The problem of explaining consciousness today depends on the meaning of language: the ordinary language of consciousness in which we define and express our sensations, thoughts, dreams and memories. Paul Livingston argues that this contemporary problem arises from a quest that developed over the twentieth century, and that historical analysis provides new resources for understanding and resolving it. Accordingly, Livingston traces the application of characteristic practices of analytic philosophy to problems about the relationship of experience to linguistic meaning.
The Modern Philosophical Revolution breaks new ground by demonstrating the continuity of European philosophy from Kant to Derrida. Much of the literature on European philosophy has emphasized the breaks that have occurred in the course of two centuries of thinking. But as David Walsh argues, such a reading overlooks the extent to which Kant, Hegel, and Schelling were already engaged in the turn toward existence as the only viable mode of philosophizing. Where many similar studies summarize individual thinkers, this book (...) provides a framework for understanding the relationships between them. Walsh thus dispels much of the confusion that assails readers when they are only exposed to the bewildering range of positions taken by the philosophers he examines. His book serves as an indispensable guide to a philosophical tradition that continues to have resonance in the post-modern world. (shrink)
In The Bodies of Women , Rosalyn Diprose argues that traditional approaches to ethics both perpetuate and remain blind to the mechanisms of the subordination of women. She shows that injustice against women begins in the ways that social discourses and practices place women's embodied existence as improper and secondary to men. She intervenes into debates about sexual difference, ethics, philosophies of the body and theories of self in order to develop a new ethics which places sexual difference at the (...) very center of meaning. Diprose analyzes attempts in both feminist and non-feminist ethics to recognize the role of sexual difference. She critiques biomedical discourses whose descriptions mask a constitution and regulation of "the body." Drawing on insights from continental philosophy and feminist theory, The Bodies of Women includes critical readings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Foucault as well as productive engagementwith contemporary feminist scholars such as Irigaray, Cornell and Young. What emerges is a unique approach to the ethics of sexual difference which both locates and subverts mechanisms of sexual discrimination. (shrink)
A Critical Sense brings together in a single volume the leading figures of contemporary radical theory. Moving freely between philosophy, politics and cultural studies, it 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 . Those interviewed are: Judith Butler Cornelius Castoriadis Drucilla Cornell Axel Honneth Istvan Meszaros Edward Said Renata (...) Salecl Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Cornel West Slavoj Zizek For those unfamiliar with the often daunting work of some of today's most important thinkers, ACritical Sense will offer an ideal introduction; for those already acquainted with the writings of the theorists interviewed here, the collection will throw new - and often surprising - light on familiar ground. (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)
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)
Sleepy Hollow : fearful pleasures and the nightmare of history -- Lacan and the beyond of language : from art to ethics -- Brown's Wieland and the ethical circumscription of death -- Heideggerian ethics : the voice of art and the call to being -- Levinas: art and the transcendence of solitude -- Endings : ethics, enigma, and address in The marble faun -- Riven : Badiou's ethical subject and the event of art as trauma.
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)
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)
This book is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the roots, current debates and future development of social theory. It draws together a team of international scholars, and presents an authoritative and panoramic critical survey of the field. The first section, examines the classical tradition. Included here are critical discussions of Comte, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel, Mead, Freud, Mannheim and classical feminist thought, demonstrating not only the critical significance of classical writings, but also their continuing relevance. The second (...) section moves on to examine the terrain of contemporary social theory. The contributors discuss the significance and strengths and weaknesses of structural functionalism, recent Marxian theory, critical theory, symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, exchange theory, contemporary feminism, ethnomethodology, rational choice theory, figurational sociology, the thought of Foucault, multicuturalism and postmodernism. The final section looks at the key debates in current social theory. Questions relating to the body, sexuality, globalism, nationalism, socialism, knowledge, norms, ethics, positivism, post-structuralism, consumption, metatheorizing and cultural studies are fully discussed. The dilemmas and promise of contemporary social theory are revealed with pinpoint accuracy. (shrink)
Artists and critics regularly enlist theory in the creation and assessment of artworks, but few have scrutinized the art theories themselves. Here, Daniel examines and critiques the norms, assumptions, historical conditions, and institutions that have framed the development and uses of art theory. Spurred by the theoretical claims of Arthur Danto, a leader in the philosophy of the avant-garde, Herwitz reexamines the art and theory of major figures in the avant-garde movement including John Cage, Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, and Andy (...) Warhol. (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)
