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Martin Heidegger's ties to Nazism have tarnished his stature as one of the towering figures of twentieth-century philosophy. The publication of the Black Notebooks in 2014, which revealed the full extent of Heidegger's anti-Semitism and enduring sympathy for National Socialism, only inflamed the controversy. Richard Wolin's The Politics of Being: The Political Thought of Martin Heidegger has played a seminal role in the international debate over the consequences of Heidegger's Nazism. In this edition, the author provides a new preface addressing the effect of the Black Notebooks on our understanding of the relationship between politics and philosophy in Heidegger's work. Building on his pathbreaking interpretation of the philosopher's political thought, Wolin demonstrates that philosophy and politics cannot be disentangled in Heidegger's oeuvre. Volkisch ideological themes suffuse even his most sublime philosophical treatises. Therefore, despite Heidegger's profundity as a thinker, his critique of civilization is saturated with disturbing anti-democratic and anti-Semitic leitmotifs and claims.
`All philosophy is a metaphysics of happiness...or it's not worth an hour of trouble' claims Alain Badiou in this lively intervention into one of the most persistent themes in philosophy: what is happiness? And what do I need to do to be happy? The desire to be happy is one of our most universal goals and yet there doesn't seem to be any easy answers or formulas for achieving happiness. And the concept has become so commodified and corrupted to be almost unrecognizable as something worth pursuing. In light of this, should we just give up the aspiration to be happy altogether? Alain Badiou thinks not. While eschewing futile procedures for magically becoming `happy', Badiou does passionately maintain that in order to be truly happy we need philosophy. And, bolder still, that a life lived philosophically is the happiest life of all!
An irreverent critical lexicon of academic life and culture The university: The very name evokes knowledge, culture, and the magnificently universal ambition at the heart of this essential institution. Bastions of free inquiry and a free society, engines of social transformation and economic progress, enclosed gardens of ennobling reflection and creation, universities encompass the wisdom of the past and the hope of the future. Or do they? This critical glossary--written by a group of Princeton graduate students and faculty--defines fifty-eight terms common to academic life in a style that will prick both egos and consciences. From "academia" to "vocation," "canon" to "peer review," "discipline" to "methodology," the book scrutinizes the often stultifying structures of modern disciplinary life, calls out a slavish devotion to "knowledge production" as the enemy of thought, and even dissects the notion of "academic excellence." Feisty and darkly funny, passionate and deeply insightful, this book raises hard questions about teaching, research, theory, practice, and academic labor. The result is a must-read dispatch from today's academic trenches--one that is sure to provoke discussion and debate.
What is it that makes humans human? As science and technology challenge the boundaries between life and non-life, between organic and inorganic, this ancient question is more timely than ever. Acclaimed Object-Oriented philosopher Timothy Morton invites us to consider this philosophical issue as eminently political. In our relationship with non-humans, we decided the fate of our humanity. Becoming human, claims Morton, actually means creating a network of kindness and solidarity with non-human beings, in the name of a broader understanding of reality that both includes and overcomes the notion of species. Negotiating the politics of humanity is the first and crucial step to reclaim the upper scales of ecological coexistence, and not to let Monsanto and cryogenically suspended billionaires define them and own them.
Nietzsche has recently enjoyed much scrutiny from the nouveaux critiques. Jacques Derrida, the leader of that movement, here combines in his strikingly original and incisive fashion questions of sexuality, politics, writing, judgment, procreation, death, and even the weather into a far-reaching analysis of the challenges bequeathed to the modern world by Nietzsche. Spurs, then, is aptly titled, for Derrida's "deconstructions" of Nietzsche's meanings will surely act as spurs to further thought and controversy. This dual-language edition offers the English-speaking reader who has some knowledge of French an opportunity to examine the stylistic virtuosity of Derrida's writing of particular significance for his analysis of "the question of style."
"Strange Wonder" confronts Western philosophy's ambivalent relationship to the Platonic "wonder" that reveals the strangeness of the everyday. On the one hand, this wonder is said to be the origin of all philosophy. On the other hand, it is associated with a kind of ignorance that ought to be extinguished as swiftly as possible. By endeavoring to resolve wonder's indeterminacy into certainty and calculability, philosophy paradoxically secures itself at the expense of its own condition of possibility.
"Strange Wonder" locates a reopening of wonder's primordial uncertainty in the work of Martin Heidegger, for whom wonder is first experienced as the shock at the groundlessness of things and then as an astonishment that things nevertheless "are." Mary-Jane Rubenstein traces this double movement through the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jacques Derrida, ultimately thematizing wonder as the awesome, awful opening that exposes thinking to devastation as well as transformation. Rubenstein's study shows that wonder reveals the extraordinary in and through the ordinary, and is therefore crucial to the task of reimagining political, religious, and ethical terrain.
