This paper follows Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy and his non-religion and non-theology to suggest anon-philosophical approach to the sociology of religious pluralism. The entanglements of experiences of the religious end-user are analysed vis-a-vis Laruelle’s thought and a dogma free inclusive approach to religion is envisaged.
The article focuses on the scholarly career of German sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist Theodor W. Adorno. Examined are his leading publications, his notable teachers and collaborators, and his time in exile in the United States, among other places. Special emphasis is placed on his negative dialectics, including how this perspective formed a method of communication in itself. Adorno's contributions to the Frankfurt School, and to 20th-century Continental philosophy, sociology, and musicology, are also covered.
This paper introduces the philosophy of Grace Andrus de Laguna in order to renew interest in it. I show that, in the 1910s and 1920s, she develops ideas and arguments that are also found playing key roles in the development of analytic philosophy decades later. Further, I describe her sympathetic, but acute, criticism of pragmatism and Heideggerian ontology, and situate her work in the tradition of American, speculative philosophy. Before 1920, we will see, de Laguna appeals to multiple realizability to (...) undermine reductionism in science, to support perspectival, scientific realism and, with help from a private language argument, to favour the view that mental states are classified by behavioural, teleological roles over what came to be called ‘type physicalism’. Her view of speech, mostly developed in the 1920s, tells us that its primary role is coordinating group behaviour rather than expressing thoughts. Belief is understood in terms of its causal role, including its causal relations to other kinds of mental states, when coordinating group behaviour. Thought is similarly understood. In developing her theory of mind, de Laguna rejects the pragmatist claims that belief can be reduced to dispositions to behaviour and that thought’s function is to address specific, rather than general, problems. She also favours meaning holism and rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction. In later work, de Laguna argues that individuals’ activity of self-maintenance brings universals, conceived of as irreducible potentialities, into being and makes them increasingly determinate. Further, she identifies the existence of all individuals with forms of self-maintenance and takes the existence of people to include maintenance of the cultural world. Such a unified treatment of existence, she holds, permits making its evolution intelligible. Heidegger’s view of being is rejected for not permitting this. All de Laguna’s work, we will see, fits a vision of philosophy as the systematic, imaginative and naturalistic examination of being as well as a source of criticism of science. (shrink)
This essay accomplishes two goals. First, I explore Husserl’s study of “tension” from his 1893 manuscript, “Notes Towards a Theory of Attention and Interest,” to reveal that it comprises his de facto first analysis of instinct. Husserl there describes tension as the innate pull to execute ever new objectifications. He clarifies this pull of objectification by contrasting it to affective and volitional experiences. This analysis surprisingly prefigures a theory of drive-feelings and anticipates the idea that consciousness is both teleological and (...) autotelic. Second, I show how Husserl’s de facto account of instincts from 1893 inspires his robust philosophy of instincts from Studies concerning the Structures of Consciousness and other late manuscripts. While Husserl maintains many 1893 insights, he now claims that the instinct towards objectification comprises affective and volitional moments. Finally, I demonstrate that Husserl’s analyses of instincts throughout his life are united by the idea that consciousness possesses an essential structural lack. (shrink)
Infusing contemporary critical terrorism studies (CTS) with concepts and methodologies from philosophy and critical theory via a Baradian posthumanist agential realist perspective and (counter)terrorist cases and vignettes, this chapter argues for a retheorisation of (counter)terrorism. It does so, firstly, by reconceptualising terrorism and counterterrorism as complex assemblages consisting not only of discursive-material components – an entanglement now largely accepted within CTS and critical security studies (CSS) – but also of affective layers and more-than-human phenomena. Secondly, by analysing European urban (counter)terrorist (...) cases from the UK, Germany, France, and Spain, together with these cases’ surprising spacetime-jumping interlinkages underwriting what we here conceptualise as queer(ing) spacetimematterings, this chapter zooms in on the intra-actions taking place between human and more-than-human agential phenomena and their risk-managed urban environments. Lastly, extra analytical attention is paid to how, in this neoliberal day and age – here rephrased as control society-driven ‘situationscaping times’ – very specific macro- and micropolitical violence-preventing measures and efforts are employed in the fight against various manifestations of urban terror and terrorism. (shrink)
