The Integral Nature of Things
Critical Reflections on the Present
The world is an interdependent whole of which everything is an integral, complexly related, part. Yet current ways of thinking, and being, persistently separate social phenomena and the individual self from the multiple dimensions with which they are interconnected. The Integral Nature of Things examines this revealing paradox and its consequences in a variety of sites: everyday language, labour, advertising, technology, post-structuralist theory, political rhetoric, urban planning, sex, neoliberal globalisation. Mani demonstrates how even though the interrelations between things are obscured by the ruling paradigm, the facts of relationality and indivisibility continually assert themselves. The book interweaves prose with poetry and sociocultural analysis with observational accounts to offer an alternative framework for addressing aspects of the cognitive, cultural, political, and ethical crisis we face today.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction: One Day at Noon 2. The Aesthetics of Display 3. The Grass Cutter 4. Avenue Road Suite 5. The Market is Like That Because People are Like This 6. It Leaves You Wanting More 7. Intimacy 8. Root Vibration 9. Maverick Designs: On Diesel Jeans and Geoengineering 10. Beyond Antithesis 11. In Other Words: Beyond Antithesis, Take 2 12. For Althusser with Love 13. Reconjugating Law and Dharma 14. Sex 15. The Morning Light 16. Witnessing 17. On Repetition 18. Toward Digital Dispassion 19. The Phantom of Globality and the Delirium of Excess 20. Cognition and Devotion 21. Like the Wind 22. Interdependence 23. Reciprocal Flows 24. The Tree and I 25. In the Form of a Prayer: Reconsidering our Polemics 26. Azan 27. Human Dignity and Suffering: Some Considerations 28. Returning to Our Senses 29. Once Upon a Time in the Present 30. On Days Like This 31. Afterword. Glossary. About the Author
Lata Mani is a feminist historian and cultural critic.
These are deeply felt, lucidly written, vignettes on a tremendous range of ideas — of nature, religion, consciousness, work, sex, integrity, duty, suffering, the market, corruption, the fate of the Left. There is acute observation and probing analysis, poetry and prose, each voiced in turn. It is hard to say what this genre is and that is an essential part of its charm. When critical, it is resolutely but effortlessly gentle; when constructive it is without the strain or artifice of systematic theory. The Integral Nature of Things brings much instruction and a uniquely quiet form of pleasure.
— Akeel Bilgrami, Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University