This is a critical examination of Zizek's concept of ideology in his work on the Sublime of Ideology. His account on this connotes that people are basing only in the conscious state without considering the unconscious "I." This framework in psychology has led Zizek to relate it in the process of economics which is greatly manifested in the contradictory poles of the oppressor and the oppressed and its relationship to the process of commodities. Looking into this orientation, this leaves the (...) author to incorporate the ideological character of Zizek through the lens of Anti-Terrorism Law which is not seen in the naked eye. (shrink)
Nietzsche’s psychological theory of the drives calls into question two common assumptions of ideology critique: 1) that ideology is fetishistic, substituting false satisfactions for true ones, and 2) that ideology is falsification; it conceals exploitation. In contrast, a Nietzschean approach begins from the truth of ideology: that capitalism produces an authentic contentment that makes the concealment of exploitation unnecessary. And it critiques ideology from the same standpoint: capitalism produces pleasures too efficiently, an overproduction of desire that is impossible to sustain (...) indefinitely. Nietzsche’s concept of the drives (Trieben) is grounded in his theory of the will to power. In contrast to Freud’s view that drives aim at satiation, pleasure through stimulus reduction, in Nietzsche’s view, they aim primarily at the “feeling of power” and the “happiness of high tension.” Nietzsche sees the desire for satiation as a symptom of weakness, a secondary, contingent aim that is incompatible with the fundamental drive to sustain and heighten the feeling of tension that accompanies strong desire. While the Freudian subject desires satisfaction, the Nietzschean subject is paradoxically frustrated by satisfaction, finding happiness in desire sustained by resistance and tension. If individuals desire desire as such, then exploitation and immiseration are not necessarily incompatible with their happiness. Consequently, we must reject the view that ideology is fetishistic: capitalism does not depend on an ersatz satisfaction in the commodity, a transferal of value from quality to quantity, use value to exchange value. Capitalism authentically satisfies desire precisely through its exploitative economic structure. The independence and unpredictability of the value of commodities and the immiseration of laborers produces discontents that enhance rather than frustrate desire. By continually introducing new, initially inaccessible commodities, then overcoming their inaccessibility through overproduction, capitalism sustains and intensifies desires. It promotes happiness not by satisfying wants but generating them, feeding the desire for desire, for the intensity of feeling that the brief pleasures of satiation would destroy. The commodity is not, then, a fetish, not a false satisfaction or aim, but a means, a prop that supports and sustains satisfaction as continued desire. Consequently, we must also reject the view that ideology is falsification: capitalism’s efficient production of happiness obviates the need to conceal its nature. Individuals tolerate capitalism not out of ignorance of exploitation but indifference to it; they prefer real happiness to a merely possible justice that might come at its expense. The critique of ideology must begin by acknowledging its truth. Rather than deny the real satisfactions of capitalism, it must demonstrate that they are unsustainable. (shrink)
Contents -/- Acknowledgments CHAPTER 1: Two conceptions of education 1.1 Competences and Bildung 1.2 PISA amid competences and Bildung 1.3 The plan; CHAPTER 2: Competence-based education 2.1 Introduction 2.2 A short history of competence 2.3 The concept of competence 2.4 Student self-directed learning 2.5 Competence-based education 2.6 Strengths and weaknesses of competence-based education 2.7 Conclusions; CHAPTER 3: Competence-based education and society 3.1 Introduction 3.2 OECD key competences and society 3.3 Communicative action, recognition and epistemic injustice 3.4 Undesirable effects of competence-based (...) education: malignant meritocracy, compartmentalised thinking and inability to counter social acceleration 3.5 Conclusions CHAPTER 4: Bildung-oriented education 4.1 Introduction 4.2 A short history of Bildung 4.3 Analysis of classical Bildung 4.4 Bildung-oriented education within the Didaktik tradition 4.5 Bildung and the production of meaning 4.6 Klafki’s critical constructive Didaktik 4.7 Epistemic injustice, political agonism, communicative inclusion and social recognition 4.8 An appraisal of Bildung-oriented education 4.9 Conclusions; CHAPTER 5: Cultural imperialism and student assessment 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Social injustice and the ideal of impartiality 5.3 Intellectual traditions and liberal individualism 5.4 The crisis of economic rationality 5.5 Bildung judgment vs competence measurement 5.6 Conclusions; CHAPTER 6: Bildung and forms of life 6.1 Introduction 6.2 What forms of life are 6.3 Criticising forms of life: some preliminaries 6.4 Immanent Critique 6.5 Forms of life as problem solving and learning activities 6.6 Competence-based education is a deviant form of life 6.8 How Bildung-oriented education can heal forms of life 6.9 Concluding thoughts Bibliography . (shrink)
After years of neglect, alienation has again reached the agenda of critical thought. In my case, I recognize alienation as a challenge for education in contemporary societies. To obtain conceptual resources to overcome this challenge, I have revisited the comprehensive 20 th century discussion of alienation. Today, alienation is naturally discussed as an existential condition of human being, but still in the 1980s, there was a strong Marxist current that claimed alienation to be implied by capitalism, in particular by the (...) institution of private property and the social division of labor, and that alienation therefore should be criticized as part of the critique of capitalism and political economy and possibly overcome. Today, under the hegemony of neo-liberal capitalism, this critical and processual concept of alienation is more relevant than ever. Hence, in the present work I argue that the basic logic of Marx's idea of alienation still has critical potential. The argument forms a long engagement with mainly 20 th century literature, departing from the very idea of capitalism, considering the ideas of history, education and democracy, discussing how to distinguish and translate key terms, considering why alienation became an object of controversy among Marxists, offering an interpretation of Marx's critique relevant for contemporary society, thus considering alienation a consequence of working under conditions of private property, i.e. being a human being in a capitalist society, and finally presenting Marx's idea of communism as relevant to the contemporary educational agenda. (shrink)