What is a disaster? This paper explores the different hermeneutic levels that need to be taken into consideration when approaching this question through the case of Japan. Instead of a view of disasters as spatiotemporal events, we approach disasters from the perspective of the milieu. First, based on the Japanese «dictionaries of disasters», the Japanese vocabulary of disaster is described. Second, this paper reviews briefly the Japanese interdisciplinary disaster-management tradition. To highlight the human-made aspect of disasters, the idea of fūdo (...) 風土 is introduced. This concept allows us to see disasters as a phenomenon of the milieu, which emerges from the co-constitutive relations between individuals, communities, and the local environment. The final part debates the narratives by some national and international political actors that link «Japanese identity and culture» to disaster management and sometimes include nationalist claims rooted in the essentialization of the «Japanese exception». Given the cruciality of sociocultural and political representations of disasters tied to identity politics, and the increasing frequency and intensity of disasters, a long-term, local people-focused and culturally sensitive perspective on disasters might be better adapted to the climate change era. (shrink)
In the Remark to the final paragraph of the Chapter on “existence” (Dasein) in the Logic of the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Basic Outline (1830) Hegel states that the “ideality of the finite is the chief proposition of philosophy” and that “every true philosophy is for that reason idealism” (Enz § 95A). In turn, at the end of the Chapter on “existence” in the Science of Logic (1832) Hegel claims, further, that “every philosophy is essentially idealism or at (...) least has idealism for its principle, and the question then is only how far this principle is carried out” (GW 21.142). Along this line, Hegel conceives of absolute idealism not only as the result of the history of philosophy, but also as the philosophical system that reveals the essence of the philosophical systems before idealism, that is to say, as the philosophy that reveals, by developing it and formulating it adequately, what the precedent philosophies, mostly unknowingly, tried to develop and formulate, namely a general theory about reality based on the principle of the unity of being and thought. According to Hegel, every particular philosophy throughout history exposed in a successive, partial and complementary way the process of identification of being and thought; inasmuch as the system of absolute idealism assumes the latently idealist theses present in former philosophies, it makes those theses explicit and exposes the process of the identification of being and thought as its own internal development. Thus, absolute idealism is for Hegel the philosophy that exposes and shows what philosophy is actually about. The purpose of this essay is to render explicit the metaphilosophical implications of Hegel´s conception of absolute idealism as the “true philosophy” (wahre Philosophie, wahrhafte Philosophie). (shrink)
Practical wisdom enables moral decision-making and action by aligning one’s apprehension of proximate goods with a distal, socially embedded interpretation of a more ultimate Good. A focus on purpose within the overall process mutually informs human moral psychology and moral AI development in their examinations of practical wisdom. AI practical wisdom could ground an AI system’s apprehension of reality in a sociotechnical moral process committed to orienting AI development and action in light of a pluralistic, diverse interpretation of that Good. (...) Defining AI purpose in terms of the human struggle to determine the moral “ought” (versus the way reality is) can overcome practical and normative limitations of principle-based approaches to AI ethics without requiring idiosyncratic moral reasoning or a premature commitment to a single ethical theory, which could hinder navigating the moral implications of future unknowns. Dividing practical wisdom into proximate, mediating, and distal processes enables each division to incorporate the moral dimensions of the situation, individual AI system, and sociotechnical community, respectively. Drawing upon externalist (4E) and ecological cognitive psychology theories to extend Xavier Zubiri’s sentient intelligence, proximate apprehension of what an object affords the perceiver includes affordances for practical and moral purposes. Those apprehensions are structured by moral and other social-cognitive schemas that mediate moral constructs, the apprehended situation, and individual commitments and other motivating identifications in a process Ignacio Ellacuria calls historical reality. Distally, Josiah Royce’s community of interpretation characterizes one way of organizing a sociotechnical process to synthesize diverse interpretations of the Good, orient AI moral practice, and align AI development with human and AI moral purpose. (shrink)
