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Benjamin's famous "Work of Art" essay sets out his boldest thoughts--on media and on culture in general--in their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it. In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought.
This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collection of writings that the editors have assembled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benjamin's explorations on media. Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that the way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly the way a movie or pop song lodges in the soul.
This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the "Work of Art" essay--the one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin's observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art; on film, radio, and photography; and on the modern transformations of literature and painting. The volume contains some of Benjamin's best-known work alongside fascinating, little-known essays--some appearing for the first time in English. In the context of his passionate engagement with questions of aesthetics, the scope of Benjamin's media theory can be fully appreciated.
This edited work is spurred by the 30-year anniversary of the groundbreaking work by Paul Ricoeur, Lectures on Ideology and Utopia (1986)-and the 40-year anniversary of the original lectures (1975). Ricoeur took these concepts that continue to be enormously important in social and political analysis and connected them in a uniquely intricate dance. The ensuing interplay of these concepts provides a framework for a more deft and subtle evaluation than is common. Little has been done to engage Ricoeur's skill in interpreting ideology and utopia or their creative tension, perhaps due to his significant contributions in other areas. When one combines Ricoeur's intricate analyses of ideology and utopia, however, with his contributions in other areas of philosophy such as hermeneutics, anthropology, embodiment, and philosophy of religion, one has fertile grounds for reflection in many directions. The essays in this book draw on these resources not only to engage the strengths and weaknesses of Ricoeur's original work, but they also expand his understanding in creative new directions such as the social imaginary, embodiment, gender theory, immigration, and extremist political rhetoric. The text will bring to the fore how this aspect of Ricoeur's work has significance for the wider twenty-first century political landscape. Just as his original work, this book provides much-needed resources for critique of each term, along with their relationship to one another, while recognizing the positive dimension of their function.
Providing a concise but comprehensive overview of Joseph B. Soloveitchik's larger philosophical program, this book studies one of the most important modern Orthodox Jewish thinkers. It incorporates much relevant biographical, philosophical, religious, legal, and historical background so that the content and difficult philosophical concepts are easily accessible. The volume describes his view of Jewish law (Halakhah) and how he answers the fundamental question of Jewish philosophy, namely, the "reasons" for the commandments. It shows how many of his disparate books, essays, and lectures on law, specific commandments, and Jewish religious phenomenology can be woven together to form an elegant philosophical program. It also provides an analysis and summary of Soloveitchik's views on Zionism and on interreligious dialogue and the contexts for Soloveitchik's respective stances on issues that were pressing in his role as a leader of a major branch of post-war Orthodox Judaism. The book provides a synoptic overview of the philosophical works of Joseph B. Soloveitchik. It will be of interest to historians and scholars studying neo-Kantian philosophy, Jewish thought, and philosophy of religion.
In this volume we witness Wittgenstein in the act of composing and experimenting with his new visions in philosophy. The book includes key explanations of the origin and background of these previously unknown manuscripts. It investigates how Wittgenstein's philosophical thought-processes are revealed in his dictation to, as well as his editing and revision with Francis Skinner, in the latter's role of amanuensis. The book displays a considerable wealth and variety of Wittgenstein's fundamental experiments in philosophy across a wide array of subjects that include the mind, pure and applied mathematics, metaphysics, the identities of ordinary and creative language, as well as intractable problems in logic and life. He also periodically engages with the work of Newton, Fermat, Russell and others. The book shows Wittgenstein strongly battling against the limits of understanding and the bewitchment of institutional and linguistic customs. The reader is drawn in by Wittgenstein as he urges us to join him in his struggles to equip us with skills, so that we can embark on devising new pathways beyond confusion. This collection of manuscripts was posted off by Wittgenstein to be considered for publication during World War 2, in October 1941. None of it was published and it remained hidden for over two generations. Upon its rediscovery, Professor Gibson was invited to research, prepare and edit the Archive to appear as this book, encouraged by Trinity College Cambridge and The Mathematical Association. Niamh O'Mahony joined him in co-editing and bringing this book to publication.
In May 1975, Michel Foucault took LSD in the desert in southern California. He described it as the most important event of his life which would lead him to completely rework his History of Sexuality. His focus now would not be on power relations but on the experiments of subjectivity, and the care of the self. Through this lens he would reinterpret the social movements of May 68 and position himself politically in France in relation to the emergent ant-totalitarian and anti-welfare state currents. He would also come to appreciate the possibilities of autonomy offered by a new force on the French political scene that was neither of the Left nor the Right: neoliberalism.
