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)
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)
Contemporary feminist theory is at an impasse: the project of reformulating concepts of self and social identity is thwarted by an association between identity and oppression and victimhood. In Sacrificial Logics, Allison Weir proposes a way out of this impasse through a concept of identity which depends on accepting difference. Weir argues that the equation of identity with repression and domination links "relational" feminists like Nancy Chodorow, who equate self-identity with the repression of connection to others, and poststructuralist feminists like (...) Judith Butler, who view any identity as a repression of nonidentity and difference. Through readings of Chodorow, Butler, Jessica Benjamin, Luce Irigaray, Jacqueline Rose and Julia Kristeva, Weir analyzes the relation of theories of self-identity to theories of women's identity, social identity, the identity of meaning in language and feminist solidarity. Drawing particularly on the work of Julia Kristeva, she argues for a reformulation of self-identity as a capacity to participate in a social world, and sketches a model of a self-identity which depends on a capacity to accept nonidentity, difference and connections to others. (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.
This book compares John Searle and Michel Foucault's radically opposed views on truth in order to demonstrate the need for invigorating cross-fertilization between the analytic and Continental philosophical traditions. By pressing beyond familiar cliche;s about analytic philosophy and postmodernism, a surprising convergence of Searle and Foucault's thought on truth emerge. The analytic impression of Foucault is of a radical relativist whose views on truth entail linguistic idealism. Searle himself has contributed to this impression through his aggressive critique of postmodern thinkers, (...) especially Derrida. Prado lays this misperception to rest, showing analytic philosophers that Foucault's ideas about truth are defensible and merit serious attention, while also demonstrating to Continental philosophers that Searle's cannot be ignored. (shrink)
Criticism and Modernity traces the conditions under which criticism emerges as a socio-cultural practice within the institutionalized forms of European modernity and democracy. It argues that criticism is born out of anxieties about national supremacy in the late seventeenth century, with the consequence that the emergent national cultures of the eighteenth century and since become sites for the regulation of the democratic subject through the academic form of arguments about the proper relations of aesthetics to ethics and politics. The central (...) issue is that of legitimation: how can subjective aesthetic experiences regulate the norms of ethical justice? That question is posed not as an abstract philosophical issue, but rather as a question properly located within the struggles for national culture. -/- The usual Germanic source of modern aesthetics and criticism is here placed in the broader European context, involving contests between England, France, Scotland, Ireland, and the emergent Germany and Italy. Writers addressed include Corneille, Dryden, Molière, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Schopenhauer; and, throughout, the legacy of these thinkers is found in the most recent contemporary theory, in work by Agamben, Badiou, Lyotard, MacIntyre, and others. A closing chapter considers the formation of the university across modern Europe, in Vico's Naples, Humboldt's Berlin, Newman's Dublin, Blair's Edinburgh, the France of Alain and Benda, the England of Leavis, as well as our contemporary institutional predicaments. (shrink)
Preface -- Identity and the subjunctive -- Representing the seducer -- Interrupting philosophy: -- The complaint about knowledge -- Transcendence and negativity -- The moodiness of the subjunctive -- The accusation of ethics -- Working through love -- The subjunctive hopes all things -- Freedom -- Suffering, faith, and forgiveness -- Concluding with the unscientific.
Irigaray offers the clearest available introduction to her own work. Focusing on power, women, gender and patriarchal mythologies, she lays out what for her has become the central problem for women in the modern world.
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)
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)
This volume is a collection of twenty-three interviews given over the last two decades. It illustrates the extraordinary breadth of Derrida's concerns, touching upon such subjects as the teaching of philosophy, sexual difference and feminine identity, the media, AIDS, language and translation, nationalism, politics, and Derrida's early life and the history of his writings. Often, as in the interviews on Heidegger, on drugs, or on the nature of poetry, these interviews offer something available nowhere else in his work. The informality (...) of the interview process frequently leads to the most succinct and lucid explications of many of the most important and influential aspects of Derrida's thought. Sixteen of the interviews appear in English for the first time, including an interview conducted especially for this volume, concerning the recent exchange of letters in the New York Review of Books. (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.