In contemporary philosophy, there is a widespread distinction between authenticity as self-discovery (which is an essentialist model, inspired by Rousseau, Herder and the Romantic tradition) and authenticity as self-creation (an existentialist model, inspired mainly by Kierkegaard and Sartre). In this paper, I would like to propose a threefold classification, which ads another model of authenticity, irreducible to any of the previous two. This third model is authenticity as self-reinvention, that could be reconstructed from Nietzsche’s philosophy. The self-reinvention model rests on (...) three different, yet interrelated, ideas: 1) Vitalism: The authentic individual wholeheartedly embraces every aspect of his existence, even pain and sufferings, thus proving he truly owns himself. 2) Perspectivism: The authentic individual is able to reinterpret his mental states in the utmost personal manner, through the transvaluation of values (Umwertung aller Werte) and the spiritualization (Vergeistingung) of his drives. 3) Experimentalism: Authenticity is an incessant play, a constant process of identity formation, which corresponds to Nietzsche’s hypothesis of “the subject as multiplicity” and to his ideal of existence as a work of art or of becoming the poet of your life. (shrink)
A growing body of work approaches the current environmental devastation from the perspective of a “crisis of sensitivity”: our inability to care for the living around us is said to be a failure of perception and feeling. The article explores several versions of the narrative of modern insensitivity through a study of Günther Anders and Jane Bennett, highlighting the limitations of such approaches. I suggest the notion of a desensitization apparatus to specify and politicize the diagnosis of a “crisis of (...) sensitivity”. (shrink)
This essay proposes to rethink the conceptual associations that bind immanence to the secular and oppose it to (divine) transcendence. It asks: What if immanence is divorced from the conceptual opposition between the world and its openings to (divine) other(s), between enclosure and the trace of a transcendent outside? What might arise if immanence is severed from its link with secularity, if it ceases to be merely another conceptual support in secularism’s metaphysical armature? To pursue these questions, the essay engages (...) a variety of materials, including medieval mysticism, anthropological critiques of the secular, work in Black studies, critiques of the subject, and François Laruelle’s non-philosophical thought. The result links immanence more intimately with dispossession than with the subject’s self-possession—and entwines it with the undercommons, as the atopic lowest place, rather than with the nomos and topos imposed by the (modern) world and its regime of the proper. Immanence is thought of as anti- and antenomian force, a groundless ground coming underneath the conceptual logics of the world, its normative order of things, and life lived according to its distributions. As a result, rather than a weapon in modernity’s endless self-justifying polemics with religion, immanence opens forth trajectories for its destitution and delegitimation. (shrink)
Through a study of nature and paternal power, this paper sheds light on the neglected theme of the relation between language and justice in Plato’s Cratylus. The dialogue inquires after the correctness of names, and it turns out that no lineage leads us back to a natural ground of names. Every lineage breaks; nature is always disrupted by the monstrous. It does not follow, however, that names are mere conventions without significance: on the contrary, naming is best understood as a (...) prayer to and for the just. The Cratylus reveals the insufficiency of language not to lead us to despair but to call us to the humility and the hope in which we must pray for justice. (shrink)
In the midst of a pandemic, what does it mean to see the Other as Other and not as a carrier of the virus? I argue that in seeking a Levinasian response to the pandemic, we must be mindful of the implications of the mechanisms of surveillance and control that, presented as ways to protect the Other, operate by controlling the Other and rendering our relation to the Other increasingly impersonal. Subjected to these mechanisms, the Other becomes a dangerous entity (...) that must be controlled, and the state that deploys them comes increasingly to mediate the relation between self and Other. The more we rely on such mechanisms for protection, the easier it becomes to regard the Other not as one who summons me to an infinite responsibility but as a vector of disease. Despite all the differences between Levinas’s and Foucault’s approaches, reading them in conversation shows that the control and surveillance of the population functions within a discourse that medicalizes and objectifies the Other in favor of the centralizing power that uses those technologies. In defiance of Levinas’s warning against imposing a narrative on the Other’s suffering, this discourse coopts that suffering as a justification for biopower. (shrink)
