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"An extremely fascinating study, packed with insights and illumination and astute observation. It is first-rate philosophy clearheaded, imaginative, sophisticated, and resourceful. And in its historical and technological dimensions, it connects with the 'real world' in ways that are rare in philosophical studies." Kendall Walton, University of Michigan"For Patrick Maynard photography is in the first instance a technology for marking surfaces, and from this insight flows the most original sustained analysis and argument yet produced in the history of thinking about the camera and its work. At once analytical and historical, scientific and aesthetic, as lucid and witty as it is learned, The Engine of Visualization spells out the simplest general principles necessary for a clear understanding of what photography also technology, image, and art is and does. This is a signal achievement, and a simply lovely book." Alan Trachtenberg, Yale UniversityIn the first philosophical book wholly about photography, Patrick Maynard dispels some basic, persistent confusions by treating photography as a technology a way to enhance and filter human power. Once photography is understood as a kind of technology, Maynard argues, insights about technology may be applied to provide the general perspective on photography that has been missing."
What am I referring to when I say "I"? This little word is so easy to use in daily life, yet it has become the focus of intense theoretical debate. Where does my sense of self come from? Does it arise spontaneously or is it created by the media or society?
This concern with the self, with our subjectivity, is now our main point of reference in Western societies. How has it come to be so important, and what are the different ways in which we can approach an understanding of the self? Nick Mansfield explores how our notions of subjectivity have developed over the past century. Analyzing the work of key modern and postmodern theorists such as Freud, Foucault, Nietzsche, Lacan, Kristeva, Deleuze and Guattari, and Haraway, he shows how subjectivity is central to debates in contemporary culture, including gender, sexuality, ethnicity, postmodernism, and technology.
Carnap, Quine, and Putnam held that in our pursuit of truth we can do no better than to start in the middle, relying on already-established beliefs and inferences and applying our best methods for re-evaluating particular beliefs and inferences and arriving at new ones. In this collection of essays, Gary Ebbs interprets these thinkers' methodological views in the light of their own philosophical commitments, and in the process refutes some widespread misunderstandings of their views, reveals the real strengths of their arguments, and exposes a number of problems that they face. To solve these problems, in many of the essays Ebbs also develops new philosophical approaches, including new theories of logical truth, language use, reference and truth, truth by convention, realism, trans-theoretical terms, agreement and disagreement, radical belief revision, and contextually a priori statements. His essays will be valuable for a wide range of readers in analytic philosophy.
16 chapters by new and established Deleuze scholars each explore one key figure in Deleuze's philosophical heritage From Lucretius to Schelling to Foucault, this book looks at 16 philosophers, writers and artists whose work influenced the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. Each chapter introduces the thinker in question, explains the context in which Deleuze draws their work and discusses how it contributed to the development of Deleuze's own ideas. Deleuze's Philosophical Lineage II complements the original Deleuze's Philosophical Lineage volume by adding new voices to the discussion: looking at thinkers not covered by the first volume, intruducing well-known French philosophers to English-language Deleuze studies and reflecting the latest Deleuze scholarship.
With the aim of widening the scope of Marxist theory, Henri Lefebvre finished Dialectical Materialism just before the beginning of World War II and the Resistance movement against the Vichy regime. As the culmination of Lefebvre's interwar activities, the book highlights the tension-fraught relationship between Lefebvre and the French Communist Party (PCF). For Lefebvre, unlike for the PCF, Marxism was above all a dynamic movement of theory and practice. Dialectical Materialism is an implicit response to Joseph Stalin's Dialectical and Historical Materialism and an attempt to show that the Stalinist understanding of the concept was dogmatic and oversimplified. This edition contains a new introduction by Stefan Kipfer, explaining the book's contemporary ramifications in the ever-expanding reach of the urban in the twentieth-century Western world.
