Shifting Ontology in an Era of Acceleration and Quantified Humanity




ontological acceleration, object ontology, relational ontology, trace ontology


The idea that we are swept along in unforeseen consequences of our capitalist ideals of continuous progress stands in stark contrast to Kelly’s (1966) consideration of the active role that human activity plays in human evolution. The cumulative change of humanity behaving differently, and divergent behaviour changing humanity, produce acceleration, and for Kelly this acceleration is ontological. In this paper I explore three moments of accelerated change, associated with the ontologies of object, relation and trace. Object ontology encouraged the dehumanised subject, relational ontology a calculated embodied subject and trace ontology the responsible subject.Currently we find ourselves somewhere between the calculated embodied and the responsible subject, cognitively related to others, but not yet prepared to experience the other as me differed and deferred from myself.

Author Biography

Vasi van Deventer, Department of Psychology, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Vasi van Deventer is professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Africa. He has qualifications in psychology, mathematics and computer science and a professional registration in clinical psychology. His main academic interest is in the field of self-referential systems but due to years involvement with students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels he developed a keen interest in teaching and learning design and the development of new approaches to automated assessment. He divides his time between current contracts in these areas of interest and supervising masters and doctoral candidates.




How to Cite

van Deventer, V. (2021). Shifting Ontology in an Era of Acceleration and Quantified Humanity. International Review of Theoretical Psychologies, 1(1).