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How is ‘race’ determined? Is it your DNA? The community that you were raised in? The way others see you or the way you see yourself? In Race Otherwise: Forging A New Humanism For South Africa, Zimitri Erasmus questions the notion that one can know ‘race’ with one’s eyes, or through racial categories and or genetic ancestry tests. She moves between the intimate probing of racial identities as we experience them individually, and analysis of the global historical forces that have created these identities and woven them into our thinking about what it means to be ‘human’.
Starting from her own family’s journeys through regions of the world and ascribed racial identities, she develops her argument about how it is possible to recognise the pervasiveness of race thinking without submitting to its power. Drawing on the theoretical work of Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter and others, Erasmus argues for a new way of ‘coming to know otherwise’, of seeing the boundaries between racial identities as thresholds to be crossed, through politically charged acts of imagination and love.
'Ten times, an elderly grey-haired man gets up on the stage. Ten times puffing and sighing. Ten times slowly tracing out strange multi-coloured arabesques that interweave, curling with the meanders of his speech, by turns fluid and uneasy. A whole crowd looks on, transfixed by this enigma-made-man, absorbing the ipse dixit and anticipating some illumination that is taking its time to appear. Non lucet. It's shady in here, and the Th odores go hunting for their matches. Still, they say, cuicumque in sua arte perito credendum est, whosoever is expert in his art is to be lent credence. At what point is a person mad? The master himself poses the question. That was back in the day. Those were the mysteries of Paris forty years hence. A Dante clasping Virgil's hand to be led through the circles of the Inferno, Lacan took the hand of James Joyce, the unreadable Irishman, and, in the wake of this slender Commander of the Faithless, made with heavy and faltering step onto the incandescent zone where symptomatic women and ravaging men burn and writhe. An equivocal troupe was in the struggling audience: his son-in-law; a dishevelled writer, young and just as unreadable back then; two dialoguing mathematicians; and a professor from Lyon vouching for the seriousness of the whole affair. A discreet Pasipha was being put to work backstage. Smirk then, my good fellows! Be my guest. Make fun of it all! That's what our comic illusion is for. That way, you shall know nothing of what is happening right before your very eyes: the most carefully considered, the most lucid, and the most intrepid calling into question of the art that Freud invented, better known under its pseudonym: psychoanalysis'. Jacques-Alain Miller
'This lucid and riveting new biography at once rescuses Kierkegaard from the scholars and shows why he is such an intriguing and useful figure' Observer Soren Kierkegaard, one of the most passionate and challenging of modern philosophers, is now celebrated as the father of existentialism - yet his contemporaries described him as a philosopher of the heart. Over about a decade in the 1840s and 1850s, writings poured from his pen analysing love and suffering, courage and anxiety, religious longing and defiance, and forging a new philosophical style rooted in the inward drama of being human. As Christianity seemed to sleepwalk through a changing world, Kierkegaard dazzlingly revealed its spiritual power while exposing the poverty of official religion. His restless creativity was spurred on by his own failures: his relationship with the young woman whom he promised to marry, then left to devote himself to writing, haunted him throughout his life. Though tormented by the pressures of celebrity, he deliberately lived amidst the crowds in Copenhagen, known by everyone but, he felt, understood by no one. When he collapsed exhausted at the age of 42, he was still pursuing the question of existence: how to be a human being in this world? Clare Carlisle's innovative and moving biography writes Kierkegaard's remarkable life as far as possible from his own perspective, conveying what it was like to be this Socrates of Christendom - as he put it, living life forwards yet only understanding it backwards.