`IB was one of the great affirmers of our time.' John Banville, New York Review of Books The title of this final volume of Isaiah Berlin's letters is echoed by John Banville's verdict in his review of its predecessor, Building: Letters 1960-75, which saw Berlin publish some of his most important work, and create, in Oxford's Wolfson College, an institutional and architectural legacy. In the period covered by this new volume (1975-97) he consolidates his intellectual legacy with a series of essay collections. These generate many requests for clarification from his readers, and stimulate him to reaffirm and sometimes refine his ideas, throwing substantive new light on his thought as he grapples with human issues of enduring importance. Berlin's comments on world affairs, especially the continuing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and the collapse of Communism, are characteristically acute. This is also the era of the Northern Ireland Troubles, the Iranian revolution, the rise of Solidarity in Poland, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, and wars in the Falkland Islands, the Persian Gulf and the Balkans. Berlin scrutinises the leading politicians of the day, including Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev, and draws illuminating sketches of public figures, notably contrasting the personas of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrey Sakharov. He declines a peerage, is awarded the Agnelli Prize for ethics, campaigns against philistine architecture in London and Jerusalem, helps run the National Gallery and Covent Garden, and talks at length to his biographer. He reflects on the ideas for which he is famous - especially liberty and pluralism - and there is a generous leavening of the conversational brilliance for which he is also renowned, as he corresponds with friends about politics, the academic world, music and musicians, art and artists, and writers and their work, always displaying a Shakespearean fascination with the variety of humankind. Affirming is the crowning achievement both of Berlin's epistolary life and of the widely acclaimed edition of his letters whose first volume appeared in 2004.
The most significant philosopher of Being, Martin Heidegger has nevertheless largely been ignored within communications studies. This book sets the record straight by demonstrating the profound implications of his unique philosophical project for our understanding of today's mediascape. The full range of Heidegger's writing from Being and Time to his later essays is drawn upon. Topics covered include: - an analysis of Heidegger's theory of language and its relevance to communications studies - a critical interpretation of mass media and digital culture that draws upon Heidegger's key concept of Dasein - a discussion of mediated being and its objectifying tendencies - an assessment of Heidegger's legacy for future developments in media theory Clear explanations and accessible commentary are used to guide the reader through the work of a thinker whose notorious reputation belies the highly topical nature of his key insights. In a world full of digital networks and new social media, but little critical insight, Heidegger and the Mediashows how a true understanding of the media requires familiarity with Heidegger's unique brand of thinking.
Words like "terrorism" and "war" no longer encompass the scope of contemporary violence. With this explosive book, Adriana Cavarero, one of the world's most provocative feminist theorists and political philosophers, effectively renders such terms obsolete. She introduces a new word--"horrorism"--to capture the experience of violence.
Unlike terror, horrorism is a form of violation grounded in the offense of disfiguration and massacre. Numerous outbursts of violence fall within Cavarero's category of horrorism, especially when the phenomenology of violence is considered from the perspective of the victim rather than that of the warrior. Cavarero locates horrorism in the philosophical, political, literary, and artistic representations of defenseless and vulnerable victims. She considers both terror and horror on the battlefields of the "Iliad," in the decapitation of Medusa, and in the murder of Medea's children. In the modern arena, she forges a link between horror, extermination, and massacre, especially the Nazi death camps, and revisits the work of Primo Levi, Hannah Arendt's thesis on totalitarianism, and Arendt's debate with Georges Bataille on the estheticization of violence and cruelty.
In applying the horroristic paradigm to the current phenomena of suicide bombers, torturers, and hypertechnological warfare, Cavarero integrates Susan Sontag's views on photography and the eroticization of horror, as well as ideas on violence and the state advanced by Thomas Hobbes and Carl Schmitt. Through her searing analysis, Caverero proves that violence against the helpless claims a specific vocabulary, one that has been known for millennia, and not just to the Western tradition. Where common language fails to form a picture of atrocity, horrorism paints a brilliant portrait of its vivid reality.
