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Arguing that existing modernisation theories have been unnecessarily one-sided, Hedwig Fraunhofer offers a rewriting of modernity that cuts across binary methodologies - nature and culture, mind and matter, epistemology and ontology, critique and affirmative writing, dramatic and postdramatic theatre. She specifically reworks the biopolitical exclusions that mark modern western epistemology, leading up to modernity's totalitarian crisis point. Fraunhofer reveals the performativity of theatre in its double sense - as theatrical production and as the intra-activity of a dynamic system of multiple relations between human and more-than-human actors, energies and affects. In modern theatre, public and private, human and more-than-human, materiality and meaning collapse in a common life.
Few philosophers held greater fascination for Jacques Derrida than Martin Heidegger, and in this book we get an extended look at Derrida's first real encounters with him. Delivered over nine sessions in 1964 and 1965 at the cole Normale Sup rieure, these lectures offer a glimpse of the young Derrida first coming to terms with the German philosopher and his magnum opus, Being and Time. They provide not only crucial insight into the gestation of some of Derrida's primary conceptual concerns--indeed, it is here that he first uses, with some hesitation, the word "deconstruction"--but an analysis of Being and Time that is of extraordinary value to readers of Heidegger or anyone interested in modern philosophy. Derrida performs an almost surgical reading of the notoriously difficult text, marrying pedagogical clarity with patient rigor and acting as a lucid guide through the thickets of Heidegger's prose. At this time in intellectual history, Heidegger was still somewhat unfamiliar to French readers, and Being and Time had only been partially translated into French. Here Derrida mostly uses his own translations, giving his own reading of Heidegger that directly challenges the French existential reception initiated earlier by Sartre. He focuses especially on Heidegger's Destruktion (which Derrida would translate both into "solicitation" and "deconstruction") of the history of ontology, and indeed of ontology as such, concentrating on passages that call for a rethinking of the place of history in the question of being, and developing a radical account of the place of metaphoricity in Heidegger's thinking. This is a rare window onto Derrida's formative years, and in it we can already see the philosopher we've come to recognize--one characterized by a bravura of exegesis and an inventiveness of thought that are particularly and singularly his.
In 1996 Jacques Derrida gave a lecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on the occasion of Antonin Artaud: Works on Paper, one of the first major international exhibitions to present the avant-garde dramatist and poet's paintings and drawings. Derrida's original title, "Artaud the Moma," is a characteristic play on words. It alludes to Artaud's calling himself Momo, Marseilles slang for "fool," upon his return to Paris in 1946 after nine years in various asylums while playing off of the museum's nickname, MoMA. But the title was not deemed "presentable or decent," in Derrida's words, by the very institution that chose to exhibit Artaud's work. Instead, the lecture was advertised as "Jacques Derrida ...will present a lecture about Artaud's drawings." For Derrida, what was at stake was what it meant for the museum to exhibit Artaud's drawings and for him to lecture on Artaud in that institutional context. Thinking over the performative force of Artaud's work and the relation between writing and drawing, Derrida addresses the multiplicity of Artaud's identities to confront the modernist museum's valorizing of originality. He channels Artaud's specter, speech, and struggle against representation to attempt to hold the museum accountable for trying to confine Artaud within its categories. Artaud the Moma, as lecture and text, reveals the challenge that Artaud posed to Derrida-and to art and its institutional history. A powerful interjection into the museum halls, this work is a crucial moment in Derrida's thought and an insightful, unsparing reading of a challenging writer and artist.