Most texts claiming to trace the evolution of metaphysics do so according to the analytical tradition, which understands metaphysics as a reflection of different categories of reality. Incorporating the perspectives of Continental theory does little to expand this history, as the Continental tradition remains largely hostile to such metaphysical claims. The first history of metaphysics to respect both the analytical and Continental schools while also transcending the theoretical limitations of each, this compelling overview restores the value of metaphysics to contemporary audiences.
Beginning with the Greeks and concluding with present day philosophers, Jean Grondin reviews seminal texts by the Presocratic Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Augustine. He follows the theological turn in metaphysical thought during the middle ages and reads Avicenna, Anselm, Aquinas, and Duns Scot. Grondin revisits Descartes and the cogito; Spinoza and Leibniz's rationalist approaches; Kant's reclaiming of the metaphysical tradition; and postkantian practice up to Hegel. He engages with the twentieth-century innovations that shook the discipline, particularly Heidegger's notion of Being and the rediscovery of the metaphysics of existence (Sartre and the Existentialists), language (Gadamer and Derrida), and transcendence (Levinas). Metaphysics is often dismissed as a form or epoch of philosophy that must be overcome, yet a full understanding of its platform and processes reveal a cogent approach to reality, and its reasoning has been foundational to modern philosophy and science. Grondin reacquaints readers with the rich currents and countercurrents of metaphysical thinking and muses on where it may be headed in the twenty-first century.
"I define the Neutral as that which outplays the paradigm, or rather I call Neutral everything that baffles paradigm." With these words, Roland Barthes describes a concept that profoundly shaped his work and was the subject of a landmark series of lectures delivered in 1978 at the Coll?ge de France, just two years before his death. Not published in France until 2002, and appearing in English for the first time, these creative and engaging lectures deepen our understanding of Roland Barthes's intellectual itinerary and reveal his distinctive style as thinker and teacher.
The Neutral ( "le neutre"), as Barthes describes it, escapes or undoes the paradigmatic binary oppositions that structure and produce meaning in Western thought and discourse. These binaries are found in all aspects of human society ranging from language to sexuality to politics. For Barthes, the attempt to deconstruct or escape from these binaries has profound ethical, philosophical, and linguistic implications.
"The Neutral" is comprised of the prewritten texts from which Barthes lectured and centers around 23 "figures," also referred to as "traits" or "twinklings," that are possible embodiments of the Neutral (sleep, silence, tact, etc.) or of the anti-Neutral (anger, arrogance, conflict, etc.). His lectures draw on a diverse set of authors and intellectual traditions, including Lao-tzu, Tolstoy, German mysticism, classical philosophy, Rousseau, Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, and John Cage. Barthes's idiosyncratic approach to his subjects gives the lectures a playful, personal, and even joyous quality that enhances his rich insights.
In addition to his reflections on a variety of literary and scholarly works, Barthes's personal convictions and the events of his life shaped the course and content of the lectures. Most prominently, as Barthes admits, the recent death of his mother and the idea of mourning shape several of his lectures.
'Postmodernism' became the buzzword of contemporary society in
the 1990s. Yet, even now, it still remains confusing and baffling
in its variety of defiinitions, contexts and associations.
Helene Cixous has dreamed for years of "The Book-I-Don't-Write," but each time she approaches it, it withdraws. The-Book-I-Don't-Write is always just out of reach. When Jacques Derrida told her the Book would get written one day, but differently, Cixous tells us she would see it "shining behind a veil, its indecipherable back, upright on heaven's bookshelf, its elegant silhouette, utterly foreign, utterly familiar, of future revenant. I've always thought it would come, naturally. When? After all my deaths? Just before, or just after, the last of my deaths." One day, when she is no longer expecting it, the Book turns up: "Quickly, without taking my eyes off it, I copied it down, staying scrupulously close to its notations, its rhythms, its moments of silence. I found it. Just as you see it." She calls it Los, meaning "loose, detached" in German, her mother's tongue. Or Los like Carlos, the Latin American friend whose unexpected death in May 2014 takes her back to a life they shared and a time the Book will reconstitute in the present, abolishing time: "Suddenly, that morning, I saw the universe of The-Book-I-Don't-Write: it is an infinity of presents." Los, A Chapter is a marvelous exploration of time and relationships. It reimagines scenes from Paris in the late sixties: its cafes, its debates, its political turmoil. Both playful and serious, it is a book in a long line of novels from Balzac to Proust that create worlds both philosophical and concrete. In Los a lost time is regained.
