Walter Benjamin’s writings on fashion need to be read as engagements with the problem of historical time and a related politics of time. The aim of this article is to develop this position. Its point of orientation is Thesis XIV from the Theses on the Philosophy of History. What is argued is that close attention to the temporality of change and novelty within fashion may allow an insight into a conception of interruption and the ‘new’, however, it cannot yield (...) a politics. Moreover, the link between fashion and utopianism allows for the development of a critique of the utopian dimension of Benjamin’s thought. The basis of that critique is the inherent politics of time in his own writings. (shrink)
Art, Mimesis and the Avant-Garde explores the relationship between art and philosophy. Andrew Benjamin argues for a reworking of the task of philosophy in terms of the centrality of ontology. It is in relation to this centrality, understood through the differences between modes of being, that art, mimesis, and the avant-garde come to be presented. A fundamental part of this book is the original interpretations of important contemporary painters and their themes: Lucian Freud's self-portraits, Francis Bacon's use of (...) mirrors, R. B. Kitaj and Jewish identity, Anselm Kiefer and iconoclasm. Apart from painting, Benjamin considers architecture, literature, and the philosophical writings of Walter Benjamin and Descartes in elaborating the various aspects of ontological difference. Benjamin develops the theory of the avant-garde as a philosophical category rather than a historical marker, thus bringing the worlds of contemporary art criticism and contemporary philosophy closer together. (shrink)
Critique as a philosophical concept needs to be recast once it is linked to the possibility of a productive opening. In such a context critique has an important affinity to destruction and forms of inauguration. Working through writings of Marx and Walter Benjamin, specifically Benjamin's 'The Meaning of Time in the Moral World', destruction and inauguration are repositioned in terns of othering and the caesura of allowing.
Technology has a history structured by discontinuities. The first important philosophical expression of such a conception of technology was advanced by Walter Benjamin when he defined art works in relation to specific techniques of production. At the present art and architecture occur within an age defined by the move from ’technical reproducibility’ to digital reproducibility. The move has an impact on how technology is understood and its relation to architecture conceived. Adapting Walter Benjamin’s work in this area provides (...) the basis for a response to Soren Riis’ important treatment of the relationship between architecture and technology in his paper “Dwelling in-between walls: the architectural surround”. (shrink)
In this paper I hope to show that Geach misunderstands the nature of Plato's argument in the Euthyphro and more importantly the reasoning behind the dialectical strategy adopted by Socrates. Furthermore I shall argue that Geach's reading of the Euthyphro engenders serious difficulties, that stand in the way of understanding the manner in which Plato construes the problem of determining the nature of, and relationship between universal and particulars, which is of great significance because it is precisely this problem, in (...) relation to piety, that is central to the Euthyphro. In the appendix I shall sketch the outline of an argument in order to justify the assumption that the theory of Forms is present in the Euthyphro. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to develop a new theory of particularity. In so doing it redefines the concepts 'perception' and 'judgment'. The redefinition occurs once perception is understood as recognition. The move to recognition entails the centrality of repetition. Recognition, it is argued, is a form of repetition. Allowing for repetition necessitates changing the way the relationship between universals and particulars is understood. This is developed via an engagement with Hume and Plato. The article concludes with the outline (...) for a rethinking of the metaphysics of particularity. (shrink)
Present Hope is a compelling exploration of how we think philosophically about the present. Andrew Benjamin considers examples in philosophy, architecture and poetry to illustrate crucial themes of loss, memory, tragedy, hope and modernity. The book uses the work of Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger to illustrate the ways the notion of hope was weaved into their philosophies. Andrew Benjamin maintains that hope is a vital part of the present, rather than an expression only of the future. (...) Present Hope shows how Judaism and philosophy interact; how the Holocaust provides an important link between modernity and the present. Benjamin's writings on the significance of the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the poetry of Paul Celan unite toward understanding the present. (shrink)
Shadow of the Other is a discussion of how the individual has two sorts of relationships with an "other"--other individuals. The first regards the other as a s work apart is her brilliant utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing tensions: masculinity and femininity, subjectivity and objectivity, passivity and activity, love and aggression, fantasy and reality, modernism and postmodernism, the intrapsychic and the intersubjective. Benjamin s work apart is her brilliant (...) utilization of a systematic dialectical approach to her subject, always maintaining the delicate balance between opposing other as a mental repository fo unwanted characteristics cast from the self. Jessica benjamin shows the implications of this dual relationship for male/female hierarchy and offers a possibility for balancing the two. This book continues the author's well-known explorations of the themes of intersubjectivity and gender, taking up issues at the forefront of contemporary debates in feminist theory and psychoanalysis. (shrink)
