A Brazilian perspective on philosophy and history of science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9635-0 Authors Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
In this opinion piece, the authors offer their personal and idiosyncratic views of the future of the philosophy of science, focusing on its relationship with the history of science and metaphysics, respectively. With regard to the former, they suggest that the Kantian tradition might be drawn upon both to render the history and philosophy of science more relevant to philosophy as a whole and to overcome the challenges posed by naturalism. When it comes to the latter, they (...) suggest both that metaphysics has much to learn from the philosophy of science and that it offers an array of tools that philosophers of science can themselves appropriate. (shrink)
Philosophy and Poetry is the 33rd volume in the Midwest Studies in Philosophy series. It begins with contributions in verse from two world class poets, JohnAshbery and Stephen Dunn, and an article by Dunn on the creative processthat issued in his poem. The volume features new work from an internationalcollection of philosophers exploring central philosophical issues pertinent topoetry as well as the connections between the two domains.
This collection of essays focuses on a current issue of central important in contemporary philosophy, the relationship between philosophy and empirical studies. Explores in detail a range of examples which demonstrate how the older paradigm – philosophy as conceptual analysis – is giving way to a more varied set of models of philosophical work Each of the featured papers is a previously unpublished contribution by a major scholar.
This book gives a critical assessment of key developments in contemporary Frenchphilosophy, highlighting the diverse ways in which recent French thought has moved beyond the philosophical positions and arguments which have been widely ...
In this book Gary Gutting tells, clearly and comprehensively, the story of Frenchphilosophy from 1890 to 1990. He examines the often neglected background of spiritualism, university idealism, and early philosophy of science, and also discusses the privileged role of philosophy in the French education system. Taking account of this background, together with the influences of avant-garde literature and German philosophy, he develops a rich account of existential phenomenology, which he argues is the central (...) achievement of French thought during the century, and of subsequent structuralist and poststructuralist developments. His discussion includes chapters on Bergson, Sartre, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, and Derrida, with sections on other major thinkers including Lyotard, Deleuze, Irigaray, Levinas, and Ricoeur. He offers challenging analyses of the often misunderstood relationship between existential phenomenology and structuralism and of the emergence of poststructuralism. Finally, he sketches the major current trends of Frenchphilosophy. (shrink)
This is a critical introduction to modern Frenchphilosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a (...) very different idiom and intellectual context. Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the 'three H's' - Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the 'three masters of suspicion' - Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The 'internal' intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given Frenchphilosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
Philosophy plays an integral role in French society, affecting its art, drama, politics, and culture. In this accessible, chronological survey, Matthews offers some explanations for the enduring popularity of the subject and traces the developments that Frenchphilosophy has taken in the twentieth century, from its roots in the thought of Descartes to key figures such as Bergson, Sartre, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, and the recent French Feminists.
Martin Heidegger's impact on contemporary thought is massive and controversial. In France, the prestige of this German philosopher is such that contemporary French thought cannot be properly understood without reference to him. Heidegger and FrenchPhilosophy examines the reception of Heidegger's thought in France. Tom Rockmore argues that in the period after World War II, due to the peculiar nature of the humanist French philosophical tradition, Heidegger became the master thinker of Frenchphilosophy. Rockmore (...) engages with the controversy over Heidegger's political affiliation with Nazism and the debate on how this commitment can be reconciled with his theory. Examining the relation between Heidegger's philosophy and his politics, the book contends that the French reception of Heidegger's thought--first as philosophical anthropology and later as postmetaphysical humanism--has been systematically mistaken. (shrink)