Why sexuality is at the point of a "short circuit" between ontology and epistemology. Consider sublimation-conventionally understood as a substitute satisfaction for missing sexual satisfaction. But what if, as Lacan claims, we can get exactly the same satisfaction that we get from sex from talking (or writing, painting, praying, or other activities)? The point is not to explain the satisfaction from talking by pointing to its sexual origin, but that the satisfaction from talking is itself sexual. The satisfaction from talking contains a key to sexual satisfaction (and not the other way around)-even a key to sexuality itself and its inherent contradictions. The Lacanian perspective would make the answer to the simple-seeming question, "What is sex?" rather more complex. In this volume in the Short Circuits series, Alenka Zupancic approaches the question from just this perspective, considering sexuality a properly philosophical problem for psychoanalysis; and by psychoanalysis, she means that of Freud and Lacan, not that of the kind of clinician practitioners called by Lacan "orthopedists of the unconscious." Zupancic argues that sexuality is at the point of a "short circuit" between ontology and epistemology. Sexuality and knowledge are structured around a fundamental negativity, which unites them at the point of the unconscious. The unconscious (as linked to sexuality) is the concept of an inherent link between being and knowledge in their very negativity.
The course of human life, punctuated by unexpected and transformative moments, is never uniform. What are the characteristics of such life-defining moments, what responses do they evoke, and how do they transform the lives of those who experience them? In Vivo explores foundational questions and pivotal moments of the human experience - engagement with a foreign culture, the decision to break free from unfortunate experiences, a generous action undertaken in the context of an otherwise regular day - in terms of their life-altering potential. Through illustrative examples, both real and fictional, Csepregi reveals the primacy of personal feelings in shaping human life and demonstrates the formative power of spontaneity outside the traditional context of formal education. These moments, and particularly the way they disrupt ordinary temporal order, Csepregi argues, are the lived experiences of our vitality. In an age marked by increasing anxiety about the homogenizing tendencies of contemporary life, In Vivo is timely and revelatory. Informed by a range of philosophical thinking and examples from art, music, and literature, it illustrates opportunities for meaningful reflection that are available to everyone, and urges the reader to engage with them.
Roland Barthes (1915-1980) was a central figure in the thought of his time, but he was also something of an outsider. His father died in the First World War, he enjoyed his mother's unfailing love, he spent long years in the sanatorium, and he was aware of his homosexuality from an early age: all this soon gave him a sense of his own difference. He experienced the great events of contemporary history from a distance. However, his life was caught up in the violent, intense sweep of the twentieth century, a century that he helped to make intelligible. This major new biography of Barthes, based on unpublished material never before explored (archives, journals and notebooks), sheds new light on his intellectual positions, his political commitments and his ideas, beliefs and desires. It details the many themes he discussed, the authors he defended, the myths he castigated, the polemics that made him famous and his acute ear for the languages of his day. It also underscores his remarkable ability to see which way the wind was blowing D and he is still a compelling author to read in part because his path-breaking explorations uncovered themes that continue to preoccupy us today. Barthes's life story gives substance and cohesion to his career, which was guided by desire, perspicacity and an extreme sensitivity to the material from which the world is shaped D as well as a powerful refusal to accept any authoritarian discourse. By allowing thought to be based on imagination, he turned thinking into both an art and an adventure. This remarkable biography enables the reader to enter into Barthes's life and grasp the shape of his existence, and thus understand the kind of writer he became and how he turned literature into life itself.
Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to understand and respond to this failure is complex and contested. Against both the radical orthodox attempt to return to a time before the theology's failure and the deconstructive theological attempt to open theology up to the hope of a future beyond failure, Rose proposes an account of Christian identity as constituted by, not despite, failure. Understanding failure as central to theology opens up new possibilities for confronting Christianity's violent and kyriarchal history and abandoning the attempt to discover a pure Christ outside of the grotesque materiality of the church. The Christian mystical tradition begins with Dionysius the Areopagite's uncomfortable but productive conjunction of Christian theology and Neoplatonism. The tensions generated by this are central to Dionysius's legacy, visible not only in subsequent theological thought but also in much twentieth century continental philosophy as it seeks to disentangle itself from its Christian ancestry. A Theology of Failure shows how the work of Slavoj Zizek represents an attempt to repeat the original move of Christian mystical theology, bringing together the themes of language, desire, and transcendence not with Neoplatonism but with a materialist account of the world. Tracing these themes through the work of Dionysius and Derrida and through contemporary debates about the gift, violence, and revolution, this book offers a critical theological engagement with Zizek's account of social and political transformation, showing how Zizek's work makes possible a materialist reading of apophatic theology and Christian identity.
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
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.
