This paper responds to Jane Tompkins’ statement “Not long ago… I urged a large roomful of women to ‘get theory’ because I thought that doing theory would admit us to the big leagues.” I propose that what is called “continental theory” provides some schemas which are helpful. One can perceive through them and try to fill out the details, such as a deconstructive schema.
This article argues that late Heidegger’s analyses of the Fourfold can be used as a methodological starting point for discourse analyses. It argues that the Fourfold points out elements or foundations of discursive structures that orient us to differing, and to some extent opposing, directions that are at the same time mutually interdependent. A discursive analysis of how the Fourfold is at play in prevailing discursive exchanges and structures will thus be a matter of situating ourselves in a conceptual space (...) beyond existing practices and structures, from which we get a picture of their inadequacies. As such, the article contributes to a critical understanding of discourse analysis. It will be argued that through understanding the Fourfold, we can better understand the problems with various aspects of ‘measuring’, which are founded upon the (concealed) instability of elements of the Fourfold – which shapes practical discursive engagements. By foregrounding this structural instability we can approach it critically. I demonstrate how this approach might be used in an analysis of a debate between Greta Thunberg and Bjørn Lomborg. (shrink)
This article reflects on the nuances and insinuations of a conceptualisation of “lament” as an inability to appropriate any object, or to turn the lost object into a fetish. While mourning, melancholia, and fetishism ultimately remain entangled with the ego (i.e., within a narcissistic configuration), lament goes beyond that, hinting at a loss of ego, a disintegration of the autonomous self. As a sonic expression of the failure of language, lament is a manifestation of the negativity or void at the (...) core of language. However, in lament this negativity is radicalised. This extreme obstruction, which impedes all connection, imparts to lament abstractive powers, ultimately qualifying lament as a political force. The last part of the article argues that the social imaginary of Iran, steeped in numerous failed attempts to rise above domination and subjection (as evident in myriad revolts and two revolutions in the twentieth century), could serve as promising material for the concretisation of such a theory of lament. (shrink)
Volume 2 contains both notebooks of "Time Management (Max) I and II" and thereby Gödel’s applied individual ethics, which he received among others through his teacher Heinrich Gomperz. Gödel thus incorporates the ethical ideal of self-perfection into his opus. The volume is prefaced by an introduction to relevant considerations from the ethics of the Stoics as well as ancient dietetics, which provide the philosophical background to understand Gödel’s approach. In addition, editor Eva-Maria Engelen presents how this fits into the context (...) of Gödel’s Philosophical Notebooks. (shrink)
The imagination—Einbildung—as its German makes clear is the faculty of formation. But this formative activity in various ways through the history of its concept has been intimately related to the concept of common sense, whether understood as the sense that gathers, orders, and makes coherent the various sense, or as the sensibility of the community. This contribution seeks to unfold that history of the concept of the creative or productive imagination while also tracing the parallel history of the concept of (...) common sense (sensus communis) and their relationship that begins with their inception in Aristotle, a connection that has been retained implicitly in one way or another, intentionally or not, at different times—but also often forgotten—in their history and that seems again to manifest with the recent conceptions of the social imaginary. I will trace this history in the Western philosophical tradition while also making use of a couple of Japanese philosophers who take part in this intellectual history. We shall follow the history of the imagination from Aristotle through Kant’s epistemology in his first Critique—when its productive function becomes positively, rather than negatively, evaluated—and on to the post-Kantians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Post-Kantians like Schelling and Heidegger ontologize that productivity of the imagination beyond the epistemic sphere and, in a parallel fashion, broaden its significance beyond the individual and onto the collective. Common sense also has a long and parallel history within the West that involves a variety of meanings starting with the Aristotelian faculty for integrating the various senses (as koinē aisthēsis) that was closely associated with the imagination (phantasia), and ending with two contrasting notions of a communal or social sensibility (as sensus communis)—the vulgar “commonplace” notion of common sense as habituated custom and the healthy sense of common sense as prudential, contextual, ethical judgment. Both senses of common sense together with the faculty of the imagination are found in Kant’s third Critique but the imagination’s creativity expressed in genius comes into tension with the latter communal sense of common sense (Gemeinsinn) that attempts to order and fetter that creativity with the judgment of taste. The contemporary notion of the social imaginary, for example, in Castoriadis, certainly recalls the close connection between the imagination and common sense in Aristotle but also seems to encompass both the vulgar and the healthy senses of common sense along with their tension in Kant. Although Kant wanted to argue for a transcendental basis of common sense as such that would fit with his theory of the imagination from the first Critique, the imagination itself has been broadened in the third Critique, making way for post-Kantian developments, such as in its ontologization, expanding it