The late 20th century saw a remarkable flourishing of philosophy in France. The work of French philosophers is wide ranging, historically informed, often reaching out beyond the boundaries of philosophy; they are public intellectuals, taken seriously as contributors to debates outside the academy. Gary Gutting tells the story of the development of a distinctively Frenchphilosophy in the last four decades of the 20th century. His aim is to arrive at an account of what it (...) was to 'do philosophy' in France, what this sort of philosophizing was able to achieve, and how it differs from the analytic philosophy dominant in Anglophone countries. -/- His initial focus is on the three most important philosophers who came to prominence in the 1960s: Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. He sets out the educational and cultural context of their work, as a basis for a detailed treatment of how they formulated and began to carry out their philosophical projects in the 1960s and 1970s. He gives a fresh assessment of their responses to the key influences of Hegel and Heidegger, and the fraught relationship of the new generation to their father-figure Sartre. He concludes that Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze can all be seen as developing their fundamental philosophical stances out of distinctive readings of Nietzsche. The second part of the book considers topics and philosophers that became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the revival of ethics in Levinas, Derrida, and Foucault, the return to phenomenology and its use to revive religious experience as a philosophical topic, and Alain Badiou's new ontology of the event. Finally Gutting brings to the fore the meta-philosophical theme of the book, that Frenchphilosophy since the 1960s has been primarily concerned with thinking the impossible. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Derrida Post-Existentialist: 1. Humanist pretensions: Catholics, Communists and Sartre's struggle for existentialism in post-war France; 2. Derrida's 'Christian' existentialism; 3. Normalization: the École Normale Supe;rieure and Derrida's turn to Husserl; 4. Genesis as a problem: Derrida reading Husserl; 5. The God of mathematics: Derrida and the origin of geometry; Part II. Between Phenomenology and Structuralism: 6. A history of diffe;rance; 7. L'ambiguite; du concours: the deconstruction of commentary and interpretation in Speech and Phenomena; (...) 8. The ends of man: reading and writing at the ENS; Epilogue. (shrink)
This unique book addresses trends such as vitalism, neo-Kantianism, existentialism, Marxism and feminism, and provides concise biographies of the influential philosophers who shaped these movements, including entries on over ninety thinkers. Offers discussion and cross-referencing of ideas and figures Provides Appendix on the distinctive nature of French academic culture.
Linguistics, Anthropology and Philosophy in the French Enlightenment treats the development of linguistic thought from Descartes to Degerando as both a part of and a determining factor in the emergence of modern consciousness. Through his careful analyses of works by the most influential thinkers of the time, author Ulrich Ricken demonstrates that the central significance of language in the philosophy of the enlightenment is how it reflected and acted upon contemporary understanding of humanity as a whole. Although (...) primarily focused on French thought between 1650 and 1800, the author discusses contemporary developments in England, Germany and Italy and covers an unusually broad range of writers and ideas, including Leibniz, Wolff, Herder and Humboldt. This study places the history of language philosophy within the broader context of the history of ideas, aesthetics and historical anthropology and will be of interest to scholars working in these disciplines. (shrink)
Philosophy and history (with Jean Hyppolite) -- Philosophy and science (with Georges Canguilhem) -- Philosophy and sociology (with Raymond Aron) -- Philosophy and psychology (with Michel Foucault) -- Philosophy and language (with Paul Ricœur) -- Philosophy and truth (with Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Aron, Michel Foucault, Paul Ricœur, Alain Badiou and Dina Dreyfus) -- Philosophy and ethics (with Michel Henry) -- Model and structure (with Michel Serres) -- Teaching philosophy through television (...) (with excerpts from Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Aron, Michel Foucault and Paul Ricœur. Alain Badiou by telephone and Dina Dreyfus in the studio). (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the Agrégation de Philosophie—the French national examination that certifies philosophy teachers for both lycée and university instruction—in terms of the role it has played in the intellectual formation of all French philosophers and, as a corollary, its impact on developments in 20th-century Frenchphilosophy. Following a recounting of the history and structure of the examination, I discuss how the examination reveals that a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, (...) especially pre-1800 philosophy, is a necessary condition for employment as an instructor of philosophy. After discussing the connections between the examination and the teaching activities of the Sorbonne’s Department of Philosophy, I analyze the content of the exam, showing how it offers important insights into the French philosophical tradition and how it differs from the English language and German philosophical traditions. I conclude by examining in detail the appearances of Comte, Plotinus, and Nietzsche on the examination, showing how their appearances correlate with publication trends as well as the careers of influential philosophers. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting (...) was whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre (inherited from Carnap), Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. References H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75):155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, H. B. Acton. Philosophy in France. Philosophy, 22(82):161-166, 1947. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100025365 A. J. Ayer & T. Honderich. An Interview with A. J. Ayer. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 209-226. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. A. J. Ayer. Language, Truth and Logic. London, Gollancz, 1936. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre. Horizon, 12(67):12–26, & 12(68):101-110, 1945. A. J. Ayer. Novelist-Philosopher, Albert Camus. Horizon, 13(75): 155-168, 1946a. A. J. Ayer. Secret Session. Polemic, 2:60-63, 1946b. A. J. Ayer. Some Aspects of Existentialism. In F. Watts, editor, The Rationalist Annual, pages 5-13. London, Watts & Co, 1948. A. J. Ayer. The Definition of Liberty: Jean-Paul Sartre’s Doctrine of Commitment. The Listener, 44(1135):633-634, 1950. A. J. Ayer. Jean-Paul Sartre. Encounter, 15(4):75-77, 1961. A. J. Ayer. On Existentialism. Modern Languages, 48(1):1-12, 1967. A. J. Ayer. Sartre on the Jews. The Spectator, 211(7317):394-395, 1968. A. J. Ayer. Reflections on Existentialism. In Metaphysics and Common Sense, pages 203-218. London, Macmillan,1969. A. J. Ayer. Part of my Life: The Memoirs of a Philosopher. New York, Harcourt Brace Janovich, 1977. A. J. Ayer. Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. London, Unwinn, 1984. A. J. Ayer. A Defence of Empiricism. In A. P. Griffiths, editor, A.J. Ayer Memorial Essays, pages 1-16. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991. G. Bataille. Un-knowing and its Consequences. A. Michelson, translator, October, 36:80-85, 1986. G. Bataille. On Nietzsche. B. Boone, translator. London, Continuum, 2004. G. Bataille, I. Waldberg, & R. Lebel, editors, Encyclopaedia Acephalica. (I. White, D. Faccini, A. Michelson, J. Harman, A. Lykiard, et al., translators.) London, Atlas Press, 1995. I. Berlin. Review of My Philosophy (And other Essays on the Moral and Political Problems of our Time) by Benedetto Croce. Mind, 61(244):574-584, 1952. T. Carman. Continental Themes in Analytic Philosophy. In C. V. Boundas, editor, Columbia Companion to Twentieth-Century Philosophies, pages 351-366. New York, Columbia University Press, 2007. R. Carnap. The Elimination Of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language (A. Pap, translator). In A. J. Ayer, editor, Logical Positivism, pages 60-81. Glencoe, IL, The Free Press, 1959. J. Chase & J. Reynolds. Analytic versus Continental: Arguments on the Methods and Value of Philosophy. Durham, Acumen, 2010. S. Collini. Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. S. Critchley. Very Short Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2001. H. J. Dahms. Neue Sachlichkeit in the Architecture and Philosophy of the 1920s. In S. Awodey & C. Klein, editors, Carnap Brought Home: The View From Jena, pages 357-376. Chicago, Open Court, 2004. P. J. R. Dempsey. The Psychology of Sartre. Cork, Cork University Press,1950. V. Descombes. Modern FrenchPhilosophy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980. B. Flynn. Merleau-Ponty. In E. N. Zalta, editor, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, , 2004. M. Friedman. A Parting of the Ways: Carnap, Cassirer, and Heidegger. Chicago, Open Court, 2000. G. Gabriel. Carnap’s “Elimination of Metaphysics Through the Logical Analysis of Language:” A Retrospective Consideration of the Relationship between Continental and Analytic Philosophy. In P. Parrini, W. C. Salmon, & M. H. Salmon, editors, Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, pages 30-42. Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003. P. Galison. Constructing Modernism: The Cultural Location of Aufbau. In R. N. Giere, A. Richardson, editors, Origins of Logical Empiricism, pages 17-44. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, 1996. S. Glendinning. In the Name of Phenomenology. London, Routledge, 2007. Gary Gutting. Continental Philosophy of Science. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. M. Hammond, J. Howarth, & R. Kent. Understanding Phenomenology. Oxford, Blackwell, 1995. M. Heidegger. Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. R. Taft, translator. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997. M. Heidegger. Pathmarks. W. MacNeil, editor. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. J. M. Heimonet. Bataille and Sartre: The Modernity of Mysticism. Diacritics, 26(2):59-73, 1996. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/dia.1996.0016 J. Himanka. Does the Earth Move?: A Search for a Dialogue Between Two Traditions of Contemporary Philosophy. The Philosophical Forum, 31(1):57-83, 2000. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0031-806X.00028 A. M. Hollywood. The Philosopher – Sartre – and Me. In Sensible Ecstasy: Mysticism, Sexual Difference and the Demands of History, pages 25-36. Chigago, University of Chicago Press, 2002. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(8):186-189, 1915. T. E. Hulme. A Note-Book. The New Age, 18(10):234-236, 1916. S. P. James. Merleau-Ponty, Metaphysical Realism and the Natural World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(4): 501-519, 2007. S. Käufer. Logic. In H. Dreyfus & M. Wrathall, editors, A Companion to Heidegger, pages 141-155. Oxford, Blackwell, 2005. E. W. Knight. Literature Considered as Philosophy: The French Example. New York, Macmillan, 1958. C. A. Mace. Review of The Psychology of Sartre by Peter J. R. Dempsey. Mind, 61(243):425-427, 1952. B. Magee. Men of Ideas: Some Creators of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1982. A. R. Manser. Sartre and "Le Néant." Philosophy, 36(137):177-187, 1961. