Signs of Paradox: Irony, Resentment, and Other Mimetic Structures

Stanford University Press (1997)
Starting from the minimal principle of generative anthropology - that human culture originates as 'the deferral of violence through representation' - the author proposes a new understanding of the fundamental concepts of metaphysics and an explanation of the historical problematic that underlies the postmodern 'end of culture.' Part I discusses the nature of paradox and the related notion of irony, as well as the fundamental concepts of being, thinking, and signification, leading to an anthropological interpretation of the origin of philosophy and semiotics in Plato's Ideas. Part II develops the idea that material exchange originates in the sparagmos or violent rendering of the sacrificial victim from which each participant obtains a roughly equal portion. Examining the holocaust, the author demonstrates how postmodern dialogue becomes dominated by the rhetoric of victimage, and the culture of centrality gives way to an aesthetic of the marginal.
Keywords Philosophical anthropology  Paradox  Irony  Resentment
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Call number BD450.G318 1997
ISBN(s) 0804727694   9780804727693
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