'This is a blast of fresh air' Jonathan Clark, TLS 'Thank goodness for Gottlieb' Daily Telegraph 'A joy to read' Economist The author of the celebrated The Dream of Reason vividly explains the rise of modern thought from Descartes to Rousseau In a short period - from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution - Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark on Western thought. The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy. What does the advance of science entail for our understanding of ourselves and for our ideas of God? How should a government deal with religious diversity - and what is government actually for? Their questions remain our questions, and it is tempting to think these philosophers speak our language and live in our world; but to understand them properly, we must step back into their shoes. Gottlieb puts readers in the minds of these frequently misinterpreted figures, elucidating the history of their times while engagingly explaining their arguments and assessing their legacy. Gottlieb creates a sweeping account of what they amounted to, and why we are still in their debt.
"Columbia Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies" is the first guide to cover both the Anglo-American analytic and European continental traditions. Organized thematically, the volume thoroughly discusses the major movements and fields of each tradition and features the contributions of highly distinguished specialists in their fields.
This book is divided into three sections. The first is devoted to highlighting the multidimensional work of philosophers identified with the analytic tradition, with Nicholas Rescher writing on neoidealism, Josephine Donovan commenting on feminist philosophy, Tyler Burge discussing the philosophy of language and mind, and Robert Hanna reflecting on Kant's legacy. The second section presents the thought of those who identified themselves with the continental tradition, featuring Jean Grondin on hermeneutics, Leonard Lawlor on phenomenology, Charles Scott on postmodernism, and Babette Babich on the philosophy of science.
This volume also covers logical positivism, naturalism, pragmatism, aesthetics, existentialism, Marxism, the Frankfurt School, structuralism, psychoanalysis, political philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. The final section addresses concurrent trends in Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and African philosophy, and a comprehensive introduction by the editor not only provides a thorough outline of the problems and issues of the analytic and continental traditions but also boldly challenges the conviction that the two approaches must be rivals. "Columbia Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies" is an invaluable overview of the ideas that have shaped a monumentally important century in the history of philosophy, offering an unusually panoramic perspective that allows readers to form their own interpretations of original materials.
The concept of disparity has long been a topic of obsession and argument for philosophers but Slavoj Zizek would argue that what disparity and negativity could mean, might mean and should mean for us and our lives has never been more hotly debated. Disparities explores contemporary 'negative' philosophies from Catherine Malabou's plasticity, Julia Kristeva's abjection and Robert Pippin's self-consciousness to the God of negative theology, new realisms and post-humanism and draws a radical line under them. Instead of establishing a dialogue with these other ideas of disparity, Slavoj Zizek wants to establish a definite departure, a totally different idea of disparity based on an imaginative dialectical materialism. This notion of rupturing what has gone before is based on a provocative reading of how philosophers can, if they're honest, engage with each other. Slavoj Zizek borrows Alain Badiou's notion that a true idea is the one that divides. Radically departing from previous formulations of negativity and disparity, Zizek employs a new kind of negativity: namely positing that when a philosopher deals with another philosopher, his or her stance is never one of dialogue, but one of division, of drawing a line that separates truth from falsity.
An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality-but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America? In High Weirdness, Erik Davis-America's leading scholar of high strangeness-examines the published and unpublished writings of these vital, iconoclastic thinkers, as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences. Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through America's West Coast at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality.
A systematic historical survey of Chinese thought is followed by an investigation of the historical-metaphysical questions of modern technology, asking how Chinese thought might contribute to a renewed questioning of globalized technics. Heidegger's critique of modern technology and its relation to metaphysics has been widely accepted in the East. Yet the conception that there is only one-originally Greek-type of technics has been an obstacle to any original critical thinking of technology in modern Chinese thought. Yuk Hui argues for the urgency of imagining a specifically Chinese philosophy of technology capable of responding to Heidegger's challenge, while problematizing the affirmation of technics and technologies as anthropologically universal. This investigation of the historical-metaphysical question of technology, drawing on Lyotard, Simondon, and Stiegler, and introducing a history of modern Eastern philosophical thinking largely unknown to Western readers, including philosophers such as Feng Youlan, Mou Zongsan, and Keiji Nishitani, sheds new light on the obscurity of the question of technology in China. Why was technics never thematized in Chinese thought? Why has time never been a real question for Chinese philosophy? How was the traditional concept of Qi transformed in its relation to Dao as China welcomed technological modernity and westernization? In The Question Concerning Technology in China, a systematic historical survey of the major concepts of traditional Chinese thinking is followed by a startlingly original investigation of these questions, in order to ask how Chinese thought might today contribute to a renewed, cosmotechnical questioning of globalized technics.