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0031819100058022 M. Martin. Sensible Appearances. In T. Baldwin, editor, The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1870-1945, pages 521-532. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521591041.044 PMid:14585038 F. Maubert. Francis Bacon, sa dernière interview: “Je poursois le peinture car je sais qu’il n’est pas possible de l’arreter.” Paris-Match, 2242:92-93, 1992. J. M. E. McTaggart. The Unreality of Time. Mind, 17:457-474, 1908. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mind/XVII.4.457 M. Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. C. Smith, translator. London, Routledge, 2002. M. Merleau-Ponty. Texts and Dialogues: On Philosophy, Politics, and Culture. H. J. Silverman, editor (M. B. Smith, et al., translators). New York: Humanity Books, 2005. M. Merleau-Ponty & T. Baldwin. Maurice Merleau-Ponty. London, Routledge, 2004. H. Meyerhoff. Emotive and Existentialist Theories of Ethics. The Journal of Philosophy, 48(25):769-783, 1951. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2021208 I. Murdoch. Sartre, Romantic Rationalist. Cambridge, Bowes and Bowes, 1953. I. Murdoch. The Idea of Perfection. In The Sovereignty of Good, pages 1-44. London, Routledge, 2001. A. Oliver. A Few More Remarks on Logical Form. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 99:247-272, 1999. A. Plantinga. An Existentialist’s Ethics. Review of Metaphysics, 12(2):235-56, 1958. S. Priest. Merleau-Ponty. New York, Routledge, 2003. W. V. Quine. Word and Object. M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA, 1960. A. Quinton. Which Philosophy is Modernistic? In Thoughts and Thinkers, pages 39-51. New York, Holmes and Meier, 1982. J. Rée. English Philosophy in the Fifties. Radical Philosophy, 65:3-21, 1993. S. Richmond. Sartre and Bergson: A Disagreement about Nothingness. International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15(1):77-95, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550601143201 B. Rogers. Ayer: A Life. New York, Grove Press, 2002. K. Romdenh-Romluc. Merleau-Ponty and Phenomenology of Perception. London, Routledge, 2009. G. E. Rosado Haddock. The Young Carnap’s Unknown Master: Husserl's Influence on Der Raum and Der logische Aufbau der Welt. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2008. B. Russell. Nightmares of Eminent Persons And Other Stories. London, The Bodley Head, 1954. G. Ryle, H. A. Hodges, & H. B. Acton. Symposium: Phenomenology. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 11:68-115, 1932. G. Ryle. Phenomenology vs. The Concept of Mind. In Collected Papers: Critical Essays, Vol. 1, pages 179-196. London, Hutchinson, 1971. J. P. Sartre. Un nouveau mystique. In Critiques littéraires (Situations I), pages 174-229. Paris, Gallimard, 1975. J. Skorupski. The Presidential Address: The Legacy of Modernism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 91:1-19, 1990. A. Stone. Heidegger and Carnap on the Overcoming of Metaphysics. In S. Mulhall editor, Martin Heidegger, pages 217-244. Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006. M. Surya, K.Fijalkowski, & M. Richardson. Georges Bataille: An Intellectual Biography. K. Fijalkowski & M. Richardson, translators. London, Verso, 2002. C. Taylor, & Alfred J. Ayer. Symposium: Phenomenology and Linguistic Analysis. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes, 33:93-124, 1959. N. Trakakis. Meta-philosophy of Religion: The Analytic-Continental Divide in Philosophy of Religion. Ars Disputandi, 7, 2007. J. Wahl. The Pluralist Philosophies of England and America. F. Rothwell, translator. London, The Open Court Company, 1925. J. Wahl. Vers le Concret. Paris, Vrin, 1932. J. Wahl. Nietzsche et la mort de dieu: note a propos du “Nietzsche” de Jaspers. Acéphale, 2:22-24, 1937. I. Waldberg & Patrick Waldberg. Un Amour Acéphale, Correspondence 1940-49. Paris, Editions de la Différence, 1992. M. Warnock. The Philosophy of Sartre. London, Hutchinson, 1965. D. Wiggins. Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life. In G. Sayre-McCord, editor, Essays on Moral Realism, pages 127-65. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1988. C. Wilson. The Outsider. London, Gollancz, 1956. D. Zahavi. Phenomenology and Metaphysics. In D. Zahavi, S. Heinämaa, & H. Ruin, editors, Metaphysics, Facticity, Interpretation: Phenomenology in the Nordic Countries, pages 3-22. Dordrecht, Kluwer, 2003. (shrink)
