Your cart is empty
French culture is unique in that philosophy has played a significant role from the early-modern period onwards, intimately associated with political, religious, and literary debates, as well as with epistemological and scientific ones. While Latin was the language of learning there was a universal philosophical literature, but with the rise of vernacular literatures things changed and a distinctive national form of philosophy arose in France. This Very Short Introduction covers French philosophy from its origins in the sixteenth century up to the present, analysing it within its social, political, and cultural context. Beginning with psychology and epistemology, Stephen Gaukroger and Knox Peden then move onto the emergence of radical philosophy in the eighteenth century, before considering post-revolutionary philosophy in the nineteenth century, philosophy in the world wars, the radical thought of the 1960s, and finally French philosophy today. Throughout, they explore the dilemma sustained by the markedly national conception of French philosophy, and its history of speaking out on matters of universal concern. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
What is thinking? What does it feel like? What is it good for? Andrea Gadberry looks for answers to these questions in the philosophy of Rene Descartes and finds them in the philosopher's implicit poetics. Gadberry argues that Descartes's thought was crucially enabled by poetry and shows how markers of poetic genres from love lyric and elegy to the puzzling forms of the riddle and the anagram betray an impassioned negotiation with the difficulties of thought and its limits. Where others have seen Cartesian philosophy as a triumph of reason, Gadberry reveals that the philosopher accused of having "slashed poetry's throat" instead enlisted poetic form to contain thought's frustrations. Gadberry's approach to seventeenth-century writings poses questions urgent for the twenty-first. Bringing literature and philosophy into rich dialogue, Gadberry centers close reading as a method uniquely equipped to manage skepticism, tolerate critical ambivalence, and detect feeling in philosophy. Helping us read classic moments of philosophical argumentation in a new light, this elegant study also expands outward to redefine thinking in light of its poetic formations.
The life and work of Sigmund Freud continue to fascinate general and professional readers alike. Joel Whitebook here presents the first major biography of Freud since the last century, taking into account recent developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice, gender studies, philosophy, cultural theory, and more. Offering a radically new portrait of the creator of psychoanalysis, this book explores the man in all his complexity alongside an interpretation of his theories that cuts through the stereotypes that surround him. The development of Freud's thinking is addressed not only in the context of his personal life, but also in that of society and culture at large, while the impact of his thinking on subsequent issues of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and social theory is fully examined. Whitebook demonstrates that declarations of Freud's obsolescence are premature, and, with his clear and engaging style, brings this vivid figure to life in compelling and readable fashion.
We inhabit a time of crisis-totalitarianism, environmental collapse, and the unquestioned rule of neoliberal capitalism. Philosopher Jean Vioulac is invested in and worried by all of this, but his main concern lies with how these phenomena all represent a crisis within-and a threat to-thinking itself. In his first book to be translated into English, Vioulac radicalizes Heidegger's understanding of truth as disclosure through the notion of truth as apocalypse. This "apocalypse of truth" works as an unveiling that reveals both the finitude and mystery of truth, allowing a full confrontation with truth-as-absence. Engaging with Heidegger, Marx, and St. Paul, as well as contemporary figures including Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Zizek, Vioulac's book presents a subtle, masterful exposition of his analysis before culminating in a powerful vision of "the abyss of the deity." Here, Vioulac articulates a portrait of Christianity as a religion of mourning, waiting for a god who has already passed by, a form of ever-present eschatology whose end has always already taken place. With a preface by Jean-Luc Marion, Apocalypse of Truth presents a major contemporary French thinker to English-speaking audiences for the first time.
There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify belief in the supernatural, laying bare the fallacies that such attempts commit. Through arguments and accessible analysis, Larry Shapiro sharpens our critical faculties so we become less susceptible to tales of myths and miracles and learn how, ultimately, to evaluate claims regarding vastly improbable events on our own. Shapiro acknowledges that belief in miracles could be harmless, but cautions against allowing such beliefs to guide how we live our lives. His investigation reminds us of the importance of evidence and rational thinking as we explore the unknown.
The past year has seen a resurgence of interest in the political thinker Hannah Arendt, "the theorist of beginnings," whose work probes the logics underlying unexpected transformations-from totalitarianism to revolution. A work of striking originality, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then-diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions-continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of its original publication, contains Margaret Canovan's 1998 introduction and a new foreword by Danielle Allen. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.