The essay examines solitude not as fate, sacrifice or passion, but as an experience that is actively initiated, that is perceived ambivalently, sometimes painfully, but also sensually, and that functions as context as well as occasion for the practice of cultural techniques – talking (to oneself), reading, writing, drawing or painting. Solitude techniques are analysed as “technologies of the self” (Michel Foucault) and “techniques of the body” (Marcel Mauss), as strategies for self-perception and “internal policy” (Paul Valéry). The history of (...) these self-techniques as solitude techniques is unfolded using examples from Stoic philosophy and early Christian theology. An emphasis is placed on self-doubling or splitting techniques: those who are alone with themselves also see themselves as more or less resilient objects that can be strengthened against the influences of other voices and people. Among the techniques of solitude is, above all, the quest for suitable places that are often – desert, sea, mountain peak, etc. – characterised not only by being devoid of humans, but also by a kind of uniformity. In this way, they resemble writing or drawing surfaces on which meanings can be brought to light through sketches or graphic characters. (shrink)
The diaries that detail Ernst Jünger’s time in occupied Paris can be as frustrating as they are captivating. Their tone is often both elegiac and detached, at once keenly aware of and distant from the suffering occurring all around their author. This ambiguity becomes particularly apparent in the contrast between the remarkable everyday encounters the diaries describe and their broader cosmic and world-historical ruminations. In this paper, I want to suggest that this tension can be read as a response to (...) the imperatives through which totalising thought shapes how subjects operating under its confines relate to time itself. This dynamic, which can already be found in Jünger’s own earlier work, is dramatized in the way that the diaries construct the alternative temporal perspective of the witness. The witness here is one who survives outside of, and yet also remains caught between, two temporal imaginaries characteristic of modernity: Totalising historicization – the sweeping narrative of progress that demands the sacrifice of the present individual and individual present – and mechanised temporality, that is, instrumentalised clock time. (shrink)
Jane Bennett’s vital materialism develops positive ontological commitments to lively matter and resistant vitality, articulated using notions of actant and assemblage, thing-power and the out-side. I show that these ontological commitments reveal a limit for traditional modes of human knowing, favoring an emergent epistemology that attends to the ways actants and assemblages express themselves. I then argue for an account of acting that positions humans as guests of vibrant matter. Compacts of guest-friendship in Plato’s Crito and Kant’s To Perpetual Peace (...) indicate that to be a guest is to be embedded in an asymmetrical system. The compact that binds the guest in a world of vibrant matter is the prospect of friendship with nonhuman others, a prospect I discuss following the work of Nick Bingham. I conclude by addressing Axelle Karera’s recent critique of Anthropocenean discourses, explaining the role guest-friendship can play in addressing certain of the weaknesses Karera identifies. (shrink)
Resumo: A Logoterapia proposta por Viktor Frankl está fundamentada na teoria dos valores e antropologia de Max Scheler. Frankl constrói seu pensamento psicológico baseado em conceitos-chave do pensamento scheleriano como (i) o valor e os bens, (ii) o querer e os sentimentos, (iii) a hierarquia de valores e (iv) a ideia de pessoa. É com eles que desenvolve suas teses originais da (i) motivação espiritual da ação humana, (ii) busca de sentido e (iii) inconsciente espiritual. Ao fazê-lo, ofereceu não só (...) uma psicoterapia dos valores, mas também uma nova teoria da motivação humana positiva, não concebida como fruto de deficiência ou necessidade, mas do espírito livre direcionado a valores objetivos. A busca humana por sentido na vida só é possível ser bem-sucedida com a vivência e realização de valores superiores, no sentido hierárquico proposto por Scheler. (shrink)
