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'No brief survey can do justice to the richness, complexity and detail of Foucault's discussion' New York Review of Books The second volume of Michel Foucault's pioneering analysis of the changing nature of desire explores how sexuality was perceived in classical Greek culture. From the stranger byways of Greek medicine (with its advice on the healthiest season for sex, as well as exercise and diet) to the role of women, The Use of Pleasure is full of extraordinary insights into the differences - and the continuities - between the Ancient, Christian and Modern worlds, showing how sex became a moral issue in the west. 'Required reading for those who cling to stereotyped ideas about our difference from the Greeks in terms of pagan license versus Christian austerity' Los Angeles Times Book Review
Arts, Pedagogy and Cultural Resistance brings cultural studies' perspectives to bear on Arts practices. Each contribution synthesizes creative approaches to philosophy and new materialist understanding of practice to show how human-nonhuman interaction at the core of Arts practice is a critical post human pedagogy. Across fine art, dance, gallery education, film and philosophy, the book contends that certain kinds of Arts practice can be a critical pedagogy in which tactical engagements with community, space, place and materiality become means of not only disrupting dominant discourse but also of making new discourses come to matter. It demonstrates how embodied, located acts of making can materially disrupt cultural hegemony and suggest different ways the world might materialize. It argues that the practice of Arts making is a post human cultural pedagogy in which people become part of a broader assemblage of matter, and all aspects of this network are solidified in objects or processes that are themselves pedagogical. In doing so the book offers a fresh and theoretically engaged perspective on arts as pedagogy.
Badiou and Hegel: Infinity, Dialectics, Subjectivity offers critical appraisals of two of the dominant figures of the Continental tradition of philosophy, Alain Badiou and G.W.F. Hegel. Jim Vernon and Antonio Calcagno bring together established and emerging authors in Continental philosophy to discuss the relationship between the thinkers, creating a multifarious collection of essays by Hegelians, Badiouans, and those sympathetic to both. The text privileges neither thinker, nor any particular topic shared between them; rather, this book lays a broad and sound foundation for future scholarship on arguably two of the greatest thinkers of infinity, universality, subjectivity, and the enduring value of philosophy in the modern Western canon. Assuredly overdue, this volume will attract Hegel and Badiou scholars, as well as those interested in post-structuralism, political philosophy, cultural studies, ontology, philosophy of mathematics, and psychoanalysis.
Is contemporary continental philosophy making a break with Kant? The structures of knowledge, taken for granted since Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, are now being called into question: the finitude of the subject, the phenomenal given, a priori synthesis. Relinquish the transcendental: such is the imperative of postcritical thinking in the 21st century. Questions that we no longer thought it possible to ask now reemerge with renewed vigor: can Kant really maintain the difference between a priori and innate? Can he deduce, rather than impose, the categories, or justify the necessity of nature? Recent research into brain development aggravates these suspicions, which measure transcendental idealism against the thesis of a biological origin for cognitive processes. In her important new book Catherine Malabou lays out Kant's response to his posterity. True to its subject, the book evolves as an epigenesis the differentiated growth of the embryo for, as those who know how to read critical philosophy affirm, this is the very life of the transcendental and contains the promise of its transformation.
These lectures by one of the most influential and original philosophers of the twentieth century constitute a sustained argument for the philosophical basis of romanticism, particularly in its American rendering. Through his examination of such authors as Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Wordsworth, and Coleridge, Stanley Cavell shows that romanticism and American transcendentalism represent a serious philosophical response to the challenge of skepticism that underlies the writings of Wittgenstein and Austin on ordinary language.
The Reinvention of Social Practices shows the relevance of Felix Guattari's thought for the analysis of contemporary social and cultural encounters, ranging across an alternative 'skateboard' school, informatic subjugations, urban ecological dilemmas, drug subcultures, and countercultures. Gary Genosko, the leading English interpreter of Guattari, expands upon Guattari's conception of schizoanalysis as a transformative process of critical self-modelling that leads to the creation of new maps of existence, highlighting an interpretive dream pragmatics, a peripatetic psychiatric practice, a rethinking of epilepsy, and a post-media vision of digital interfaces beyond the keyboard. The folds of Guattari's collaborations with Gilles Deleuze and Antonio Negri are explored, and his philosophical friendship with Franco Bifo Berardi is brought into focus.