Philosophy has inherited a powerful impulse to embrace either dualism or a reductive monism--either a radical separation of mind and body or the reduction of mind to body. But from its origins in the writings of the Stoics, the first thoroughgoing materialists, another view has acknowledged that no forms of materialism can be completely self-inclusive--space, time, the void, and sense are the incorporeal conditions of all that is corporeal or material. In The Incorporeal Elizabeth Grosz argues that the ideal is inherent in the material and the material in the ideal, and, by tracing its development over time, she makes the case that this same idea reasserts itself in different intellectual contexts. Grosz shows that not only are idealism and materialism inextricably linked but that this "belonging together" of the entirety of ideality and the entirety of materiality is not mediated or created by human consciousness. Instead, it is an ontological condition for the development of human consciousness. Grosz draws from Spinoza's material and ideal concept of substance, Nietzsche's amor fati, Deleuze and Guattari's plane of immanence, Simondon's preindividual, and Raymond Ruyer's self-survey or autoaffection to show that the world preexists the evolution of the human and that its material and incorporeal forces are the conditions for all forms of life, human and nonhuman alike. A masterwork by an eminent theoretician, The Incorporeal offers profound new insight into the mind-body problem
Jacques Derrida's revolutionary approach to phenomenology, psychoanalysis, structuralism, linguistics, and indeed the entire European tradition of philosophy-called deconstruction-changed the face of criticism. It provoked a questioning of philosophy, literature, and the human sciences that these disciplines would have previously considered improper. Forty years after Of Grammatology first appeared in English, Derrida still ignites controversy, thanks in part to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's careful translation, which attempted to capture the richness and complexity of the original. This fortieth anniversary edition, where a mature Spivak retranslates with greater awareness of Derrida's legacy, also includes a new afterword by her which supplements her influential original preface. Judith Butler has added an introduction. All references in the work have been updated. One of contemporary criticism's most indispensable works, Of Grammatology is made even more accessible and usable by this new release.
At the turn of the twentieth century, G. E. Moore contemptuously dismissed most previous 'ethical systems' for committing the 'Naturalistic Fallacy'. This fallacy - which has been variously understood, but has almost always been seen as something to avoid - was perhaps the greatest structuring force on subsequent ethical theorising. To a large extent, to understand the Fallacy is to understand contemporary ethics. This volume aims to provide that understanding. Its thematic chapters - written by a range of distinguished contributors - introduce the history, text and philosophy behind Moore's charge of fallacy and its supporting 'open question' argument. They detail how the fallacy influenced multiple traditions in ethics (including evolutionary, religious and naturalistic approaches), its connections to supposed dichotomies between 'is'/'ought' and facts/values, and its continuing relevance to our understanding of normativity. Together, the chapters provide a historical and opinionated introduction to contemporary ethics that will be essential for students, teachers and researchers.
Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world. While culture invests us with agency and choice, it also limits the possibilities on offer. But since the cultural script is not fixed, we can intervene to increase the range of options. This brief and lucid introduction explains how, with illustrations from literature, art, film, and popular culture.
This book presents the first introduction to African American academic philosophers, exploring their concepts and ideas and revealing the critical part they have played in the formation of philosophy in the USA. The book begins with the early years of educational attainment by African American philosophers in the 1860s. To demonstrate the impact of their philosophical work on general problems in the discipline, chapters are broken down into four major areas of study: Axiology, Social Science, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Science. Providing personal narratives on individual philosophers and examining the work of figures such as H. T. Johnson, William D. Johnson, Joyce Mitchell Cooke, Adrian Piper, William R. Jones, Roy D. Morrison, Eugene C. Holmes, and William A. Banner, the book challenges the myth that philosophy is exclusively a white academic discipline. Packed with examples of struggles and triumphs, this engaging introduction is a much-needed approach to studying philosophy today.
The Das Kapital of the 20th century. An essential text, and the main theoretical work of the situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960's up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism, and everyday life in the late 20th century. This is the original translation by Fredy Perlman, kept in print continuously for the last 30 years, keeping the flame alive when no-one else cared.
According to Michel Serres, a process of 'hominescence' has taken place throughout human history. Hominescence can be described as a type of adolescence; humanity in a state of growing, a state of constant change, on the threshold of something unpredictable. We are destined never to be the same again but what does the future hold? In this innovative and passionately original work of philosophy, Serres describes the future of man as an adolescence, transitioning from childhood to adulthood, or luminescence, when a dark body becomes light. After considering the radical changes that humanity has experienced over the last fifty years, Serres analyzes the new relationship of man has with diverse concepts, like the dead, his own body, agriculture, and new communication networks. He alerts us to the consequences of these changes, particularly on the danger of growing inequalities between rich and poor countries. Should we rejoice in the future, ignore it, or even dread it? Unlike other philosophers who preach doom and gloom, Serres wants us to anticipate the uncertain light of the future.
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