"Ten times, an elderly grey-haired man gets up on the stage. Ten times puffing and sighing. Ten times slowly tracing out strange multi-coloured arabesques that interweave, curling with the meanders of his speech, by turns fluid and uneasy. A whole crowd looks on, transfixed by this enigma-made-man, absorbing the ipse dixit and anticipating some illumination that is taking its time to appear. Non lucet. It's shady in here, and the Theodores go hunting for their matches. Still, they say, cuicumque in sua arte perito credendum est, whosoever is expert in his art is to be lent credence. At what point is a person mad? The master himself poses the question. That was back in the day. Those were the mysteries of Paris forty years hence. A Dante clasping Virgil's hand to be led through the circles of the Inferno, Lacan took the hand of James Joyce, the unreadable Irishman, and, in the wake of this slender Commander of the Faithless, made with heavy and faltering step onto the incandescent zone where symptomatic women and ravaging men burn and writhe. An equivocal troupe was in the struggling audience: his son-in-law; a dishevelled writer, young and just as unreadable back then; two dialoguing mathematicians; and a professor from Lyon vouching for the seriousness of the whole affair. A discreet Pasiphae was being put to work backstage. Smirk then, my good fellows! Be my guest. Make fun of it all! That's what our comic illusion is for. That way, you shall know nothing of what is happening right before your very eyes: the most carefully considered, the most lucid, and the most intrepid calling into question of the art that Freud invented, better known under its pseudonym: psychoanalysis." --Jacques-Alain Miller
What can psychoanalysis, a psychological approach developed more than a century ago, offer us in an age of rapidly evolving, hard-to-categorize ideas of sexuality and the self? Should we abandon Freud's theories completely or adapt them to new findings and the new relationships taking shape in modern liberal societies? In a remarkably prescient series of lectures delivered in the early 1960s, the French philosopher Louis Althusser anticipated the challenges that psychoanalytic theory would face as politics moved away from structuralist frameworks and toward the elastic possibilities of anthropological and sociological thought. Psychoanalysis and the Human Sciences translates Althusser's remarkable seminars into English for the first time, making available to a wider audience the origins and potential future of radical political theory. Althusser takes the important step in these lectures of distinguishing psychoanalysis from psychology and especially psychiatry, which long resisted Freud's analytical concepts of the unconscious and overdetermination. By freeing psychoanalysis from this bind, Althusser can then apply these analytical concepts to the social and the political, integrated with Marxist theory. The result is an enlivened methodology for comprehending social organization and change that had a profound influence on the Frankfurt School and scholars who continue to work at the forefront of radical thought today: Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar, and Alain Badiou.
What might be the outcome for philosophy if its texts were subjected to the powerful techniques of rhetorical close-reading developed by current deconstructionist literary critics? When first published in 1983, Christopher Norris' book was the first to explore such questions in the context of modern analytic and linguistic philosophy, opening up a new and challenging dimension of inter-disciplinary study and creating a fresh and productive dialogue between philosophy and literary theory.
What might be the outcome for philosophy if its texts were subjected to the powerful techniques of rhetorical close-reading developed by current deconstructionist literary critics? When first published in 1983, Christopher Norrisa (TM) book was the first to explore such questions in the context of modern analytic and linguistic philosophy, opening up a new and challenging dimension of inter-disciplinary study and creating a fresh and productive dialogue between philosophy and literary theory.
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.
"This book features a CD of rarely performed music, including a specially commissioned rap by Erik Weiner of Walter Benjamin's "Thesis on the Philosophy of History." "
Theodor W. Adorno was the prototypical German Jewish non-Jew, Walter Benjamin vacillated between German Jew and Jewish German, Gershom Scholem was a committed Zionist, and Arnold Sch?nberg converted to Protestantism for professional reasons but later returned to Judaism. Carl Djerassi, himself a refugee from Hitler's Austria, dramatizes a dialogue between these four men in which they discuss fraternity, religious identity, and legacy as well as reveal aspects of their lives-notably their relations with their wives-that many have ignored, underemphasized, or misrepresented.
The desire for canonization and the process by which it is obtained are the underlying themes of this dialogue, with emphasis on Paul Klee's "Angelus Novus "(1920), a canonized work that resonated deeply with Benjamin, Adorno, and Scholem (and for which Djerassi and Gabrielle Seethaler present a revisionist and richly illustrated interpretation). Basing his dialogue on extensive archival research and interviews, Djerassi concludes with a daring speculation on the putative contents of Benjamin's famous briefcase, which disappeared upon his suicide.
"The Incident at Antioch" is a key play marking Alain Badiou's transition from classical Marxism to a "politics of subtraction" far removed from party and state. Written with striking eloquence and extraordinary poetic richness, and shifting from highly serious emotional and intellectual drama to surreal comic interlude, the work features statesmen, workers, and revolutionaries struggling to reconcile the nature and practice of politics.
This bilingual edition presents "L'Incident d'Antioche" in its original French and, on facing pages, an expertly executed English translation. Badiou adds a special preface, and an introduction by the scholar Kenneth Reinhard connects the play to Paul Claudel's "The City," Saint Paul and the early history of the Church, and the innovative mathematical thinking of Paul Cohen. The translation includes Susan Spitzer's extensive notes clarifying allusions and quotations and hinting at Badiou's intentions. An interview with Badiou encompasses the play's settings, themes, and events, as well as his ongoing literary and conceptual experimentation on stage and off.