Philosophy, starting from Kant, tries to delimit the limits and thus to finitize human consciousness, but then it fails in the task of assuming finiteness itself as finite, with a certain beginning and an end. In my essay I present different conceptualizations of the end which resist the logic of means, opened up by ecological thought, starting from the problem – central to the continental philosophy of the 20th century – of human finitude. In the first part of the essay, (...) the relationship between finitude and truth is problematized through a critical reading of Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, and Alain Badiou. In the second part I present some hypotheses on how this relationship is transformed by the category of extinction, understood as a non-human transformational capacity of human thought, a radical capacity of alienation which can, however, become an access to a dimension of thought in which «ecology» designates a new thinking of togetherness and of cooperation which drives contemporary thought into reformulation of political possibilities for the future. If, however, current ecological thought sometimes promotes the post-political scenario of an organic return to the earth, an extinction understood in the sense of the end of human life and an abrupt termination of the world, in my essay I rather try to maintain human’s ability of detachment as a political dimension, the capacity of thought to make a difference. (shrink)
Deleuze’s “transcendental empiricism” and the “empirical side” of Whitehead’s metaphysics are paradoxical unless placed in the context of their unorthodox readings of empiricism. I explore this context focusing on their engagements with Hume. Both subvert presumptions of a categorical gap between external nature and internal human experience and open possibilities for a speculative empiricism that is non-reductive while still affirming experience as source for philosophical thinking. Deleuze and Whitehead follow Hume in beginning with events of sensation as primary but do (...) not presume the logic of (human) subjects and objects (of nature) as necessary structuring polarities for their interpretation. This challenges a basic distinction (between inner and outer or between self and world) that seems inherent in the ordinary concept of experience, thus earning the moniker speculative. The speculative empiricist studies how these abstractions arise from events of experience prior to their consolidation in representation. This includes a critical component: to what extent do unexamined assumptions about conceptual abstraction hinder, block, or prefigure experiential attention? This critical component has existential implications for how we attend to the affective, intuitive, and preconceptual. (shrink)
The essays in this volume all ask what it means for human beings to be embodied as desiring creatures—and perhaps still more piercingly, what it means for a philosopher to be embodied. In taking up this challenge via phenomenology, psychoanalysis, hermeneutics, and the philosophy of literature, the volume questions the orthodoxies not only of Western metaphysics but even of the phenomenological tradition itself. We miss much that has philosophical import when we exclude the somatic aspects of human life, and it (...) is therefore the philosopher’s duty now to rediscover the meaning inherent in desire, emotion, and passion—without letting the biases of any tradition determine in advance the meaning that reveals itself in embodied desire. Continental philosophers have already done much to challenge binary oppositions, and this volume sets out a new challenge: we must now also question the dichotomy between being at home and being alienated. Alterity is not simply something out there, separate from myself; rather, it penetrates me through and through, even in my corporeal experience. My body is both my own and other; I am other than myself and therefore other than my body. Additionally, this book is a conversation, not a presentation of a new orthodoxy. Thus, the hope is that these essays will open the way for further dialogue that will continue to radically rethink our understanding of embodied desire. Gathered together here are twelve essays that address these issues from deeply interrelated albeit unique perspectives from within the field. (shrink)
In Capitalism, Alienation and Critique Asger Sørensen offers a wide-ranging argument for the classical Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, thus endorsing the dialectical approach of the original founders (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse) and criticizing suggested revisions of later generations (Habermas, Honneth). Being situated within the horizon of the late 20th century Cultural Marxism, the main issue is the critique of capitalism, emphasizing experiences of injustice, ideology and alienation, and in particular exploring two fundamental subject matters within this horizon, namely economy (...) and dialectics. Apart from in-depth discussions of classical political economy and Hegelian dialectics, the explorative and inclusive argument also takes issues with Émile Durkheim’s theory of value, the general economy of Georges Bataille and the dialectics of Mao Zedong. -/- - See below External Links to the book's homepage at the publisher Brill and to the Introduction. - See also External Links to a Youtubevideo from a seminar on the book in Belgrade, November 2019 and two Author Meet Critics sections from 2020 and 2021. (shrink)
