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.
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)
Why read Walter Benjamin today? There as many answers to this question as there are "Walter Benjamins"--Benjamin as critic, Benjamin as modernist, Benjamin as marxist, Benjamin as Jew. . . . Yet it is Benjamin as philosopher that in one way or another stands behind all these. This collection explores, in Adorno's description, Benjamin's "philosophy directed against philosophy." The essays cover all aspects of Benjamin's writings, from his early work in the philosophy (...) of art and language, through his cultural criticism, to his final reflections on the concept of history. The experience of time and the destruction of false continuity are identified as the key themes in Benjamin's understanding of history--an understanding that illuminates recent debates about the postmodernist attitude towards modernity. Contributors: Andrew Benjamin, Rebecca Comay, Howard Caygill, Alexander Garcia Duttman, Rodolphe Gasche, Werner Hamacher, Gertrud Koch, John Kraniauskas, Peter Osborne, Irving Wohlfarth. (shrink)
Benjamin Franklin's social and political thought was shaped by contacts with and knowledge of ancient aboriginal traditions. Indeed, a strong case can be made that key features of the social structure eventually outlined in the United States Constitution arose not from European sources, and not full-grown from the foreheads of European-American "founding fathers", but from aboriginal sources, communicated to the authors of the Constitution to a significant extent through Franklin. A brief sketch of the main argument to this effect (...) is offered in this essay. (shrink)
Presents an analysis of Jonathan Edwards' theological position. This book includes a study of his life and the intellectual issues in the America of his time, and examines the problem of free will in connection with Leibniz, Locke, and Hume.
Prepared by editors of the distinguished series The Works of Jonathan Edwards, this authoritative anthology includes selected treatises, sermons, and autobiographical material by early America’s greatest theologian and philosopher.
In the early twentieth century Walter Benjamin introduced the idea of epochal and ongoing progression in interaction between mind and the built environment. Since early antiquity, the present study suggests, Benjamin’s notion has been manifest in metaphors of gender in city-form, whereby edifices and urban voids have represented masculinity and femininity, respectively. At the onset of interaction between mind and the built environment are prehistoric myths related to the human body and to the sky. During antiquity gender projection (...) can be detected in western perceptions linking natural and built environments, commencing with Plato’s Atlantis and his Myth of Er, and later as a likely import of the Chinese yin-yang mythology. Culminating with the Age of Discovery, alongside advances in experiential awareness of the Earth’s sphericity, respective feminine and masculine earmarks can be detected in early modern perspicacity of the Earth’s southern and northern hemispheres. Our conceptions of natural and built environments inherently continue to contain gender traits. Yet urban voids, as the feminine face of city-form, have been severely understated in the built environment. Through design and configuration of urban voids, allegories of femininity in city-form ought to be celebrated, not discarded. (shrink)
Although philosophical theologians have sometimes claimed that human beings are necessarily dependent on God, few have developed the idea with any precision. Jonathan Edwards is a notable exception, providing a detailed and often novel account of humanity’s essential ontological, moral, and soteriological dependence on God.