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.
This title was first published in 28/11/2001: The broad label 'practical philosophy' brings together such topics as ethics and metaethics as well as philosophy of law, society, art and religion. In practical philosophy, theory of value and action is basic, and woven into our understanding of all practical and ethical reasoning. New essays from leading international philosophers illustrate that substantial results in the subdisciplines of practical philosophy require insights into its core issues: the nature of actions, persons, values and reasons. This anthology is published in honour of Ingmar Persson on his fiftieth birthday.
For distinguished philosopher Hans Blumenberg, lions were a life-long obsession. Lions, translated by Kari Driscoll, collects thirty-two of Blumenberg's philosophical vignettes to reveal that the figure of the lion unites two of his other great preoccupations: metaphors and anecdotes as non-philosophical forms of knowledge. Each of these short texts, sparkling with erudition and humor, is devoted to a peculiar leonine presence-or, in many cases, absence-in literature, art, philosophy, religion, and politics. From Ecclesiastes to the New Testament Apocrypha, Durer to Henri Rousseau, Aesop and La Fontaine to Rilke and Thomas Mann, the extraordinary breadth of Blumenberg's knowledge and intellectual curiosity is on full display. Lions has much to offer readers, both those already familiar with Blumenberg's oeuvre and newcomers looking for an introduction to the thought of one of Germany's most important postwar philosophers.
Mari Ruti combines theoretical reflection, cultural critique, feminist politics, and personal experience to analyze the prevalence of bad feelings in contemporary everyday life. Proceeding from a playful engagement with Freud's idea of penis envy, Ruti's autotheoretical commentary fans out to a broader consideration of neoliberal pragmatism. She focuses on the emphasis on good performance, high productivity, constant self-improvement, and relentless cheerfulness that characterizes present-day Western society. Revealing the treacherousness of our fantasies of the good life, particularly the idea that our efforts will eventually be rewarded-that things will eventually get better-Ruti demystifies the false hope that often causes us to tolerate an unbearable present. Theoretically rigorous and lucidly written, Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings is a trenchant critique of contemporary gender relations. Refuting the idea that we live in a postfeminist world where gender inequalities have been transcended, Ruti describes how neoliberal heteropatriarchy has transformed itself in subtle and stealthy, and therefore all the more insidious, ways. Mobilizing Michel Foucault's concept of biopolitics, Jacques Lacan's account of desire, and Lauren Berlant's notion of cruel optimism, she analyzes the rationalization of intimacy, the persistence of gender stereotypes, and the pornification of heterosexual culture. Ruti shines a spotlight on the depression, anxiety, frustration, and disenchantment that frequently lie beneath our society's sugarcoated mythologies of self-fulfillment, romantic satisfaction, and professional success, speaking to all who are concerned about the emotional costs of the pressure-cooker ethos of our age.
Reforming Modernity is a sweeping intellectual history and philosophical reflection built around the work of the Morocco-based philosopher Abdurrahman Taha, one of the most significant philosophers in the Islamic world since the colonial era. Wael B. Hallaq contends that Taha is at the forefront of forging a new, non-Western-centric philosophical tradition. He explores how Taha's philosophical project sheds light on recent intellectual currents in the Islamic world and puts forth a formidable critique of Western and Islamic modernities. Hallaq argues that Taha's project departs from-but leaves behind-the epistemological grounds in which most modern Muslim intellectuals have anchored their programs. Taha systematically rejects the modes of thought that have dominated the Muslim intellectual scene since the beginning of the twentieth century-nationalism, Marxism, secularism, political Islamism, and liberalism. Instead, he provides alternative ways of thinking, forcefully and virtuosically developing an ethical system with a view toward reforming existing modernities. Hallaq analyzes the ethical thread that runs throughout Taha's oeuvre, illuminating how Taha weaves it into a discursive engagement with the central questions that plague modernity in both the West and the Muslim world. The first introduction to Taha's ethical philosophy for Western audiences, Reforming Modernity presents his complex thought in an accessible way while engaging with it critically. Hallaq's conversation with Taha's work both proffers a cogent critique of modernity and points toward answers for its endemic and seemingly insoluble problems.