The notion of ‘the end’ has long occupied philosophical thought. In light of the horrors of the twentieth century, some writers have gone so far as to declare the end of philosophy itself, emphasizing the impossibility of thinking after Auschwitz. In this book the distinguished philosopher Alain Badiou, in dialogue with Giovanbattista Tusa, argues that we must renounce ‘the pathos of completion’ and continue to think philosophically. To accept the atrocities of the twentieth century as marking the end of philosophy (...) is intolerable precisely because it buys into the totalizing doctrines of the perpetrators. Badiou contends that philosophical thinking is needed now more than ever to counter the totalizing effects of globalized capitalism, which prescribes no objective for human life other than integration into its system, giving rise to a widespread sense of hopelessness and nihilism. (shrink)
In his theoretical essays on language, Walker Percy criticizes contemporary linguistics for overlooking the deep, existential impact that language acquisition has on human life. This acquisition, for Percy, radically transforms the human being’s mode of existence. With the acquisition of language, the world and our role in it change. The meaning of the world comes to be revealed through the ongoing life of human discourse: through books, conversations, philosophical inquiry, and so on. This chapter clarifies and elaborates on Percy’s critique (...) by showing how it arises as a central insight in twentieth-century German phenomenology, particularly in the later work of Martin Heidegger and in the hermeneutic phenomenology of Heidegger’s student, Hans-Georg Gadamer. (shrink)
This book pursues a formal and critical language of interdisciplinarity. The 'founding' disciplines within the Humanities – theology, philosophy, and literarure – are brought together here in a shared space, but one that reconsitutes the very nature of each and any discipline. In this space, critique and imagination consciously merge, giving way to a new kind of thinking, a new kind of consciousness, a new kind of textuality. Readings alternate between discursive analysis of a critical thinker – Kant, Nietzsche, and (...) Gadamer – and a more imaginative analysis of a novelist, poet or playwright – Bulgakov, Goethe, Kundera, and Sophocles. In this movement between the critical and creative traditions, a fusion, at once organic and dynamic, takes place: theologian, philosopher and artist become one, and a pure interdisciplinarity begins to emerge into view. The author draws us into a new critical-poetic sensibility, by which we may explore the ultimate questions of human existence and divine reality with new vigor, and sustain, or indeed revitalize, our deep passion for the fundamental question of truth. (shrink)
Moritz Geiger (1880–1937) in Phänomenologische Ästhetik paper postulates aesthetics to become an autonomous science. The new science is intended to analyze aesthetic values and to discover the rules of their regulations. It tends to be separated from aesthetics as the sub-discipline of philosophy (especially under the influence of metaphysics) and aesthetics as a field of applying other sciences (mainly psychology). It may be achieved by the usage of a phenomenological method.
Статья посвящена выявлению оснований доксологии Матса Розенгрена – шведского философа, который пытается реабилитировать доксу в теории познания и рассматривает возможность построения «протагорейской гносеологии». Доксология – это вариант натурализованной конструктивистской теории познания, развивающийся на базе риторической версии философской антропологии, где формулируется реалистичная версия субъекта познавательной деятельности. Познание, с точки зрения доксологии, – это преобразование человеческими коллективами мира и себя, предпосылкой которого является освоение объективированных результатов своей предшествующей деятельности. В ходе исследования использованы методы интерпретации и критический метод философии с опорой на принципы (...) историзма, непротиворечивости и системности рассмотрения. Показано, что выражением доксологической позиции и доксологического стиля мышления является неософистическая трактовка тезиса Протагора о человекомерности. Согласно этой трактовке, человек – это человечество, а не индивид; мерой, общей для всех людей, является логос, который формирует природу человека и мира в целом. В основе доксологической трактовки познавательной деятельности лежит схема функционального круга логоса и доксы. Содержательные предпосылки доксологического стиля мышления Розенгрен находит в работах П. Бурдьё, Л. Флека, Э. Кассирера, К. Касториадиса, в которых продемонстрировано, как фактически способы восприятия, мышления и действия, и способы производства, объективации и освоения опыта человеческих коллективов могут взаимозависимо конструировать друг друга. (shrink)
