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It is frequently said that we are living through the end of politics, the end of social upheavals, the end of utopian folly. Consensual realism is the order of the day. But political realists, remarks Jacques Ranciere, are always several steps behind reality, and the only thing which may come to an end with their dominance is democracy. In these subtle and perceptive essays, Ranciere argues that since Plato and Aristotle politics has always constructed itself as the art of ending politics, that realism is itself utopian, and that what has succeeded the polemical forms of class struggle is not the wisdom of a new millennium but the return of old fears, criminality and chaos. Whether he is discussing the confrontation between Mitterrand and Chirac, French working-class discourse after the 1830 revolution, or the ideology of recent student mobilizations, his aim is to restore philosophy to politics and give politics back its original and necessary meaning: the organization of dissent.
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.
This collection features eleven original essays, divided into three thematic sections, which explore the work of Wilfrid Sellars in relation to other twentieth-century thinkers. Section I analyzes Sellars's thought in light of some of his influential predecessors, specifically Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, John Cook Wilson, and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. The second group of essays explores from different perspectives Sellars's place within the analytic tradition, including his relation with analytic Kantianism and analytic pragmatism. The book's final section extracts some of the most significant lessons Sellars's work has to offer for contemporary philosophy. These chapters address his views on inference, his views on truth and its connection to recent discussions about truth-relativism and truth-pluralism, his conception of self-knowledge, and his theory of perceptual experience.
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.
Michel Foucault's work has profoundly affected the teaching of such diverse disciplines as literary criticism, criminology, and gender studies. Arguing that definitions of abnormal behavior are culturally constructed, Foucault explored the unfair divisions between those who meet and those who deviate from social norms. In "Foucault For Beginners," the reader will discover Foucault's deeply visual sense of scenes such as ritual public executions.
Benedict de Spinoza is one of the most controversial and enigmatic thinkers in the history of philosophy. His greatest work, Ethics (1677), developed a comprehensive philosophical system and argued that God and Nature are identical. His scandalous Theological-Political Treatise (1670) provoked outrage during his lifetime due to its biblical criticism, anticlericalism, and defense of the freedom to philosophize. Together, these works earned Spinoza a reputation as a singularly radical thinker. In this book, Steinberg and Viljanen offer a concise and up-to-date account of Spinoza's thought and its philosophical legacy. They explore the full range of Spinoza's ideas, from politics and theology to ontology and epistemology. Drawing broadly on Spinoza's impressive oeuvre, they have crafted a lucid introduction for readers unfamiliar with this important philosopher, as well as a nuanced and enlightening study for more experienced readers. Accessible and compelling, Spinoza is the go-to text for anyone seeking to understand the thought of one of history's most fascinating thinkers.
This book provides a systematic reading of Martin Heidegger's project of "fundamental ontology," which he initially presented in Being and Time (1927) and developed further in his work on Kant. It shows our understanding of being to be that of a small set of a priori, temporally inflected, "categorial" forms that articulate what, how, and whether things can be. As selves bound to and bounded by the world within which we seek to answer the question of how to live, we imaginatively generate these forms in order to open ourselves up to those intra-worldly entities which determinately instantiate them. This makes us, as selves, the source and unifying ground of being. But this ground is hidden from us - until we do fundamental ontology. In showing how Heidegger develops these ideas, the author challenges key elements of the anti-Cartesian framework that most readers bring to his texts, arguing that his Kantian account of being has its roots in the anti-empiricism and Augustinianism of Descartes, and that his project relies implicitly on an essentially Cartesian "meditational" method of reflective self-engagement that allows being to be brought to light. He also argues against the widespread tendency to see Heidegger as presenting the basic forms of being as in any way normative, from which he concludes, partially against Heidegger himself, that fundamental ontology is, while profound and worth pursuing for its own sake, inert with respect to the question of how to live. The Bounds of Self will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working on Heidegger, Kant, phenomenology, and existential philosophy.
