. It may not even be 'rational', but it is a kind of truth-making activity. The fact that much of this lived philosophy is unconscious and taken for granted is problematic. 

We need to develop ways to reflect upon our own being. As anticipatory beings we yearn to push back the limits imposed upon us by birth and the 'mind traps' set by all cultures. This yearning, I argue, is why we need to develop a consciousness that can look itself in the mirror in the morning and say: "Good Morning, what new insights for today? What new adventures can we have? New wonders can we experience?"

Such a consciousness is a futures-hack as it re-engineers our approach to life. It hacks the programs that pattern our being into conformity when really we long to expand our horizons - feel more connected, more in tune, less governed by habit!

 

As I say in the poem My Voice:

This is a body wisdom calling!
My heart throws itself against my ribs
mixing eros and critique, blood and light!
And what is this path?
A challenge to conditioning;
A doing differently;
A patterning of new lacuna;
A dancing of community back into the flatlands.
 

Social Theory

 

I am interested in an intimate social theory. The kind that helps us make sense of the lives we live. Such a theory is never complete. It is open and evolving. Theory has for too long been an abstraction. This is powerful when we need to understand the world around us, but less helpful when we wish to change the world for the better. It is at such times that we need a theory that helps us sense-make and then act.

 

In my recently published book of essays Dynamics of Dissent (Routledge 2019), edited with Meera Chakravorty, John Clammer and Tanmayee Banerjee I argue that as theorizing individuals we work from an intimate space and that:

"This intimate space allows for micro-theories that grow out of individual reflection and personal somatic experience. This is a place of personal resistance. It is where individuals can articulate through actions and sometimes words a personal
power to step out of their given roles, their tragic circumstances or the banality of safe secure social conditions and surprise power in ways both creative and unexpected."

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© 2019 by James Porter