beyond the merely epistemic as noted above. At the same time this also broadens the significance of the faculty beyond the cognizing mind of the individual and onto the social sphere to unfold what was implicit in Kant’s third Critique. In Japan Miki Kiyoshi develops that ontology of the imagination even though he still affirms its transcendental status. Nonetheless he explicates its formative creativity as involving the human collective producing not only ideal forms for thought but also institutions and technics of human culture. Likewise, Castoriadis understands the creativity of the imagination in socio-collective terms. But in addition, he underscores—in contrast to Miki—its temporal contingency or historicity and non-transcendental status. At the same time, the tension between unbounded creativity and communal responsibility found in Kant’s third Critique—together with the form-formlessness dynamic found in Miki—in a certain sense reappears in Castoriadis’ theory of the social imaginary and the creative imagination. We might say that in general the notion of Gemeinsinn in Kant in that sense provides a bridge between the idea of a creative or productive imagination and the idea of the social imaginary, while harking back to the original relationship between koinē aisthēsis and phantasia in Aristotle. This connection is implicitly assumed, perhaps unintentionally, by many of the relevant thinkers who discuss either concept. It is made explicit in contemporary Japanese philosopher Nakamura Yūjirō’s discussions of common sense, but can also be extracted out of Hannah Arendt’s discussions of the imagination, judgment, and sensus communis. Conceptually the two converge in Castoriadis’ and Ricoeur’s notions of the social imagination/imaginary. I thus plan to trace the parallel history of these two concepts (imagination and common sense). This is a chapter in the book 'Social Imaginaries: Critical Interventions' edited by Suzi Adams and Jeremy Smith. (shrink)
Science fiction has served the film industry like a dreamy stepchild. It gets only scant accolades from its master but must do heavy lifting: that is, make money. While science-fiction films often emphasize spectacle and action, they also inspire philosophical contemplation. Why? Science fiction, dating back to Shelley and Verne, came into existence speculating about humanity's social and physical worlds. Many books and articles over the past several years discuss the philosophical issues that films raise. One fairly new school of (...) thought, "posthumanism," explicitly deriving from postmodernism, with touches of critical theory, has seized on science-fiction movies as support for its theorizing. This volume and its 42 authors from film theory, science and technology studies, literary criticism, media studies, and philosophy, offer an array of posthumanist scholarship. (shrink)
Jakob Friedrich Fries (1773–1843) was a nineteenth-century German philosopher, contemporaneous with so-called “German Idealism,” who is best known for his main work, New Critique of Reason (1807/1828–1831).¹ Fries regards Kant’s philosophy as incomplete and tries to revise and renew it. Since he adopts Kant’s spirit of criticism, he emphasises the finitude of human cognition and in this respect he criticises his contemporaneous opponents: Reinhold, Fichte, and Schelling. Fries criticises Kant’s conception of transcendental cognition as follows: Although transcendental cognition concerns cognitions (...) a priori, transcendental cognition itself can be acquired only in an empirical way because human cognition always begins with experience. Hence Kant was in error to regard it as a priori. German Idealists elaborated on Kant’s mistake and interpreted mere inner perception as cognition a priori, which led them to adopt the “synthetic method” as a means of philosophising. Fries corrects them by assuming the “analytical method,” whereby he starts from the standpoint of ordinary experience by analysing “the ordinary opinions (Beurtheilungen) in daily life” in order to reveal the philosophical cognitions constructing the general presuppositions of opinions. He calls such a project “Critique of Reason.” Kuno Fischer (1824–1907), however, contradicts Fries’s approach by defending German Idealists, arguing that the cognition a priori can never be acquired in an empirical way. Otto Liebmann (1840 –1912) also follows Fischer and criticises Fries’s approach as a “retrogression to Locke.” In this article I deal with Fries’s conception of the “Critique of Reason” and respond to the objections above. Fries’s method is an analysis of opinions, which are neither mere experience nor logical judging (urtheilen). The philosophical cognitions constructing the presuppositions of opinions belong to “reason,” which is to be distinguished from “understanding,” which conducts the “analysing” operation by relying on arbitrary reflection. (shrink)
This essay develops the concept of exposure as it functions in Michel Foucault's philosophical project. I argue that exposure is a critical component of subject formation in disciplinary society. It also is a concept that can elucidate Foucault's ethics as a form of resistance to power. Discipline forms subjects through processes of exposure that, on the one hand, isolate individual bodies and derive discursive knowledge and norms from them. On the other hand, discipline communicates a variety of techniques and knowledge (...) to physical bodies until those techniques and knowledge are incorporated. Some ethical practices, such as self-writing, mimic disciplinary practices insofar as they derive knowledge from bodily exposure and serve as important tools in embodying new knowledge. However, these ethical practices can be used to counter-disciplinary ends in everyday life. (shrink)
This book provides an account of ethical restoration in situations that bring ethical and political questions together. It shows how punishment as well as forgiveness and reconciliation are necessary to properly restore peace and justice in both transitional and democratic societies.