In this short book Peter Sloterdijk clarifies his views on religion and its role in pre-modern and modern societies. He begins by returning to the Mount Sinai episode in the Book of Exodus, where he identifies the emergence of what he calls the 'Sinai Schema'. At the core of monotheism is the logic of belonging to a community of confession, of being a true believer - this is what Sloterdijk calls the Sinai Schema. To be a member of a people means that you submit to the beliefs of the community just as you submit to its language. Monotheism is predicated on the logic of one God who demands your utmost loyalty. Hence at the core of monotheism is also the fear of apotheosis, of heresy, of heterodoxy. So monotheism is associated first and foremost with a certain kind of internal violence D namely, a violence against those who violate their membership through a break in loyalty and trust. On the basis of this analysis of the inner logic of monotheism, Sloterdijk retraces its historical legacy and shows how this account enables us to understand why we react so nervously today to all forms of fundamentalism - whether that of radical Islamists, the Catholic Pius Brotherhood or evangelical sects in the USA
This book celebrates the many important contributions to philosophy by one of the leading philosophers in the analytic field, Michael Devitt. It collects seventeen original essays by renowned philosophers from all over the world. They all develop themes from Devitt's work, thus discussing many fundamental issues in philosophy of linguistics, theory of reference, theory of meaning, methodology, and metaphysics. In a long final chapter, Devitt himself replies to the contributors. In so doing, he further elaborates his views on various of these issues, for example defending his claim (in opposition to Chomskyan orthodoxy) that languages are external rather than internal; his well-known causal theory of reference; his "shocking" idea that meanings can be causal, non-descriptive, modes of presentation; his methodological naturalism; his commitment to scientific realism; and his version of biological essentialism. The volume will appeal to all scholars and students interested in contemporary theoretical analytic philosophy, and will be a must-read for any serious researcher in philosophy of language. It provides a deep insight into the work of one of the most important living philosophers, and will help readers to better understand language and reality from a naturalistic perspective.
What makes individuals what they are? How should they judge their social and political interaction with the world? What makes them authentic or inauthentic? This original and provocative study explores the concept of "authenticity" and its relevance for radical politics. Weaving together close readings of three 20th century thinkers: Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers and Jean-Paul Sartre with the concept of authenticity, Stephen Eric Bronner illuminates the phenomenological foundations for self-awareness that underpin our sense of identity and solidarity. He claims that different expressions of the existential tradition compete with one another in determining how authenticity might be experienced, but all of them ultimately rest on self-referential judgments. The author's own new framework for a political ethic at once serves as a corrective and an alternative. Wonderfully rich, insightful, and nuanced, Stephen Eric Bronner has produced another bookshelf staple that speaks to crucial issues in politics, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Existentialism, Authenticity, Solidarity will appeal to scholars, students and readers from the general public alike.
An important milestone of 20th Century philosophy was the rise of personalism. After the crimes and atrocities against millions of human beings in two World Wars, especially the Second, some philosophers and other thinkers began to seek arguments showing the value of each human being, to expose and denounce the folly of political structures that violate the inalienable rights of the individual person. Karol Wojty?a appeals to the ancient concept of 'person' to emphasize the particular value of each human being. The person is unique because of their subjectivity by which they possesses an unrepeatable interior world in the history of humanity. Their rational nature grants them a special character among living beings, among which is the transcendence to the infinite. Wojty?a magisterially shows how each human being's personhood is rooted in a conscious and free subjectivity, which is marked also by personal and social responsibility. Wojty?a's original philosophical analysis takes for its starting point the human act, in which consciousness and experience consolidate voluntary choices, which are objectively efficacious. By their acts, the person determines their own personhood. This self-dominion manifests the person and enables them to live together in a community in which one's neighbor can be a companion on the voyage of life. This work provides a clear guide to Karol Wojty?a's principal philosophical work, Person and Act, rigorously analyzing the meaning that the author intended in his exposition. An important feature of the work is that the authors rely on the original Polish text, Osoba i czyn, as well as the best translations into Italian and Spanish, rather than on a flawed and sometimes misleading English edition of the work. Besides the analysis of Wojty?a's masterwork, this volume offers three chapters examining the impact of Wojty?a's anthropology on the relationship between faith and reason.
