Derided and disregarded by many of his contemporaries, Michel Foucault is now regarded as probably the most influential thinker of the twentieth century, his work is studied across the humanities and social sciences. Reading Foucault, however, can be a challenge, as can writing about him, but in Understanding Foucault, the authors offer an entertaining and informative introduction to his thinking. They cover all the issues Foucault dealt with, including power, knowledge, subjectivity and sexuality and discuss the development of his analysis (...) throughout his work. (shrink)
Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy provides in one volume the major writings from nearly 2,500 years of political and moral philosophy. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, it moves from classical thought (Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Cicero) through medieval views (Augustine, Aquinas) to modern perspectives (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Adam Smith, Kant). It includes major nineteenth-century thinkers (Hegel, Bentham, Mill, Nietzsche) as well as twentieth-century theorists (Rawls, Nozick, Nagel, Foucault, Habermas, Nussbaum). Also included are numerous essays from (...) The Federalist Papers and a variety of notable documents and addresses, among them Pericles' Funeral Oration, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and speeches by Edmund Burke, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, John Dewey, and Martin Luther King, Jr. The readings are substantial or complete texts, not fragments. An especially valuable feature of this volume is that the works of each author are introduced with a substantive and engaging essay by a leading contemporary authority. These introductions include Richard Kraut on Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Cicero; Paul J. Weithman on Augustine and Aquinas; Roger D. Masters on Machiavelli; Jean Hampton on Hobbes; Steven B. Smith on Spinoza and Hegel; A. John Simmons on Locke; Joshua Cohen on Rousseau and Rawls; Donald W. Livingston on Hume; Charles L. Griswold, Jr., on Smith; Bernard E. Brown on Hamilton and Madison; Jeremy Waldron on Bentham and Mill; Paul Guyer on Kant; Richard Miller on Marx and Engels; Richard Schacht on Nietzsche; Thomas Christiano on Nozick; John Deigh on Nagel; Thomas A. McCarthy on Foucault and Habermas; and Eva Feder Kittay on Nussbaum. Offering unprecedented breadth of coverage, Classics of Political and Moral Philosophy is an ideal text for courses in social and political philosophy, moral philosophy, or surveys in Western civilization. (shrink)
By illuminating the striking affinity between the most innovative aspects of postmodern thought and religious mystical discourse, Shadow of Spirit challenges the long established assumption that western thought is committed to nihilism. This collection of essays by internationally recognized scholars explores the implications of the fascination with the "sacred," "divine" or "infinite" which characterizes much contemporary thought. It shows how these concerns have surfaced in the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray and others. Examining the connection between this postmodern (...) "turn" and the current search for a new discourse of ethics and politics, it also stresses the contribution made by feminist thought to this unexpected intellectual direction. (shrink)
A Critical Sense brings together, in their own words, the leading figures of contemporary radical theory. Moving freely between philosophy, politics and cultural studies, this book offers a fascinating overview of the lines of thought of today's intellectual left. Marxism, feminism, psychoanalysis and critical theory, literary studies, deconstruction, pragmatism, postcolonial and queer theory are discussed in a series of interviews from the journal Radical Philosophy . The intellectuals at the center of these debates are: Judith Butler, Cornelius Castoriadis, Drucilla Cornell, (...) Axel Honneth, Istvan Meszaros, Edward Said, Renata Salecl, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Cornel West, and Slavoj Zizek. A Critical Sense will throw new, and often surprising, light on the intellectual debates of our time. (shrink)
The author of the highly popular book Think, which Time magazine hailed as "the one book every smart person should read to understand, and even enjoy, the key questions of philosophy," Simon Blackburn is that rara avis--an eminent thinker who is able to explain philosophy to the general reader. Now Blackburn offers a tour de force exploration of what he calls "the most exciting and engaging issue in the whole of philosophy"--the age-old war over truth. The front lines of this (...) war are well defined. On one side are those who believe in plain, unvarnished facts, rock-solid truths that can be found through reason and objectivity--that science leads to truth, for instance. Their opponents mock this idea. They see the dark forces of language, culture, power, gender, class, ideology and desire--all subverting our perceptions of the world, and clouding our judgement