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian. His work as a whole is an expression of two themes — the absolute sovereignty of God and the beauty of God's holiness. The first is articulated in Edwards' defense of theological determinism, in a doctrine of occasionalism, and in his insistence that physical objects are only collections of sensible “ideas” while finite minds are mere assemblages of “thoughts” or “perceptions.” As the only real (...) cause or substance underlying physical and mental phenomena, God is “being in general,” the “sum of all being.” -/- Edwards' second theme is articulated in accounts of God's end in creation, and of the nature of true virtue and true beauty. God creates in order to manifest a holiness which consists in a benevolence which alone is truly beautiful. Genuine human virtue is an imitation of divine benevolence and all finite beauty is an image of divine loveliness. True virtue is needed to discern this beauty, however, and to reason rightly about “divine things.”. (shrink)
In this response to the papers on Jonathan Edwards's ethical thought by Stephen A. Wilson, Gerald R. McDermott, William C. Spohn, and Roland A. Delattre, I comment on their efforts to show that ideas drawn from Edwards can be successfully appropriated for use in contemporary ethics. I conclude that the four authors build a strong cumulative case for the view that some elements of Edwards's thought can serve as resources for our ethical reflections. But I also argue for a (...) deflationary view of how much of Edwards we will find it feasible to take on board when we engage in the task of working out a religious ethics we might accept. (shrink)
The contemporary revival of virtue ethics has focused primarily on retrieving central moral commitments of Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and the Neoplatonist traditions. Christian virtue ethicists would do well to expand this retrieval further to include the writings of the Roman Stoics. This essay argues that the ethics of Jonathan Edwards exemplifies major Stoic themes and explores three noteworthy points of intersection between Stoic ethics and Edwards's thought: a conception of virtue as consent to a benevolent providence, the identification of (...) virtue as a singular and transformative good, and an account of moral formation as simultaneously self-directed and received. Common ground between Edwards and the Stoics illustrates the value of recognizing Stoic moral thought as a philosophical framework that can enhance and undergird Christian ethicists' understandings of moral development and the nature of virtue. (shrink)
The article analyses relationships between profane and religious illumination, materialism and theology, politics and religion, Marxism and Messianism. For Walter Benjamin, every second is “the small gateway in time through which the Messiah might enter”. This is the starting point in the reading of Benjamin’s works, where we confront various liaisons and couplings of radical politics and messianic events. Through the reading of Benjamin and through the analysis of his conceptions of history and time, the article addresses (...) the question what is possible in the world. (shrink)
Focusing on Walter Benjamin's earliest pieces dedicated to school reform and the student movement, this article traces the basic critical approaches informing his mature thought back to his struggle to critically implement and transform the theory of concept formation and value presentation developed by his Freiburg teacher, Heinrich Rickert. It begins with an account of Rickert's work, specifically of the concept of Darstellung (presentation) and its central role in Rickert's postmetaphysical theory of historical research (which he characterizes as exclusively (...) concerned with the Kantian quid juris). It shows that Rickert develops a speculative but practical theory of value recognition, which nevertheless leaves the status of value itself undetermined. Contra Rickert, Benjamin returns to the ignored quid facti, or origin of value, and shows that a metacritical, postmetaphysical approach such as Rickert's ultimately limits possible experience rather than grounding it. This basic insight, it is argued, is the cornerstone of Benjamin's concept of critique. (shrink)
The incompleteness of the task of integrating the influences made upon Jonathan Edwards by Calvinism and the moral sense leaves open a great many questions central to identifying his ethical position with any detail. This should worry ethicists, theologians, and church historians alike. For the puzzle of what Edwards meant by virtue is at the heart not only of his ethics but of a great many strands of his thought. It must be pieced together from diverse sources; and there (...) are multiple meanings to be sifted through. But it is nevertheless possible to bring the concepts made available by the diverse moral traditions upon which Edwards drew into a generally coherent counterpoise. Such a counterpoise is not merely of antiquarian interest. Lacking a precise account of Edwards's ethical position, it is awkward to talk about applying it to the problems of the twenty-first, or any, century. (shrink)