This book offers a radically new interpretation of the work of Theodor Adorno. In contrast to the conventional view that Adorno's is in essence a critical philosophy, Yvonne Sherratt traces systematically a utopian thesis that pervades all the major aspects of Adorno's thought. She places Adorno's work in the context of German Idealist and later Marxist and Freudian traditions, and then analyses his key works to show how the aesthetic, epistemological, psychological, historical and sociological thought interconnect to form a utopian (...) image. The book will be eagerly sought out by students and specialists in philosophy, social and political theory, intellectual history, literary theory and cultural studies. (shrink)
This is an important introduction to and critical interpretation of the work of the major French thinker, Michel Foucault. Through comprehensive and detailed analyses of such important texts as The History of Madness in the Age of Reason, The Birth of the Clinic, The Order of Things, and The Archaeology of Knowledge, the author provides a lucid exposition of Foucault's "archaeological" approach to the history of thought, a method for uncovering the "unconscious" structures that set boundaries on the thinking of (...) a given epoch. The book casts Foucault in a new light, relating his work to Gaston Bachelard's philosophy of science and Georges Canguilhem's history of science. This perspective yields a new and valuable understanding of Foucault as a historian and philosopher of science, balancing and complementing the more common view of him as primarily a social critic and theorist. (shrink)
Grosz gives a critical overview of Lacan's work from a feminist perspective. Discussing previous attempts to give a feminist reading of his work, she argues for women's autonomy based on an indifference to the Lacanian phallus.
Eleven leading contemporary French philosophers give here more or less direct presentations and exemplifications of their work. All the essays, with one exception, were specifically written for this volume and for an English-speaking readership - the exception is the first publication anywhere of Jacques Derrida's defence of his thèse d'e;tat in 1980, based on his published works. As a collection the essays convey the style, tone and preoccupations, as well as the range and diversity, of French philosophical thinking as it (...) is being practised today. They will stimulate and inform the rapidly growing interest in this area outside France. (shrink)
Heidegger and ethics is a contentious conjunction of terms. Martin Heidegger himself rejected the notion of ethics, while his endorsement of Nazism is widely seen as unethical. This major study examines the complex and controversial issues involved in bringing Heidegger and ethics together. Working backwards through his work, from his 1964 claim that philosophy has been completed to his first major book, Being and Time, Joanna Hodge questions Heidegger's denial that his inquiries were concerned with ethics. She discovers a form (...) of ethics in Heidegger's thinking which elucidates his important distinction between metaphysics and philosophy. Opposing many contemporary views, Hodge proposes that ethics can be retrieved and questions the relation between ethics and metaphysics that Heidegger made so pervasive. (shrink)
The big question mark (in guise of a preface) -- This incredible need to believe : interview with Carmine Donzelli -- From Jesus to Mozart : Christianity's difference? -- Suffering : Lenten lectures, March 19, 2006 -- The genius of Vatholicism -- Don't be afraid of European culture.
Using Sartre is an introduction to the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre which promotes Sartrean views but adopts a consistently analytical approach to him. Concentrating on his early philosophy, up to and including Sartre's masterwork Being and Nothingness, Gregory McCulloch demonstrates how much analytical philosophers miss when they neglect Sartre and the continental tradition in philosophy. In the classic spirit of analytical philosophy, Using Sartre is a clear and pithy exposition of Sartre's early work. Written specifically for beginners and non-specialists, the (...) book is sure to spark new interest in Sartre and the existentialists while also making a significant contribution to the analytical philosophy of mind. It indicates how the analytical and continental approaches to philosophy may be brought into closer relation to one another. (shrink)
Ecopolitics is a study of environmental awareness--or non-awareness--in contemporary French theory. Arguing that it is now impossible not to think in an ecological way, Verena Andermatt Conley traces the roots of today's concern for the environment back to the intellectual climate of the late '50s and '60s. Major thinkers of 1968, the author argues, changed the way we think the world; this owes much to an ecological awareness that remains at the heart of issues concerning cultural theory in general. The (...) book points to critiques of ecology in the work of Luc Ferry and Jean Baudrillard before turning to more complicated ecological awareness primarily in French thought. The author considers key texts by influential figures such as Michael Serres, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel de Certeau, Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray. (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.
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)