Volume 10, 2018
Mimesis and the Trace: Ancient Perspectives on Social Ontology and Religion
Recovering an ancient debate on the meaning of the Latin word pomoerium, I will show that if John Searle has offered the standard version of social ontology, Maurizio Ferraris has good reasons to claim that his ‘Theory of Documentality’ can go further. Nonetheless, his anti-post-modernism and his blindness about the religious origins of the social objects he deals with, reduce the width of his argument. Complementing his hasty analysis of mimesis with the mimetic theory of religion, violence and the sacred, put forward by René Girard, I will try to show that social objects always hide a scapegoating event and not just a document, as Ferraris would say. Recovering the underlying Derridean paradigm and adding a Girardian reading, such an investigation would turn Ferraris’ static and insufficient analysis into a dynamic ontology of actuality. Thus my aims are: 1) to verify to what extend Ferraris’ theory holds ground, 2) point out, through the application of mimetic theory, certain limits of the theory pertaining to the origins of the social objects investigated, and 3) hint at a new paradigm based on the graft of Derridean thought with the trace of Girardian thoughts on mimesis.