This review presents a systematic reading of Peter Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy, as part of a larger project to develop a techno-social ontology of place/s. Arguing against universalising theories of time and space, including Sloterdijk’s own conception of Spheres as ‘Being and Space’, this essay reads the trilogy through a ‘platial’ framework. While commenting on some of the shortcomings of the official English translations, the three volumes are being worked through methodically – Bubbles (micro spherology), Globes (macro spherology) and Foams (plural (...) spherology) – by placing particular emphasis on the third book, where Sloterdijk’s logic of spheres converges. The essay concludes by pointing out the limitation of Spheres as (philosophical) anthropology. (shrink)
This paper argues that Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological ontology may serve as an important and exigent critique of the dominant understandings of nature and living being that circulate today. Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of nature involves a return to perceptual experience – a return that amounts to a restoration of the inexhaustible depth of the world, and offers a non-subjectivist account of embodied participation or relationality. This emphasis on participation can lead to an increased attentiveness to difference. The paper begins with a discussion (...) of Merleau-Ponty's critique of Cartesian ontology and the idea of depth, as outlined in his last published text 'Eye and Mind.' The idea of depth is then related to Merleau-Ponty's engagement with the work of Jakob von Uëxkull, as outlined in the Nature lectures in 1956-60. Finally, the paper links these discussions to Merleau-Ponty's philosophy of the body and his phenomenological ontology. (shrink)
This chapter examines the imagination, its relationship to “common sense,” and its recent development in the notion of the social imaginary in Western philosophy and the contributions Miki Kiyoshi and Nakamura Yūjirō can make in this regard. I trace the historical evolution of the notion of the productive imagination from its seeds in Aristotle through Kant and into the social imagination or imaginary as bearing on our collective being-in-the-world, with semantic and ontological significance, in Paul Ricoeur, Cornelius Castoriadis, and Charles (...) Taylor. The two Japanese philosophers, when brought into dialogue with the above contemporary Western thinkers, can contribute to this recent development of the imagination’s creativity into the collective sphere. Miki shows a connection between the imagination and a certain form-formlessness dynamic he inherits from Nishida. Nakamura in turn points to a connection between imagination and place via his development of the Aristotelian notion of common sense. Both have implications on how we understand the social imaginary. (shrink)
Two major twentieth century philosophers, of East and West, for whom the nothing is a significant concept are Nishida Kitarō and Martin Heidegger. Nishida’s basic concept is the absolute nothing upon which the being of all is predicated. Heidegger, on the other hand, thematizes the nothing as the ulterior aspect of being. Both are responding to Western metaphysics that tends to substantialize being and dichotomize the real. Ironically, however, while Nishida regarded Heidegger as still trapped within the confines of Western (...) metaphysics with its tendency to objectify, Heidegger’s impression of Nishida was that he is too Western, that is, metaphysical. Yet neither was too familiar with the other’s philosophical work as a whole. I thus compare and assess Nishida’s and Heidegger’s discussions of the nothing in their attempts to undermine traditional metaphysics while examining lingering assumptions about the Nishida–Heidegger relationship. Neither Nishida nor Heidegger means by “nothing” a literal nothing, but rather that which permits beings in their relative determinacy to be what they are and wherein or whereby we find ourselves always already in our comportment to beings. Nishida characterizes this as a place that negates itself to give rise to, or make room for, beings. For Heidegger, being as an event that clears room for beings, releasing each into its own, is not a being, hence nothing. We may also contrast them on the basis of the language they employ in discussing the nothing. Yet each seemed to have had an intuitive grasp of an un/ground, foundational to experience and being. And in fact their paths cross in their respective critiques of Western substantialism, where they offer as an alterantive to that substantialist ontology, in different ways, what I call anontology. (shrink)
En la aplicación de la Analítica Existencial heideggeriana al campo de la psiquiatría, Binswanger se vio con la necesidad de trascender ciertos aspectos de su pensamiento encaminando su planteamiento ontológico a una tematización de cala- do antropológico. Esta interpretaría la “existencia” como la existencia de cada sujeto particular en su mundo vivido. Teniendo presente que, para Binswanger, el mundo contemplaba innegociablemente al “otro”, el modelo de ser-en-el-mundo se ampliaría a ser-en-el-mundo-con-otros, por lo que la noción de Sorge, orientada hacia uno (...) mismo, se vería igualmente ampliada a la de Liebe, implicando ese amor a la alteridad. Estas progresiones, como veremos en el artículo, despiertan no pocos acercamientos al pen- samiento orteguiano. Así, advertimos la proximidad a la idea de “vida”; a sus nociones antropológicas e intentos de catalogación sociológica; la idea de “preocupación” como cuidado, que contempla a la circunstancia como parte de “mi vida” y, en ella, necesa- riamente al otro como prójimo. Estas y otras conexiones entre ambos autores será lo que analicemos en el presente artículo. (shrink)
