Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Talk and Silence: Instantiations and Articulations
    This paper considers the desire for unity, reconciliation and consensus underpinning three models of talking – namely, 'the meeting', 'the dyadic love relationship', and 'the psychoanalytic session'. We highlight the three domains’ shared intellectual and historical heritage wherein talk is seen as a mode of achieving unity (of the group, of the dyad, or of the self) and conversely 'silence' is seen as pathology. Through looking at the role of silence in the works of Lacan, Joyce, and Beckett, we then examine how conversations with a collective, an Other, the self, etc. can all be enriched by ambivalence, antagonism and, in particular, silence. In contrast to the conventional understanding, silence is not the 'end' of understanding, but rather a new beginning. From this perspective, silence can be the basis upon which we can begin to imagine a principled relationship with the Other.
  • Publication
    The Odyssey of Instrumental Rationality: Confronting the Englightenment's Interior Other
    In this paper we advocate and demonstrate the value of science fiction as a potent way of ‘practicalising philosophy.’ Science fiction narratives provide an ideal-typical setting through which theory can be represented, clarified and developed. They also help us link the abstraction of theory and the messiness of practice, while partly side-stepping the enigma whereby any study of the empirical world may merely reflect back the particular ontologies and epistemologies that constitute that world. In particular, we claim that the television series Star Trek provides a powerful metaphor for understanding and teaching certain themes regarding modernity, including the possibility of universal progress through economic expansion (capitalism, colonialism), technological development (industrialism, positivism), and the possibilities for universal emancipation (democracy). We especially focus on the Borg Collective, a form of life that has become one of the most enduring and critical mirrors that Star Trek has held up to contemporary society, and which can be usefully understood as a metaphor for the dark side of instrumental rationality. The paper draws on the various encounters between the Enterprise and the Borg to illustrate and engage with the diverse writings of Weber, the Frankfurt School, Habermas, Foucault, and Haraway on modernity’s continuing and ambivalent struggle with instrumental rationality.
  • Publication
    Reading Star Trek: Imagining, Theorizing, and Reflecting on Organizational Discourse and Practice
    This paper considers the parallels and intersections between Star Trek and contemporary management discourse. We show that the central issues of complex organisations and management are represented in fictional scenarios in Star Trek and that these find their 'real world' correspondences in the management literature. Tracing this theme over the thirty-year lifespan of the product, we outline both the central axial problems of organisations as well as contextual transformations, and, by focusing on particular episodes, we identify and analyse germane micro-sociological and micro-organisational processes. Thus, we consider Star Trek an 'expressive good' - that is, a material product of the culture industry that gives expression to the prevailing cultural processes through which its production and circulation takes place. Moreover, Star Trek, as an exemplary science fiction utopia/dystopia, facilitates a critical imaginary enabling us to envision a variety of organisational alternatives through which we can assess and reflect on our own management practices and organisational contexts.