This book provides new interpretations of Heidegger's philosophical method in light of 20th-century postmodernism and 21st-century speculative realism. In doing so, it raises important questions about philosophical method in the age of global warming and climate change. Vincent Blok addresses topics that have yet to be extensively discussed in Heidegger scholarship, including Heidegger's method of questioning, the religious character of Heidegger's philosophical method, and Heidegger's conceptualization of philosophical method as explorative confrontation. He is also critical of Heidegger's conceptuality and develops a post-Heideggerian concept of philosophical method, which provides a new perspective on the role of willing, poetry, and earth-interest in contemporary philosophy. This earth-interest turns out to be particularly important to consider and leads to critical reflections on Heidegger's concept of Earth, the necessity of Earth-interest in contemporary philosophy, and a post-Heideggerian concept of the Earth. Heidegger's Concept of Philosophical Method will be of interest primarily to Heidegger scholars and graduate students, but its discussion of philosophical method and environmental philosophy will also appeal to scholars in other disciplines and areas of philosophy.
Current Controversies in Values and Science asks ten philosophers to debate five questions (two philosophers per debate) that are driving contemporary work in this important area of philosophy of science. The book is perfect for the advanced student, building up her knowledge of the foundations of the field while also engaging its most cutting-edge questions. Introductions and annotated bibliographies for each debate, preliminary descriptions of each chapter, study questions, and a supplemental guide to further controversies involving values in science help provide clearer and richer snapshots of active controversies for all readers.
Martin Heidegger is one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century philosophy but his reputation was tainted by his associations with Nazism. The posthumous publication of the Black Notebooks, which reveal the shocking extent of Heidegger's anti-Semitism, has only cast further doubt on his work. Now more than ever, a new introduction to Heidegger is needed to reassess his work and legacy. This book by the world-leading Heidegger scholar Peter Trawny is the first introduction to take into account the new material made available by the explosive publication of the Black Notebooks. Seeking neither to condemn nor excuse Heidegger's views, Trawny directly confronts and elucidates the most problematic aspects of his thought. At the same time, he provides a comprehensive survey of Heidegger's development, from his early writings on phenomenology and his magnum opus, Being and Time, to his later writings on poetry and technology. Trawny captures the extraordinary significance and breadth of fifty years of philosophical production, all against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of the twentieth century. This concise introduction will be required reading for the many students and scholars in philosophy and critical theory who study Heidegger, and it will be of great interest to general readers who want to know more about one of the major figures of contemporary philosophy.
Democracy in the twenty-first century faces a number of major challenges, populism, neoliberalism and globalisation being three of the most prominent. This book examines such challenges by investigating how the conditions of democratic statehood have been altered at several key historical intervals since 1945. It demonstrates that the formal mechanisms of democratic statehood, such as elections, have always been complemented by civic, cultural, educational, socio-economic and constitutional institutions that mediate between citizens and state authority. Rearticulating critical theory with a contemporary focus, the book shows why a sociological approach is urgently needed to address conceptual deficits and explain how the formal mechanisms of democratic statehood need to be complemented and updated in new ways today. -- .
This volume of new essays presents groundbreaking interpretations of some of the most central themes of Wittgenstein's philosophy. A distinguished group of contributors demonstrates how Wittgenstein's thought can fruitfully be applied to contemporary debates in epistemology, metaphilosophy and philosophy of language. The volume combines historical and systematic approaches to Wittgensteinian methods and perspectives, with essays providing detailed analysis that will be accessible to students as well as specialists. The result is a rich and illuminating picture of a key figure in twentieth-century philosophy and his continuing importance to philosophical study.
Hartmut Rosa advances an account of the temporal structure of society from the perspective of critical theory. He identifies three categories of change in the tempo of modern social life: technological acceleration, evident in transportation, communication, and production; the acceleration of social change, reflected in cultural knowledge, social institutions, and personal relationships; and acceleration in the pace of life, which happens despite the expectation that technological change should increase an individual's free time. According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the "shrinking of the present," a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match the future. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on "slipping slopes," a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.
Guido de Ruggiero (1888-1948) was perhaps the greatest Italian intellectual historian in the twentieth century. He was a fierce champion of liberalism, an ardent opponent of Fascism, an insightful critic and interpreter of his contemporaries, and a formidable philosopher in his own right. Idealism & Experience: The Philosophy of Guido de Ruggiero comprises eight new critical essays, as well as English translations of five of de Ruggiero's most important shorter writings, which chart the development of his thought between 1914 and 1946. Taken together, these essays reveal the range, richness and philosophical sophistication of de Ruggiero's ideas, enabling Anglophone readers to appreciate their enduring relevance in our own troubled times.