For a long time, Gilbert Simondon’s work was known only as either a philosophy restricted to the problem of technology or as an inspirational source for Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of difference. As Simondon’s thinking is now finally in the process of being recognized in its own right as one of the most original philosophies of the twentieth century, this also entails that some critical work needs to be done to disentangle it from an all too hasty identification with Deleuzian categories. (...) While both Simondon and Deleuze have made crucial contributions towards a theory of differential individuation that significantly diverges from other authors associated with French poststructuralism insofar as they insist on the dynamic and vital dimension of difference, they also differ on crucial points. Whereas Simondon sees the process of becoming as transductive amplification, Deleuze theorizes it as intensifying involution, leading to two notably distinct concepts of difference. (shrink)
Apresentamos a leitura deleuziana do papel e do poder da imaginação e do esquematismo no juízo estético segundo Immanuel Kant destacando, em particular, a importância de se pensar um desacordo entre faculdades e de, no limite, afirmarmos a impossibilidade de uma filosofia da arte. Como se dá o processo que liga sensações e conceitos, arte e filosofia? Ao respondermos a esta questão, também esclarecemos a situação peculiar de Kant na filosofia de Gilles Deleuze e a leitura que este faz em (...) A Filosofia Crítica de Kant, publicado em 1963. Teremos como objeto de análise um filme sensorial, To the Wonder/A Essência do Amor, realizado por Terrence Malick. (shrink)
This special issue brings together some of the highlights from the fifty-fourth annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Emory University hosted the conference on October 8–10, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. The articles included in this volume draw out, in plural ways, the trajectories, methodologies, and orientations that run through what we call today Continental philosophy. By mining the affective, imaginary, conceptual, and political dimensions of experience, they critically deepen and elaborate, indeed perform, not only what Continental (...) philosophies are about but how they orient perception, feeling, and thinking. Hence our issue, “Critical, Affective, and Plural... (shrink)
In 1928, a German zoologist and philosopher named Helmuth Plessner published a book titled Die Stufen des Organischen und der Mensch: Einleitung in die philosophische Anthropologie. Almost a 100 years later, Jos de Mul has edited a collection of 26 new essays on Plessner’s text, titled Plessner’s Philosophical Anthropology: Perspectives and Prospects. The volume offers a variety of advanced discussions of its theme. In this review essay of de Mul’s collection, I provide a critical overview of the contents of the (...) new volume and some speculations on the possible motives and future directions of the current “Plessner renaissance.”. (shrink)
While our world is characterized by mobility, global interactions, and increasing knowledge, we are facing serious challenges regarding the knowledge of the places around us. We understand and navigate our surroundings by relying on advanced technologies. Yet, a truly knowledgeable relationship to the places where we live and visit is lacking. This book proposes that we are utterly lost and that the loss of a sense of place has contributed to different crises, such as the environmental crisis, the immigration crisis, (...) and poverty. With a rising number of environmental, political, and economic displacements the topic of place becomes more and more relevant and philosophy has to take up this topic in more serious ways than it has done so far. To counteract this problem, the book provides suggestions for how to think differently, both about ourselves, our relationship to other people, and to the places around us. It ends with a suggestion of how to understand ourselves in an eco-political community, one of humans and other living beings as well as inanimate objects. This book will be of great interest to researchers and students of environmental ethics and philosophy as well as those interested in the environmental humanities more generally. (shrink)
This book aims to see how the victim and the ‘identity of the Real’ are wedded to philosophers and intellectuals. Towards this aim Laruelle does not ‘leave philosophy to its own authority’ just as he does not ‘leave theology or religious beliefs to their own authorities’ (119).
