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Theodor W. Adorno and Jurgen Habermas both champion the goal of a rational society. However, they differ significantly about what this society should look like and how best to achieve it. Exploring the premises shared by both critical theorists, along with their profound disagreements about social conditions today, this book defends Adorno against Habermas' influential criticisms of his account of Western society and prospects for achieving reasonable conditions of human life. The book begins with an overview of these critical theories of Western society. Both Adorno and Habermas follow Georg Lukacs when they argue that domination consists in the reifying extension of a calculating, rationalizing form of thought to all areas of human life. Their views about reification are discussed in the second chapter. In chapter three the author explores their conflicting accounts of the historical emergence and development of the type of rationality now prevalent in the West. Since Adorno and Habermas claim to have a critical purchase on reified social life, the critical leverage of their theories is assessed in chapter four. The final chapter deals with their opposing views about what a rational society would look like, as well as their claims about the prospects for establishing such a society. Adorno, Habermas and the Search for a Rational Society will be essential reading for students and researchers of critical theory, political theory and the work of Adorno and Habermas.
Impossible God introduces Derrida's theology for a new generation interested in Derrida's writings and in the future of theology, and clarifies Derrida's theology for those already familiar with his writings. Derrida's theological concerns are now widely recognised but Impossible God shows how Derrida's theology takes its shape from his earliest writings on Edmund Husserl and from explorations into Husserl's unpublished manuscripts on time and theology. Rayment-Pickard argues that Derrida goes beyond both the nihilism of the 'death of God' and the denials of negative theology to affirm a theology of God's 'impossibility'. Derrida's 'impossible God' is not another God of the philosophers but a powerful deity capable of wakening us into faith, ethical responsibility and love. Showing how central theology has been to Derrida's philosophy since the beginning of his career, Impossible God presents an accessible study of a neglected area of Derrida's writing which students of philosophy and theology will find invaluable.
This collection presents a sort of counter-history or counter-genealogy of the globalization of French thought from the point of view of scholars working in the UK. While the dominating discourse would attribute the US as the source of that globalization, particularly through the 1966 conference on the Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man at Johns Hopkins University, this volume of essays serves as a reminder that the UK has also been a principal motor of that globalization. The essays take into account how French thought and literary theory have institutionally taken shape in the UK from the 70s to today, highlight aspects of French thought that have been of particular pertinence or importance for scholars there, and outline how researchers in the UK today are bringing French thought further in terms of teaching and research in this twenty-first century. In short, this volume traces how the country has been behind the reception and development of French thought in Anglophone worlds from the late 70s to the present.
Wilfrid Sellars's ethical theory was rich and deeply innovative. On Sellars's view, moral judgments express a special kind of shared intention. Thus, we should see Sellars as an early advocate of an expressivism of plans and intentions, and an early theorist of collective intentionality. He supplemented this theory with a sophisticated logic of intentions, a robust theory of the categorical validity of normative expressions, a subtle way of reconciling the cognitive and motivating aspects of moral judgment, and much more-all within a strict nominalism that preserves Sellars's commitment to naturalism. The Ethics of Wilfrid Sellars offers the first systematic treatment of this sadly-neglected aspect of Sellars's work, and demonstrates that his ethical theory-just like his more widely-discussed epistemology-has much to contribute to current debates.
This book brings together essays from leading scholars who, rather than taking a strictly exegetical approach, attempt to show how discussions in moral philosophy can benefit from Wittgenstein's later philosophical work. The essays in this volume make the argument that Wittgenstein's relevance for moral philosophy depends not only on his views about ethics, but also on the methods he introduces, on his views on the nature of philosophy and philosophical problems, and on the insights into language developed in his philosophy. They also focus on the 'Wittgensteinian tradition' in moral philosophy and its relation to more mainstream analytic moral philosophy, addressing how several prominent philosophers use these ideas and methods in their work. Ethics in the Wake of Wittgenstein seeks to answer the following question: Can we apply Wittgenstein's ways of dealing with problems in logic, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of mathematics to moral philosophy as well? It will be of interest to Wittgenstein scholars and those working on current debates in moral philosophy, metaethics, and normative ethics.