Lost in the raging debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what, precisely, is being constructed. Facts, gender, quarks, reality? Is it a person? An object? An idea? A theory? Each entails a different notion of social construction, Ian Hacking reminds us. His book explores an array of examples to reveal the deep issues underlying contentious accounts of reality. Especially troublesome in this dispute is the status of the natural sciences, and this is where Hacking finds some of his most telling cases, from the conflict between biological and social approaches to mental illness to vying accounts of current research in sedimentary geology. He looks at the issue of child abuse--very much a reality, though the idea of child abuse is a social product. He also cautiously examines the ways in which advanced research on new weapons influences not the content but the form of science. In conclusion, Hacking comments on the "culture wars" in anthropology, in particular a spat between leading ethnographers over Hawaii and Captain Cook. Written with generosity and gentle wit by one of our most distinguished philosophers of science, this wise book brings a much needed measure of clarity to current arguments about the nature of knowledge.
An essential exploration of sense and meaning. Is there a "world"anymore, let alone any "sense"to it? Acknowledging the lack of meaning in our time, and the lack of a world at the center of meanings we try to impose, Jean-Luc Nancy presents a rigorous critique of the many discourses-from philosophy and political science to psychoanalysis and art history-that talk and write their way around these gaping absences in our lives. In an original style befitting his search for a new mode of thought, Nancy offers fragmentary readings of writers such as Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx, Levinas, Lacan, Derrida, and Deleuze insofar as their work reflects his concern with sense and the world. Rather than celebrate or bemoan the loss of meaning or attempt to install a new one, his book seeks to reposition both sense and the world between the presence and absence of meaning, between objectivity and subjectivity. Nancy's project entails a reconception of the field of philosophy itself, a rearticulation of philosophical practice. Neither recondite nor abstract, it is concerned with the existence and experience of freedom-the actuality of existence as experienced by contemporary communities of citizens, readers, and writers. Combining aesthetic, political, and philosophical considerations to convey a sense of the world between meaning and reality, ideal content and material form, this book offers a new way of understanding-and responding to-"the end of the world."d Jean-Luc Nancy teaches at the University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg. His books in English include The Literary Absolute (with Philip Lacoue-Labarthe, 1988), The Inoperative Community (Minnesota, 1991), The Birth to Presence (1993), The Experience of Freedom (1993), and The Muses (1996). Jeffrey S. Librett is associate professor of modern languages and literatures at Loyola University of Chicago.
Jacques Derrida is one of the most prolific and influential contemporary French intellectuals. Twenty-two essays and excerpts from Derrida's writings over the last twenty-five years are gathered in this accessible introduction, "A Derrida Reader." The book's five sections are carefully introduced by the editor, and each selection of Derrida's work is presented succinctly in context. A general introduction to the volume by Peggy Kamuf provides an original interpretation and overview of Derrida's work and philosophy.
First published in French in 1943, Jean-Paul Sartre's L'Etre et le Neant is one of the greatest philosophical works of the twentieth century. In it, Sartre offers nothing less than a brilliant and radical account of the human condition. The English philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch wrote to a friend of "the excitement - I remember nothing like it since the days of discovering Keats and Shelley and Coleridge". This new translation, the first for over sixty years, makes this classic work of philosophy available to a new generation of readers. What gives our lives significance, Sartre argues in Being and Nothingness, is not pre-established for us by God or nature but is something for which we ourselves are responsible. At the heart of this view are Sartre's radical conceptions of consciousness and freedom. Far from being an internal, passive container for our thoughts and experiences, human consciousness is constantly projecting itself into the outside world and imbuing it with meaning. Combining this with the unsettling view that human existence is characterized by radical freedom and the inescapability of choice, Sartre introduces us to a cast of ideas and characters that are part of philosophical legend: anguish; the "bad faith" of the memorable waiter in the cafe; sexual desire; and the "look" of the Other, brought to life by Sartre's famous description of someone looking through a keyhole. Above all, by arguing that we alone create our values and that human relationships are characterized by hopeless conflict, Sartre paints a stark and controversial picture of our moral universe and one that resonates strongly today. This new translation includes a helpful Translator's Introduction, a comprehensive Index and a Foreword by Richard Moran, Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University, USA. Translated by Sarah Richmond, University College London, UK.
This extraordinary book offers a clear and compelling biography of
Jacques Derrida along with one of Derrida's strangest and most
unexpected texts. Geoffrey Bennington's account of Derrida leads
the reader through the philosopher's familiar yet widely
misunderstood work on language and writing to the less familiar
themes of signature, sexual difference, law, and affirmation. In an
unusual and unprecedented "dialogue," Derrida responds to
Bennington's text by interweaving Bennington's text with surprising
and disruptive "periphrases." Truly original, this dual and dueling
text opens new dimensions in Derrida's thought and work.
