Ocularcentrism and its Others: A Framework for Metatheoretical Analysis

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Title: Ocularcentrism and its Others: A Framework for Metatheoretical Analysis
Authors: Kavanagh, Donncha
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5793
Date: Mar-2004
Abstract: There is a contemporary scepticism towards vision-based metaphors in management and organization studies that reflects a more general pattern across the social sciences. In short, there has been a shift away from ocularcentrism. This shift provides a useful basis for metatheoretical analysis of the philosophical discourse that informs organizational analysis. The article begins by briefly discussing the vision-generated, vision-centred interpretation of knowledge, truth, and reality that has characterized the western philosophical tradition. Taking late 18th-century rationalism as the high-point of ocularcentrism, the article then presents a metatheoretical framework based on three trajectories that critiques of ocularcentrism have subsequently taken. The first exposes the limits of the metaphor by, paradoxically, taking it to its limits. The second trajectory seeks to displace the primordial position of the ocular metaphor and replace it with an alternative lexicon based on other human senses. Last, the third trajectory describes how the Enlightenment ocular characterization of the visual and mental worlds has effectively been inverted in the postmodern moment.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage Publications
Journal: Organization Studies
Volume: 25
Issue: 3
Start page: 445
End page: 464
Copyright (published version): 2004 Sage Publications
Keywords: OcularcentrismMetatheoryPhilosophyEpistemologyParadigmsVision
DOI: 10.1177/0170840604040672
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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