Classic introduction to objectives and methods of schools of empiricism and linguistic analysis, especially of the logical positivism derived from the Vienna Circle. Topics: elimination of metaphysics, function of philosophy, nature of philosophical analysis, the a priori, truth and probability, critique of ethics and theology, self and the common world, more. "A delightful book...I should like to have written it myself."-Bertrand Russell.
At the turn of the twentieth century, G. E. Moore contemptuously dismissed most previous 'ethical systems' for committing the 'Naturalistic Fallacy'. This fallacy - which has been variously understood, but has almost always been seen as something to avoid - was perhaps the greatest structuring force on subsequent ethical theorising. To a large extent, to understand the Fallacy is to understand contemporary ethics. This volume aims to provide that understanding. Its thematic chapters - written by a range of distinguished contributors - introduce the history, text and philosophy behind Moore's charge of fallacy and its supporting 'open question' argument. They detail how the fallacy influenced multiple traditions in ethics (including evolutionary, religious and naturalistic approaches), its connections to supposed dichotomies between 'is'/'ought' and facts/values, and its continuing relevance to our understanding of normativity. Together, the chapters provide a historical and opinionated introduction to contemporary ethics that will be essential for students, teachers and researchers.
Although Martin Heidegger is nearly as notorious as Friedrich Nietzsche for embracing the death of God, the philosopher himself acknowledged that Christianity accompanied him at every stage of his career. In Heidegger's Confessions, Ryan Coyne isolates a crucially important player in this story: Saint Augustine. Uncovering the significance of Saint Augustine in Heidegger's philosophy, he details the complex and conflicted ways in which Heidegger paradoxically sought to define himself against the Christian tradition while at the same time making use of its resources. Coyne first examines the role of Augustine in Heidegger's early period and the development of his magnum opus, Being and Time. He then goes on to show that Heidegger owed an abiding debt to Augustine even following his own rise as a secular philosopher, tracing his early encounters with theological texts through to his late thoughts and writings. Bringing a fresh and unexpected perspective to bear on Heidegger's profoundly influential critique of modern metaphysics, Coyne traces a larger lineage between religious and theological discourse and continental philosophy.
"The Incident at Antioch" is a key play marking Alain Badiou's transition from classical Marxism to a "politics of subtraction" far removed from party and state. Written with striking eloquence and extraordinary poetic richness, and shifting from highly serious emotional and intellectual drama to surreal comic interlude, the work features statesmen, workers, and revolutionaries struggling to reconcile the nature and practice of politics.
This bilingual edition presents "L'Incident d'Antioche" in its original French and, on facing pages, an expertly executed English translation. Badiou adds a special preface, and an introduction by the scholar Kenneth Reinhard connects the play to Paul Claudel's "The City," Saint Paul and the early history of the Church, and the innovative mathematical thinking of Paul Cohen. The translation includes Susan Spitzer's extensive notes clarifying allusions and quotations and hinting at Badiou's intentions. An interview with Badiou encompasses the play's settings, themes, and events, as well as his ongoing literary and conceptual experimentation on stage and off.
R. Buckminster Fuller is regarded as one of the most important figures of the 20th century, renowned for his achievements as an inventor, designer, architect, philosopher, mathematician, and dogged individualist. Perhaps best remembered for the Geodesic Dome and the term "Spaceship Earth," his work and his writings have had a profound impact on modern life and thought.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is Nietzsche's most famous and most puzzling work, one in which he makes the greatest use of poetry to explore the questions posed by philosophy. But in order to understand the movement of this drama, we must first understand the character of its protagonist: we must ask, What Is Nietzsche's Zarathustra? Heinrich Meier attempts to penetrate the core of the drama, following as a guiding thread the question of whether Zarathustra is a philosopher or a prophet, or, if he is meant to be both, whether Zarathustra is able to unite philosopher and prophet in himself. Via a close reading that uncovers the book's hidden structure, Meier develops a highly stimulating and original interpretation of this much discussed but still ill-understood masterwork of German poetic prose. In the process, he carefully overturns long-established canons in the academic discourse of Nietzsche-interpretation. The result is a fresh and surprising grasp of Nietzsche's well-known teachings of the overman, the will to power, and the eternal return.