How much does ethics demand of us? On what authority does it demand it? How does what ethics demand relate to other requirements, such as those of prudence, law, and social convention? Does ethics really demand anything at all? Questions of this sort lie at the heart of the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Logstrup (1905-1981), and in particular his key text The Ethical Demand (1956). In The Radical Demand in Logstrup's Ethics, Robert Stern offers a full account of that text, and situates Logstrup's distinctive position in relation to Kant, Kierkegaard, Levinas, Darwall and Luther. For Logstrup, the ethical situation is primarily one in which the fate of the other person is placed in your hands, where it is then your responsibility to do what is best for them. The demand therefore does not come from the other person as such, as what they ask you to do may be different from what you should do. It is also not laid down by social rules, nor by God or by any formal principle of practical reason, such as Kant's principle of universalizability. Rather, it comes from what is required to care for the other, and the directive power of their needs in the situation. Logstrup therefore rejects accounts of ethical obligation based on the commands of God, or on abstract principles governing practical reason, or on social norms; instead he develops a different picture, at the basis of which is our interdependence, which he argues gives his ethics a grounding in the nature of life itself.
In "Spiritual Writings", renowned Oxford theologian George Pattison presents previously neglected Christian writings that will forever alter our understanding of the great philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. In fact, Pattison argues that the Kierkegaard known to the history of modern ideas is, in an important sense, not Kierkegaard at all. In philosophy and literature Kierkegaard is perceived as epitomizing existential angst, whilst in theology he is seen as expounding a radical form of Christianity based on a paradoxical and absurd faith that demands hatred of the world and the rejection of all forms of communal religion. However, both pictures rely on highly debatable interpretations of a relatively small selection of texts; there is much more to Kierkegaard than the image of the 'melancholy Dane' or the iconoclastic critic of established Christendom might suggest. Alongside the pseudonymous works for which he is best known - and which do indeed deal with such concepts as melancholy, anxiety, 'fear and trembling', paradox, the absurd, and despair - Kierkegaard also wrote many religious works, usually in the form of addresses, which he called 'upbuilding discourses' (which might, in English, be called 'devotional talks'). Taken as a whole, these writings offer something very different from the popular view. As "Spiritual Writings" shows, they embody a spirituality grounded in a firm sense of human life as a good gift of God. Kierkegaard calls on us to love God and, in loving God, to love life-quite concretely - and to love our own lives, even when they have become wretched or despairing.
The devolved and dispersed character of human agency and moral responsibility in the contemporary condition appears linked with the deepening global trauma of 'inhumanism' as a paradox of the Anthropocene. Reclaiming human agency and accountability appears crucial for collective resistance to the unprecedented state of environmental and social collapse resulting from the inhumanity of contemporary capitalist geopolitics and biotechnologies of control. Understanding the potential for such resistance in the posthuman condition requires urgent new thinking about the nature of human influence in complex interactional systems, and about the nature of such systems when conceived in non-anthropocentric way. Through specific readings and uses of Deleuze's conceptual apparatus, this volume examines the operation of human-actioned systems as complex and heterogeneous arenas of affection and accountability. This exciting collection extends non-humanist concepts for understanding reality, agency and interaction in dynamic ecologies of reciprocal determination and influence. The outcome is a vital new theorisation of human scope, responsibility and potential in the posthuman condition.
The Symbolism of Evil is the final book in Ricoeur's early trilogy on the will. While Freedom and Nature sets aside normative questions altogether and Fallible Man examines the question of what makes the bad will possible, here Ricoeur takes up the question of evil in its actuality. What is the nature of the will that has succumbed to evil? The question of evil resists reflection and remains inscrutable. This leads Ricoeur to proceed indirectly through a study of the abundant resources contained in symbols and myths. Symbols, as Ricoeur famously says, "give rise to thought" and thereby open up a field of meanings which help to inform a philosophical reflection on evil. This hermeneutics of symbols signals an important shift in Ricoeur's philosophical trajectory which increasingly shifts to language and the various forms of discourse which harbor multiple meanings. The contributors to this volume highlight a wide range of important themes in Ricoeur's treatment of the symbolics of evil that resonate with current topics in contemporary philosophy and religion.
Has the passing of the old God paved the way for a new kind of religious project, a more responsible way to seek, sound, and love the things we call divine? Has the suspension of dogmatic certainties and presumptions opened a space in which we can encounter religious wonder anew? Situated at the split between theism and atheism, we now have the opportunity to respond in deeper, freer ways to things we cannot fathom or prove.
