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Torsten Menge
Northwestern University In Qatar
  1.  13
    The Uncanny Effect of Telling Genealogies.Torsten Menge - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (1):63-73.
    What is the normative import of telling a genealogy of our present reason-giving practices? In this paper, I will focus on Michel Foucault’s materialist genealogies in Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, which attend to the social and material settings in which we act and give and ask for reasons. A number of influential critics have interpreted them as a critical evaluation of our reason-giving practices. But understood in this way, Foucault’s genealogical project faces significant philosophical (...)
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  2. Violence and the Materiality of Power.Torsten Menge - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-26.
    The issue of political violence is mostly absent from current debates about power. Many conceptions of power treat violence as wholly distinct from or even antithetical to power, or see it as a mere instrument whose effects are obvious and not in need of political analysis. In this paper, I explore what kind of ontology of power is necessary to properly take account of the various roles that violence can play in creating and maintaining power structures. I pursue this question (...)
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  3.  75
    Fictional Expectations and the Ontology of Power.Torsten Menge - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (29):1-22.
    What kind of thing, as it were, is power and how does it fit into our understanding of the social world? I approach this question by exploring the pragmatic character of power ascriptions, arguing that they involve fictional expectations directed at an open future. When we take an agent to be powerful, we act as if that agent had a robust capacity to make a difference to the actions of others. While this pretense can never fully live up to a (...)
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  4. How Far Does the European Union Reach? Foreign Land Acquisitions and the Boundaries of Political Communities.Torsten Menge - 2019 - Land 8 (3).
    The recent global surge in large-scale foreign land acquisitions marks a radical transformation of the global economic and political landscape. Since land that attracts capital often becomes the site of expulsions and displacement, it also leads to new forms of migration. In this paper, I explore this connection from the perspective of a political philosopher. I argue that changes in global land governance unsettle the congruence of political community and bounded territory that we often take for granted. As a case (...)
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  5.  72
    Neighborhoods and States: Why Collective Self-Determination is Not Always Valuable.Torsten Menge - manuscript
    Collective self-determination is considered to be an important political value. Many liberal political philosophers appeal to it to defend the right of states to exclude would-be newcomers. In this paper, I challenge the value of collective self-determination in the case of countries like the US, former colonial powers with a history of white supremacist immigration and citizenship policies. I argue for my claim by way of an analogy: There is no value to white neighborhoods in the US, which are the (...)
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  6.  38
    The Role of Power in Social Explanation.Torsten Menge - 2018 - European Journal of Social Theory 21 (1):22 - 38.
    Power is often taken to be a central concept in social and political thought that can contribute to the explanation of many different social phenomena. This article argues that in order to play this role, a general theory of power is required to identify a stable causal capacity, one that does not depend on idiosyncratic social conditions and can thus exert its characteristic influence in a wide range of cases. It considers three promising strategies for such a theory, which ground (...)
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  7.  1
    The Power of Genealogy.Torsten Menge - 2015 - Dissertation, Georgetown University
    What is the normative import of telling genealogies? Genealogies are historical accounts of our present reason-giving practices. They purport to show how certain reasons, forms of reasoning, norms, and concepts came to be authoritative for us, by looking at how these practices developed in concrete social and material settings. I argue in this dissertation that telling genealogies can challenge the legitimacy of found norms and thereby open up a space for normative transformation. To understand the central role that the concept (...)
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