This volume offers critical responses to philosophical naturalism from the perspectives of four different yet fundamentally interconnected philosophical traditions: Kantian idealism, Hegelian idealism, British idealism, and American pragmatism. In bringing these rich perspectives into conversation with each other, the book illuminates the distinctive set of metaphilosophical assumptions underpinning each tradition's conception of the relationship between the human and natural sciences. The individual essays investigate the affinities and the divergences between Kant, Hegel, Collingwood, and the American pragmatists in their responses to philosophical naturalism. The ultimate aim of Responses to Naturalism is to help us understand how human beings can be committed to the idea of scientific progress without renouncing their humanistic explanations of the world. It will appeal to scholars interested in the role idealist and pragmatist perspectives play in contemporary debates about naturalism.
For a good part of the 20th century, the classic Pragmatists-Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey-and pragmatism in general were largely ignored by analytic philosophers. They were said to hold such untenable views as whatever best satisfies our needs is true and that the end justifies the means. Despite a recent revival of interest in these figures, spurred largely by the work of Richard Rorty, it is not uncommon to continue to hear claims that pragmatism is a subjectivist, anti-realist position that denies that there is a mind-independent world, and fails to place objective constraints on inquiry. In this book, Robert Schwartz dispels these traditional views by examining the empiricist and constructivist orientation of the classic pragmatists. Based on updated and expanded versions of his influential papers, as well as a number of previously unpublished essays, in this book Schwartz demonstrates the relevance of pragmatic thought to a wide range of issues beyond concerns over truth and realism that currently dominate discussions. The individual essays elaborate and defend pragmatic, instrumentalist, and constructivist conceptions of truth and inquiry, moral discourse and ethical statements, perception, art, and worldmaking. Pragmatic Perspectives will appeal to scholars interested in the history of American philosophy and pragmatic approaches to contemporary issues in analytic philosophy.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein are two of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century, yet their work is generally regarded as standing in contrast to one another. However, as this outstanding collection demonstrates they both reject a Cartesian picture of the mind and sought to offer an alternative that does justice to the role played by bodily action, language, and our membership within a community that shares a way of life. This is the first collection to compare and contrast the work of these two major philosophers. Fundamental topics and problems discussed include the role of community in their philosophies; Merleau-Ponty on description and depiction and Wittgenstein on saying and doing; the role of language; their treatment of expression; their relation to the philosophy of the Vienna Circle; solipsism; and rule-following. It is essential reading for anyone studying the work of Wittgenstein and Merleau-Ponty, as well as those interested in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.
In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology--fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling. Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and e-mail all get fused into another staggeringly dense, brilliant slab of scholarship and suggestion.--The Guardian [Derrida] convincingly argues that, although the archive is a public entity, it nevertheless is the repository of the private and personal, including even intimate details.--Choice Beautifully written and clear.--Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review Translator Prenowitz has managed valiantly to bring into English a difficult but inspiring text that relies on Greek, German, and their translations into French.--Library Journal
In this volume, Savas L. Tsohatzidis brings together a team of leading experts to provide up-to-date perspectives on the work of J. L. Austin, a major figure in twentieth-century philosophy and an important contributor to theories of language, truth, perception, and knowledge. Focusing on aspects of Austin's writings in these four areas, the volume's ten original essays critically examine central elements of his philosophy, exploring their interrelationships, their historical context, their reception, and their implications for key issues of contemporary philosophical research. The volume deepens our understanding of Austin's philosophy while illustrating its continuing significance, and will appeal to students and scholars of modern philosophy, particularly those interested in the philosophy of language and epistemology.
Georges Canguilhem (1904-95) was an influential historian and philosopher of science, as renowned for his teaching as for his writings. He is best known for his book The Normal and the Pathological, originally his doctoral thesis in medicine, but he also wrote a thesis in philosophy on the concept of the reflex, supervised by Gaston Bachelard. He was the sponsor of Michel Foucault's doctoral thesis on madness. However, his work extends far beyond what is suggested by his association with these thinkers. Canguilhem also produced a series of important works on the natural sciences, including studies of evolution, psychology, vitalism and mechanism, experimentation, monstrosity and disease. Stuart Elden discusses the whole of this important thinker's complex work, including recently rediscovered texts and archival materials. Canguilhem always approached questions historically, examining how it was that we came to a significant moment in time, outlining tensions, detours and paths not taken. The first comprehensive study in English, this book is a crucial guide for those coming to terms with Canguilhem's important contributions, and will appeal to researchers and students from a range of fields.
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