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The great ideological cliche of our time, Cesar Rendueles argues in Sociophobia, is the idea that communication technologies can support positive social dynamics and improve economic and political conditions. We would like to believe that the Internet has given us the tools to overcome modernity's practical dilemmas and bring us into closer relation, but recent events show how technology has in fact driven us farther apart. Named one of the ten best books of the year by Babelia El Pais, Sociophobia looks at the root causes of neoliberal utopia's modern collapse. It begins by questioning the cyber-fetishist dogma that lulls us into thinking our passive relationship with technology plays a positive role in resolving longstanding differences. Rendueles claims that the World Wide Web has produced a diminished rather than augmented social reality. In other words, it has lowered our expectations with respect to political interventions and personal relations. In an effort to correct this trend, Rendueles embarks on an ambitious reassessment of our antagonistic political traditions to prove that post-capitalism is not only a feasible, intimate, and friendly system to strive for but also essential for moving past consumerism and political malaise.
On April 27, 2007, the first Speculative Realism (SR) workshop was held at Goldsmiths, University of London, featuring four young philosophers whose ideas were loosely allied. Over the ensuing decade, the ideas of SR spread from philosophy to the arts, architecture, and numerous disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. SR has been arguably the most influential new current in continental philosophy since the works of Gilles Deleuze and F lix Guattari found their second wind in the 1990s. But what is SR? This book is the first general overview by one of its original members, focusing on the aesthetic, ethical, ontological, and political themes of greatest importance to the movement. Graham Harman provides a balanced but critical assessment of his original SR colleagues - Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Quentin Meillassoux - along with a clear summary of his own Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO). A number of central philosophical questions tie the four chapters together: What exactly is "correlationism," the chief enemy of SR? What are the stakes of philosophical realism, and is such realism better served by mathematics and the natural sciences, or by a broader model of cognitive activity that includes aesthetics? This book covers both the historical and conceptual development of the movement, providing a first-rate introduction for students, aided by helpful end-of-chapter study questions chosen by Harman himself. SR, Harman shows, is a vital and fast-developing field in contemporary philosophy.
An engaging account of the titan of political philosophy and the development of his most important work, A Theory of Justice, coming at a moment when its ideas are sorely needed. It is hard to overestimate the influence of John Rawls on political philosophy and theory over the last half-century. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide, and he is one of the few philosophers whose work is known in the corridors of power as well as in the halls of academe. Rawls is most famous for the development of his view of "justice as fairness," articulated most forcefully in his best-known work, A Theory of Justice. In it he develops a liberalism focused on improving the fate of the least advantaged, and attempts to demonstrate that, despite our differences, agreement on basic political institutions is both possible and achievable. Critics have maintained that Rawls's view is unrealistic and ultimately undemocratic. In this incisive new intellectual biography, Andrius Galisanka argues that in misunderstanding the origins and development of Rawls's central argument, previous narratives fail to explain the novelty of his philosophical approach and so misunderstand the political vision he made prevalent. Galisanka draws on newly available archives of Rawls's unpublished essays and personal papers to clarify the justifications Rawls offered for his assumption of basic moral agreement. Galisanka's intellectual-historical approach reveals a philosopher struggling toward humbler claims than critics allege. To engage with Rawls's search for agreement is particularly valuable at this political juncture. By providing insight into the origins, aims, and arguments of A Theory of Justice, Galisanka's John Rawls will allow us to consider the philosopher's most important and influential work with fresh eyes.
In 1815 a manuscript containing one of the long-lost treasures of antiquity was discovered--the letters of Marcus Cornelius Fronto, reputed to have been one of the greatest Roman orators. But this find disappointed many nineteenth-century readers, who had hoped for the letters to convey all of the political drama of Cicero's. That the collection included passionate love letters between Fronto and the future emperor Marcus Aurelius was politely ignored--or concealed. And for almost two hundred years these letters have lain hidden in plain sight. Marcus Aurelius in Love rescues these letters from obscurity and returns them to the public eye. The story of Marcus and Fronto began in 139 CE, when Fronto was selected to instruct Marcus in rhetoric. Marcus was eighteen then and by all appearances the pupil and teacher fell in love. Spanning the years in which the relationship flowered and died, these are the only love letters to survive from antiquity--homoerotic or otherwise. With a translation that reproduces the effusive, slangy style of the young prince and the rhetorical flourishes of his master, the letters between Marcus and Fronto will rightfully be reconsidered as key documents in the study of the history of sexuality and classics.
