Motion pictures of actors representing ﬁctional characters doing things engage our responsiveness in manifold ways. Some responses are distinctly aesthetic (in the original sense of sensual) and have to do with credibility, compellingness, excitement, concern, fear, anxiety, identiﬁcation, and most of all simply with pleasure; perhaps it is a distinctly aesthetic pleasure, perhaps a distinctly cinematic aesthetic pleasure. These are relatively (though not completely) unreﬂective responses, and so some criterion for sensible and affective success must be observed, or the photographed (...) action aesthetically fails, and there is no pleasure or engaged response. We are bored, repelled, confused. Another kind of responsiveness has to do with commercial aspects of the industry and the status of movies as commodities. We see (we pay to see) recognizable movie stars usually repeating speciﬁc character types in genres so established that our expectations and reactions are predictable, and we seem to enjoy such predictability and repetition. Some responses are possible only in the medium of ﬁlm. The speed of the narration and point of view and distance from the actors can be controlled and varied as in no other medium, and audiences originally had to learn—had to be taught—how to follow such narratives and adjust for such points of view. Some responses are more complexly psychological. We seem to take a distinct sort of interest in being invisibly present at ﬁlmed action, especially at ﬁlmed moments of great intimacy or violence or terror. Moreover, as the technical powers of movies grow and we are able to represent compellingly almost any sort of world or event, movies seem more and more connected.. (shrink)
In his inaugural lecture at Cambridge as Regius Professor of Modern History in 1895, Lord Acton urged that the historian deliver moral judgments on the figures of his research. Acton declaimed: I exhort you never to debase the moral currency or to lower the standard of rectitude, but to try others by the final maxim that governs your own lives and to suffer no man and no cause to escape the undying penalty which history has the power to inflict on (...) wrong.1 In 1902, the year after Acton died, the president of the American Historical Association, Henry Lea, in dubious celebration of his British colleague, responded to the exordium with a contrary claim about the historian’s obligation, namely to render the facts of history objectively without subjective moralizing. Referring to Acton’s lecture, Lea declared: I must confess that to me all this seems to be based on false premises and to lead to unfortunate conclusions as to the objects and purposes of history, however much it may serve to give point and piquancy to a narrative, to stimulate the interests of the casual reader by heightening lights and deepening shadows, and to subserve the purpose of propagating the opinions of the writer.2 As our colleague Peter Novick has detailed in his great account of the American historical profession, by the turn of the century historians in the United States had begun their quest for scientific status, which for most seemed to preclude the leakage of moral opinion into the objective recovery of the past—at least in an overt way. Peter also catalogues the stumbling failures of this noble dream, when political partisanship and rampant nationalism sullied the ideal.3 Historians in our own time continue to be wary of rendering explicit moral pronouncements, thinking it a derogation of their obligations. On occasion, some historians have been moved to embrace the opposite attitude, especially when considering the horrendous events of the twentieth century—the Holocaust, for instance.. (shrink)
These two powers or capacities cannot exchange their functions. The un— derstanding can intuit nothing, the senses can think nothing. Only through their union can knowledge arise. But that is no reason for confounding the contribution of either with that of the other; rather is it a strong reason for carefully separating and distinguishing the one from the other.
It is generally agreed that while, from the silent film The Great Train Rob- bery (1903) until the present, well over seven thousand Westerns have been made it was not until three seminal articles in the nineteen fifties by Andre´ Bazin and Robert Warshow that the genre began to be taken seriously. Indeed Bazin argued that the “secret” of the extraordinary persistence of the Western must be due to the fact that the Western embodies “the essence of cinema,” and he (...) suggested that that essence was its incorporation of myth and a mythic consciousness of the world.1 He appeared to mean by this that Westerns.. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Introduction Robert Pippin; 1. Nietzsche: writings from the early notebooks Alexander Nehamas; 2. Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy and other writings Raymond Geuss; 3. Nietzsche: Untimely Meditations Daniel Breazeale; 4. Nietzsche: Human, All Too Human Richard Schacht; 5. Nietzsche: Daybreak Maudemarie Clark and Brian Leiter; 6. Nietzsche: The Gay Science Bernard Williams; 7. Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra Robert Pippin; 8. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil Rolf-Peter Horstmann; 9. Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality Keith Ansell-Pearson; 10. (...) Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols Aaron Ridley; 11. Nietzsche: writings from the late notebooks Rüdiger Bittner; Select bibliography. (shrink)
Introduction -- Trapped by oneself in Jacques Tourneur's Out of the past -- "A deliberate, intentional fool" in Orson Welles's The lady from Shanghai -- Sexual agency in Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street -- "Why didn't you shoot again, baby?": concluding remarks.