Death is ironic; as the archi-semiotician and first historian, death fixes object and meaning in a semiotic complex, separates non-sensuous meaning from bare physical existence, but thereby exposes meaning to the capriciousness of interpretation and tradition. The pause, however, conserves that which does not happen in repose, yet does not interrupt history, and lets history emerge in a movement in which all determination of meaning is suspended. This essay is written in memory of Werner Hamacher, whose life in writing shaped (...) language around its distance and delay from the fixity of sound and sense, which, as he argued, are the subliminal conditions to every communication, presentation, and form in general: formative limits that separate and conjoin that which is and the surplus of un-actuality and incompletion that accompanies each instant of our intentional lives. (shrink)
This essay conceives ecological life as radically dependent, vulnerable, and horrific. Epistemologically speaking, we are quite ignorant of the web of dependency that sustains our lives. Our ecological condition often prevents us from locating and identifying our dependencies and the many ways our actions impact the environment. This is the terror and danger that plagues the Anthropocene. Our ignorance bears an ontological weight that can be drawn out with the concept of trust. Trust, I argue, is not a choice. Trust (...) is a necessity to which we are riveted, and one that is always conditioned by our vulnerability and ignorance. The picture of ecological trust that I paint is not a hopeful one: it is dark, pessimistic, and urgent. It opposes visions of our future that are superstitious and optimistic about our ability to respond effectively to climate change. (shrink)
György Lukács’s Marxist phase is usually associated with his passage from neo-Kantianism to Hegelianism. Nonetheless, Nietzschean influences have been covertly present in Lukács’s philosophical development, particularly in his uncompromising distaste for the bourgeois society and the mediocrity of its quotidian values. A closer glance at Lukács’s corpus discloses that the influence of Nietzsche has been eclipsed by the Hegelian turn in his thought. Lukács hardly ever mentions the weight of Nietzsche on his early thinking, an influence that makes cameo appearances (...) throughout his lifetime writings. During the period of his adherence to a Stalinist approach to communism, his new subjectivity seems to be re-constituted through a disavowal of his earlier romantic anti-capitalism. Implicit in Lukács’s attack on Nietzsche in the Destruction of Reason (1952) is an acerbic reaction to the mute presence of the latter in his earlier thought. Apart from his ignorance of the unreliability of the collection of the Will to Power edited by Peter Gast and Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, his battle against the anti-proletariat Nietzsche in the Destruction is waged on a metaphysical, non-historical plain. Lukács’s pre-Marxist works (Soul and Form, On Poverty of Spirit, and The Theory of the Novel) in a sense betray the instance of a writer who writes most of someone where he omits his name. Thus perceived, Lukács’s early corpus lends itself to a symptomatic reading. -/- This essay seeks to extract the Nietzschean undercurrents of Lukács’s work through a reflection on the romantic anti-capitalist tendencies that the young Lukács shared with Nietzsche. For although it may appear that Nietzsche lacked a clear politics, his criticism of the bourgeois ethos as a structure based on debt/guilt [Schuld], and his critique of modern value-system and nihilism paved the way for the emergence of Lukács’s theory of reification. Nietzsche’s category of 'transvaluation of values’ suggests a total transfiguration of reality, a radical rupture with the ordinary state of things, and as such carries within itself a revolutionary promise. Drawing a distinction between political romanticism and romantic politics, I argue that romantic anti-capitalism contains a potential for the latter. The essay further traces the link between Lukács’s ‘romantic politics’ and the persistence of a thought of the tragic (a ‘tragic vision’) in his texts that, despite its temporary decline during his realist period, is undismissable in different constellations of his thought. (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)
Peter Sloterdijk’s Der Ästhetische Imperativ – Schriften zur Kunst is a collection of essays addressing a range of topics in the aesthetic realm, including sound, light, product design, cities and architecture, the human condition, museums, action cinema and the art system. Via a ‘media’-anthropological, historico-philosophical approach, he critiques the ‘aesthetic imperative’ of modern design civilizations by re-evaluating the analogy between universal ethics and aesthetics after Kant. In this way, Sloterdijk argues for a more singular, intensive, socially and environmentally responsible aesthetic (...) experience. (shrink)
Jan Patočka, perhaps more so than any other philosopher in the twentieth century, managed to combine intense philosophical insight with a farsighted analysis of the idea and challenges facing Europe as a historical, cultural and political signifier. As a political dissident in communist Czechoslovakia he also became a moral and political inspiration to a generation of Czechs, including Václav Havel. He accomplished this in a time of intense political repression when not even the hint of a unified Europe seemed visible (...) by showing in exemplary fashion how concrete thought can be without renouncing in any way its depth. Europe as an idea and a political project is a central issue in contemporary political theory. Patočka’s political thought offers many original insights into questions surrounding the European project. Here, for the first time, a group of leading scholars from different disciplines gathers together to discuss the specific political impact of Patočka’s philosophy and its lasting significance. (shrink)