In one of his last writings, Life: Experience and Science, Michel Foucault argued that twentieth-century Frenchphilosophy could be read as dividing itself into two divergent lines: on the one hand, we have a philosophical stream which takes individual experience as its point of departure, conceiving it as irreducible to science. On the other hand, we have an analysis of knowledge which takes into account the concrete productions of the mind, as are found in science and human practices. (...) In order to account for this division, Foucault opposed epistemologists such as Cavaillès and Canguilhem to phenomenologists such as Merleau-Ponty and Sartre but, also, and more particularly, he opposed Poincaré to Bergson. The latter was presented by Foucault as being the key-figure of the ?philosophy of experience? at the beginning of the twentieth century. Fifteen years later, in his Deleuze and in the Logics of Worlds, Alain Badiou again uses this dual structure in his interpretation of the past hundred years of French thought. He employs a series of oppositional couples: himself and Deleuze, Lautmann and Sartre, and, finally, Brunschvicg and Bergson. On the one hand a ?mathematical Platonism? and on the other a ?philosophy of vital interiority.? This Manichean reading of philosophy, and the strategic use of the figure of Bergson has, itself, a long tradition. It was also proposed by Althusser who, following Bachelard, opposed his standpoint to any form of ?empiricism.? Althusser developed his thought from a tradition of Marxist thinkers and ideologists, which included Politzer's and Nizan's critique of bourgeois philosophy and, even before that, neo-Kantians such as the philosophers of the Revue de métaphysique et de morale. The aim of this essay is to deconstruct and to put into its precise context of production this series of genealogies which entails the mobilization of Bergsonism and of the name ?Bergson.? By doing so, I hope to weight the importance of Bergsonism in twentieth-century Frenchphilosophy, in both its ?positive? and its ?negative? aspect. The essay will proceed regressively, taking into account figures such as Althusser, Badiou, Deleuze, Foucault, Canguilhem, Cavaillès, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, but also Polizer, Brunschvicg and Alain. The conclusion of the essay is an attempt at reading the ?Bergson renaissance? in the light of new discoveries in genetics and the cognitive sciences and to tie it to the renewal of studies in the history of Frenchphilosophy. (shrink)
Eighteenth-century France witnessed the rise of matter itself—in forms ranging from atoms to anatomies—as a privileged object of study. Voluptuous Philosophy redefines what is at stake in the emergence of an enlightened secular materialism by showing how questions of figure—how should a body be represented? What should the effects of this representation be on readers?—are tellingly and consistently located at the very heart of 18th-century debates about the nature of material substance. French materialisms of the Enlightenment are crucially (...) invested not only in the development of a sophisticated theoretical apparatus around the notion of matter but in the production of specific relationships between readers and the "matter" of the texts that they consume. How, the book asks, did the period's fascination with a markedly immaterial and ephemeral event—the reading of works of fiction—come to coincide with what appears to be a gradual materialization of human subjects: men and women who increasingly manage to envision themselves transfigured, as the century wears on, into machines, animals, and even, in the work of the Marquis de Sade, tables and chairs? In what way did the spread of new philosophies of matter depend upon the ability of readers to perceive certain figures of speech as literally and immediately true—to imagine themselves as fully material bodies even as they found themselves most deeply compelled by disembodied literary forms? More broadly, in what sense does the act of reading literature alter and transfigure our perceptions of what is, and can be, real? Voluptuous Philosophy articulates the gradual coming into being of literature as a distinct arena of textual production with the rise of an enlightened reader who remains abstracted from the bodily symptoms that any given piece of writing may induce in him. The very definition of "the literary" as an autonomous field, this book suggests, may, ironically, be dependent upon the simultaneous construction of a material world that remains fully immune to its effects. (shrink)
There are many links between Kuki Shūzō and the Frenchphilosophy of the 1920s that treated the phenomenon of contingency. Examined are (1) the problem of time as it presented itself to French philosophers at the beginning of the twentieth century and its reception by Kuki as an Oriental philosopher and a Buddhist; (2) the problem of liberty and of existence in these French philosophers and in Buddhism; and (3) the phenomenon of the dream as a (...) psychic and aesthetic phenomenon for Kuki and for the French philosophers in question. (shrink)
The posthumous Pourquoi Philosopher? collects Jean-Fran ç ois Lyotard’s previously unpublished four-part introductory course in philosophy, delivered to students of the Sorbonne in 1964. The interest of this text is both historical (appearing at an important juncture in French thought) and meta-philosophical (answering the question "why philosophize?" in such a way that a philosophy of philosophy - or rather several - is offered for consideration). The text will be of interest to readers of various levels of (...) philosophical sophistication. (shrink)
This book is a critical appraisal of the distinctive modern school of thought known as French existentialism. It philosophically engages the ideas of the major French existentialists, namely, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Marcel, Camus, and, because of his central role in the movement, especially Sartre, in a fresh attempt to elucidate their contributions to contemporary philosophy.