Philosophy Bites Back is the second book to come out of the hugely successful podcast Philosophy Bites. It presents a selection of lively interviews with leading philosophers of our time, who discuss the ideas and works of some of the most important thinkers in history. From the ancient classics of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, to the groundbreaking modern thought of Wittgenstein, Rawls, and Derrida, this volume spans over two and a half millennia of western philosophy and illuminates its most fascinating ideas. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has had over 12 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
Sarah Kofman (1934-1994), a Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and the author of over twenty books, was one of the most significant postwar thinkers in France. Her interests ranged from Freud and psychoanalysis to Nietzsche, to feminist theory and the role of women in Western philosophy, to visual art, and to literature. As the child of Polish Jewish immigrants who lost her father in the holocaust, she was also interested in Judaism and Anti-Semitism, especially as they are reflected in works of literature and philosophy. writings on these and other topics, the first publication of its kind. Its purpose is to provide a general introduction to Kofman's thought, which has been highly influential not only in Europe, but also in America, on students and readers in such areas as Literature, Philosophy, Critical Theory, Women's Studies, and Jewish Studies. Although some of the selections have been published previously, the majority of the book's contents appear in English translation for the first time.
This unique collection looks at analytic philosophy in its historical context. Prominent philosophers discuss key figures, including Russell and Wittgenstein, methods and results in analytic philosophy to present its story. This volume assesses the challenge posed by changing cultural and philosophical trends and movements.
Responding to questions put to him at a Roundtable held at Villanova University in 1994, Jacques Derrida leads the reader through an illuminating discussion of the central themes of deconstruction. Speaking in English and extemporaneously, Derrida takes up with unusual clarity and great eloquence such topics as the task of philosophy, the Greeks, justice, responsibility, the gift, the community, the distinction between the messianic and the concrete messianisms, and his interpretation of James Joyce. Derrida convincingly refutes the charges of relativism and nihilism that are often leveled at deconstruction by its critics and sets forth the profoundly affirmative and ethico-political thrust of his work. The "Roundtable" is marked by the unusual clarity of Derrida's presentation and by the deep respect for the great works of the philosophical and literary tradition with which he characterizes his philosophical work. The Roundtable is annotated by John D. Caputo, the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, who has supplied cross references to Derrida's writings where the reader may find further discussion on these topics. Professor Caputo has also supplied a commentary which elaborates the principal issues raised in the Roundtable. In all, this volume represents one of the most lucid, compact and reliable introductions to Derrida and deconstruction available in any language. An ideal volume for students approaching Derrida for the first time, Deconstruction in a Nutshell will prove instructive and illuminating as well for those already familiar with Derrida's work.
An urgent defense of reason, the essential method for resolving-or even discussing-divisive issues Reason, long held as the highest human achievement, is under siege. According to Aristotle, the capacity for reason sets us apart from other animals, yet today it has ceased to be a universally admired faculty. Rationality and reason have become political, disputed concepts, subject to easy dismissal. Julian Baggini argues eloquently that we must recover our reason and reassess its proper place, neither too highly exalted nor completely maligned. Rationality does not require a sterile, scientistic worldview, it simply involves the application of critical thinking wherever thinking is needed. Addressing such major areas of debate as religion, science, politics, psychology, and economics, the author calls for commitment to the notion of a "community of reason," where disagreements are settled by debate and discussion, not brute force or political power. Baggini's insightful book celebrates the power of reason, our best hope-indeed our only hope-for dealing with the intractable quagmires of our time.
Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Mobius strip, twisted to have only one side. Deckard travels this oedipal path in Blade Runner (1982) when he learns that he might be the enemy he has been ordered to pursue. Ecological awareness takes this shape because ecological phenomena have a loop form that is also fundamental to the structure of how things are. The logistics of agricultural society resulted in global warming and hardwired dangerous ideas about life-forms into the human mind. Dark ecology puts us in an uncanny position of radical self-knowledge, illuminating our place in the biosphere and our belonging to a species in a sense that is far less obvious than we like to think. Morton explores the logical foundations of the ecological crisis, which is suffused with the melancholy and negativity of coexistence yet evolving, as we explore its loop form, into something playful, anarchic, and comedic. His work is a skilled fusion of humanities and scientific scholarship, incorporating the theories and findings of philosophy, anthropology, literature, ecology, biology, and physics. Morton hopes to reestablish our ties to nonhuman beings and to help us rediscover the playfulness and joy that can brighten the dark, strange loop we traverse.
Theodor Adorno's reputation as a cultural critic has been well- established for some time, but his status as a philosopher remains unclear. In Adorno and the Ends of Philosophy Andrew Bowie seeks to establish what Adorno can contribute to philosophy today. Adorno's published texts are notably difficult and have tended to hinder his reception by a broad philosophical audience. His main influence as a philosopher when he was alive was, though, often based on his very lucid public lectures. Drawing on these lectures, both published and unpublished, Bowie argues that important recent interpretations of Hegel, and related developments in pragmatism, echo key ideas in Adorno's thought. At the same time, Adorno's insistence that philosophy should make the Holocaust central to the assessment of modern rationality suggests ways in which these approaches should be complemented by his preparedness to confront some of the most disturbing aspects of modern history. What emerges is a remarkably clear and engaging re-interpretation of Adorno's thought, as well as an illuminating and original review of the state of contemporary philosophy. Adorno and the Ends of Philosophy will be indispensable to students of Adorno's work at all levels. This compelling book is also set to ignite debate surrounding the reception of Adorno's philosophy and bring him into the mainstream of philosophical debate at a time when the divisions between analytical and European philosophy are increasingly breaking down.
Meaning Diminished examines the complex relationship between semantic analysis and metaphysical inquiry. Kenneth A. Taylor argues that we should expect linguistic and conceptual analysis of natural language to yield far less metaphysical insight into what there is - and the nature of what there is - than many philosophers have imagined. Taking a strong stand against the so-called linguistic turn in philosophy, Taylor contends that philosophers as diverse as Kant, with his Transcendental Idealism, Frege, with his aspirational Platonism, Carnap with his distinction between internal and external questions, and Strawson, with his descriptive metaphysics, have placed too much confidence in the ability of linguistic and conceptual analysis to achieve deep insight into matters of ultimate metaphysics. He urges philosophers who seek such insight to turn away from the interrogation of language and concepts and back to the more direct interrogation of reality itself. In doing so, he maps out the way forward toward a metaphysically modest semantics, in which semantics carries less weighty metaphysical burdens, and toward a revisionary and naturalistic metaphysics, untethered to the a priori analysis of ordinary language.
Theory of the Subject, first published in France in 1982, is without doubt one of Alain Badiou's most important works, laying many of the foundations for his magnum opus, Being and Event. Here Badiou seeks to provide a theory of the subject for Marxism through a study of Lacanian psychoanalysis, offering a major contribution to Marxism, as well as to the larger debate regarding the relationship between psychoanalysis and philosophy. The book also provides a history and theory of structuralism and poststructuralism, a unique evaluation of the achievements of French Maoism during the 1970s and the significance of the events of May 1968, and breathtaking analyses of art and literature. As a theoretical synthesis, the book is extraordinary in terms of its originality, breadth and clarity. This is arguably Badiou's most creative and passionate book, encompassing the entire battlefield of contemporary theory, philosophy and psychoanalysis. Available for the first time in English and now in paperback, this is a must-read for anyone interested in this lively and highly original thinker.
Logics of Worlds is the sequel to Alain Badiou's masterpiece, Being and Event. Tackling the questions that had been left open by Being and Event, and answering many of his critics in the process, Badiou supplements his pioneering treatment of multiple being with a daring and complex theory of the worlds in which truths and subjects make their mark - what he calls a materialist dialectic. Drawing on his most ambitious philosophical predecessors - Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Lacan, Deleuze - Badiou ends this important later work with an impassioned call to 'live for an Idea'.
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