Richard Rorty was one of the most controversial and influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. McClean re-evaluates Rorty's work in the light of his liberal cosmopolitan outlook, showing how it can be applied to a range of social and political issues.
Ugly, Useless, Unstable Architectures traces productive intersections between architecture and the discourses of Post-Structuralism and New Materialism. It investigates how their unique 'ontological regimes' can be mobilised to supersede the classical framework that still informs both the production and the evaluation of architecture. Throughout its three main chapters, this enquiry challenges one of the most prevalent tropes of architectural assessment: Beauty, Utility and Stability. Author Miguel Paredes Maldonado critically unpacks the spatial and operational qualities of these three idealised concepts, before setting out an alternative framework of spatial practice that draws from Gilles Deleuze's post-structuralist take on the production of the real and Manuel DeLanda's model-based branch of New Materialism. This book reads and situates a series of spatial works through the lens of this critical methodology to contest the conceptual aspects traditionally underpinning architectural 'value'. It posits that architecture can operate as a continuous, generative spectrum encompassing a broad range of potential configurations. Written for academics and students in architectural theory, design and contemporary philosophical thought alike, this book should appeal to a wide audience.
This book illuminates a variety of the key themes and positions that are developed in the work of art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman, one of the most influential image-theorists of our time. Beginning with a translated exchange on the politics of images between Jacques Ranciere and Georges Didi-Huberman, the volume further contains a translation of Didi-Huberman's essay on Georges Bataille's writings on art. The articles in this book explore the influence of Theodor Adorno and Aby Warburg on Didi-Huberman's work, the relationship between 'image' and 'people', his insights on witnessing and memory, the theme of phasmids and his reflections on aura, pathos and the imagination. Taken as a whole, the book will give readers an insight into the rich and expansive work of Didi-Huberman, beyond the books that are currently available in English. This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities.
This is the first volume dedicated solely to the topic of epistemological disjunctivism. The original essays in this volume, written by leading and up-and-coming scholars on the topic, are divided into three thematic sections. The first set of chapters addresses the historical background of epistemological disjunctivism. It features essays on ancient epistemology, Immanuel Kant, J.L. Austin, Edmund Husserl, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The second section tackles a number contemporary issues related to epistemological disjunctivism, including its relationship with perceptual disjunctivism, radical skepticism, and reasons for belief. Finally, the third group of essays extends the framework of epistemological disjunctivism to other forms of knowledge, such as testimonial knowledge, knowledge of other minds, and self-knowledge. Epistemological Disjunctivism is a timely collection that engages with an increasingly important topic in philosophy. It will appeal to researches and graduate students working in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of perception.
Social robotics is a cutting edge research area gathering researchers and stakeholders from various disciplines and organizations. The transformational potential that these machines, in the form of, for example, caregiving, entertainment or partner robots, pose to our societies and to us as individuals seems to be limited by our technical limitations and phantasy alone. This collection contributes to the field of social robotics by exploring its boundaries from a philosophically informed standpoint. It constructively outlines central potentials and challenges and thereby also provides a stable fundament for further research of empirical, qualitative or methodological nature.
This collection presents a critical discussion and exploration of the late D.Z. Phillips' contemplative approach in the philosophy of religion. What are the main characteristics of this ground-breaking approach, which is inspired by thinkers like Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein and meant as a serious, critical alternative to the mainstream way of doing philosophy of religion? What is its aim, if it is deliberately avoiding apology and defence of faith? How does Phillips' approach relate to systematic, historical and empirical theology and is it really as 'neutral' as he claims it to be? Or is he, perhaps, a certain kind of theologian? What are the implications of his contemplative philosophy for central issues of religious life today, such as petitionary prayer, the hope of 'eternal life' and radical religious diversity? The essays of six distinguished scholars from five different nations critically and sympathetically address these questions and are responded to by Phillips in essays of his own, written briefly before his sudden death in July 2006.