In this paper I consider Ricœur’s negotiation of the boundary or relationship between philosophy and religion in light of the larger debate in contemporary Frenchphilosophy. I suggest that contrasting his way of dealing with the intersection of the two discourses to that of two other French thinkers (Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry) illuminates his stance more fully. I begin with a brief outline of Ricœur’s claims about the distinction or relation between the discourses, then reflect (...) on those of Marion and Henry, who although they do not relate them in the same way still together form a significant contrast to Ricœur’s perspective, and conclude with a fuller consideration of Ricœur’s methodology in light of this comparison. I suggest that it is in particular his hermeneutic commitments that lead him both to more rigorous distinctions between discourses and ironically to greater mediation. (shrink)
This highly original history of ideas considers the impact of Hegel on Frenchphilosophy from the 1920s to the present. As Baugh's lucid narrative makes clear, Hegel's influence on Frenchphilosophy has been profound, and can be traced through all the major intellectual movements and thinkers in France throughout the 20th Century from Jean Wahl, Sartre, and Bataille to Foucault, Deleuze, and Derrida. Baugh focuses on Hegel's idea of the "unhappy consciousness," and provides a bold new (...) account of Hegel's early reception in French intellectual history. (shrink)
During the seventeenth century there were different ways of opposing the new mechanical philosophy and the old Aristotelian philosophy. Remarkably enough, one of this way succeeded in becoming stable beyond the moment of its formulation, one according to which Descartes would be the benchmark by which the works of other natural philosophers of the seventeenth century fall either on the side of the old or the new. I consequently examine the French debate where this representation emerges, a (...) debate that took place along with the development of a Cartesian propaganda in the 1660s and the ensuing official condemnations of the philosophy of Descartes, which was said to constitute a danger for the mystery of Eucharist. But these condemnations pronounced in the name of theology, as numerous and radical as they were, were not considered to be sufficient. They were assisted by numerous polemical works, the audience of which were learned companies of courteous honnêtes gens, and the object of which was to defend a certain way of proceeding in natural philosophy. I consequently concentrate on two correlated questions, the question of what kind of ontological entities are necessary for the establishment of a good physics, and the correlated question of what norms should be adopted in natural philosophy. I show quite systematically that the criticisms of Cartesian philosophers by the Oratorian Jean-Baptiste de La Grange, the bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet, and various Jesuits, Ignace Pardies, Antoine Rochon, Louis Le Valois, Gabriel Daniel, René Rapin, and Honoré Fabri respond to the mockeries of Gérauld de Cordemoy, Jacques Rohault, Louis de La Forge, Bernard Lamy, Nicolas Malebranche or Antoine Arnauld concerning the scholastic entities. Not only do I contrast their philosophical arguments concerning ontological entities and the norms to be respected in physics, but also their ways of defining the philosophical enterprise and its public. (shrink)
: How might we locate originality as emerging from within the "discrete" work of commentary? Because many women have engaged with philosophy in forms (including commentary) that preclude their work from being seen as properly "original," this question is a feminist issue. Via the work of selected contemporary French women philosophers, the author shows how commentary can reconfigure the philosophical tradition in innovative ways, as well as in ways that change what counts as philosophical innovation.
