by George McNamara
4. The Dispositive
The Dispositive is an idea that there is
one system of knowledge which links:-
The Dispositive provides a link between discourse and
physical plane events and objects. It is one of those
all-embracing concepts which can include almost everything
there is. Other examples of this type of concept are the
soul, anima mundi, the mental plane, and prakriti. The
dispositive may relate to these concepts, but does it
have practical uses ? Does the dispositive gain over these
ideas from world religions ?
In my food and farming case study, the dispositive reveals
gaps in the coherence of collective thoughts - an example
of this is the BSE crisis, where my summary of this crisis
using the dispositive is - A familiar discourse (industry)
was applied to a new area of knowledge (food production).
This gave rise to several events (BSE, Foot and Mouth
disease), but also to cheaper food supplies.
I would add that the dispositive can also be applied
to the physical products from the food industry. These
are often marketed and packaged in ways which maintain
a fantasy in the mind of the buyer about the way they
are produced - they appear to be rural rather than industrial
products. This shows a gap in the dispositive between
discourses and products.
We also use the dispositive (instinctively) in personal
terms - if there is a deep mismatch between a persons
thoughts, words and actions, then we lose trust in them.
Because we all select which of our thoughts to put into
words, we accept some simplification from others, but
we still expect a reasonable level of correlation and
The dispositive may be useful in its implication that
discourse, objects and events are deeply intertwined,
and bound together by varieties of knowledge, and that
this should be coherent. Any lack of coherence (or cracks
in the structure) will generally show that the discourses
are not adequate to describe reality.