Skip to main content

Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics

Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics

Rosi Braidotti

ISBN: 978-0-745-63595-8

Mar 2006, Polity

320 pages

In Stock



This major new book offers a highly original account of ethical and political subjectivity in contemporary culture. It makes a strong case for a non-unitary or nomadic conception of the subject, in opposition to the claims of ideologies such as conservatism, liberal individualism and techno-capitalism.

Braidotti takes a bold stand against moral universalism, while offering a vigorous defence of nomadic ethics against the charges of relativism and nihilism. She calls for a new form of ethical accountability that takes "Life" as the subject, not the object, of enquiry. This ethics is presented as a fundamental reconfiguration of our being in the world and it calls for more conceptual creativity in the production of worldviews that can better enable us to behave ethically in a technologically and globally mediated world. The nomadic ethical subject negotiates successfully the complex tension between the multiplicity of political forces on the one hand and the sustained commitment to emancipatory politics on the other.

Transpositions provides an intellectually rich guide to the leading critical debates of our time and will be of great interest to scholars and students throughout the humanities and social sciences.


Prologue Transformations.

1 Translations: Transposing Moral Debates.

2 Transactions: Transposing Difference.

3 Transplants: Transposing Nature.

4 Transists: Transposing the Subject.

5 Transcendence: Transposing Death.

Epilogue: Transmissions, or Transposing the Future.



"A rich, immensely generous, and quite beautiful book."

London Review of Books

"Playing on Braidotti’s inspiration room music and genetics in her definition of transpositions. I read her wise, smart, inviting book as itself a “transposon”-i.e. a mobile vehicle for risky change in the score of post humanist becoming that is mortal life. Braidotti transplants vigorous philosophical shoots into worldly solid as she cultivates less death-defying, more nomadic, and insatiably curious and passionate ethics for our schizophrenic biotechnological times."

Donna J. Haraway, University of California at Santa Cruz

"This is a remarkably strong book, especially in its negotiation of the complex tension between the multiplicity of political forces on the one hand and the sustained commitment to emancipatory politics (without essential identity) on the other. A substantial intervention in social and political theory."

Claire Colebrook, Edinburgh University

  • A major new philosophical work by a leading figure in the field.
  • Argues that for humans to live successfully in the modern world we must develop a ‘nomadic ethics’ in which Life is the subject, not the object, of enquiry.
  • A bold new argument against moral universalism.
  • An exciting and original guide through the central critical debates of our time.