For more than 30 years and until his death in 2004, Jacques Derrida remained one of the most influential contemporary philosophers. It may be difficult to evaluate what forms his legacy will take in the future but Derrida Now provides some provocative suggestions. Derrida's often-controversial early reception was based on readings of his complex works, published in journals and collected in books. More recently attention has tended to focus on his later work, which grew out of the seminars that he presented each year in France and the US. The full texts of these seminars are now the subject of a major publication project, to be produced over the next ten years. Derrida Now presents contemporary articles based on or around the study of Derrida. It provides a critical introduction to Derrida's complex and controversial thought, offers careful analysis of some of his most important concepts, and includes essays that address the major strands of his thought. Derrida's influence reached not only into philosophy but also into other fields concerned with literature, politics, visual art, law, ecology, psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality and this book will appeal to readers in all these disciplines. Contributors include Peggy Kamuf, Geoff Bennington, Nicholas Royle, Roy Sellars, Graham Allen and Irving Goh.
An excellent new translation and commentary. It will serve newcomers as an informative, accessible introduction to the Nicomachean Ethics and to many issues in Aristotle's philosophy, but also has much to offer advanced scholars. The commentary is noteworthy for its frequent citations of relevant passages from other works in Aristotle's corpus, which often shed new light on the texts. Reeve's translation is meticulous: it hits the virtuous mean--accurate and technical, yet readable--between translation's vicious extremes of faithlessness and indigestibility.--Jessica Moss, New York University
In the most comprehensive account to date of Walter Benjamin's philosophy of language, Alexander Stern explores the nature of meaning by putting Benjamin in dialogue with Wittgenstein. Known largely for his essays on culture, aesthetics, and literature, Walter Benjamin also wrote on the philosophy of language. This early work is famously obscure and considered hopelessly mystical by some. But for Alexander Stern, it contains important insights and anticipates-in some respects surpasses-the later thought of a central figure in the philosophy of language, Ludwig Wittgenstein. As described in The Fall of Language, Benjamin argues that "language as such" is not a means for communicating an extra-linguistic reality but an all-encompassing medium of expression in which everything shares. Borrowing from Johann Georg Hamann's understanding of God's creation as communication to humankind, Benjamin writes that all things express meanings, and that human language does not impose meaning on the objective world but translates meanings already extant in it. He describes the transformations that language as such undergoes while making its way into human language as the "fall of language." This is a fall from "names"-language that responds mimetically to reality-to signs that designate reality arbitrarily. While Benjamin's approach initially seems alien to Wittgenstein's, both reject a designative understanding of language; both are preoccupied with Russell's paradox; and both try to treat what Wittgenstein calls "the bewitchment of our understanding by means of language." Putting Wittgenstein's work in dialogue with Benjamin's sheds light on its historical provenance and on the turn in Wittgenstein's thought. Although the two philosophies diverge in crucial ways, in their comparison Stern finds paths for understanding what language is and what it does.
A philosophical examination of the treatment of logic and God in Lacan's later psychoanalytic theory. In The Not-Two, Lorenzo Chiesa examines the treatment of logic and God in Lacan's later work. Chiesa draws for the most part from Lacan's Seminars of the early 1970s, as they revolve around the axiom "There is no sexual relationship." Chiesa provides both a close reading of Lacan's effort to formalize sexual difference as incompleteness and an assessment of its broader implications for philosophical realism and materialism. Chiesa argues that "There is no sexual relationship" is for Lacan empirically and historically circumscribed by psychoanalysis, yet self-evident in our everyday lives. Lacan believed that we have sex because we love, and that love is a desire to be One in face of the absence of the sexual relationship. Love presupposes a real "not-two." The not-two condenses the idea that our love and sex lives are dictated by the impossibility of fusing man's contradictory being with the heteros of woman as a fundamentally uncountable Other. Sexual liaisons are sustained by a transcendental logic, the so-called phallic function that attempts to overcome this impossibility. Chiesa also focuses on Lacan's critical dialogue with modern science and formal logic, as well as his dismantling of sexuality as considered by mainstream biological discourse. Developing a new logic of sexuation based on incompleteness requires the relinquishing of any alleged logos of life and any teleological evolution. For Lacan, the truth of incompleteness as approached psychoanalytically through sexuality would allow us to go further in debunking traditional onto-theology and replace it with a "para-ontology" yet to be developed. Given the truth of incompleteness, Chiesa asks, can we think such a truth in itself without turning incompleteness into another truth about truth, that is, into yet another figure of God as absolute being?
Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. One of the most important thinkers ever to write in English, the Empiricist David Hume liberated philosophy from the superstitious constraints of religion; here, he argues that all are free to choose between life and death, considers the nature of personal taste and succinctly criticises common philosophies of the time.