Distinguished philosopher Richard Kearney calls this condition "ana-theos," or God after God-a moment of creative "not knowing" that signifies a break with former sureties and invites us to forge new meanings from the most ancient of wisdoms. Anatheism refers to an inaugural event that lies at the heart of every great religion, a wager between hospitality and hostility to the stranger, the other--the sense of something "more." By analyzing the roots of our own anatheistic moment, Kearney shows not only how a return to God is possible for those who seek it but also how a more liberating faith can be born.
Kearney begins by locating a turn toward sacred secularity in contemporary philosophy, focusing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Paul Ricoeur. He then marks "epiphanies" in the modernist masterpieces of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf. Kearney concludes with a discussion of the role of theism and atheism in conflict and peace, confronting the distinction between sacramental and sacrificial belief or the God who gives life and the God who takes it away. Accepting that we can never be sure about God, he argues, is the only way to rediscover a hidden holiness in life and to reclaim an everyday divinity.
Reflections on the Religious, the Ethical, and the Political presents fourteen essays devoted to the interconnected topics of religion, ethics, and politics, along with an introductory interview with the author regarding his philosophical development over the years. This volume serves two interconnected purposes: as an introduction or reintroduction to Calvin O.Schrag s intellectual contributions to a critical consideration of these three topics, and as a critical companion and supplement to Schrag s published work on these topics. The topics of religion, ethics, and politics have served as pivot points throughout Schrag s career in the academy, which spans half a century."
What is politics? How is politics different from other spheres of human life? What is behind the debasement of political life today? This book argues that the most illuminating answers to these questions have come from Hannah Arendt. Arendt held that Western philosophy has never had a 'pure concept of the political', and that political philosophers have been guided and misguided by the assumptions implicit in their metaphysical questions. Her project was 'to look at politics ... with eyes unclouded by philosophy', and to retrieve the non-theoretical understanding of politics implicit in ancient Greek literature and history. David Arndt's original and accessible study shows how Arendt reworked some of the basic concepts of political philosophy, which in turn led her to a re-interpretation of American political history and even to a profoundly original reading of the US Declaration of Independence.
This English translation of Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken offers a rare, intimate view of the philosopher by Lou Salome, a free-thinking, Russian-born intellectual to whom Nietzsche proposed marriage at only their second meeting. Published in 1894 as its subject languished in madness, Salome's book rode the crest of a surge of interest in Nietzsche's iconoclastic philosophy. She discusses his writings and such biographical events as his break with Wagner, attempting to ferret out the man in the midst of his works. Salome's provocative conclusion -- that Nietzsche's madness was the inevitable result of his philosophical views -- generated considerable controversy. Nietzsche's sister, Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche, dismissed the book as a work of fantasy. Yet the philosopher's longtime acquaintance Erwin Rohde wrote, "Nothing better or more deeply experienced or perceived has ever been written about Nietzsche." Siegfried Mandel's extensive introduction examines the circumstances that brought Lou Salome and Nietzsche together and the ideological conflicts that drove them apart.
This classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the genesis and trajectory of the desiring subject from Hegel's formulation in "Phenomenology of Spirit" to its appropriation by Koj?ve, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Judith Butler plots the French reception of Hegel and the successive challenges waged against his metaphysics and view of the subject, all while revealing ambiguities within his position. The result is a sophisticated reconsideration of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern French thought, and her study remains a provocative and timely intervention in contemporary debates over the unconscious, the powers of subjection, and the subject.
What is to be learned from the chaotic downfall of the Weimar Republic and the erosion of European liberal statehood in the interwar period vis-a-vis the ongoing Europeancrisis? This book analyses and explains the recurrent emergence of crises in European societies. It asks how previous crises can inform our understanding of the present crisis. The particular perspective advanced is that these crises not only are economic and social crises, but must also be understood as crises of public power, order and authority. In other words, it argues that substantial challenges to the functional and normative setup of democracy and the rule of law were central to the emergence and the unfolding of these crises. The book draws on and adds to the rich 'crises literature' developed within the critical theory tradition to outline a conceptual framework for understanding what societal crises are. The central idea is that societal crises represent a discrepancy between the unfolding of social processes and the institutional frameworks that have been established to normatively stabilize such processes. The crises at issue emerged in periods characterized by strong social, economic and technological transformations as well as situations of political upheaval. As such, the crises represented moments where the existing functional and normative grid of society, as embodied in notions of public order and authority, were severely challenged and in many instances undermined. Seen in this perspective, the book reconstructs how crises unfolded, how they were experienced, and what kind of responses the specific crises in question provoked.