Antoinette Fouque cofounded the Mouvement de Lib?ration des Femmes (MLF) in France in 1968 and spearheaded its celebrated "Psychanalyse et Politique," a research group that informed the cultural and intellectual heart of French feminism. Rather than reject Freud's discoveries on the pretext of their phallocentrism, Fouque sought to enrich his thought by more clearly defining the difference between the sexes and affirming the existence of a female libido.
By recognizing women's contribution to humanity, Fouque hoped "uterus envy," which she saw as the mainspring of misogyny, could finally give way to gratitude, and by associating procreation with women's liberation, she advanced the goal of a parity-based society in which men and women could write a new human contract. The essays, lectures, and dialogues in this volume finally allow English-speaking readers access to the breadth of Fouque's creativity and activism. Touching on issues in history and biography, politics and psychoanalysis, Fouque recounts her experiences running the first women's publishing house in Europe; supporting women under threat, such as Aung San Suu Ki, Taslima Nasrin, and Nawal El Saadaoui; and serving as deputy in the European Parliament. Her theoretical explorations discuss the ongoing development of "feminology," a field she initiated, and while she celebrates the progress women have made over the past four decades, she also warns against the trends of counter-liberation: the feminization of poverty, the persistence of sexual violence, and the rise of religious fundamentalism.
Jacques Derrida, the French philosopher, developed his critical technique known as 'deconstruction'. His work is associated with ideas surrounding both post-structuralism and post-modern philosophy, and he was known to have challenged some of the unquestioned assumptions of our philosophical tradition. In this Very Short Introduction, Simon Glendinning explores both the difficulty and significance of the work of Derrida. He presents Derrida's challenging ideas as making a significant contribution to, and providing a powerful reading of, our philosophical heritage. Defending Derrida against many of the charges that were placed against him, he attempts to show why Derrrida's work causes such extreme reactions. Glendinning explains Derrida's distinctive mode of engagement with our philosophical tradition, and shows that this is not a merely negative thing. By exploring his most famous and influential texts, Glendinning shows how and why Derrida's work of deconstruction is inspired not by a 'critical frenzy', but by a loving respect for philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Collaborators for more than four decades, lawyer, author, filmmaker, and multimedia artist Alexander Kluge and social philosopher Oskar Negt are an exceptional duo in the history of Critical Theory precisely because their respective disciplines think so differently. Dark Matter argues that what makes their contributions to the Frankfurt School so remarkable is how they think together in spite of these differences. Kluge and Negt's "gravitational thinking" balances not only the abstractions of theory with the concreteness of the aesthetic, but also their allegiances to Frankfurt School mentors with their fascination for other German, French, and Anglo-American thinkers distinctly outside the Frankfurt tradition. At the core of all their adventures in gravitational thinking is a profound sense that the catastrophic conditions of modern life are not humankind's unalterable fate. In opposition to modernity's disastrous state of affairs, Kluge and Negt regard the huge mass of dark matter throughout the universe as the lodestar for thinking together with others, for dark matter is that absolute guarantee that happier alternatives to our calamitous world are possible. As illustrated throughout Langston's study, dark matter's promise-its critical orientation out of catastrophic modernity-finds its expression, above all, in Kluge's multimedia aesthetic.
Jean-Luc Nancy stands as one of the great French theorists of "deconstruction." His writings on philosophy, politics, aesthetics, and religion have significantly contributed to the development of contemporary French thought and helped shape and transform the field of continental philosophy. Through Nancy's immense oeuvre, which covers a wide range of topics such as community, freedom, existence, sense/ touch, democracy, Christianity, the visual arts and music, and writing itself, we have learned to take stock of the world in a more nuanced fashion. In this collection, contemporaries of Nancy and eminent scholars of continental philosophy, including Giorgio Agamben, Etienne Balibar, Ginette Michaud, Georges Van Den Abbeele, Gregg Lambert and Ian James, have been invited to reflect on the force of Nancy's "deconstruction" and how it has affected, or will affect, the ways we approach many of the most pertinent topics in contemporary philosophy. The collection also includes Jean-Luc Nancy's previously unpublished 'Dialogue Beneath the Ribs', where he reflects, twenty years after, on his heart transplant. Nancy Now will be of critical interest not only to scholars working on or with Nancy's philosophy, but also to those interested in the development and future of French thought.
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.
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.
Hartmut Rosa advances an account of the temporal structure of society from the perspective of critical theory. He identifies three categories of change in the tempo of modern social life: technological acceleration, evident in transportation, communication, and production; the acceleration of social change, reflected in cultural knowledge, social institutions, and personal relationships; and acceleration in the pace of life, which happens despite the expectation that technological change should increase an individual's free time. According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the "shrinking of the present," a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match the future. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on "slipping slopes," a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.