It is impossible to imagine contemporary critical theory without
the work of Michel Foucault. His radical reworkings of the concepts
of power, knowledge, discourse and identity have influenced the
widest possible range of theories and impacted upon disciplinary
fields from literary studies to anthropology. Aimed at students
approaching Foucault's texts for the first time, this volume
Ernest Gellner made major contributions in very diverse fields, notably philosophy and social anthropology. His attacks on the orthodoxies of his time made it difficult for him to be fully accepted into either of these academic communities, but that suited him well enough: he seemed to enjoy leading a one-man crusade for critical rationalism, defending enlightenment universalism against the rising tides of idealism and relativism. His influence spread far beyond social anthropology: the fierce tone of the polemics of the 1950s against Oxford philosophers was repeated during the 1990s in tangles in the TLS with the literary critic Edward Said. For Gellner the issues were essentially the same: the vital need to refute the claim that ideas lead the world.
An irreverent critical lexicon of academic life and culture The university: The very name evokes knowledge, culture, and the magnificently universal ambition at the heart of this essential institution. Bastions of free inquiry and a free society, engines of social transformation and economic progress, enclosed gardens of ennobling reflection and creation, universities encompass the wisdom of the past and the hope of the future. Or do they? This critical glossary-written by a group of Princeton graduate students and faculty-defines fifty-eight terms common to academic life in a style that will prick both egos and consciences. From "academia" to "vocation," "canon" to "peer review," "discipline" to "methodology," the book scrutinizes the often stultifying structures of modern disciplinary life, calls out a slavish devotion to "knowledge production" as the enemy of thought, and even dissects the notion of "academic excellence." Feisty and darkly funny, passionate and deeply insightful, this book raises hard questions about teaching, research, theory, practice, and academic labor. The result is a must-read dispatch from today's academic trenches-one that is sure to provoke discussion and debate.
Beginning in the late eighteenth century, Europeans embarked on a new way of classifying the world, devising genealogies that determined degrees of relatedness by tracing heritage through common ancestry. This methodology organized historical systems into family trees, transforming the closest contemporaneous terms on trees of languages, religions, races, nations, species, or individuals into siblings. Encompassing political fraternity, sister languages, racial discourse on brotherhood, evolutionary sibling species, and intense, often incestuously inclined brother-sister bonds in literature, siblinghood stands out as a ubiquitous-yet unacknowledged-conceptual touchstone across the European long nineteenth century. In all such systems the sibling term, not-quite-same and not-quite-other, serves as an active fault line, necessary for and yet continuously destabilizing definition and classification. In her provocative book, Stefani Engelstein explores the pervasive significance of sibling structures and their essential role in the modern organization of knowledge and identity. Sibling Action argues that this relational paradigm came to structure the modern subject, life sciences, human sciences, and collective identities such as race, religion, and gender. Engelstein considers theoretical constructions of subjectivity through Sophocles' Antigone; fraternal equality and its exclusion of sisters in political rhetoric; the intertwining of economic and kinship theory by Friedrich Engels and Claude Levi-Strauss; Darwin and his contemporaries' accounts of speciation; anthropological and philological depictions of Muslims and Jews at the margins of Europe; and evolutionary psychology's theorizing around the incest taboo. Integrating close readings across the disciplines with panoramic intellectual history and arresting literary interpretations, Sibling Action presents a compelling new understanding of systems of knowledge and provides the foundation for less confrontational formulations of belonging, identity, and agency.
First Published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
First Published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
A Biography of Ordinary Man is a foundational text for our understanding of Francois Laruelle, one of France s leading thinkers, whose ideas have emerged as an important touchstone for contemporary theoretical discussions across multiple disciplines. One of Laruelle s earliest systematic elaborations of his ethical and "non-philosophical" thought, this critical dialogue with some of the dominant voices of continental philosophy, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida, offers a rigorous science of individuals as minorities or as separated from the World, History, and Philosophy. Through novel theorizations of finitude and determination in the last instance, Laruelle develops a thought "of the One" as a "minoritarian" paradigm that resists those paradigms that foreground difference as the conceptual matrix for understanding the status of the minority. The critique of the "unitary illusion" of philosophy developed here stands at the foundation of Laruelle s approach to "uni-lateralizing" the power of philosophy and the universals with which it has always thought, and thereby acts as a basis for his subsequent investigations of victims, mysticism, and Gnosticism. This book will appeal to the many students and scholars interested in Continental Philosophy and in the development of Laruelle s thought, as well as to students and scholars in the philosophy of religion, ethics, aesthetics and cultural theory.
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