Crisis dominates the present historical moment. The economy is in crisis, politics in both its past and present forms is in crisis and our own individual lives are in crisis, made vulnerable by the fluctuations of the labor market and by the undoing of social and political ties we inherited from modernity. Yet, traditional views of crises as just temporary setbacks do not seem to hold any longer; this crisis seems permanent, with no way out and no alternatives on the horizon. Reconstructing a political genealogy of the term from the Greek world to today's neoliberalism, this book demonstrates that crisis, understood as a "choice" between revolution and conservation, is a peculiarity of the modern era that does not apply to the present day. However, since its origin, the trope of crisis has proven to be one of the most effective instruments of social discipline and administration. The analytical trajectory followed by this book - which spans from Plato to Hayek, from the juridical and medical science of antiquity to the current technocracy, passing through the "weapons of criticism" of Marx and Gramsci - finally identifies, following Benjamin and Foucault, precariousness as the "form of life" that characterizes crisis understood as an art of government. But we still need to answer the question: "How can we recreate the possibility of political alternatives?"
The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy: After Kant provides a comprehensive introduction to the predominantly European ("Continental") interpretive tradition of philosophy after Kant in one volume, and to the now predominantly Anglo-American analytic tradition in the other. It features the extensive editorial apparatus for which Norton Anthologies have been known and trusted by professors and students alike for more than 50 years. Ideal for courses at all levels in the history of philosophy after Kant, these volumes belong on every philosopher's (and philosophy student's) bookshelf.
Paul Feyerabend is one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century and his book Against Method is an international bestseller. In this new book he masterfully weaves together the main elements of his mature philosophy into a gripping tale: the story of the rise of rationalism in Ancient Greece that eventually led to the entrenchment of a mythical scientific worldview'. In this wide-ranging and accessible book Feyerabend challenges some modern myths about science, including the myth that science is successful'. He argues that some very basic assumptions about science are simply false and that substantial parts of scientific ideology were created on the basis of superficial generalizations that led to absurd misconceptions about the nature of human life. Far from solving the pressing problems of our age, such as war and poverty, scientific theorizing glorifies ephemeral generalities, at the cost of confronting the real particulars that make life meaningful. Objectivity and generality are based on abstraction, and as such, they come at a high price. For abstraction drives a wedge between our thoughts and our experience, resulting in the degeneration of both. Theoreticians, as opposed to practitioners, tend to impose a tyranny on the concepts they use, abstracting away from the subjective experience that makes life meaningful. Feyerabend concludes by arguing that practical experience is a better guide to reality than any theory, by itself, ever could be, and he stresses that there is no tyranny that cannot be resisted, even if it is exerted with the best possible intentions. Provocative and iconoclastic, The Tyranny of Science is one of Feyerabend's last books and one of his best. It will be widely read by everyone interested in the role that science has played, and continues to play, in the shaping of the modern world.
In this important new book, the leading philosopher Francois Laruelle examines the role of intellectuals in our societies today, specifically with regards to criminal justice. He argues that, rather than concerning themselves with abstract philosophical notions like justice, truth and violence, intellectuals should focus on the human victims. Drawing on his influential theory of non-philosophy , he shows how we can submit the theorizing of intellectuals to the scrutiny of the everyday suffering of the victims of crime. In the course of a wide-ranging discussion with Philippe Petit, Laruelle suspends the presumed authority of intellectuals by challenging the image of the dominant intellectual exemplified by philosophers such as Sartre, Foucault, Lyotard and Debray. In place of domination, he puts forward instead a theory of determination : the determined intellectual is one whose character is conditioned by his relationship to the victim, rather than one who attempts to dominate the victim s experience through a process of theorizing. While philosophy consistently takes the voice away from victims of suffering, non-philosophy is able to construct a theory of violence and crime that gives voice to the victim. This highly original book will be essential reading for all those interested in contemporary French philosophy and all those concerned with justice in the modern world.
Grete Hermann (1901-1984) was a pupil of mathematical physicist Emmy Noether, follower and co-worker of neo-Kantian philosopher Leonard Nelson, and an important intellectual figure in post-war German social democracy. She is best known for her work on the philosophy of modern physics in the 1930s, some of which emerged from intense discussions with Heisenberg and Weizsacker in Leipzig. Hermann's aim was to counter the threat to the Kantian notion of causality coming from quantum mechanics. She also discussed in depth the question of 'hidden variables' (including the first critique of von Neumann's alleged impossibility proof) and provided an extensive analysis of Bohr's notion of complementarity. This volume includes translations of Hermann's two most important essays on this topic: one hitherto unpublished and one translated here into English for the first time. It also brings together recent scholarly contributions by historians and philosophers of science, physicists, and philosophers and educators following in Hermann's steps. Hermann's work places her in the first rank among philosophers who wrote about modern physics in the first half of the last century. Those interested in the many fields to which she contributed will find here a comprehensive discussion of her philosophy of physics that places it in the context of her wider work.