What is the strange eros that haunts Foucault's writing? In this deeply original consideration of Foucault's erotic ethics, Lynne Huffer provocatively rewrites Foucault as a Sapphic poet. She uncovers eros as a mode of thought that erodes the interiority of the thinking subject. Focusing on the ethical implications of this mode of thought, Huffer shows how Foucault's poetic archival method offers a way to counter the disciplining of speech. At the heart of this method is a conception of the archive as Sapphic: the past's remains are, like Sappho's verses, hole-ridden, scattered, and dissolved by time. Listening for eros across fragmented texts, Huffer stages a series of encounters within an archive of literary and theoretical readings: the eroticization of violence in works by Freud and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the historicity of madness in the Foucault-Derrida debate, the afterlives of Foucault's antiprison activism, and Monique Wittig's Sapphic materialism. Through these encounters, Foucault's Strange Eros conceives of ethics as experiments in living that work poetically to make the present strange. Crafting fragments that dissolve into Sapphic brackets, Huffer performs the ethics she describes in her own practice of experimental writing. Foucault's Strange Eros hints at the self-hollowing speech of an eros that opens a space for the strange.
Contemporary philosophical pluralism recognizes the inevitability and legitimacy of multiple ethical perspectives and values, making it difficult to isolate the higher-order principles on which to base a theory of justice. Rising up to meet this challenge, Rainer Forst, a leading member of the Frankfurt School's newest generation of philosophers, conceives of an "autonomous" construction of justice founded on what he calls the basic moral right to justification.
Forst begins by identifying this right from the perspective of moral philosophy. Then, through an innovative, detailed critical analysis, he ties together the central components of social and political justice--freedom, democracy, equality, and toleration--and joins them to the right to justification. The resulting theory treats "justificatory power" as the central question of justice, and by adopting this approach, Forst argues, we can discursively work out, or "construct," principles of justice, especially with respect to transnational justice and human rights issues.
As he builds his theory, Forst engages with the work of Anglo-American philosophers such as John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Amartya Sen, and critical theorists such as J?rgen Habermas, Nancy Fraser, and Axel Honneth. Straddling multiple subjects, from politics and law to social protest and philosophical conceptions of practical reason, Forst brilliantly gathers contesting claims around a single, elastic theory of justice.
In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology--fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling. Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and e-mail all get fused into another staggeringly dense, brilliant slab of scholarship and suggestion.--The Guardian [Derrida] convincingly argues that, although the archive is a public entity, it nevertheless is the repository of the private and personal, including even intimate details.--Choice Beautifully written and clear.--Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review Translator Prenowitz has managed valiantly to bring into English a difficult but inspiring text that relies on Greek, German, and their translations into French.--Library Journal
Francois Laruelle proposes a theory of identity rooted in scientific notions of symmetry and chaos, emancipating thought from the philosophical paradigm of Being and reconnecting it with the real world. Unlike most contemporary philosophers, Laruelle does not believe language, history, and the world shape identity but that identity determines our relation to these phenomena. Both critical and constructivist, Theory of Identities finds fault with contemporary philosophy's reductive relation to science and its attachment to notions of singularity, difference, and multiplicity, which extends this crude approach. Laruelle's new theory of science, its objects, and philosophy, introduces an original vocabulary to elaborate the concepts of determination, fractality, and artificial philosophy, among other ideas, grounded in an understanding of the renewal of identity. Laruelle's work repairs the rift between philosophical and scientific inquiry and rehabilitates the concept of identity that continental philosophers have widely criticized. His argument positions him clearly against Deleuze, Badiou, the new materialists, and other thinkers who stray too far from empirical approaches that might revitalize philosophy's practical applications.
Within intellectual paradigms that privilege mind over matter, dance has long appeared as a marginal, derivative, or primitive art. Drawing support from theorists and artists who embrace matter as dynamic and agential, this book offers a visionary definition of dance that illuminates its constitutive work in the ongoing evolution of human persons. Why We Dance introduces a philosophy of bodily becoming that posits bodily movement as the source and telos of human life. Within this philosophy, dance appears as an activity that humans evolved to do as the enabling condition of their best bodily becoming. Weaving theoretical reflection with accounts of lived experience, this book positions dance as a catalyst in the development of human consciousness, compassion, ritual proclivity, and ecological adaptability. Aligning with trends in new materialism, affect theory, and feminist philosophy, as well as advances in dance and religious studies, this work reveals the vital role dance can play in reversing the trajectory of ecological self-destruction along which human civilization is racing.
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