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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."
Oracle card set comprising 45 full color beautiful reproductions of paintings and drawings by Toni Carmine Salerno and a 72-page accompanying guidebook packaged in a hard cover box.
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.
"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.
"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.
This is a major work by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings have been deeply influential on subsequent generations of philosophers. It is offered here in a new translation by Judith Norman, with an introduction by Rolf Peter Horstmann that places the work in its historical and philosophical context.
'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.
How does a school of thought, in the area of philosophy, or indeed of religion, from roots that may be initially open-ended and largely informal, come to take on the features that later mark it out as distinctive, and even exclusive? That is the theme which is explored in this book in respect of the philosophical movement known as Platonism, stemming as it does from the essentially open-ended and informal atmosphere of Plato's Academy. John Dillon focuses on a number of key issues, such as monism versus dualism, the metaphysical underpinnings of ethical theory, the theory of Forms, and the reaction to the Sceptical 'deviation' represented by the so-called 'New Academy'. The book is written in the lively and accessible style of the lecture series in Beijing from which it originates.
We might think we are through with the past, but the past isn't through with us. Tragedy permits us to come face to face with the things we don't want to know about ourselves, but which still make us who we are. It articulates the conflicts and contradictions that we need to address in order to better understand the world we live in.
A work honed from a decade's teaching at the New School, where 'Critchley on Tragedy' is one of the most popular courses, Tragedy, the Greeks and Us is a compelling examination of the history of tragedy. Simon Critchley demolishes our common misconceptions about the poets, dramatists and philosophers of Ancient Greece - then presents these writers to us in an unfamiliar and original light.
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.
Aristotle is the father of virtue ethics-a discipline which is receiving renewed scholarly attention. Yet Aristotle's accounts of the individual virtues remain opaque, for most contemporary commentators of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics have focused upon other matters. In contrast, Howard J. Curzer takes Aristotle's detailed description of the individual virtues to be central to his ethical theory. Working through the Nicomachean Ethics virtue-by-virtue, explaining and generally defending Aristotle's claims, this book brings each of Aristotle's virtues alive. A new Aristotle emerges, an Aristotle fascinated by the details of the individual virtues. Justice and friendship hold special places in Aristotle's virtue theory. Many contemporary discussions place justice and friendship at opposite, perhaps even conflicting, poles of a spectrum. Justice seems to be very much a public, impartial, and dispassionate thing, while friendship is paradigmatically private, partial, and passionate. Yet Curzer argues that in Aristotle's view they are actually symbiotic. Justice is defined in terms of friendship, and good friendship is defined in terms of justice. Curzer goes on to reveal how virtue ethics is not only about being good; it is also about becoming good. Aristotle and the Virtues reconstructs Aristotle's account of moral development. Certain character types serve as stages of moral development. Certain catalysts and mechanisms lead from one stage to the next. Explaining why some people cannot make moral progress specifies the preconditions of moral development. Finally, Curzer describes Aristotle's quest to determine the ultimate goal of moral development, happiness.
Over six previous editions, Twelve Theories of Human Nature has been a remarkably popular introduction to some of the most influential developments in Western and Eastern thought. Now titled Thirteen Theories of Human Nature, the seventh edition adds a chapter on feminist theory to those on Confucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Plato, Aristotle, the Bible, Islam, Kant, Marx, Freud, Sartre, and Darwinism. The authors juxtapose the ideas of these and other thinkers and traditions in a way that helps students understand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. To encourage students to think critically for themselves and to underscore the similarities and differences between the many theories, the book examines each one on four points--the nature of the universe, the nature of humanity, the diagnosis of the ills of humanity, and the proposed cure for these problems. Ideal for introductory courses in human nature, introduction to philosophy, and intellectual history, this unique volume will engage and motivate students and other readers to consider how we can understand and improve both ourselves and human society.