The topic of my remarks is progress, but I should note at the outset that I have structured this article as something like a theme with variations, rather than a tightly interconnected, progressive argument. I am interested in problematizing how the concept of progress is deployed across a range of discussions. I start with the role of progress in my own field of critical social theory, and then move on to consider the idea of philosophical progress, and finally connect this (...) idea to different visions of philosophical pluralism. So, in other words, I will be starting with the otherwise and then moving on to the philosophical.First-generation critical theorists of the Frankfurt school, especially Walter Benjamin and.. (shrink)
This is an introduction to a volume of articles containing highlights from the fifty-third Annual Meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) hosted by Loyola University–New Orleans with Tulane University from October 23–25, 2014. Many of the articles included here mine the rich and productive vein of post-Kantian critical philosophy that inspires so much work in Continental philosophy; hence the title of our volume is “Legacies of Critique.” The volume opens with the “Co-director’s Address” by outgoing SPEP (...) co-director Amy Allen. (shrink)
Erwin Panofsky’s essay “Perspective as Symbolic Form” from 1924 is among the most widely commented essays in twentieth-century aesthetics and was discussed with regard to art theory, Renaissance painting, Western codes of depiction, history of optical devices, psychology of perception, or even ophthalmology. Strangely enough, however, almost nothing has been written about the philosophical claim implicit in the title, i.e. that perspective is a symbolic form among others. The article situates the essay within the intellectual constellation at Aby Warburg’s Kulturwissenschaftliche (...) Bibliothek in Hamburg, and analyzes the role of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms for the members of the Warburg circle. Does perspective meet the requirements for becoming a further “symbolic form,” beyond those outlined by Cassirer? The article argues that, ultimately, perspective cannot possibly be a symbolic form; not because it does not meet Cassirer’s philosophical requirements, but rather, because that would uproot Cassirer’s overall project. While revisiting Panofsky with Cassirer unearths the wide-raging philosophical implication of the essay, revisiting Cassirer with Panofsky means to highlight the fundamentally perspectival nature of all symbolic forms. (shrink)
Each thinker, according to Heidegger, essentially thinks one thought. Plato thinks the idea. Descartes thinks the cogito . Spinoza thinks substance. Nietzsche thinks the will to power. If a thinker does not think a thought, then he or she is not a thinker. He or she may be a scholar or a professor, a producer or a consumer, a fan or a fake, but he or she would not be a thinker. Thus, if Heidegger is a thinker, he essentially thinks (...) one thought. What is Heidegger’s one thought? It is neither life nor death, neither me nor you. It is neither technology nor art. It is neither spirit nor language. Heidegger’s one thought is being—or more precisely, the question of the meaning of being. And what is being? Neither presence nor absence--but rather, an ambiguous uncertainty. (shrink)
Improvisation is the origin of art and science, tragedy and comedy, acting and doing, of the self as improvising and improvised. But clearly we cannot use improvisation to explain improvisation. We cannot be satisfied with an argument that improvisation is, well, improvisational--nor simply free-play. Rather, improvisation as αὐτο-σχεδιάζεῖν, means self-schematization.
What is a problem? What is problematic about any problem whatsoever, philosophical or otherwise? As the origin of assertion and apodeiction, the problematic suspends the categories of necessity and contingency, possibility and impossibility. And it is this suspension that is the essence of the problem, which is why it is so suspenseful. But then, how is the problem problematic? Only if what is suspended neither comes to presence, nor simply goes out into absence, that is, if the suspension continues, which (...) continues the problem. But what is problematic about suspension? As a consideration of language shows, the problem of suspension is the problem of implication. If being, for example, is merely implied, neither present nor absent, then it is the suspension of both, at least insofar as it is problematic. And this not only says something about language; rather, it has ontological implications as well — it speaks of being, and the being of anything whatsoever. For if being is implied, if that is the problem of being, it is because being is an implication. Then the being of things like problems is implied as well; or being is in things by implication. But what does it mean for being to be neither presence nor absence, but an implication? It means that being is implied in a way that is problematic — before it is necessary, or even possible. For being’s way of being is characterized by suspension — which has implications for thinking and speaking about being, and about things like problems, even about anything whatsoever. And this has implications for what being implies, namely, unity and time and aspect. (shrink)