with false notions of absolute truth. Beginning with an early skirmish in the war--when Socrates confronted the sophists in ancient Athens--Blackburn offers a penetrating look at the longstanding battle these two groups have waged, examining the philosophical battles fought by Plato, Protagoras, William James, David Hume, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Richard Rorty, and many others, with a particularly fascinating look at Nietzsche. Among the questions Blackburn considers are: is science mere opinion, can historians understand another historical period, and indeed can one culture ever truly understand another. Blackburn concludes that both sides have merit, and that neither has exclusive ownership of truth. What is important is that, whichever side we embrace, we should know where we stand and what is to be said for our opponents. (shrink)
The effects of Derrida's writings have been widespread in literary circles, where they have transformed current work in literary theory. By contrast Derrida's philosophical writings--which deal with the whole range of western thought from Plato to Foucault--have not received adequate attention by philosophers. Organized around Derrida's readings of major figures in the history of philosophy, Derrida and Deconstruction focuses on and assesses his specifically philosophical contribution. Contemporary continental philosophers assess Derrida's account of philosophical tradition, with each contributor providing a critical (...) study of Derrida's position on a philosopher she or he has already studied in depth These figures include Plato, Meister Eckhart, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and Foucault. (shrink)
Naturalistic Hermeneutics proposes the position of the unity of the scientific method and defends it against the claim to autonomy of the human sciences. Mantzavinos shows how materials that are 'meaningful', more specifically human actions and texts, can be adequately dealt with by the hypothetico-deductive method, the standard method used in the natural sciences. The hermeneutic method is not an alternative method aimed at the understanding and the interpretation of human actions and texts, but it is the same as the (...) hypothetico-deductive method applied to meaningful materials. The central thesis advocated by Mantzavinos is, thus, that there is no fundamental methodological difference between natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Advanced students and professionals across philosophy, social and political theory, and the humanities will find this a compelling and controversial book. (shrink)
Margaret Whitford's study provides the ideal introduction to Irigaray's thought, offering a sustained interpretation of her whole corpus, including previously untranslated French texts. Whitford suggests that Irigaray's work should be seen as "philosophy in the feminine," actively opposing the complicity of philosophy with other social practices which exclude or marginalize women.
Modern philosophical thought has a manifold tradition of emphasizing "the moment". "The moment" demands questioning all-too-common notions of time, of past, present and future, uniqueness and repetition, rupture and continuity. This collection addresses the key questions posed by "the moment", considering writers such as Nietzsche, Husserl, Benjamin and Badiou, and elucidates the connections between social theory, philosophy, literary theory and history that are opened up by this notion.
This meticulous collection of contemporary sociological theory is the definitive guide to current perspectives and approaches in the field, examining current key topics in the field such as such as symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, structuralism, network theory, critical theory, feminist theory, and the debates over modernity and postmodernity. Includes the work of major figures including Foucault, Giddens, Bourdieu, Bauman, and Habermas Organized thematically, with editorial introductions to put the readings into theoretical perspective New selected readings bring the book up to date.
"The four essays in this volume constitute Derrida's most explicit and sustained reflection on the art work as pictorial artifact, a reflection partly by way of philosophical aesthetics (Kant, Heidegger), partly by way of a commentary on art works and art scholarship (Van Gogh, Adami, Titus-Carmel). The illustrations are excellent, and the translators, who clearly see their work as both a rendering and a transformation, add yet another dimension to this richly layered composition. Indispensable to collections emphasizing art criticism and (...) aesthetics."--Alexander Gelley, Library Journal. (shrink)
Have we entered a historical moment of 'post-feminism'? This volume presents a timely and convincing 'no'. These essays demonstrate that there is a new generation of French women who take up questions of equality and difference from a position distinct from either first or second wave feminism, a position that often attempts to move beyond the binary of equality and/or difference to a new form of the individual.