This landmark book, first published in 1979, met acclaim as a doubly important work of radical philosophy. Its subject, Jean-Paul Sartre, was among the twentieth century's most controversial and influential philosophers; its author, Istvan Meszaros, was himself establishing a reputation for profound contributions to the Marxian tradition, which would continue into the next century. The Work of Sartre was thus considered essential for its insights on Sartre and as a piece of Meszaros 's developing politico-philosophical project. In this completely updated and expanded volume, Meszaros examines the manifold aspects of Sartre's legacy--as novelist, playwright, philosopher, and political actor--and in so doing casts light upon the enture oeuvre, situating it within the historical and social context of Sartre's time. Although critical of aspects of Sartre's philosophy, Meszaros celebrates his unyielding commitment to the struggle against the power of capital, and elucidates what this means for the individual in their search for freedom.
Hegel, more than any other modern Western philosopher, produced the most systematic case for the superiority of Western white Protestant bourgeois modernity. He established a racially structured ladder of gradation of the peoples of the world, putting Germanic people at the top of the racial pyramid, people of Asia in the middle, and Africans and Indigenous people of the Americas and Pacific Islands at the bottom. In Hegel and the Third World Tibebu guides the reader through Hegel's presentation on universalism to argue that such a classification flows in part from Hegel's philosophy of the development of human consciousness. Hegel classified Africans as people arrested at the lowest and most immediate stage of consciousness, that of the senses; Asians as people with divided consciousness, that of the understanding; and Europeans as people of reason. Tibebu demonstrates that Hegel's views were not his alone but reflected the fundamental beliefs of other major figures of Western thought at the time. With detailed analysis and thorough research Hegel and the Third World challenges the central idea of Hegel's philosophy of history: progress. In addition, Tibebu succeeds in providing a fascinating critique of the Western philosopher's rationalization of the gradual decline suffered by the people of the Third World in the context of modern world history.
Wittgenstein: Meaning and Mind is the third volume of a four-volume analytical commentary on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, consisting of two parts. Part 1 is a sequence of fifteen essays that examine in detail all the major topics discussed in Philosophical Investigations 243-427. These include the private language arguments, privacy, private ostensive definition, the nature of the mind, the inner and the outer, behaviour and behaviourism, thought, imagination, the self, consciousness, and criteria. Published in 1990 to widespread acclaim as a scholarly tour de force, the first edition of this volume of essays provides a comprehensive survey of these themes, the history of their treatment in early modern and modern philosophy, the development of Wittgenstein's ideas on these subjects from 1929 onwards, and an elaborate analysis of his definitive arguments in the Investigations. The new second edition has been thoroughly revised by the author and features four new essays. These include a survey of the evolution of the private language arguments in Wittgenstein's oeuvre and their role within the developing argument of the Investigations, a comprehensive essay on private ownership of experience and its pitfalls, a detailed examination and defence of Wittgenstein's repudiation of subjective knowledge of one's experience, and an overview of the achievement and importance of the private language arguments. Revised essays examine new objections to Wittgenstein's arguments - which are found wanting- and incorporate new materials from the Nachlass that were not known to exist in 1990. All references have been adjusted to the revised fourth edition of the Investigations, but previous pagination in the first and second editions has been retained in parentheses. These revisions bring the book up to the high standard of the extensively revised editions of Wittgenstein: Understanding and Meaning (Blackwell, 2005) and Wittgenstein: Rules, Grammar and Necessity (Wiley Blackwell, 2009). They ensure that this survey of Wittgenstein's private language arguments and of his accounts of thought, imagination, consciousness, the self, and criteria will remain the essential reference work on the Investigations for the foreseeable future.