Axel Honneth is best known for his critique of modern society centered on a concept of recognition. Jacques Ranciere has advanced an influential theory of modern politics based on disagreement. Underpinning their thought is a concern for the logics of exclusion and domination that structure contemporary societies. In a rare dialogue, these two philosophers explore the affinities and tensions between their perspectives to provoke new ideas for social and political change. Honneth sees modern society as a field in which the logic of recognition provides individuals with increasing possibilities for freedom and is a constant catalyst for transformation. Ranciere sees the social as a policing order and the political as a force that must radically assert equality. Honneth claims Ranciere's conception of the political lies outside of actual historical societies and involves a problematic desire for egalitarianism. Ranciere argues that Honneth's theory of recognition relies on an overly substantial conception of identity and subjectivity. While impassioned, their exchange seeks to advance critical theory's political project by reconciling the rift between German and French post-Marxist traditions and proposing new frameworks for justice.
'I have come to think that one of the main causes of trouble in the world is dogmatic and fanatical belief in some doctrine for which there is no adequate evidence.' - Bertrand Russell, Portraits from Memory Portraits from Memory is one of Bertrand Russell's most self-reflective and engaging books. Whilst not intended as an autobiography, it is a vivid recollection of some of his celebrated contemporaries, such as George Bernard Shaw, Sidney and Beatrice Webb and D. H. Lawrence. Russell provides some arresting and sometimes amusing insights into writers with whom he corresponded. He was fascinated by Joseph Conrad, with whom he formed a strong emotional bond, writing that his Heart of Darkness was not just a story but an expression of Conrad's 'philosophy of life'. There are also some typically pithy Russellian observations; H. G. Wells 'derived his importance from quantity rather than quality', whilst after a brief and fraught friendship Russell thought D. H. Lawrence 'had no real wish to make the world better, but only to indulge in eloquent soliloquy about how bad it was'. This engaging book also includes some of Russell's customary razor-sharp essays on a rich array of subjects, from his ardent pacifism, liberal politics and morality to the ethics of education, the skills of good writing and how he came to philosophy as a young man. These include 'A Plea for Clear Thinking', 'A Philosophy for Our Time' and 'How I Write'. Portraits from Memory is Russell at his best and will enthrall those new to Russell as well as those already well-acquainted with his work. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new foreword by the Russell scholar Nicholas Griffin, editor of The Selected Letters of Bertrand Russell.
Death Shall Be Dethroned is the shadow book of Los, a Chapter, Helene Cixous tells us. It came along after Los, but it was always there "hidden" in her notebooks, in the Beethoven notebook, say, the one Jacques Derrida gave her. But when it tapped at the window, she ignored it until the day she had to let it in. This is just of one the enigmas Death explores as it probes an old relationship between the narrator and Carlos. Another is her discovery on the Internet that Carlos s archives were at Princeton, and that the archive containing their correspondence was closed to the public: Bluebeard s closet. The fruit on the tree of Good and Evil. You shall not open. Death Shall Be Dethroned is the logbook of Los, a Chapter. It owes its life to the death of a lover.
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.
We inhabit a time of crisis-totalitarianism, environmental collapse, and the unquestioned rule of neoliberal capitalism. Philosopher Jean Vioulac is invested in and worried by all of this, but his main concern lies with how these phenomena all represent a crisis within-and a threat to-thinking itself. In his first book to be translated into English, Vioulac radicalizes Heidegger's understanding of truth as disclosure through the notion of truth as apocalypse. This "apocalypse of truth" works as an unveiling that reveals both the finitude and mystery of truth, allowing a full confrontation with truth-as-absence. Engaging with Heidegger, Marx, and St. Paul, as well as contemporary figures including Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Slavoj Zizek, Vioulac's book presents a subtle, masterful exposition of his analysis before culminating in a powerful vision of "the abyss of the deity." Here, Vioulac articulates a portrait of Christianity as a religion of mourning, waiting for a god who has already passed by, a form of ever-present eschatology whose end has always already taken place. With a preface by Jean-Luc Marion, Apocalypse of Truth presents a major contemporary French thinker to English-speaking audiences for the first time.
