Metaphors and Problematizations. Notes for a Research Programme on New Materialism

Luigi Pellizzoni


Abstract: The “ontological turn” in social theory is a major intellectual wave of recent years. Focusing on feminist new materialism, the paper outlines elements for a research programme on this topic. It elaborates first on the conceptual exchange between scholarships in social theory and biophysical sciences, dwelling on the constitutive role of metaphors. Then it considers the role of a profound socio-cultural transition that has begun in the 1970s and reached a full-fledged expression at the turn of the millennium. This transition has triggered a “problematization” (in Foucault’s sense) that, pivoting on the notion of indeterminacy, associates social theory, cutting-edge biophysical science and neoliberal rule.

Keywords: New materialism; ontological turn; neoliberalism; metaphors; indeterminacy.

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