This book is both a careful study of Immanuel Kant's work and the context of that work in the movement known as early modern philosophy. The chief interest of the author concerns the philosophy of perception that is manifest in Kant's doctrines of the transcendental aesthetic and the concept of phenomena. Philosophy bears a crucial relationship to the public in terms of the evidence that it identifies as original and binding. In the early modern period, philosophy repudiated its dependence on ordinary perception, and on language as ordinarily used, in the setting forth of its own authority. This historiographical fact is presently of immense interest, as public discourse finds itself rudderless and without agreed upon common facts for deliberation to settle on. It was not the view of the ancient Greeks that philosophy could so emancipate itself from the perception of common facts as the original evidence for higher investigations. The Early Modern era, beginning with Bacon but now more furiously in the work of Kant, has anchored a general indictment of ordinary perception in a remnant of natural philosophy. Human beings, in Kant's philosophy, are not capable of knowing what objects, external objects, are in themselves. We may only know what are called "appearances," and Kant refers to these appearances as phenomena. Yet this claim is complicated by the a priori knowledge which Kant claims to possess as regards these phenomena: that they must all be eternal substances. The book freely moves back and forth between Greek antiquity and the Early Modern period to illustrate the full nature of the rupture on this ground of the metaphysics of fact determination. For Aristotle, the founder of the theory of substance, substances are just the perishable bodies commonly perceived. Kant's phenomena, which claims to embody what appears to the generality of the human race, cannot be that, for the human race does not perceive eternal objects.
This is the first single-authored critical engagement with the major works of Zygmunt Bauman. Where previous books on Bauman have been exegetical, here an unwavering light is shone on key themes in the sociologist's work, exposing serious weaknesses in Bauman's interpretations of the Holocaust, Western modernity, consumerism, globalisation and the nature of sociology. The book shows how Eurocentrism, the neglect of issues of gender and a lack of awareness of the racism faced by Europe's non-white ethnic minorities seriously limit Bauman's analyses of Western societies. At the same time, it points to Bauman's repeated insistence on the need for sociologists to take a moral stance in favour of the world's poor and downtrodden as being his most valuable legacy. The book will be of great interest to sociologists. Its readability will be valued by undergraduates and postgraduates and it will attract a readership well beyond the discipline. -- .
Revolutionary critic of the philosophy of progress, nostalgic of the past yet dreaming of the future, romantic partisan of materialism - Walter Benjamin is in every sense of the word an "unclassifiable" philosopher. His essay "On the Concept of History" was written in a state of urgency, as he attempted to escape the Gestapo in 1940, before finally committing suicide. In this scrupulous, clear and fascinating examination of this essay, Michael Lowy argues that it remains one of the most important philosophical and political writings of the twentieth century. Looking in detail at Benjamin's celebrated but often mysterious text, and restoring the philosophical, theological and political context, Lowy highlights the complex relationship between redemption and revolution in Benjamin's philosophy of history.
"["A Commentary on Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness"] represents, I believe, a very important beginning of a deservingly serious effort to make the whole of "Being and Nothingness" more readily understandable and readable. . . . In his systematic interpretations of Sartre's book, [Catalano] demonstrates a determination to confront many of the most demanding issues and concepts of "Being and Nothingness," He does not shrink--as do so many interpreters of Sartre--from such issues as the varied meanings of 'being, ' the meaning of 'internal negation' and 'absolute event, ' the idiosyncratic senses of transcendence, the meaning of the 'upsurge' in its different contexts, what it means to say that we 'exist our body, ' the connotation of such concepts as quality, quantity, potentiality, and instrumentality (in respect to Sartre's world of 'things'), or the origin of negation. . . . Catalano offers what is doubtless one of the most probing, original, and illuminating interpretations of Sartre's crucial concept of nothingness to appear in the Sartrean literature."--Ronald E. Santoni, "International Philosophical Quarterly"
Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most widely read philosophers of the twentieth century. But the books in which his philosophy was published - with the exception of his early work Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus - were posthumously edited from the writings he left to posterity. How did his 20,000 pages of philosophical writing become published volumes? Using extensive archival material, this Element reconstructs and examines the way in which Wittgenstein's writings were edited over more than fifty years, and shows how the published volumes tell a thrilling story of philosophical inheritance. The discussion ranges over the conflicts between the editors, their deviations from Wittgenstein's manuscripts, other scholarly issues which arose, and also the shared philosophical tradition of the editors, which animated their desire to be faithful to Wittgenstein and to make his writings both available and accessible. The Element can thus be read as a companion to all of Wittgenstein's published works of philosophy.
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