'China, by her resources and her population, is capable of being the greatest power in the world after the United States.' Bertrand Russell, The Problem of China In 1920 the philosopher Bertrand Russell spent a year in China as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Beijing (then Peking), where his lectures on mathematical logic enthralled students and listeners, including Mao Tse Tung, who attended some of Russell's talks. Written at a time when China was largely regarded by the West as backward and weak, The Problem of China sees Russell rise above the prejudices of his era and presciently assess China's past, present and future. Russell brings his analytical and insightful eye to bear on some fundamental aspects of China's history and politics, cautioning China against adopting a purely Western model of social and economic development, which he regarded as characterized by a combination of greed and militarism. Beginning with an overview of nineteenth-century Chinese history and considering China's relations with Japan and Russia, Russell then contrasts Chinese civilization with Western. He devotes a fascinating chapter to the character of the Chinese, which he argues is complex but ultimately defined by a 'pacific temper'. With uncanny foresight, Russell predicts China's resurgence, but only if it is able to establish an orderly government, promote industrial development under Chinese control and foster the spread of education. This Routledge Classics edition includes a new introduction by Bernard Linsky.
This book gives new insight into acting and theatre-making through phenomenology (the study of how the world shows itself to conscious experience). It examines Being-in-the-world in everyday life with exercises for workshops and rehearsal. Each chapter explores themes to guide the creative process through objects, bodies, spaces, being with others, time, history, freedom and authenticity. Key examples in the work are drawn from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, Sophocles' Antigone and Shakespeare's Hamlet. Practical tasks in each section explore how the theatrical event can offer unique insight into Being and existence. In this way, the book makes a bold leap to understand acting as an embodied form of philosophy and to explain how phenomenology can be a rich source of inspiration for actors, directors, designers and the creative process of theatre-making. This original new book will provide new insight into the practice and theory of acting, stimulate new approaches to rehearsal and advance the notion of theatre making a genuine contribution to philosophical discourse. The fundamental task of the actor is to be on stage with purposeful action in the given circumstances. But this simple act of 'Being' is not easy. Phenomenology can provide valuable insight into the challenge. For some time, scholars have looked to phenomenology to describe and analyse the theatrical event. But more than simply drawing attention to embodiment and the subjective experience of the world, a philosophical perspective can also shed light on broader existential issues of being. No specialist knowledge of philosophy is required for the reader to find this text engaging and it will be relevant for second-year students and above at tertiary level. For postgraduates and researchers, the book will provide a valuable touchstone for phenomenology and performance as research. The book will appeal to theatre and performance studies, and some applied philosophy courses. The material is also relevant to studies in literary and critical theory, cultural studies and comparative literature. The work is relevant to The International Federation of Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT) (Performance and Consciousness), Performance Studies International (psi) and the Performance Philosophy Research Network - an influential and growing research field. Primary markets for this book will be students (both at university and conservatoires) and academics in theatre studies, as well as practitioners and actors in training. The text will be useful to students in units or modules relating to acting theory and theatre-making processes, and which combine critical theory with practical performance. It will also be useful for practitioners of theatre looking to expand or inflect their own methods of approaching performance.
The limit of language is one of the most pervasive notions found in Wittgenstein's work, both in his early Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and his later writings. Moreover, the idea of a limit of language is intimately related to important scholarly debates on Wittgenstein's philosophy, such as the debate between the so-called traditional and resolute interpretations, Wittgenstein's stance on transcendental idealism, and the philosophical import of Wittgenstein's latest work On Certainty. This collection includes thirteen original essays that provide a comprehensive overview of the various ways in which Wittgenstein appeals to the limit of language at different stages of his philosophical development. The essays connect the idea of a limit of language to the most important themes discussed by Wittgenstein-his conception of logic and grammar, the method of philosophy, the nature of the subject, and the foundations of knowledge-as well as his views on ethics, aesthetics, and religion. The essays also relate Wittgenstein's thought to his contemporaries, including Carnap, Frege, Heidegger, Levinas, and Moore.