This wide ranging and challenging book explores the relationship between subjectivity and mortality as it is understood by a number of twentieth-century French philosophers including Sartre, Lacan, Levinas and Derrida. Making intricate and sometimes unexpected connections, Christina Howells draws together the work of prominent thinkers from the fields of phenomenology and existentialism, religious thought, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction, focussing in particular on the relations between body and soul, love and death, desire and passion. From Aristotle through to contemporary analytic philosophy and neuroscience the relationship between mind and body (psyche and soma, consciousness and brain) has been persistently recalcitrant to analysis, and emotion (or passion) is the locus where the explanatory gap is most keenly identified. This problematic forms the broad backdrop to the work's primary focus on contemporary French philosophy and its attempts to understand the intimate relationship between subjectivity and mortality, in the light not only of the 'death' of the classical subject but also of the very real frailty of the subject as it lives on, finite, desiring, embodied, open to alterity and always incomplete. Ultimately Howells identifies this vulnerability and finitude as the paradoxical strength of the mortal subject and as what permits its transcendence. Subtle, beautifully written, and cogently argued, this book will be invaluable for students and scholars interested in contemporary theories of subjectivity, as well as for readers intrigued by the perennial connections between love and death.
The literary friendship between Alain Robbe-Grillet and Roland Barthes lasted 25 years. Everything attests to their deep and mutual intellectual esteem: their private correspondence, their published texts, their conversations - notably in the famous dialogue which gives its name to this work. Robbe-Grillet freely said he had very few true friends but, next to the publisher Jerome Lindon, he always cited the name of Roland Barthes. In 1980, he wrote his own 'I love, I don't love', published here for the first time, thinking about his friend. In 1985, he predicted: 'It is his work as a writer which will remain'. Ten years later, in 1995, he imagined him as an impatient, blithe novelist, merrily rewriting - 'euphorically, with inexhaustible happiness' - The Sorrows of Young Werther. This small collection of conversations and short texts by Robbe-Grillet is like the deferred echo of those that Roland Barthes dedicated to him in his Critical Essays in 1964. It offers fresh insight into the development of Robbe-Grillet's own work as well as that of Barthes, and is a unique testimony to one of the most important literary friendships of our time.
"Isn't it ... particularly difficult to 'speak' of your work?" Frederic-Yves Jeannet asks Helene Cixous in this fascinating book of interviews. " I]t's only in writing, on paper, ... that I reach the most unknown, the strangest, the most advanced part of me for me. I feel closer to my own mystery in the aura of writing it," Cixous responds.
These conversations, which took place over three years and cover the creative process behind Cixous's fictional writing, illuminate the genesis and particular genius of one of France's most original writers. Cixous muses on her "coming to writing," from her first publications to her recent acclaim for a series of fictional texts that spring, as, she insists all true writing does, from her life: the loss of her father when she was a child, and her relationship with her mother, now in her tenth decade, as well as with such friends as Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. The conversations delve into Cixous's career as an academic in Paris and abroad, her summer retreats to the Bordeaux region to write uninterrupted for two months, her work with Ariane Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil, her political engagements and her dreams. Readers and writers who have followed Cixous's path-blazing career as a fiction writer who crosses boundaries of genre and gender while posing essential questions about the nature of narrative and life will find this a book that cannot be put down.
Drawing on poststructuralist approaches, Craig Martin outlines a theory of discourse, ideology, and domination that can be used by scholars and students to understand these central elements in the study of culture. The book shows how discourses are used to construct social institutions-often classist, sexist, or racist-and that those social institutions always entail a distribution of resources and capital in ways that capacitate some subject positions over others. Such asymmetrical power relations are often obscured by ideologies that offer demonstrably false accounts of why those asymmetries exist or persist. The author provides a method of reading in order to bring matters into relief, and the last chapter provides a case study that applies his theory and method to racist ideologies in the United States, which systematically function to discourage white Americans from sympathizing with poor African Americans, thereby contributing to reinforcing the latter's place at the bottom of a racial hierarchy that has always existed in the US.
You may like...
The Works of George Berkeley
George Berkeley Paperback R556 Discovery Miles 5 560
The True Intellectual System of the…
Ralph Cudworth Paperback R716 Discovery Miles 7 160
Ludwig Wittgenstein Paperback R840 Discovery Miles 8 400
An Examination of Sir William Hamilton's…
John Stuart Mill Paperback R490 Discovery Miles 4 900
The Forgetting of Air in Martin…
Luce Irigaray Paperback R559 Discovery Miles 5 590
Illustrations of Universal Progress - a…
Herbert Spencer Paperback R555 Discovery Miles 5 550
Collected Essays and Reviews
William James Paperback R586 Discovery Miles 5 860
A Philosopher Looks at Architecture
Paul Guyer Paperback
The True Intellectual System of the…
Ralph Cudworth Paperback R682 Discovery Miles 6 820
Imperium - Structures and Affects of…
Frederic Lordon Paperback