Nothing is more simple or more complicated than the event. In recent years, the attack on any attempts to provide a foundation for philosophy has focused on the "logic of the event." In The Plural Event , Andrew Benjamin reconsiders and reworks philosophy in terms of events and how they are judged. Benjamin offers a sustained philosophical reworking of ontology, providing important readings of key canonical texts in the history of philosophy. In order to avoid the charge of (...) positivism, he provides a cogent interpretation of the process of thinking through while allowing the process to reveal itself in the interpretation of central philosophical texts. The effective presence of ontology, defined as "anoriginal difference," will be familiar to readers of his earlier writings. The Plural Event represents Andrew Benjamin's most thorough and original contribution to contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
It is helpful for any enterprise to stop occasionally and examine itself. Science has done this rather infrequently in its long and eventful history, and there has not been, in general, any continuity in these self-examinations. As a result the history of the philosophy of science has been a rather spotty affair. My belief is that the philosophy of science should also, at times, become self-critical. When a study is concerned primarily with methods of other disciplines it tends to underemphasize (...) the role played by the methods which it itself uses. What is the method of the philosophy of science, and is it justifiable? Can there be a satisfactory study of science and can this be scientific? (shrink)
JPVA Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts No 6 Complexity Architecture / Art / Philosophy 'Beginning with complexity will involve working with the recognition that there has always been more than one. Here however this insistent "more than one" will be positioned beyond the scope of semantics; rather than complexity occurring within the range of meaning and taking the form of a generalised polysemy, it will be linked to the nature of the object and to its production. Complexity, therefore, (...) will be inextricably connected to the ontology of the object. What this means is that complexity, in resisting the hold of a semantic idealism on the one hand, and the attempt to give to it the position of being the basis of a new foundationalism on the other, becomes a way of thinking both the presence and the production of objects.' Andrew Benjamin The Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts has set new standards in its exploration of themes central to philosophy's relation to the visual arts, illuminating areas of art criticism, architecture, feminism as well as philosophy itself. Rather than simply reflecting current trends it provides a forum in which the real developments in the analysis of the visual arts and its larger cultural and political context can be presented. Articles by well known philosophers and theorists, as well as some lesser known, together with writings by artists and architects allow a strong interdisciplinary approach reflecting the Journal's roots in post-structural theory. Previous issues include: Philosophy & the Visual Arts (No 1) Philosophy & Architecture (No 2) Architecture, Space, Painting (No 3) The Body (No 4) Abstraction (No 5). (shrink)
The default mode network (DMN) refers to regional brain activity that is greater during rest periods than during attention-demanding tasks and many studies have reported DMN alterations in patient populations. It has also been shown that the DMN is suppressed by scanner background noise (SBN), which is the noise produced by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). However, it is unclear whether different approaches to “rest” in the noisy MR environment can alter the DMN and constitute a confound in studies investigating (...) the DMN in particular patient populations (e.g., individuals with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease). We examined twenty-seven healthy adult volunteers who completed an fMRI experiment with 3 different instructions for rest: (1) relax and be still, (2) attend to SBN, or (3) ignore SBN. Region of interest (ROI) analyses were performed to determine the influence of rest period instructions on core regions of the DMN and DMN regions previously reported to be altered in patients with or at risk for Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia. The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) exhibited greater activity when specific resting instructions were given (i.e. attend to or ignore SBN) compared to when non-specific resting instructions were given. Condition-related differences in connectivity were also observed between regions of the dmPFC and inferior parietal/posterior superior temporal cortex. We conclude that rest period instructions and SBN levels should be carefully considered for fMRI studies on the DMN, especially studies on clinical populations and groups that may have different approaches to rest, such as first-time research participants and children. (shrink)
The term qittīer designates the act of burning the food offerings, the 'iššîm, within the ritual sequence of all three types of sacrifice, the zébach, the ōlāh, and the minchāh. Incense is not an 'iššeh substance and is never associated with this piel conjugation. Qittēr appears to have been limited to intransitive use, while the synonyms hiqtîr and heelāh were used predominantly in transitive constructions. By the exilic or post-exilic period, hiqtîr seems to have become the preferred form for intransitive (...) use as well, supplanting qittēr completely. The term has no overtones of illegitimacy, as commonly presumed. (shrink)
Glenberg's theory is rich and provocative, in our view, but we find fault with the premise that all memory representations are embodied. We cite instances in which that premise mispredicts empirical results or underestimates human capabilities, and we suggest that the motivation for the embodiment idea – to avoid the symbol-grounding problem – should not, ultimately, constrain psychological theorizing.