Emmanuel Levinas is one of the most important figures of twentieth-century philosophy. Exerting a profound influence upon such thinkers as Derrida, Lyotard, Blanchot, and Irigaray, Levinas's work bridges several major gaps in the evolution of continental philosophy -- between modern and postmodern, phenomenology and poststructuralism, ethics and ontology. He is credited with having spurred a revitalized interest in ethics-based philosophy throughout Europe and America.
"Entre Nous" (Between Us) is the culmination of Levinas's philosophy. Published in France a few years before his death, it gathers his most important work and reveals the development of his thought over nearly forty years of committed inquiry. Along with several trenchant interviews published here, these essays engage with issues of suffering, love, religion, culture, justice, human rights, and legal theory. Taken together, they constitute a key to Levinas's ideas on the ethical dimensions of otherness.
Working from the phenomenological method of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Levinas pushed beyond the limits of their framework to argue that it is ethics, not ontology, that orients philosophy, and that responsibility precedes reasoning. Ethics for Levinas means responsibility in relation to difference. Throughout his work, Levinas returns to the metaphor of the face of the other to discuss how and where responsibility enters our lives and makes philosophy necessary. For Levinas, ethics begins with our face to face interaction with another person -- seeing that person not as a reflection of one's self, nor as a threat, but as different and greater than self. Levinas moves the reader to recognize the implications of this interaction: our abiding responsibility for the other, and our concern with the other's suffering and death.
Situated at the crossroads of several philosophical schools and approaches, Levinas's work illuminates a host of critical issues and has found resonances among students and scholars of literature, law, religion, and politics. "Entre Nous" is at once the apotheosis of his work and an accessible introduction to it. In the end, Levinas's urgent meditations upon the face of the other suggest a new foundation upon which to grasp the nature of good and evil in the tangled skein of our lives.
The Art of Travel is Alain de Botton's travel guide with a difference. Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we seldom ask why we go and how we might become more fulfilled by doing so. With the help of a selection of writers, artists and thinkers - including Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Wordsworth and Van Gogh - Alain de Botton's bestselling The Art of Travel provides invaluable insights into everything from holiday romance to hotel mini-bars, airports to sight-seeing. The perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place - and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys. 'Richly evocative, sharp and funny. De Botton proves himself to be a very fine travel writer indeed' Sunday Telegraph 'Delightful, profound, entertaining, I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life' Jan Morris 'An elegant and subtle work, unlike any other. Beguiling' Colin Thubron, The Times
Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) is one of the founding figures of analytic philosophy, whose contributions to logic, philosophical semantics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mathematics set the agenda for future generations of theorists in these and related areas. Dale Jacquette's lively and incisive biography charts Frege's life from its beginnings in small-town north Germany, through his student days in Jena, to his development as an enduringly influential thinker. Along the way Jacquette considers Frege's ground-breaking Begriffschrift (1879), in which he formulated his 'ideal logical language', his magisterial Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (1893 and 1903), and his complex relation to thinkers including Husserl and especially Russell, whose Paradox had such drastic implications for Frege's logicism. Jacquette concludes with a thoughtful assessment of Frege's legacy. His rich and informative biography will appeal to all who are interested in Frege's philosophy.