This is the second article in a series of review articles addressing biosemiotic terminology. The biosemiotic glossary project is designed to integrate views of members within the biosemiotic community based on a standard survey and related publications. The methodology section describes the format of the survey conducted July–August 2014 in preparation of the current review and targeted on Jakob von Uexküll’s term ‘Umwelt’. Next, we summarize denotation, synonyms and antonyms, with special emphasis on the denotation of this term in current (...) biosemiotic usage. The survey findings include ratings of eight citations defining or making use of the term Umwelt. We provide a summary of respondents’ own definitions and suggested term usage. Further sections address etymology, relevant contexts of use, and related terms in English and other languages. A section on the notion’s Uexküllian meaning and later biosemiotic meaning is followed by attempt at synthesis and conclusion. We conclude that the Umwelt is a centerpiece phenomenon, a phenomenon that other phenomena in the living realm are organized around. To sum up Uexküll’s view, we can characterize an Umwelt as the subjective world of an organism, enveloping a perceptual world and an effector world, which is always part of the organism itself and a key component of nature, which is held together by functional cycles connecting different Umwelten. In order to pay respect to Uexküll’s work, we must move from notion to model, from mention of Uexküll’s Umwelt term to actual application of it. (shrink)
Diese Untersuchung wird von dem Gedanken geleitet, dass die Totalität menschlicher Selbstverhältnisse auf einen jeweils Anderen angewiesen ist, um sich entfalten und im Extremfall erhalten zu können. Dies gilt sogar mit Hinsicht auf das phänomenale Erleben. Dabei wird zum einen eruiert, wie sich anthropologische Grundkonstellationen mit ethisch relevanten Fragen der Lebensführung und Daseinsbewältigung verbinden, und zum anderen eine Technik der Lebensführung und der ethischen Vervollkommnung in den Blick genommen. Um den phänomenalen Gehalt menschlicher Selbstverhältnisse zu erfassen, werden insbesondere emotionale und (...) affektive Selbstverhältnisse untersucht. Im ersten Abschnitt des Beitrages wird ein Modell vorgestellt wie ein Innenleben und damit ein Selbst in dialogischen Strukturen entsteht. Im zweiten Teil wird eine traditionelle Technik des Selbstgesprächs als Dialog mit sich selbst beschrieben, mit Hilfe dessen ein Innenleben weiter entwickelt und entfaltet wird. Und im dritten Teil wird exemplarisch vorgeführt inwiefern auch das Bemühen um Selbst-Erhaltung auf dialogische Szenarien zurückgreift. (shrink)
Foucault’s disciplinary society and his notion of panopticism are often invoked in discussions regarding electronic surveillance. Against this use of Foucault, I argue that contemporary trends in surveillance technology abstract human bodies from their territorial settings, separating them into a series of discrete flows through what Deleuze will term, the surveillant assemblage. The surveillant assemblage and its product, the socially sorted body, aim less at molding, punishing and controlling the body and more at triggering events of in- and ex-clusion from (...) life opportunities. The meaning of the body as monitored by latest generation vision technologies formed from machine only surveillance has been transformed. Such a body is no longer disciplinary in the Foucauldian sense. It is a virtual/flesh interface broken into discrete data flows whose comparison and breakage generate bodies as both legible and eligible (or illegible). (shrink)
This paper brings Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological approach to Sasha Waltz’s dance film S, which focuses on the relation between sexuality and language. Maintaining that movement in cinema takes place in the viewers and not the film, the paper considers how the visual can be deepened to include the ways we move and are moved. Saussure’s insights into language are brought to the sensible, which is here understood in terms of divergences from norms. Though film would seem to privilege vision, viewing this (...) film helps to elucidate Merleau-Ponty’s claim that a film succeeds when it engages the viewer’s embodied understanding, and shifts the norms of the corporeal schema. (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.
Penulisan artikel ini sepenuhnya didasarkan pada perdebatan moral dalam diskursus etika yang cender- ung melihat nilai secara “an sich”, sehingga atas nilai tersebut digantungkan suatu bentuk kehidupan yang lebih ideal. Dalam hal ini, penghadiran Nietzsche dimaksudkan untuk memberi kritik tajam dengan membongkar semua kekeliruan dalam seluruh prasangka moral yang ada. Melalui genealogi yang diartigunakan sebagai penelusuran asal-usul dengan pendekatan fisio-psikologis, Nietzsche secara tidak langsung telah mewartakan bahwa moralitas telah berakhir dalam ketidakbermaknaannya bagi kehidupan.
The author charts out a path to a better understanding of world religions by pointing out that every religion has its own sociological and anthropological basis and that all ‘cultures are thereby similar, and likewise, all are different’ (201). He stresses that all human cultural and religious worlds are nothing but different worlds made indispensable and in the human imagination, each such world has its rightful place.
