Pluralistic Connections

Martin Savransky (Ongoing)

Pluralistic Connections’ develops a transdisciplinary and collaborative exploration of new forms and dimensions of pluralism across a wide range of fields of research and practice. By contrast to the comparatively narrower trajectory that the concept of pluralism has enjoyed in politics and political theory, Pluralistic Experimentations involves a number of important shifts that are transversal to the specific debates currently developing in various disciplines, and that, interestingly, are forcing many of those disciplines to intersect and rethink their challenges and possibilities in the company of others:

  1. Fact and Value: The reemergence of pluralism could arguably be seen to blur and challenge the traditional distinction between pluralism as a social, cultural and political “fact” of difference, and pluralism as a value or ideal to be cultivated through novel, manifold forms of thinking, doing and feeling.
  2. Nature and Culture: Pluralistic experimentations are concerned with concepts, methodologies, and practices that recognise (a) that the very distinction between nature and culture is partial and historically situated, and more importantly (b) that processes of differentiation, heterogenesis, co-evolution and partial connections across differences belong to ‘the natural world’ as well.
  3. Epistemology and Ontology: Pluralistic experimentations move beyond questions of epistemological pluralism and diverse forms of knowing. They are concerned with an exploration of ‘ontological difference’, and with the relationships not only between many forms of knowing but also many modes of existing. In so doing, they seek to disrupt modern epistemological hierarchies by exploring how non-modern practices can transform social scientific and philosophical thinking.
  4. Knowledge and Faith: Pluralistic experimentations seek to rearticulate modern distinctions between knowledge and faith in interesting, inventive ways, by articulating new pluralistic notions of ‘faith’ whereby, instead of opposing doubt, uncertainty, or empirical knowledge, faith resists dogmatism and principled conviction and becomes thus connected to practices of hesitation, experimentation, and collaboration.
  5. Pasts, Presents, and Futures: Pluralistic experimentations trouble modern conceptions of temporality and progress. As such, it engages not only with multiple and nonlinear forms of time by reclaiming pluralistic philosophies such as the tradition of early American pragmatism, as well as European and non-European ‘discredited’ traditions of vitalism, panpsychism, animism, and so on.

Pluralistic Connections Working Group (Ongoing). The Unit of Play has set up a new working group at Goldsmiths, including both Staff members and research students, that explores questions of difference, novelty, process, and manifolds in connection to a wide variety of contexts and problems relating to ongoing research practices and projects of group members.