Insofar as the haunting of the whale hearkens to the legacy of colonial power, I read Melville’s novel as a critical reflection of a national community beholden to the logic of management and control. Said otherwise, it is a critique of what Glissant names the “onto-community,” given its inability to allow difference as such.

De-colonial Options in Moby-Dick

Melville Among the Philosophers
Published by Lexington Books, 2017
Cory McCall, Tom Nurmi (Editors), Cornel West (Afterword), Troy Jollimore, Mark Anderson, Edward F. Mooney, Jason M. Wirth, Gary Shapiro Tucker, Tracy B. Strong, Marilyn Nissim-Sabat, Kris F. Sealey, Eduardo Mendieta, David LaRocca (Contributors)

Kris Sealey, 2017

In November 2015, Neil deGrasse Tyson devoted a segment of his Startalk podcast to “Decoding Science and Politics” with President Bill Clinton. In their conversation, Tyson outlined two driving motivations of scientific inquiry as follows. Presented with two objects, the scientist either tries to understand how they are alike, despite there being two, or she is inter­ested in how they are different, to the extent that they are two. Tyson claims that  the majority of  scientific breakthroughs  have been of the for­mer kind, insofar as the scientific project of charting similarities has allowed us to organize our world in terms of unifying principles. Such unifying principles then generate, for us, a world that is categorized , systematic and most importantly, given over as meaningful.

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