The guiding premise of this thesis is that the concept of historical time constitutes a distinct philosophical problem for Karl Marx’s work. Marx does not examine the relationship between time and history in his work, rendering the historicist framework of linear, progressive time the overriding framework through which he understands this relationship. However, the larger problem is that, despite this lack, the philosophical originality and critical function of Marx’s work is in no small measure defined by the contribution it makes (...) towards our understanding of this relationship. Therefore, this thesis argues that it is necessary to construct a concept of historical time out of Marx’s work. Methodologically, this begins with an outline of the broad contours of the materialist concept of history in 'The German Ideology', and a temporal reading of the historical act – the creation of the means of human life – on which this concept is based. This reading is then ontologically grounded, first by Martin Heidegger’s 'Being and Time', in order to establish how the act as such temporalises, and then by Jean-Paul Sartre’s 'Critique of Dialectical Reason', in order to grasp how this temporalisation can be thought in relation to the movement of historical totalisation, which is to say the ongoing totalisation of the time of all human lives. In short, Heidegger and Sartre enable us to secure labour and need – the two concepts upon which the materialist concept of history depends – as the two basic forces upon which historical temporalisation depends. Yet if, as Marx’s 'Capital' reveals, the specifically capitalist category of ‘abstract labour’ is the condition of thinking the transhistorical category of ‘labour in general’, and if abstract labour exists to satisfy capital’s need to self-expand, not the human’s need to live, then capital – not the human – is the condition of thinking history. Capital and its times give history its intelligibility, such that capitalism is the only standpoint from which ‘history as such’, ‘history itself’, can be conceived. However, the concept of historical time cannot simply register that capital makes the category of history possible. It must also account for the historically changing character of the relationship between time and history, and hence the possibility of social and historical time after capitalism. (shrink)
This paper examines the notion of the biopolitical body from the standpoint of Foucault’s logic of the security mechanism and the history he tells of vaccine technology. It then investigates how the increasing importance of the genetic code for determining the meaning and limits of the human in the field of 20th century cell biology has been a cause for ongoing transformation in the practices that currently extend vaccine research and development. I argue that these transformations mark the emergence of (...) a new kind of medical subject – the stabilized and infinitely reproducible human cell line – and that the practices and markets exploiting this new form of organism have had a destabilizing effect on the very biopolitical structures that engendered them and, in fact, mark a new way of conceiving the possibilities of cellular life. I call these new ways of organizing power that intervene in the logic of the security measure by mediating the relationship between populations and persons the microbiopolitical. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to provide a psychological perspective on Zhu Xi (ZX) and Dai Zhen (DZ) views about human nature, by comparing the potential implications of their views on an agent's moral cultivation. To help frame this objective, I will ask and answer the following question: if one commits to ZX who holds the view that human nature is innately good, although obscured, versus if one holds DZ's view that while human nature has the potential for good (...) but it is unformed or unknown (i.e., no original nature) then what are some of the possible implications for self love, sympathy, hope, forgiveness, and spontaneity that are relevant considerations, some of which have been noted by ZX and DZ, for the advance of an agent's moral cultivation. The implications of ZX's commitment to human nature being innately good could entail the following: despite an agent’s obscurities, because his nature is good, he is lovable and he can be hopeful that he can shed off his obscurities via proper moral cultivation. Spontaneity is encouraged as an integral part of an agent's moral self-cultivation. His self-responsibility, hinges on his ability to use the instrumentality of moral cultivation, for which he would need the assistance of a moral teacher. There is a greater capacity for forgiveness because of the presumption that the human nature is inherently good. He can sympathize and extend concern for others, in part, because others' nature is also good. ZX's view may potentially carry a risk of excess and a risk of expecting mainly the good, but not the unknown. Alternatively, implications for DZ's commitment to no original human nature, entails the following: DZ's view is likely more conducive to expecting and embracing the unknown, which potentially makes DZ's philosophy more practical, because we live in a world where we often encounter unknowns and unfamiliar people. Self-love is a prerequisite to know love before one can love others. A moral agent can be hopeful because his potential is good, and it will not be a lost opportunity in light of the constitutive essence of moral cultivation. Despite DZ appearing to be against spontaneity, he is only against the kind of spontaneity that could be hurtful to others as does ZX. Lastly, I argue that DZ's view could result in a broader and more practical commitment to sympathy. Compared to ZX, I argue that DZ’s view could have a potential risk of lower self-responsibility and risk of resistance to self-forgiveness, which does not arise out of DZ’s views about the human nature per se, but rather stems from DZ's bias towards externalized morality. (shrink)
This paper proceeds from the premise that time and temporality constitute a distinct philosophical problem for Marx and Engels’s materialist concept of history in 'The German Ideology'. It is thus necessary to 'temporalize' this concept of history: to situate it in relation to the active production of a dynamic difference between the past, the present, and the future. After revisiting the philosophical dimensions of Marx’s concepts of materialism, the human, and need, this article uncovers a temporality within the materialist concept (...) of history that is irreducible to a historicist framework of linear, progressive time. (shrink)
Itinerant Philosophy: On Alphonso Lingis gathers a diverse collection of texts on Lingis’s life and philosophy, including poetry, original interviews, essays, book reviews, and a photo essay. It also includes an unpublished piece by Lingis, “Doubles,” along with copies of several of his letters to a friend.
