I think that pluralism becomes interesting when it is not just an acknowledgement of a plurality of totalities but when it sees each totality as open and porous, and constituted as well of open and porous subpluralities. One of the consequences of this way of thinking is that totalities are not consituted by one sole synthesis, but by several different and conflicting operations of synthesis that may draw the boundaries in different ways. Another is that the subpluralities are in interaction inside a totality and between totalities. So I would distinguish a “structuralist” pluralism emphasising macroscopic wholes and closure, and a “poststructuralist” pluralism that completes this picture with a swarm of underlying interferences and interactions and hybridisations.
This means that pluralists in this sense are ready to analyse innovations in terms of metaphor, transfer, translation, transport, transversality, etc and to break down all identities into multiplicitous components. My problem is that they only rarely incorporate these insights into their style of work. Deleuze and Guattari, with their idea of the rhizome and with their slogan “pluralism is not just something you talk about it’s something you do” (my words), made important gestures in this direction. But I think that more can and should be done.
So I think that when these pluralists explain that closed totalities are hallucinatory or fantasmatic pseudo-entities (ie the opposite of what Levi Bryant tries to tout with his indebtedness to Luhmann and his notion of “operational closure”, which I am calling here structuralist pluralism)) with quantum tunnels and relativistic wormholes underlying and undermining their macro-structure, then they should not act like they were the only pluralists in the world. No Latour’s system is not born from some philosophical tabula rasa and he is wrong not to engage with past and present pluralists, and when he talks about Souriau and modes of existence he is doing misdirection in my eyes. Dreyfus and Kelly are wrong to talk about pluralism without discussing people like Deleuze and Feyerabend and Badiou who sometimes confirm sometimes contradict their analyses, and sometimes just plain go further along that path than they do. etc etc.