When Literary "Theory" is Used for Science
Sovereignty and the UFO
Alexander Wendt & Raymond Duvall
Political Theory, August 2008, Pages 607-633
Modern sovereignty is anthropocentric, constituted and organized by reference to human beings alone. Although a metaphysical assumption, anthropocentrism is of immense practical import, enabling modern states to command loyalty and resources from their subjects in pursuit of political projects. It has limits, however, which are brought clearly into view by the authoritative taboo on taking UFOs seriously. UFOs have never been systematically investigated by science or the state, because it is assumed to be known that none are extraterrestrial. Yet in fact this is not known, which makes the UFO taboo puzzling given the ET possibility. Drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida, the puzzle is explained by the functional imperatives of anthropocentric sovereignty, which cannot decide a UFO exception to anthropocentrism while preserving the ability to make such a decision. The UFO can be "known" only by not asking what it is.
Yeah. And "tenure" in political science can only be obtained by not asking anything about the actual world. "Drawing on the work..." of three literary theorists who think that the idea of planes flying is socially constructed? And this is supposed to tell us something about science.
Jesus on a stick. Gimme a break.
(nod to KL)
(UPDATE: This was edited to remove a crude ad hominem. I earlier said that Agamben, Foucault, and Derrida were "human dildoes." But, in fact, I only consider Derrida to be a human dildo. A vibrating one. I do apologize to the other two gentlemen, who were only muddled-headed, not full-fledged sex toys like Derrida.)