Maturity and Modernity examines Nietzsche, Weber and Foucault as a distinct trajectory of critical thinking within modern thought which traces the emergence and development of genealogy in the form of imminent critique. David Owen clarifies the relationship between these thinkers and responds to Habermas' (and Dews') charge that these thinkers are nihilists and that their approach is philosophically incoherent and practically irresponsible by showing how genealogy as a practical activity is directed toward the achievements of human autonomy. The scope of (...) the book covers the critical methodologies developed by these thinkers with respect to the analysis of how we have become what we are and the implication which they draw for the possibility of human autonomy in the present. It proceeds by detailed analysis of each thinker in turn showing the structure of their approach, their historical account of the emergence of modernity, and the politics of their attempts to facilitate the achievement of human autonomy. (shrink)
Rosemary Hennessy confronts some of the impasses in materialist feminist work on rethinking `woman' as a discursively constructed subject. She argues for a theory of discourse as ideology taking into account the work of Kristeva, Foucault and Laclau.
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory and philosophy. The (...) chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
One of the most pressing concerns for contemporary society is the issue of violence and the factors that promote it. In Altared Ground: Levinas, History and Violence , Brian Schroeder stages an engagement between Emmanuel Levinas, one of the leading figures in 20th century Continental philosophy, and Plato, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and others in the history of ideas. Not merely an exposition of Levinas' original and complex ethical thinking, Brian Schroeder seeks to re-read the history of Western philosophy (...) and religion by going beyond Levinas' alternatives to traditional theories of the self in order to suggest a notion of subjectivity that is not grounded in violence. Schroeder contributes to current discussions of re-conceiving subjectity as intersubjectivity in a postmodern context through a sustained analysis of interpersonal violence. In addition, he takes up the themes of alterity, ground, transcendence, responsibility, language, community, politics, Divinity, and futurity. This interdisciplinary work will appeal not only to philosophers but to those in theology, religious studies, literary theory, and to anyone else interested in issues of subjectivity and societal violence. (shrink)
This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, 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 French philosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
The work of Jürgen Habermas has long been regarded as central to the development of social and political theory and philosophy in the late 20th century. With the publication of his latest book Between Facts and Norms, Habermas has signalled the importance of exploring modern legal theory to our understanding of democratic society. Habermas, Modernity, and Law brings together leading scholars from around the world to provide a clear introduction to this key development in Habermas's work. With chapters ranging from (...) the possibility of valid law to discourse ethics and human rights, the contributors successfully integrate a broad range of Habermas's writings with his most recent thoughts on the place of the law in contemporary theory. Habermas, Modernity, and Law provides a fascinating overview to the work of Habermas and will be particularly valuable to students and professionals in the fields of European philosophy and social, political, and legal theory. (shrink)
Introduction : deterritorializing Deleuze -- Spectacle I : attraction-image -- History : Deleuze after dictatorship -- Space : geopolitics and the action-image -- Spectacle II : Masala-image -- Conclusion : the continuing adventures of Deleuze and world cinemas.