The writings of Jean Baudrillard have dramatically altered the face of critical theory and promise to pose challenges well into the 21st century. His work on simulation, media, the status of the image, the system of objects, hyperreality, and information technology continues to influence intellectual work in a diverse set of fields. This volume uniquely provides overviews of Baudrillard's career while also simultaneously including examples of current works on and with Baudrillard that engage some of the many and varied ways Baudrillard's work is being addressed, deployed, and critiqued in the present. As such, it offers chapters useful to the novice and the well-versed in critical theory and Baudrillard Studies alike. Contributors to the volume include John Armitage, John Beck, Ryan Bishop, Doug Kellner, John Phillips and Mark Poster. No less controversial today than he was in the past, Baudrillard continues to divide intellectuals and academicians, an issue this volume addresses by re-engaging the writing itself without falling into either simplistic dismissal or solipsistic cheerleading, but rather by taking the fecundity operative in the thought and meeting its consistent challenge. "Baudrillard Now" provokes sustained interaction with one of philosophy's most important, provocative and stimulating thinkers.
Hospitality, in particular hospitality to strangers, was promoted in the eighteenth century as a universal human virtue, but writing of the period reveals many telling examples of its abuse. Through analysis of encounters across cultural and sexual divides, Judith Still revisits the current debate about the social, moral and political values of the Enlightenment. Focussing on (in)hospitality in relation to two kinds of exotic Other, Judith Still examines representations of indigenous peoples of the New World, both as hosts and as cannibals, and of the Moslem `Oriental' in Persia and Turkey, associated with both the caravanserai (where travellers rest) and the harem. She also explores very different examples of Europeans as hosts and the practice of `adoption', particularly that of young girls. The position of women in hospitality, hitherto neglected in favour of questions of cultural difference, is central to these analyses, and Still considers the work of women writers alongside more canonical male-authored texts. In this thought-provoking study, Judith Still uncovers how the Enlightenment rhetoric of openness and hospitality is compromised by self-interest; the questions it raises about attitudes to difference and freedom are equally relevant today.
Although Joseph de Maistre has long been regarded as characterising the Counter-Enlightenment, his intellectual relationship to eighteenth-century philosophy remains unexplored. In this first comprehensive assessment of Joseph de Maistre's response to the Enlightenment, a team of renowned scholars uncover a writer who was both the foe and heir of the philosophes. While Maistre was deeply indebted to thinkers who helped to fashion the Enlightenment - Rousseau, the Cambridge Platonists - he also agreed with philosophers such as Schopenhauer who adopted an overtly critical stance. His idea of genius, his critique of America and his historical theory all used `enlightened' language to contradict Enlightenment principles. Most intriguingly, and completely unsuspected until now, Maistre used the writings of the early Christian theologian Origen to develop a new, late, religious form of Enlightenment that shattered the logic of philosophie. The Joseph de Maistre revealed in this book calls into question any simple opposition of Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment, and offers particular lessons for our own time, when religion is at the forefront of public debate and a powerful political tool.
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.
Volume 2 of the definitive English translation of one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement in one important stream of post-Kantian thought. Corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the older Haldane-Kemp translation. For first time translates and locates all quotes, provides full index.
Impossible Modernism reads the writings of German philosopher and critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) and Anglo-American poet and critic T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) to examine the relationship between literary and historical form during the modernist period. It focuses particularly on how they both resisted the forms of narration established by nineteenth-century academic historians and turned instead to traditional literary devices-lyric, satire, anecdote, and allegory-to reimagine the forms that historical representation might take. Tracing the fraught relationship between poetry and history back to Aristotle's Poetics and forward to Nietzsche's Untimely Meditations, Robert S. Lehman establishes the coordinates of the intellectual-historical problem that Eliot and Benjamin inherited and offers an analysis of how they grappled with this legacy in their major works.
Julia Kristeva is one of the most creative and prolific writers to address the personal, social, and political trials of our times. Linguist, psychoanalyst, social and cultural theorist, and novelist, Kristeva's broad interdisciplinary appeal has impacted areas across the humanities and social sciences.
S. K. Keltner's book provides the first comprehensive introduction to the breadth of Kristeva's work. In an original and insightful analysis, Keltner presents Kristeva's thought as the coherent development and elaboration of a complex, multidimensional threshold constitutive of meaning and subjectivity. The 'threshold' indicates Kristeva's primary sphere of concern, the relationship between the speaking being and its particular social and historical conditions; and Kristeva's interdisciplinary approach. Kristeva's vision, Keltner argues, opens a unique perspective within contemporary discourses attentive to issues of meaning, subjectivity, and social and political life. By emphasizing Kristeva's attention to the permeable borders of psychic and social life, Keltner offers innovative readings of the concepts most widely discussed in Kristeva scholarship: the semiotic and symbolic, abjection, love, and loss. She also provides new interpretations of some of the most controversial issues surrounding Kristeva's work, including Kristeva's conceptions of intimacy, social and cultural difference, and Oedipal subjectivity, by contextualizing them within her methodological approach and oeuvre as a whole.