This study takes a fresh look at the influential French philosopher, arguing that Jaques Derrida cannot be fully understood without considering the Jewish dimension of his thought, and offering a re-appraisal of his work.
W. V. Quine was one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century American analytic philosophy. Although he wrote predominantly in English, in Brazil in 1942 he gave a series of lectures on logic and its philosophy in Portuguese, subsequently published as the book O Sentido da Nova Logica. The book has never before been fully translated into English, and this volume is the first to make its content accessible to Anglophone philosophers. Quine would go on to develop revolutionary ideas about semantic holism and ontology, and this book provides a snapshot of his views on logic and language at a pivotal stage of his intellectual development. The volume also includes an essay on logic which Quine also published in Portuguese, together with an extensive historical-philosophical essay by Frederique Janssen-Lauret. The valuable and previously neglected works first translated in this volume will be essential for scholars of twentieth-century philosophy.
This book challenges the widespread view of Kierkegaard's idiosyncratic and predominantly religious position on mimesis. Taking mimesis as a crucial conceptual point of reference in reading Kierkegaard, this book offers a nuanced understanding of the relation between aesthetics and religion in his thought. Kaftanski shows how Kierkegaard's dialectical-existential reading of mimesis interlaces aesthetic and religious themes, including the familiar core concepts of imitation, repetition, and admiration as well as the newly arisen notions of affectivity, contagion, and crowd behavior. Kierkegaard's enduring relevance to the malaises of our own day is firmly established by his classic concern for the meaning of human life informed by reflective meditation on the mimeticorigins of the contemporary age. Kierkegaard, Mimesis, and Modernity will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working on Kierkegaard, Continental philosophy, the history of aesthetics, and critical and religious studies.
The course of German philosophy in the twentieth century is one of the most exciting and controversial in the history of human thought. In this outstanding and engaging introduction, a companion volume to his German Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Weber to Heidegger, Julian Young examines and assesses the way in which some of the major German thinkers of the period reacted, often in starkly contrasting ways, to the challenges posed by the nature of modernity, the failure of liberalism and the concept of decline. Divided into two parts exploring major intellectual figures of the left and right respectively, Young introduces and assesses the thought of the following figures: Georg Lukacs: the critique of capitalism: alienation, reification, and false consciousness Ernst Bloch: the Marxist utopia Walter Benjamin: the confluence of phenomenology and left-wing thought: the Arcades Project, aura, and the technological reproduction of the artwork Oswald Spengler: the pessimistic right and the concept of Western decline Max Scheler: Catholic conservatism and the 'objective hierarchy of values' Carl Schmitt: the failure of liberalism, dictatorship, 'friends' versus 'enemies' Leo Strauss: the rejection of moral relativism and the return to classical philosophy. Highly relevant when the viability of liberal democracy is again called into question, German Philosophy in the Twentieth Century: Lukacs to Strauss is essential reading for students of German philosophy, phenomenology and critical theory, and will also be of interest to students in related fields such as literature, religious studies, and political theory.
This highly accessible account offers an illuminating introduction to Wittgenstein's philosophy of mind and to his conception of philosophy. Combining passages from Wittgenstein's writings with detailed interpretation and commentary, Hacker leads us into a world of philosophical investigation in which 'to smell a rat is ever so much easier than to trap it.'
Wittgenstein claimed that the role of philosophy is to dissolve conceptual confusions, to untie the knots in our understanding that result from entanglement in the web of language. He overturned centuries of philosophical reflection on the nature of 'the inner', of our subjective experience and of our knowledge of self and others. Traditional conceptions of 'the outer', of human behaviour, were equally distorted and so too was the relation between the inner and the outer. Hacker shows how Wittgenstein's examination of our use of words clarifies our notions of mind, body and behaviour.
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