This book, which Foucault himself has judged accurate, is the first
to provide a sustained, coherent analysis of Foucault's work as a
In this classic collection of wide-ranging and interdisciplinary essays, Stanley Cavell explores a remarkably broad range of philosophical issues from politics and ethics to the arts and philosophy. The essays explore issues as diverse as the opposing approaches of 'analytic' and 'Continental' philosophy, modernism, Wittgenstein, abstract expressionism and Schoenberg, Shakespeare on human needs, the difficulties of authorship, Kierkegaard and post-Enlightenment religion. Presented in a fresh twenty-first century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface, written by Stephen Mulhall, illuminating its continuing importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work is now available for a new generation of readers.
This volume is a collection of public writings and insights of the German poststructuralist, Friedrich A. Kittler. It merges the discourse of literature, war and technology into a unified theme. His research results in a vision of the future in which the distinction between mediums is erased. The introduction by John Johnston explicates the theoretical and practical consequences of Kittler's insights into the social and psychological effects of the processes by which metaphor in one medium is made real by another.
The Myth of Sisyphus is one of the most profound philosophical statements written this century. It is a discussion of the central idea of Absurdity that Camus was to develop in his novel The Outsider. Here Camus poses the fundamental question: Is life worth living? If existence has ceased to retain significance when confronted with the fragmented reality of the human condition, what then can keep us from suicide? Camus movingly argues for an acceptance of reality that encompasses revolt, passion and, above all, liberty.
This volume contains several other essays, including lyrical evocations of the sunlit cities of Algiers and Oran.
The Hegelian-Marxist idea of alienation fell out of favor after the postmetaphysical rejection of humanism and essentialist views of human nature. In this book Rahel Jaeggi draws on the Hegelian philosophical tradition, phenomenological analyses grounded in modern conceptions of agency, and recent work in the analytical tradition to reconceive alienation as the absence of a meaningful relationship to oneself and others, which manifests in feelings of helplessness and the despondent acceptance of ossified social roles and expectations. A revived approach to alienation helps critical social theory engage with phenomena such as meaninglessness, isolation, and indifference. By severing alienation's link to a problematic conception of human essence while retaining its social-philosophical content, Jaeggi provides resources for a renewed critique of social pathologies, a much-neglected concern in contemporary liberal political philosophy. Her work revisits the arguments of Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, placing them in dialogue with Thomas Nagel, Bernard Williams, and Charles Taylor.
Theories of justice often fixate on purely normative, abstract principles unrelated to real-world situations. The philosopher and theorist Axel Honneth addresses this disconnect, and constructs a theory of justice derived from the normative claims of Western liberal-democratic societies and anchored in morally legitimate laws and institutionally established practices. Honneth's paradigm-which he terms "a democratic ethical life"-draws on the spirit of Hegel's Philosophy of Right and his own theory of recognition, demonstrating how concrete social spheres generate the tenets of individual freedom and a standard for what is just. Using social analysis to re-found a more grounded theory of justice, he argues that all crucial actions in Western civilization, whether in personal relationships, market-induced economic activities, or the public forum of politics, share one defining characteristic: they require the realization of a particular aspect of individual freedom. This fundamental truth informs the guiding principles of justice, enabling a wide-ranging reconsideration of its nature and application.
Wittgenstein: Meaning and Mind is the third volume of a four-volume analytical commentary on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. It consists of two parts. Part 1 is a sequence of fifteen essays that examine in detailall 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. The first edition of this volume of essays was published in 1990 to widespread acclaim as a scholarly tour de force, providing 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 defense of Wittgenstein's repudiation of subjective knowledge of one's experience, and an overview of the achievement and importance of the private language arguments. New objections to Wittgenstein's arguments are examined--and found wanting--and new materials from the Nachlass that were not known to exist in 1990 have been incorporated into the text of these essays. 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 (2005) and Wittgenstein: Rules, Grammar and Necessity (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.
A critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism that formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things. In Intelligence and Spirit Reza Negarestani formulates the ultimate form of intelligence as a theoretical and practical thought unfettered by the temporal order of things, a real movement capable of overcoming any state of affairs that, from the perspective of the present, may appear to be the complete totality of history. Intelligence pierces through what seems to be the totality or the inevitable outcome of its history, be it the manifest portrait of the human or technocapitalism as the alleged pilot of history. Building on Hegel's account of Geist as a multiagent conception of mind and on Kant's transcendental psychology as a functional analysis of the conditions of possibility of mind, Negarestani provides a critique of both classical humanism and dominant trends in posthumanism. The assumptions of the former are exposed by way of a critique of the transcendental structure of experience as a tissue of subjective or psychological dogmas; the claims of the latter regarding the ubiquity of mind or the inevitable advent of an unconstrained superintelligence are challenged as no more than ideological fixations which do not stand the test of systematic scrutiny. This remarkable fusion of continental philosophy in the form of a renewal of the speculative ambitions of German Idealism and analytic philosophy in the form of extended thought-experiments and a philosophy of artificial languages opens up new perspectives on the meaning of human intelligence and explores the real potential of posthuman intelligence and what it means for us to live in its prehistory.
As an ardent feminist Simone de Beauvoir was in the vanguard of French intellectual life for more than forty years. Raised in a strict and highly traditional Catholic family, De Beauvoir rejected the religious and social values of her family early on and advanced a radical political and philosophical debate that was in direct opposition to the Catholic Church. This provocative, carefully argued book reveals that the woman whose most important and famous work - "The Second Sex" - was banned by the Catholic Church, had a tenacious grasp of the rudiments and refinements of Catholicism. Indeed, this was one of the foundations on which she built her philosophy. Joseph Mahon documents the formative influences of home, school, and Church on the mind of France's most famous female philosopher, novelist, and essayist. Examining her memoirs, philosophical monographs, and short stories, Mahon reveals a vocabulary that remains richly Catholic. This book offers a major contribution to feminist philosophy, ethical theory, philosophy of religion, and cultural studies.
French journalist Claire Parnet's famous dialogues with Gilles Deleuze offer an intimate portrait of the philosopher's life and thought. Conversational in tone, their engaging discussions delve deeply into Deleuze's philosophical background and development, the major concepts that shaped his work, and the essence of some of his famous relationships, especially his long collaboration with the philosopher F?lix Guattari. Deleuze reconsiders Spinoza, empiricism, and the stoics alongside literature, psychoanalysis, and politics. He returns to the notions of minor literature, deterritorialization, the critical and clinical, and begins a nascent study of cinema. New to this edition is Deleuze's essay "Pericles and Verdi," which reflects on politics and historical materialism in the work of the influential French philosopher Fran?ois Ch?telet. An enduring record of Deleuze's unique personality and profound contributions to culture and philosophy, "Dialogues II" is a highly personable account of the evolution of one of the greatest critics and theorists of the twentieth century.
Public and intellectual debates have long struggled with the
concept of values and the difficulties of defining them. With "The
Genesis of Values, renowned theorist Hans Joas explores the nature
of these difficulties in relation to some of the leading figures of
twentieth-century philosophy and social theory: Friedrich
Nietzsche, William James, Max Scheler, John Dewey, Georg Simmel,
Charles Taylor, and J crgen Habermas. Joas traces how these
thinkers came to terms with the idea of values, and then extends
beyond them with his own comprehensive theory. Values, Joas
suggests, arise in experiences in self-formation and
self-transcendence. Only by appreciating the creative nature of
human action can we understand how our values arise.
This text is a full transcript of the lectures given by Michel Foucault at the College de France in 1975-76. The main theme of the lectures is the contention that war can be used to analyze power relations. Foucault contends that politics is a continuation of war by other means. Thus, any constitutional theory of sovereignty and right is an attempt to refute the fact that power relations are based upon a relationship of conflict, violence and domination.;The book is coloured with historical examples, drawn from the early modern period in both England and France, with digressions into subjects as diverse as classical French tragedy and the gothic novel.
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