"Julia Kristeva: Thresholds" is an engaging and accessible introduction to Kristeva's theoretical and fictional works that will be of interest to both students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences.
The Norton Anthology of Western Philosophy: After Kant provides a comprehensive introduction to the predominantly European ("Continental") interpretive tradition of philosophy after Kant in one volume, and to the now predominantly Anglo-American analytic tradition in the other. It features the extensive editorial apparatus for which Norton Anthologies have been known and trusted by professors and students alike for more than 50 years. Ideal for courses at all levels in the history of philosophy after Kant, these volumes belong on every philosopher's (and philosophy student's) bookshelf.
`My present intention is to clear myself of any suspicion of partiality by presenting the views of the generality of philosophers concerning the nature of the gods.' Cicero's philosophical works are now exciting renewed interest, in part because he provides vital evidence of the views of the (largely lost) Greek philosophers of the Hellenistic age, and partly because of the light he casts on the intellectual life of first century Rome. The Nature of the Gods is a text of central significance, presenting a detailed account of the theologies of the Epicureans and of the Stoics, together with the critical objections to these doctrines raised by the Academic school. When these Greek theories of deity are translated into the Roman context, a fascinating clash of ideologies results. This fine translation by P. G. Walsh includes a summary of the Text, and an Index and Glossary of Names. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Cheryl Misak offers a strikingly new view of the development of philosophy in the twentieth century. Pragmatism, the home-grown philosophy of America, thinks of truth not as a static relation between a sentence and the believer-independent world, but rather, a belief that works. The founders of pragmatism, Peirce and James, developed this idea in more (Peirce) and less (James) objective ways. The standard story of the reception of American pragmatism in England is that Russell and Moore savaged James's theory, and that pragmatism has never fully recovered. An alternative, and underappreciated, story is told here. The brilliant Cambridge mathematician, philosopher and economist, Frank Ramsey, was in the mid-1920s heavily influenced by the almost-unheard-of Peirce and was developing a pragmatist position of great promise. He then transmitted that pragmatism to his friend Wittgenstein, although had Ramsey lived past the age of 26 to see what Wittgenstein did with that position, Ramsey would not have like what he saw.
"Acting Out " is the first appearance in English of two short books
published by Bernard Stiegler in 2003. In "How I Became a
Philosopher," he outlines his transformation during a five-year
period of incarceration for armed robbery. Isolated from what had
been his world, Stiegler began to conduct a kind of experiment in
phenomenological research. Inspired by the Greek stoic Epictetus,
Stiegler began to read, write, and discover his vocation,
eventually studying philosophy in correspondence with Gerard Granel
who was an important influence on a number of French philosophers,
including Jacques Derrida, who was later Stiegler's teacher.
Taking in an array of cultural references from the contemporary art world, to cat memes, Stranger Things, the Kardashian-Jenners, Mad Men, Run the Jewels, and video gaming, Can the Left Learn to Meme? argues that there is positivity in millennial-era cultural production. Utilising Adorno's unswerving yet understated hope in spite of the odds, Mike Watson embraces the abstraction of the new media landscape as millennials refuse to surrender to cynicism, by out-weirding even the world at large. They pose a radical alternative to the right wing approach of Steve Bannon and the conservative psychology of Jordan Peterson. Here, the cultural elitism of the art world is contrasted with the anything-goes approach of millennial culture. The left avant-garde dream of an art-for-all is with us, though you won't find it in museums. It is time the left learned to meme, challenging conventions along the way.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau has been cast as a champion of Enlightenment and a beacon of Romanticism, a father figure of radical revolutionaries and totalitarian dictators alike, an inventor of the modern notion of the self, and an advocate of stern ancient republicanism. Engaging with Rousseau treats his writings as an enduring topic of debate, examining the diverse responses they have attracted from the Enlightenment to the present. Such notions as the general will were, for example, refracted through very different prisms during the struggle for independence in Latin America and in social conflicts in Eastern Europe, or modified by thinkers from Kant to contemporary political theorists. Beyond Rousseau's ideas, his public image too travelled around the world. This book examines engagement with Rousseau's works as well as with his self-fashioning; especially in turbulent times, his defiant public identity and his call for regeneration were admired or despised by intellectuals and political agents.
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