Hegel, in a chapter called “Absolute Knowing,” end his most exciting and original work, the Jena Phenomenology of Spirit, with a quotation, or rather a significant misquotation, of a poet? The poet is Schiller and the poem is his 1782 “Freundschaft” (Friendship). This immediately turns into two questions: Why are the last words not Hegel’s own, and why are they rather a poet’s? I will turn to the details in a moment but, as noted, such an inquiry may not be (...) worth the trouble. Authors, even philosophers (who, with only a few exceptions, are not known for their literary style) like to cite poets.. (shrink)
As McDowell makes clear in ‘On Pippin’s Postscript’ and in many other works, the interpretive question at issue in this exchange—how to understand the relation between Kant and Hegel, especially as that concerns Kant’s central ‘Deduction’ argument in the Critique of Pure Reason1—brings into the foreground an even larger problem on which all the others depend: the right way to understand at the highest level of generality the relation between active or spontaneous thought and our receptive and corporeal sensibility and (...) bodily embodiment. From Mind and World on, McDowell has indicated that this is in fact a problem so inclusive as to be common to theoretical and practical philosophy; that the issue of how thought informs our sensibility is at bottom the same (raises the same logical or conceptual issue) as the issue of how thought could be said to inform, to be active ‘in’, bodily action; that we can be in the grip of the same bad, misleading picture in accounting for executing an intention as in accounting for acquiring perceptual knowledge.2 I agree with, and follow his lead in, setting the basic framework for the particular issues in just this way. With matters so set out, there are two main areas of disagreement: (i) how to state the role of concepts and especially conceptual activity in the sensible uptake of the world and (ii) what to make of Hegel’s claim for a speculative ‘identity’ between inner and outer in action, or how to state the role of intentions ‘in’ bodily activity. In both cases, McDowell thinks I go too far; too far in terms of what is philosophically correct, and too far in attributing those positions to Hegel. It is the former topic that is in play in this exchange, although elements of the latter arise as well. There is first an issue lingering from the first exchange in Reading McDowell. (shrink)
So much philosophy is so unavoidably guided by intuitions, and such intuitions are so formed by examples, and such examples must of necessity present so cropped and abstract a picture of an instance or event or decision, that, left to its traditional methods, philosophy might be ill-equipped on its own to answer a question about the true content of an historical ideal like ``autonomy'', or authenticity or ``leading a free life''. One needs to bring so many factors into play at (...) once that one non-traditional but more promising path might be through reflection on the modern novel—or modern drama or poetry or film or even modern painting. (shrink)
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean to (...) take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust. (shrink)
This series makes available in English important recent work by German philosophers on major figures in the German philosophical tradition. The volumes will provide critical perspectives on philosophers of great significance to the Anglo-American philosophical community--perspectives that have been largely ignored except by a handful of writers on German philosophy. This collection brings together in translation the finest post-war German language scholarship on Hegel's social and political philosophy, concentrating on the Elements of the Philosophy of Right.
Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. BY PAUL GUYER. (Cambridge UP, 2000. Pp. xii + 440. Price £12.95 or $19.95.) At the beginning of his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant claims that an ordinary view of morality would have it that moral experience is essentially the experience of obligation. There are clearly occasions, he notes, when our own and others’ interests would be greatly damaged were we to do what is morally required, and when no gain in satisfaction, (...) happiness, well-being or ﬂourishing can be imagined a consequence of the act, yet we understand that we are obliged anyway, unconditionally. We also reserve our highest approval for agents who do what is required just because it is required, who act ‘from duty alone’. (shrink)
The problem of freedom in modern philosophy has three basic components: (i) what is freedom, or what would it be to act freely? (ii) Is it possible so to act? (iii) And how important is leading a free life?1 Hegel proposed unprecedented and highly controversial answers to these questions.
'Modernity' has come to refer both to a contested historical category and to an even more contested philosophical and civilisational ideal. In this important collection of essays Robert Pippin takes issue with some prominent assessments of what is or is not philosophically at stake in the idea of a modern revolution in Western civilisation, and presents an alternative view. Professor Pippin disputes many traditional characterisations of the distinctiveness of modern philosophy. In their place he defends claims about agency, freedom, ethical (...) life and modernity itself, all of which are central to the German idealist philosophical tradition, and in particular, to the writings of Hegel. Having considered the Hegelian version of these issues the author explores other accounts as found in Habermas, Strauss, Blumenberg, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. (shrink)
This is the most important book on Hegel to have appeared in the past ten years. The author offers a completely new interpretation of Hegel's idealism that focuses on Hegel's appropriation and development of Kant's theoretical project. Hegel is presented neither as a pre-critical metaphysician nor as a social theorist, but as a critical philosopher whose disagreements with Kant, especially on the issue of intuitions, enrich the idealist arguments against empiricism, realism, and naturalism. In the face of the dismissal of (...) absolute idealism as either unintelligible or implausible, Pippin explains and defends an original account of the philosophical basis for Hegel's claims about the historical and social nature of self-consciousness and of knowledge itself. (shrink)
The notion of modernism, originally a classificatory term in art and literary criticism, now a common term of art in many philosophic (and anti?philosophic) programs, has remained an elusive, often vague point of view. For a discussion of the notion's historical accuracy and philosophic legitimacy this article selects an author greatly responsible for setting out the problem (called by him ?nihilism') and philosophically sensitive to the issues involved in claiming that something essential to a tradition has ?ended? and something new (...) ?begun?: Nietzsche. Such issues are: what needs to be shown in order to demonstrate that indeed a complete ?break? in a tradition has occurred, especially if part of that claim is that this break ought to have occurred? And: what consequences follow, particularly with respect to the possibility of ?post?modern? ?justification'? Nietzsche's answers to these questions are more subtle than has been appreciated, and can, when pursued properly, help reveal the strengths and weaknesses of such post?Nietzscheans as Heidegger, Deleuze, Foucault, and Derrida. (shrink)