Power and Post-Metaphysics

  • Bradley KayeEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Hermeneutics book series (CONT HERMEN, volume 6)


Hermeneutic Communism is premised on the idea that there are a multitude of metaphysical interpretations regarding the nature of reality, and human nature. However, Vattimo and Zabala often drift into postmodern refusals of metaphysical philosophy. I argue that this turn towards postmodernism tends to deter from the more powerful methods they create with Hermeneutic Communism. If in capitalism, all that is solid melts into air, then postmodern refusals towards any ontological grounding reinforce the anomic-normlessness of the alienating lack of communal social relations. Capitalism atomizes, deterring its subjects from what the Buddhists call ‘unity-mind’ which I see as the basis of communist social interactions. This metaphysical turn back to grounding relations in union with others is a point that should enable new and old metaphysical interpretations to emerge side by side. By attempting a fusion of post-metaphysical thought with the interpretive capabilities of communist criticism, Vattimo and Zabala have accomplished something unique and prescient. Hermeneutic Communism, while being a remarkable accomplishment in the field of Marxist theory, also contains several years’ worth of what one might call observations directed towards contemporary political events. At first, they offer a new approach to the hermeneutical approach to Marx’s famous line, ‘philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways, the point is to change it’ by claiming this was not a classical refusal of the critical power to interpret. Rather, Vattimo and Zabala hold that Marx meant that the only way actually to change the world is to alter its interpretations. This does not necessarily mean un-grounding our social relations.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New Centre for Research and Practice, Binghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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