More than any other figure, Friedrich Nietzsche is cited as the philosopher who anticipates and previews the philosophical themes that have dominated French theory since structuralism. Informed by the latest developments in both contemporary Frenchphilosophy and Nietzsche scholarship, Alan Schrift's Nietzsche's French Legacy provides a detailed examination and analysis of the way the French have appropriated Nietzsche in developing their own critical projects. Using Nietzsche's thought as a springboard, this study makes accessible the ideas (...) of some of the most important and difficult of contemporary French poststructuralist theorists including Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault and Helene Cixous. Through a careful analysis and close reading of the texts of Nietzsche and French poststructuralism, Schrift illuminates the ways in which Nietzsche's thought prefigures certain poststructuralist motifs. He demonstrates how several dominant themes in contemporary Frenchphilosophy emerge out of Nietzsche's own thinking. As one of the first books to critically examine the work of the new French anti-Nietzschean's, Schrift defends the value of poststructuralism and Nietzsche as critical resources for confronting the present. (shrink)
Sartre's French Contemporaries and Enduring Influences This final volume examines Sartre's best-known philosophical contemporaries in France-Albert Camus, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Simone de Beauvoir-in terms of both their own philosophical insights and their relationship to Sartre's thought. The articles also offer some suggestive connections between Sartre's thought and subsequent developments in European philosophy, notably structuralism, poststructuralism, and postmodernism. The comparatively recent nature of much of this scholarship is solid testimony to the enduring influence of Sartrean existentialism.
Speaking of Freedom analyzes the development of ideas about freedom and politics in contemporary French thought from existentialism to deconstruction, in relation to several of the most prominent twentieth century liberation struggles. It describes the paradox of freedom—that freedom "kills itself" in both thought and practice: in the attempt to theorize the indeterminate, and in the revolution or emancipatory discourse that dies as it hurries towards its utopian conclusion, rejecting one system only to be enslaved by another. Both the (...) philosophical wariness of the concept of liberation that one finds in Foucault and Derrida, and the desire for freedom from oppression expressed by anti-colonialists and feminists, are shown to be necessary for political practice. The book thus provides a cogent analysis of some of the most difficult concepts of contemporary continental philosophy, along with a profound sense of engagement with liberation struggles. (shrink)
Furthermore, it is not easy for most of us to accept a philosophy however well reasoned which refuses exterior reality to all we see, hear and touch about us. It is such philosophy that gives point to Valery's boutade: 'Philosophy pretends not to ...
The eminent French biologist and historian of biology, François Jacob, once notoriously declared “On n’interroge plus la vie dans les laboratoires”: laboratory research no longer inquires into the notion of ‘Life’. Nowadays, as David Hull puts it, “both scientists and philosophers take ontological reduction for granted… Organisms are ‘nothing but’ atoms, and that is that.” In the mid-twentieth century, from the immediate post-war period to the late 1960s, French philosophers of science such as Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Ruyer and (...) Gilbert Simondon returned to Jacob’s statement with an odd kind of pathos: they were determined to reverse course. Not by imposing a different kind of research program in laboratories, but by an unusual combination of historical and philosophical inquiry into the foundations of the life sciences (particularly medicine, physiology and the cluster of activities that were termed ‘biology’ in the early 1800s). Even in as straightforwardly scholarly a work as La formation du concept de réflexe aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (1955), Canguilhem speaks oddly of “defending vitalist biology,” and declares that Life cannot be grasped by logic (or at least, “la vie déconcerte la logique”). Was all this historical and philosophical work merely a reassertion of ‘mysterian’, magical vitalism? In order to answer this question we need to achieve some perspective on Canguilhem’s ‘vitalism’, notably with respect to its philosophical influences such as Kurt Goldstein. (shrink)
In this study of space and power and knowledge in France from the 1830s through the 1930s, Rabinow uses the tools of anthropology, philosophy, and cultural criticism to examine how social environment was perceived and described. Ranging from epidemiology to the layout of colonial cities, he shows how modernity was revealed in urban planning, architecture, health and welfare administration, and social legislation.
This book tells for the first time the long and complex story of the involvement of Locke's suggestion that God could add to matter the power of thought in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding in the growth of French materialism. There is a discussion of the 'affaire de Prades', in which Locke's name was linked with a censored thesis at the Faculty of Theology in Paris. The similarities and differences between English "thinking matter" and the French "matiere pensante" (...) of the philosophes are also discussed. (shrink)