Theory and Practice is a series of nine lectures that Jacques Derrida delivered at the Ecole Normale Superieure in 1976 and 1977. The topic of "theory and practice" was associated above all with Marxist discourse and particularly the influential interpretation of Marx by Louis Althusser. Derrida's many questions to Althusser and other thinkers aim at unsettling the distinction between thinking and acting. Derrida's investigations set out from Marx's "Theses on Feuerbach," in particular the eleventh thesis, which has often been taken as a mantra for the "end of philosophy," to be brought about by Marxist practice. Derrida argues, however, that Althusser has no such end in view and that his discourse remains resolutely philosophical, even as it promotes the theory/practice pair as primary values. This seminar also draws fascinating connections between Marxist thought and Heidegger and features Derrida's signature reconsideration of the dichotomy between doing and thinking. This text, available for the first time in English, shows that Derrida was doing important work on Marx long before Specters of Marx. As with the other volumes in this series, it gives readers an unparalleled glimpse into Derrida's thinking at its best-spontaneous, unpredictable, and groundbreaking.
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.
Nietzsche's The Gay Science (1882/1887) is a deeply personal book, yet also an important work of philosophy. Nietzsche conceives it as a philosophical autobiography, a record of his own self-transformation. In beautifully composed aphorisms he communicates his central experience of overcoming pessimism and recovering the capacity to affirm joyfully the tragedy of life. On the basis of his experiments in living, Nietzsche articulates his most famous philosophical concepts and images: the death of God, the exercise of eternal recurrence, and the ideal of self-fashioning. This book explains the ancient and modern philosophical contexts that shape Nietzsche's central concern with the affirmation of life. It surveys Nietzsche's philosophy as a whole, explains the pivotal place of The Gay Science as the source of his ideal of tragic joy, and shows how he revives an ancient conception of philosophy as a way of life and the philosopher as physician.
This new translation of Aristotle's Metaphysics in its entirety is a model of accuracy and consistency, presented with a wealth of annotation and commentary. Sequentially numbered endnotes provide the information most needed at each juncture, while a detailed Index of Terms guides the reader to places where focused discussion of key notions occurs. An illuminating general Introduction describes the book that lies ahead, explaining what it is about, what it is trying to do, how it goes about doing it, and what sort of audience it presupposes.
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.
Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was one of the most important philosophers of all time; he was also one of the most radical and controversial. The story of Spinoza's life takes the reader into the heart of Jewish Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and, with Spinoza's exile from Judaism, into the midst of the tumultuous political, social, intellectual, and religious world of the young Dutch Republic. This new edition of Steven Nadler's biography, winner of the Koret Jewish Book Award for biography and translated into a dozen languages, is enhanced by exciting new archival discoveries about his family background, his youth, and the various philosophical, political, and religious contexts of his life and works. There is more detail about his family's business and communal activities, about his relationships with friends and correspondents, and about the development of his writings, which were so scandalous to his contemporaries.
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
In an accessible narrative that explains complex ideas in clear language, Vittorio H sle traces the evolution of German philosophy and describes its central influence on other aspects of German culture, including literature, politics, and science, from the Middle Ages to today. A Short History of German Philosophy addresses the philosophical changes brought about by Luther (TM)s Reformation, and then presents a detailed account of German philosophy from Leibniz to Kant; the rise of a new form of humanities; and the German Idealists. The following chapters investigate the collapse of the German synthesis in Schopenhauer, Marx, and Nietzsche. Turning to the twentieth century, the book explores the rise of analytical philosophy; the foundation of the historical sciences; Husserl (TM)s phenomenology and its radical alteration by Heidegger; the Nazi philosophers Gehlen and Schmitt; and the main West German philosophers after 1945. Arguing that there was a distinctive German philosophical tradition from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, the book closes by examining why that tradition largely ended in the recent past. A philosophical history remarkable for its scope, brevity, and lucidity, this is an invaluable book for students of philosophy and anyone interested in German intellectual and cultural history.
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