Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Singularity is a concept usually identified with postmodern, poststructural, early Frankfurt School, or vaguely continental approaches to philosophy and political theory. It is difficult to identify any core meaning of the concept, or even a family resemblance among its meanings, as the term has been used by such a wide range of thinkers, drawing on different traditions, in different contexts, to address distinct dilemmas. The term is used quite loosely, often interchangeably with terms like particularity, the Other, alterity, difference, finitude, plurality, and contingency. In extreme cases, the range of use is so wide that the term can take on mutually exclusive or contradictory meanings. Given the indeterminacy of the concept, it is perhaps best understood as a negative concept, an idea most often used in opposition or resistance to other concepts, such as universality, generality, totality, the Absolute, identity, and the Same. As a negative concept, singularity usually general ...