Political Thinkers is an authoritative introduction to the entire history of Western political thought. Carefully edited by two of the leading scholars in the field, it features specially commissioned chapters by an impressive line-up of internationally renowned scholars from around the world. This book provides an overview of the canon of great political theorists--from Socrates and the Sophists to such contemporary thinkers as Habermas and Foucault. Each contributor critically discusses the ideas and significance of each thinker and gives a summary (...) of the best contemporary scholarship in the area. (shrink)
The Development and Meaning of Twentieth-Century Existentialism This volume recaptures, through the writings of figures already well-known in the mid-1940s, the coming-to-consciousness of the existentialist movement, along with early disagreements concerning its significance. The articles present various critics' shifting views of that significance and the movement's standing over subsequent decades. Despite the centrality of Sartre's thought to existentialism, these selections offer interestingly diverse perceptions of his place within the existentialist pantheon, along with varied interpretations of both the historical origins and (...) the future importance of existential philosophy. (shrink)
Strong Hermeneutics presents a compelling case for the importance of hermeneutics in understanding ethics today. It provides a critical comparison of the enlightenment view of ethics with the postmodern or "weak" view of ethics. The weak view, which Nicholas H. Smith traces back to Nietzsche and identifies in the recent work of Rorty and Lyotard, is skeptical of any universal principles in ethics. The enlightenment view, starting with Kant and taken up in the work of Habermas, casts identity as subject (...) of universal but formal moral constraints. Smith argues that neither of these views can provide a proper framework for ethics. Drawing on the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur and Charles Taylor, he presents a fascinating reworking of key issues in ethics and continental philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophy and the Maternal Body is a fascinating exploration of an overlooked aspect of feminist thought: what is the role of maternity in philosophy and in what ways has it been used by male theorists to effectively "silence" the voices of women in philosophy? Drawing on rich examples such as Plato's allegory of the cave, Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein's writing on the mother and the mother-daughter relationship, and the psychoanalytic and feminist insights of Irigaray and Kristeva, Michelle Boulous Walker (...) clearly shows how terms such as denial, repression and foreclosure offer crucial insight into the philosophical construction of the maternal body. (shrink)
The flowering of creative and speculative philosophy that emerged in modern Europe--particularly in Germany--is a thrilling adventure story as well as an essential chapter in the history of philosophy. In this integrative narrative, Solomon provides an accessible introduction to the major authors and movements of modern European philosophy, including the Enlightenment and Romanticism, Rousseau, German Idealism, Kant, Fichte, Schelling and the Romantics, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Feuerbach, Max Brentano, Meinong, Frege, Dilthey, Bergson, Nietzsche, Husserl, Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, hermeneutics, Sartre, Postmodernism, Structuralism, (...) Foucault, and Derrida. (shrink)
Why does agency--the capacity to make choices and to act in the world--matter to us? Why is it meaningful that our intentions have effects in the world, that they reflect our sense of identity, that they embody what we value? What kinds of motivations are available for political agency and judgment in an age that lacks the enthusiasm associated with the great emancipatory movements for civil rights and gender equality? What are the conditions for the possibility of being an effective (...) agent when the meaning of democracy has become less transparent? David Kyuman Kim addresses these crucial questions by uncovering the political, moral, philosophical, and religious dimensions of human agency. Kim treats agency as a form of religious experience that reflects implicit and explicit notions of the good. Of particular concern are the moral, political, and religious motivations that underpin an understanding of agency as meaningful action. Through a critical engagement with the work of theorists such as Judith Butler, Charles Taylor, and Stanley Cavell, Kim argues that late modern and postmodern agency is found most effectively at work in what he calls "projects of regenerating agency" or critical and strategic responses to loss. Agency as melancholic freedom begins and endures, Kim maintains, through the moral and psychic losses associated with a broad range of experiences, including the moral identities shaped by secularized modernity and the multifold forms of alienation experienced by those who suffer the indignities of racial, gender, class, and sexuality discrimination and oppression. Kim calls for renewing the sense of urgency in our political and moral engagements by seeing agency as a vocation, where the aspiration for self-transformation and the human need for hope are fundamental concerns. (shrink)
This book is a unique and up-to-date introduction to moral philosophy. Kerner defines ethics as the study of what makes life worth living and gives it meaning. Rather than cataloging how various ethical theories bear on ethical issues, he poses the central question: is objective moral knowlege possible? To address that question, he provides an exacting analysis of the works of Mill, Kant, and Sartre, and finally agrees with Sartre that such knowlege is not possible; in morality there are no (...) objective answers but only questions direted at our deep subjectivity. (shrink)
An introduction to sociological theories -- Emile Durkheim -- Marx and Marxism -- Max Weber -- Feminist theories -- Interpretive sociology : action theories -- Michel Foucault : discourse theory and the body-centredness of modernity -- Language and social life : structuralism, post-structuralism and relativism -- Post-modernity and postmodernism -- Critical responses to post-modernity and postmodernism.