The contemporary interest in spiritual experience has some theological and ethical ambiguity. To what extent does it reflect genuine engagement with the sacred, to what extent is it dabbling in experience without adequate interpretation or moral commitment? Jonathan Edwards faced similar challenges in his sermons on 1 Cor 13, "Charity and Its Fruits". Alasdair Maclntyre and Pierre Hadot have explored the constitutive role of practices in forming of virtues and transmitting a way of life. Their writings help show the (...) continuing relevance of the spiritual practices that Edwards advocated, particularly self-examination, healing by contraries, and solidarity. (shrink)
Reasoning es una obra monumental de más de mil páginas editada en estrecha colaboración por el filósofo Jonathan E. Adler y el psicólogo Lance J. Rips para esclarecer el intrincado campo de investigación relacionado con los fundamentos de la inferencia y, en general, del razonamiento humano. En la actualidad, en pocos casos va unido el trabajo de compilar y editar textos científicos con el afán enciclopédico: un proyecto editorial que sobrepasa con razón los objetivos de la mayor parte de (...) los libros editados para la recopilación de artículos en torno a un mismo tema de investigación. Reasoning supone un empeño de características enciclopédicas: ha conseguido convertirse en una referencia obligada desde que saliera a la luz en 2008 para ofrecer al lector especialista artículos científicos de las más reputadas y consolidadas voces en aquellos campos de conocimiento presentes ya en los proyectos enciclopédicos europeos del siglo de las luces, a saber: el significado del racionalismo, los límites imputables a la naturaleza del conocimiento humano, las paradojas presentes en la inducción, etc. (shrink)
Walter Benjamin tried to get in touch with Panofsky and the Warburg’s circle, but the attempt failed. This article examines the chapter on melancholy of Benjamin’s The Origin of the German Tragic Drama (1928) and his main sources, i. e. Warburg’s essay Pagan-Antique Prophecy in Words and Images in the Age of Luther (1920) and Panofsky-Saxl’s work Dürers Melencolia I (1923). Benjamin interpreted the melancholy of the German Tragic Drama as a jump back to the deadly sin (...) of sloth: he saw the saturnine melancholy under the sign of the medieval acedia. (shrink)
Many words extracted from the electric-electronic dictionary could be useful to understand a nexus between Warburg and Benjamin. Memory as accumulator is the link that connects these two collectors –and coordinators- of impressions. Science of Art, Mythology of Life, allegorical distance and mimetical proximity, traces of memory and power of interpretation: hence overflow Pathosformel and Dialectical Image . Here are the sparks of Polarisation.
In order to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Benjamin's death, the conference "Dialectic images and sudden constellations: Warburg, Benjamin, Adorno" was held in Florence. The idea, common to the three authors, of a truth content that can only be realised in its concrete and istantaneous configuration, was embodied here in the form of a "philosophical concert", where contributions by philosophers, philologists and historians of arts and architecture succeeded each other.
Starting from Warburg, the distinguishing mark of an image, considered as identity-difference of visible and invisible, is its offering itself as an implementation of a temporality, and at the same time of a memory that is immanent in the sensible structure of the image. It’s what we find both in Benjamin and in Adorno: in both cases, it is just because the image is marked by a “internal time” that it is able to have a critical function towards reality, (...) and at the same time an utopian character that is all the same with its non-renounceable testimonial task. (shrink)
The paper intends to draw some topics about relationship between word and image in works and thinking of Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin. In recent history of ideas, word and image are frequently interpreted as alternative ways to express reality. In both, Warburg and Benjamin, and in spite of their very different methods of approaching history of art and history of culture, we can find a similar idea of the connection between word and image. The two authors deem (...) that this relationship is necessary to understand historical facts and legacy. (shrink)
O artigo examina a interpretação feita por Walter Benjamin dos poemas de Charles Baudelaire marcados pela noção de ideal, a qual se opõe ao spleen. Benjamin encontra aí o esforço de rememoração de uma experiência plena, a qual constituiria, por sua vez, um elemento essencial à compreensão da modernidade como impossibilidade desta forma de experiência. Com as noções de beleza e de aura, o artigo busca ainda salientar a importância da categoria da distância para a configuração desta forma (...) de experiência. (shrink)
This article highlights the dialect of failure and hope you can find in the oppressed, which every utopical thought should take into consideration. To justify it, we start from Walter Benjamin’s ideas on History, and in particular, we consider the perspective of the oppressed in Kafka’s literature, although he considered hope as a weak hint among catastrophe. And finally, we show this dialect as a specific and explicit place of the Liberation Theology.