This unique and original study analyzes Foucault's interaction with the history of ideas, undertaking a genealogy of the subject that subverts conventional philosophical history to develop a distinctly Foucauldian intellectual history. Through a detailed account of Foucault's work and its relation to the history of ideas, Philip Barker shows how that history can be usefully reconceptualised using Foucault's concepts of genealogy and archaeology. Locating the emergence of self-reflexive consciousness in twelfth century philosophy, and elaborating upon autobiography as a philosophical persona, (...) Barker argues that this extremely productive approach can be used to analyze the relationship between the history of philosophy, psychoanalysis and the transparent subject. (shrink)
Ethics of Eros sheds light on contemporary feminist discourse by bringing into question some of the basic distinctions and categories that orchestrate it. The work of Luce Irigaray serves as a focus for interrogating the opposition between "French" and "Anglo-American" feminism as articulated in the debate over essentialism. Tina Chanter defends Irigaray against charges of essentialism by showing that such criticisms fail to consider the theoretical background of her work. Chanter demonstrates that Irigaray inherited and attempted to move beyond the (...) philosophical framework of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, and Levinas. In tackling the debate over essentialism, Chanter also reconsiders the sex/gender distinction that has been fundamental to feminist theory. Ethics of Eros seeks to recast the differences between "French" and "Anglo-American" feminism so that they no longer represent opposing views but become capable of productive exchanges. It explains the circumstances in which the debate over essentialism arose and reveals how essentialist misreadings of Irigaray gained currency in feminist theory. The book illuminates Irigaray's writings and demonstrates the insights they hold for current feminist theory and philosophy. (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)
Continental Philosophy of Social Science demonstrates the unique and autonomous nature of the continental approach to social science and contrasts it with the Anglo-American tradition. Yvonne Sherratt argues for the importance of an historical understanding of the Continental tradition in order to appreciate its individual, humanist character. Examining the key traditions of hermeneutic, genealogy, and critical theory, and the texts of major thinkers such as Gadamer, Ricoeur, Derrida, Nietzsche, Foucault, the Early Frankfurt School and Habermas, she also contextualizes contemporary developments (...) within strands of thought stemming back to Ancient Greece and Rome. Sherratt shows how these modes of thinking developed through medieval Christian thought into the Enlightenment and Romantic eras, before becoming mainstays of twentieth-century disciplines. Continental Philosophy of Social Science will serve as the essential textbook for courses in philosophy or social sciences. (shrink)
Contemporary Continental Philosophy steps back from current debates comparing Continental and analytic philosophy and carefully, yet critically outlines the tradition’s main philosophical views on epistemology and ontology. Forgoing obscure paraphrases, D’Amico provides a detailed, clear account and assessment of the tradition from its founding by Husserl and Heidegger to its challenge by Derrida and Foucault. Though intended as a survey of this tradition throughout the twentieth century, this study’s focus is on the philosophical problems which gave it birth and even (...) now continue to shape it.The book reexamines Husserl as an early critic of epistemological naturalism whose grasp of the philosophical importance of the theory of meaning was largely ignored. Heidegger’s contrasting effort to revive ontology is examined in terms of his distinction between ontic and ontological questions. In contrast with many earlier studies, the author outlines confusions engendered by the misappropriation of the distinct philosophical agendas of Husserl and Heidegger by such famous figures as Sartre and Merleau-Ponty. The book is also original in its emphasis on how social externalism in epistemology, inspired by Karl Mannheim, influenced this tradition’s structuralist and Marxist phases. The philosophical defenses of a theory of interpretation by Gadamer and Habermas are closely examined and assessed and the study concludes with a a probing yet balanced account of Foucault and Derrida as critics of philosophical autonomy. The book concludes by reassessing this century-long divide between the analytic and Continental traditions and its implication for the future of philosophy. (shrink)
The question of man -- Time and the will -- Receptivity and spatiality -- Distance and concealment -- Art and difference -- The 'speaking' of language -- Human nature and sensus communis -- Inspiration and genius -- Thought and expression -- A history of truth and truthfulness -- Being and the hidden God.
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.
Michel Foucault had a great influence upon a wide range of disciplines, and his work has been widely interpreted and is frequently referred to, but it is often difficult for beginners to find their way into the complexities of his thought. This is especially true for readers whose background is Anglo-American or "analytic" philosophy. C. G. Prado argues in this updated introduction that the time is overdue for Anglo-American philosophers to avail themselves of what Foucault offers. In this clear and (...) greatly-revised second edition, Prado focuses on Foucault's "middle" or genealogical work, particularly Discipline and Punish and Volume One of The History of Sexuality, in which Foucault most clearly comes to grips with the historicization of truth and knowledge and the formation of subjectivity. Understanding Foucault's thought on these difficult subjects requires working through much complexity and ambiguity, and Prado's direct and accessible introduction is the ideal place to start. (shrink)
This collection is one of the first to offer feminist perspectives on epistemology from thinkers outside North America. It presents essays from an international group of contributors, including Rosi Braidotti, Gemma Corradi Fiumara, Anna Yeatman, Sabina Lovibond and Liz Stanley. Using approaches and methods from both analytic and continental philosophy, the contributors engage with questions of traditional epistemology and with issues raised by postmodernist critiques. The essays deal with the central question of difference: the difference which a feminist perspective yields (...) in relation to traditional knowledge and the effects on feminist perspectives of differences between women. This awareness of difference requires a re-evaluation of the idea of objectivity and the justification of knowledge claims in ways that focus attention on the subjects who constitute the knowledge producers. Knowing the Difference presents some of the most innovative thinking in feminist epistemology and sets the agenda for the next decade. (shrink)
Best known for his book The Postmodern Condition , Jean-Francois Lyotard is one of the leading figures in contemporary French philosophy. This is the first collection of articles to offer an estimation and critique of his work, with particular focus on the importance to Lyotard of the question of judgement. Lyotard's interest in judgement is evident in his continuing engagement with the work of Kant. Lyotard's own essay, Sensus Communis , which opens the volume, investigates through Kant the presuppositions of (...) judgement. Other essays consider how Lyotard has rendered problematic existing forms of aesthetic, ethical, legal and political judgement. Judging Lyotard is an important collection that will reintroduce Lyotard to English-speaking audiences. It is of particular interest to students of philosophy, critical theory, and literary studies. (shrink)
This book offers a new phenomenological interpretation of T.H. Green's (1836-1882) philosophy and political theory. By analyzing his theory of human practice, the moral idea, the common good, freedom and human rights, the book demonstrates that Green joins the same tradition as Kantian and Husserlian transcendentalism. The book offers a reconstruction of Green's idealism and demonstrates its potential to address contemporary debates on the nature of moral agency, positive and negative freedom and on justifying human rights.