This paper proceeds from the premise that time and temporality constitute a distinct philosophical problem for Marx and Engels’s materialist concept of history in The German Ideology. It is thus necessary to “temporalize” this concept of history: to situate it in relation to the active production of a dynamic difference between the past, the present, and the future. After revisiting the philosophical dimensions of Marx’s concepts of materialism, the human, and need, this article uncovers a temporality within the materialist concept (...) of history that is irreducible to a historicist framework of linear, progressive time. (shrink)
Our understanding of Schelling’s internal critique of German idealism, including his late attack on Hegel, is incomplete unless we trace it to the early “Philosophical Letters on Dogmatism and Criticism,” which initiate his engagement with the problem of systematicity—that judgment makes deriving a system of a priori conditions from a first principle necessary, while this capacity’s finitude makes this impossible. Schelling aims to demonstrate this problem’s intractability. My conceptual aim is to reconstruct this from the “Letters,” which reject Fichte’s claim (...) that the Wissenschaftslehre is an unrivalled system. I read Schelling as charging Fichte with misrepresenting a system’s livability or commensurability with our finitude. My historical aim is to provide a framework for understanding Schelling’s Freiheitsschrift, which argues that a system’s liveability depends on its incompleteness or limitation by our finitude. On my reading, Schelling is early and continually committed to systematicity within the bounds of human finitude. (shrink)
Abstract The aim of this paper is to discern the subtitle on 2004 Marc Richir’s book, Phantasia, imagination, affectivité. Phénoménologie et anthropologie phénoménologique. Traditionally, Phenomenology has been elusive to link to Anthropology. However, Richir gives its importance including it into the title of his book. Husserl first, and then Richir, facing the Cartesian solipsist subjectivity outline, propose the concept of intersubjectivity. Community prevails over an individual and generalizing self. The other, then, becomes our incarnation, a live-‐‑incarnation, it defines our own (...) self, as long as it is done from a de-‐‑anchoring, that is to say, there is a union in distance, it is the intersubjectivity tissue. The community, therefore, shapes up, but it is not uniform yet it is always a whole. The concept of Phantasieleib plays a significant role in this community, this Richirianne concept is very important to grasp the movement between fantasy and language, also, it is very influential in actual phenomenologists as Murakami. This movement is also key in language and phenomena language, furthermore, is also relevant in the Inter-‐‑subjectivity Foundation. Resumen El objetivo de este artículo es discernir el subtítulo de Marc Richir, del 2004, a saber, Phantasia, imagination, affectivité. Phénoménologie et anthropologie phénoménologique. Tradicionalmente, la fenomenología se ha mostrado reticente a vincularse a la antropología. Por el contrario, Richir le confiere una importancia al incluirlo en dicho título. Frente al planteamiento cartesiano de una subjetividad solipsista, primero Husserl y después Richir, proponen la intersubjetividad. La comunidad prevalece ante la individualidad de un yo generalizador. El otro se convierte en nuestra encarnación, una encarnación viva, define nuestro propio yo, siempre que se haga en un des-‐‑anclaje, es decir, se produce una unión en la distancia, es el tejido de la intersubjetividad. La comunidad, por tanto, toma forma, pero, no es uniforme, aunque está siempre unida. El concepto de Phantasieleib juega un papel fundamental en dicha comunidad, este concepto richiriano es muy importante para comprender el movimiento entre phantasia y pensamiento, además, de suponer una gran influencia en los fenomenólogos actuales como Murakami. Este movimiento es también importante en el lenguaje y los fenómenos del lenguaje, a su vez, relevante también en la fundamentación de la intersubjetividad. (shrink)
In this essay, I argue that the work of Giorgio Agamben provides us with a theory of studious play which cuts across many of the categories that polarize educational thought. Rather than either ritualized testing or constructivist playfulness, Agamben provides a model of what he refers to as studious play—a practice which suspends the logic of both ritual and play. In order to explore this notion of studious play, I first articulate Agamben’s fleeting remarks on the topic with an important (...) problematic found in his early, literary work: transmission. If ritual transmits cultural traditions to ensure continuity with the past, and play as constructivist invention makes such transmission impossible, then studious play transmits transmissibility itself as a pure potentiality. Studious play accomplishes this peculiar educational task by suspending without destroying traditional things: laws, signs, and so on. I end the essay with a consideration of the ontological status of suspended things, arguing that they are transformed into toys via the action of study. Finally, I give a literary example of studious play found in Robert Walser’s novel Jakob von Gunten in which the school itself is imagined to be a kind of toy. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss and compare the possibility of thinking that which is most worth our thought in Deleuze’s What Is Philosophy? and Heidegger’s course lectures in What Is Called Thinking?. Both authors criticize the history of philosophy in similar ways in order to reconsider what should be taken as the nature and task of philosophical thinking. For Deleuze, true thinking is the creation of concepts, but what is most worth our thought in fact cannot be thought. For Heidegger, (...) Being calls on us think, and to think rightly is to be underway toward thinking itself, a grateful heeding of Being. In this paper I explore the very possibility to think that which is most worth our thought. I will argue that although for both authors proper thinking as such is possible, thinking what is most worth our thought seems remarkably both possible as impossible. (shrink)