This study points out the methodological centrality assumed by the notion of “physiognomy”, both in Benjamin and in Adorno, namely the idea that the forms of the works of art, and generally those of the visual phenomena, are direct “expression”, in a micro-monadological way, of an historical-social sense, not otherwise attainable. On the one hand Benjamin’s physiognomy shows a particular interpretative “openness” to its objects, on the other that of Adorno remains subjected to an epistemological model of “totality”, (...) from the Hegelian-Marxian tradition, which risks compromising the hermeneutic efficacy of its own original philosophical approach. (shrink)
In the context of the late modernity, both Warburg and Benjamin put themselves on a borderline position. From that point of view, they show a common methodological and heuristic issue, consisting in creating “spaces for thinking” ( Denkräume ) from where it would be possible to redraw in a newly conceived “topography” the metaphysical maps by means of which we have represented our world. This kind of critical operation requires a different focus on the relathionships between writing and image, (...) space and time, and it cannot be separated from an experience (even in a biographical sense) of “ownness” and “extraneity”. Thanks to this experience, the event of discovery outlines itself as an act of remembrance and, at the same time, as a promise for the future. (shrink)
En estas páginas se trata de explicar, a partir de la reflexión de Walter Benjamin (1892-1940), en qué sentido el espacio mercantil puede comprenderse en términos epistemológicos y ontológicos. Más específicamente, constituye un dominio calculable de los objetos propio de la modernidad capitalista. Se persigue enlazar esa problemática con la cuestión filosófica del tiempo y con la teoría crítica de la industria cultural.
En este trabajo pretendemos abordar la teoría del Intuicionismo social, realizada por el psicólogo Jonathan Haidt en oposición al modelo racionalista de Piaget y Kohlberg. Analizaremos sus elementos principales y especialmente sus implicaciones normativas. En particular nos centraremos en su conocida teoría del «desconcierto moral» con la que pretende mostrar la desconexión existente entre el juicio moral y la reflexión como dos procesos independientes.
Ludwig Wittgenstein y Jonathan Swift. El primero desde la filosofía y el segundo desde la literatura. Por una parte, están las anotaciones de Wittgenstein en sus Investigaciones Filosóficas y en el libro Sobre la certeza . Por otra parte, está la novela de Swift titulada Los Viajes de Gulliver . Ambos autores, a pesar de sus diferencias discursivas, plantean un asunto problemático respecto al quehacer filosófico: los giros y malabarismos lingüísticos en los que suele caer la filosofía por su (...) afán de certezas y de establecer principios universales. A partir de las inquietudes de Wittgenstein y las parodias de Jonathan Swift, se realiza un diagnóstico del quehacer filosófico desde sus manías y sus hábitos discursivos. Wittgenstein nos deja las preguntas abiertas. Swift nos deja la posibilidad de responder desde el ámbito de la risa. Y en el presente ensayo se pretende partir de ambos autores para hablar de la filosofía desde el lugar de la comedia. (shrink)
Both Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno consider ‘aesthetical experience’ as an “image experience” assuming a power of images “to set free forces” directed to produce or support aesthetical-political (Benjamin) or aesthetical-critical (Adorno) requirements. Profane illumination, ‘thinkimages’, phantasmagory, dialectical images, decayed ‘aura’ and technicalized images in Benjamin’s theory of aesthetical modernity. Expressive feature or “mimetic” eloquence in nature and art countering reality, dismantled ‘aura’ in contemporary desacralized work of art, but also persisting ‘aura’ in its meaningful dimension (...) in Adorno’s aesthetical theory. (shrink)
As an exemplum of that kind of “modern” art, in terms of Adorno, Kafka’s work is marked not only by its strictly “realistic” character, but also by the unavoidable critical and testimonial value of that realism. According to this perspective, both in Adorno and in Benjamin the testimonial aspect of Kafkian writing – that is of a writing as “dialectical image”, as memory of the unfullfilled possibility – it’s all the same not with its symbolical or “epiphanical” aspect but (...) instead with its “allegorical” one. (shrink)