Ronald Dworkin states in his preface to “Law's Empire” that he is doing a phenomenology of law. In regards to a phenomenology of law, I wish to investigate Dworkin's theory of law, and subsequently, what is left out in order for it to be considered a phenomenological account. In doing so, I will compare Dworkin's phenomenology of law to Schütz's phenomenology of the social world. The comparison between the two will illuminate what I believe is necessary for law, and that (...) is a Phenomenology of the Pre‐Legal. (shrink)
The question ' What is Philosophy? ' is a peculiar kind of question for SSB. He has got his own view regarding the nature of philosophy. For him it is a kind of intellectual exercise which takes place all over the world in different time periods irrespective of the geographical limit, race-limit, etc. This is a human expression as well as an endeavor and has got its own significance in the history of mankind. This activity of producing philosophy is an (...) apex intellectual exercise. For him Philosophy is an action. It is not just contemplation and speculation in air. He does not allow the word ' speculation ' to be applied for this activity since he believes to be an action oriented study in the true sense of the term. For him,it is a worldview expressed by sensible, articulated, neat, sensitive humans in entire human race. He analyses philosophical terms in traditional ways and interprets them in modern idiom with special reference to cultures in and civilizations in the world. (shrink)
What is philosophy? That’s a good question—not because there’s no answer, but because what’s involved in posing it points up something essential to philosophy. ¶ In the *Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect,* Spinoza sets out what’s required by a definition. A circle, a typical definition might run, is a figure in which all lines drawn from the center to the circumference are equal. The problem with this definition, what makes it merely verbal, is that it defines a circle (...) by way of one of its properties, not by way of its essence. Definition, for Spinoza, gets at the essence (from which all properties follow): A complete definition demonstrates how what it defines comes about. The definition of a circle as a figure that is described by any line of which one end is fixed and the other movable, as one commentator has pointed out, “literally generates the circle by providing a procedure whereby we ‘make’ the thing to be defined.” ¶ Philosophy is defined by what takes place in the question of philosophy itself. What Auden said of poetry could also be said of philosophy: it makes nothing happen. *Nothing* happens, or nothing *happens*—and in the space of the same few words both *can.* Philosophy operates that displacement and is defined by it: “what is *philosophy*?” become “*what is* philosophy?”—the question persists, but everything has changed. (shrink)
Today, philosophy of education comes forward as diverse, many-faceted and numerous engagements with issues and problems concerning both the fields of philosophy and education. But what is the vital mission of contemporary philosophers of education, and how is this mission justified? Through a tentative reading of Alain Badiou’s ethic and philosophical manifestos, I here hope to throw some lights on these questions. To do so, I clarify Badiou’s epistemic and ontological positions and discuss the relevance of his “ethic of truths” (...) and “democratic materialism”. To what degree may Badiou inform the potential topicality and relevance of a philosophy of education of and for the present? (shrink)
This essay proposes to read Jean-Luc Nancy’s references to creation ex nihilo as both an intervention in the French debate concerning eventness, and as a transformative rethinking of the status of phenomenality. Nancy’s position is roughly triangulated relative to key remarks from other thinkers and, above all, its distinctive components (temporality, negativity, spatiality) are elucidated through historical glosses. Articulating the overall architecture of this theory serves to illustrate the Heideggerian access to the event debate. It also deepens aspects only elliptically (...) alluded to in Nancy’s own writing. (shrink)
It is my pleasure to present you the first issue of the Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal, published by the Department of Philosophy and Sociology, Pedagogical University of Cracow. This is a peer-reviewed journal founded to facilitate dialogue between Polish and international scholars and, on the other hand, to build bridges between professional philosophers and a wider educated public. We are open to the publishing of scholarly studies in history of philosophy as well as papers reporting the on-going debates in contemporary (...) philosophy, representing various currents in philosophical inquiry, including continental, analytic, non-Western traditions and comparative perspectives. We also publish polemical papers, responses and interviews, book reviews and notices from professional philosophers. Besides, we are open to critical and innovative suggestions concerning teaching methods and the purposes of up-to-date philosophical education. As the name itself suggests, the Argument is intended to provoke rational argument, encourage clear and precise reasoning, and enhance the essential philosophical need for justification and well-founded argument that support the presented views and clarify the accepted positions. the Argument is also intended to serve as a forum for dedicated philosophical debate, polemics and dispute implied by the plurality of the methods and possible interpretations developed within contemporary philosophy. Being aware of the variety of socio-epistemic dimensions of scholarship we also encourage critical, inter-disciplinary and creative articles on topics of traditional and emerging interest. Therefore, we welcome papers on such varied specialisations as: metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, axiology, logic, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mind, political philosophy, philosophy of science, as well as philosophical education, gender and feminist thought, bioethics, environmental philosophy, etc. Favouring methodological and thematic plurality we also want to present philosophy as a rich field of great cultural and social value. (shrink)