Benjamin Libet, Do we have free will? -- Adina L. Roskies, Why Libet's studies don't pose a threat to free will? -- Alfred r. mele, libet on free will : readiness potentials, decisions, and awareness? -- Susan Pockett and Suzanne Purdy, Are voluntary movements initiated preconsciously? : the relationships between readiness potentials, urges, and decisions? -- William P. Banks and Eve A. Isham, Do we really know what we are doing? : implications of reported time of decision for theories (...) of volition? -- Elisabeth Pacherie and Patrick Haggard, What are intentions? -- Mark Hallett, Volition : how physiology speaks to the issue of responsibility? -- John-Dylan Haynes, Beyond Libet : long-term prediction of free choices from neuroimaging signals? -- F. Carota, M. Desmurget, and A. Sirigu, Forward modeling mediates motor awareness? -- Tashina Graves, Brian Maniscalco, and Hakwan Lau, Volition and the function of consciousness? -- Deborah Talmi and Chris D. Frith, Neuroscience, free will, and responsibility? -- Jeffrey P. Ebert and Daniel M. Wegner, Bending time to one's will? -- Thalia Wheatley and Christine Looser, Prospective codes fulfilled : a potential neural mechanism of the will? -- Terry Horgan, The phenomenology of agency and the libet results? -- Thomas Nadelhoffer, The threat of shrinking agency and free will disillusionism? -- Gideon Yaffe, Libet and the criminal law's voluntary act requirement? -- Larry Alexander, Criminal and moral responsibility and the libet experiments? -- Michael S. Moore, Libet's challenge(s) to responsible agency? -- Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Lessons from Libet?. (shrink)
In this essay I address three ways in which Edwards can inform Christian understanding of public life. First I show how Edwards provides both philosophical and theological rationales for social engagement and thereby resists the separation of religion from public life, and use his consideration of poverty as an illustration. Part II examines Edwards's dialectical treatment of patriotism, demonstrating both its importance to the Christian life and its susceptibility to deceptive accommodation to culture. Finally, in Part III I discuss Edwards's (...) use of "national covenant," which despite its temptation to chauvinism Edwards used to undermine national pride. In the conclusion I assess what we can use from Edwards for contemporary Christian understandings of public life. (shrink)
This is a tricentennial riff on the Edwardsean idea that beauty is both the first principle of being and the distinguishing perfection of God. What is really distinctive about Edwards's view of beauty is that it is an ontological reality and consists in joyfully bestowing being and beauty more than in being beautiful, in creative and beautifying activity more than in being beautiful. Edwards was also a pioneer in the way he envisaged a lively universe created by God, not out (...) of nothing or out of something, but out of the very fullness of God's own life overflowing into a world as a self-enlargement of the divine life. Edwards dares to offer a vision of God as the animating soul of the universe who governs the universe by the attractive and creative power of God's own beautifying life. What might it mean for religious ethics to take this as a description of the context for its work? The answer, in part and in brief, is that a life of true virtue, grounded in the heartfelt piety of holy affections, is a beautifying life. My aim in spinning out some Edwardsean themes is to encourage the reader to think about religious ethics outside the box within which beauty and beautifying activity play no part in defining the agenda of religious ethics. Inspired by themes unique and central to Edwards in his time, we may learn things of importance to religious ethics in our time that Edwards neither knew nor believed. (shrink)
Pretende-se explorar alguns aspectos da obra de Franz Kafka que vinculam as experiências do escritor às experiências do homem das grandes cidades modernas, e, por outro lado, colocam essas mesmas experiências “sob violenta tensão em relação às místicas”. Alguns elementos da obra de Kafka, como a impessoalidade, o anonimato, os inúmeros corredores ou repartições sufocantes, representam um diagnóstico, tido muitas vezes como sombrio, mas essencialmente crítico da modernidade. A partir da parábola Diante da Lei, inserida no romance O Processo e (...) contada ao protagonista como uma forma de ligar sua experiência à tradição, procurar-se-á discutir tanto o papel da crítica à modernidade como o papel desempenhado pela tradição (a teologia judaica), além das noções de culpa e lei, natural e sobrenatural. (shrink)