At first blush values such as diversity appear to be worth striving for. The question is whether or not such values—which have become increasingly prevalent the institutional credos of academia—are values as such, that being that they are things of moral worth (Value, n.d.), or if they are something else altogether. My unpopular suspicion leans toward the latter. Personal opinions, of course, can hardly be said to be good justification for a withering critique, however, these opinions of mine mirror similar (...) concerns held by moderate and conservative opinions of the matter (Pew Research Center, 2017). As such it is beneficial to examine these issues rigorously separated from the pathological rhetoric that typically insulates them from outside reproach. Anecdotally speaking, since "diversity" seems to be the chief concern among these groups both in the academic setting and the world at large, the crux of this article will be anchored by a Marx-influenced assessment of the actuality of diversity as a social work in the academic environment, and the effect such projects might have if my suspicions prove to be correct. (shrink)
From the outset, critical social theory has sought to diagnose people’s participation in their own oppression, by revealing the roots of irrational and self-undermining choices in the complex interplay between human nature, social structures, and cultural beliefs. As part of this project, Ideologiekritik has aimed to expose faulty conceptions of this interplay, so that the objectively pathological character of what people are “freely” choosing could come more clearly into view. The challenge, however, has always been to find a way of (...) doing this without arrogantly assuming special access to what is good for people. And this danger of paternalism is one to which social theorists have all too often fallen prey. In this brief essay, I focus on contemporary instances of clearly self-defeating behavior in contexts of complex choices. I begin by discussing a recent attempt to diagnose and solve these failures of choices, namely the public policy recommendations of behavioral economist Richard Thaler and reform-minded legal theorist Cass Sunstein. Their influential “libertarian paternalist” approach is particularly interesting, both in what it includes (attention to the socially constructed nature of choice situations and the roots of the problems in human nature) and in what it leaves out (an understanding of the social construction of human nature and an adequate appreciation of the value of autonomy). After discussing it, I consider a broadly perfectionist alternative, to the effect that the problem lies in a failure to adequately appreciate the importance of developing autonomy. I then turn to sketching the outlines of a new approach, based on the concept of “autonomy gaps,” which approaches overly demanding policies in relational and action-theoretical terms. In the final section, I show how this provides the basis for an analysis both in terms of a critique of ideology and of social pathology. (shrink)
Introduction to and critical examination of Theodor Adorno's essay "Resignation." Deals with the theory/praxis debate, Adorno's confrontation with the radical student movements in the 1960's, and the charge that Adorno was either politically conservative or an ineffective pessimist.
Presentazione del curatore italiano (C.Corradetti): È possibile conciliare il pluralismo culturale con la dimensione pubblica della deliberazione? Partendo dall’analisi critica di Rawls e Habermas, James Bohman offre una risposta innovativa alla questione dell’accordo democratico. In tale proposta, parallelamente al rigetto di soluzioni meramente strategiche, viene riabilitata la nozione di compromesso morale nel quadro di un accordo normativo. Mantenendo fede ad una prospettiva composta da elementi normativi e fattuali, l’autore si propone di ampliare le opportunità democratiche nella riconciliazione tra conflitti culturali (...) profondi propri delle società contemporanee. L’elemento civico partecipativo risulta essere dunque una componente essenziale per la produzione di una sfera pubblica vibrante. Ne emerge una ricostruzione convincente volta non solo a respingere le critiche degli scettici sulle reali possibilità d’inclusività democratica, ma diretta soprattutto a suggerire un più efficace modello deliberativo per la garanzia della stabilità sociale. Questo testo è diventato ormai un riferimento internazionale classico nella discussione sul tema della deliberazione pubblica. L’autore ha inoltre sviluppato in ambito post-nazionale il suo modello deliberativo senza tuttavia ridiscutere i fondamenti concettuali della sua proposta teorica qui enunciati.Vista la rilevanza del tema e considerata la centralità del testo proposto, sembrerebbe dunque auspicabile rendere il testo disponibile anche al lettore italiano. (shrink)
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.
For the sake of universalism and against totalitarianism, discursive ethics has shown with Jürgen Habermas a practical deficit by denying moral philosophy the possibility of reflecting on the alienating conditions for dialogue through a specific ethos. This article examines how Hartmut Rosa's theory of resonance can revitalise the debate on the conditions that can undermine the basis for dialogue in accelerated societies, based not on the concept of ethos, but on the concept of mode of world-relationship [Modus der Weltbeziehung].
En aras del universalismo y en contra del totalitarismo, la ética discursiva ha mostrado con Jürgen Habermas un déficit práctico al negar a la filosofía moral la posibilidad de reflexionar sobre las condiciones alienantes del diálogo desde un ethos concreto. Este artículo analiza el modo en que la teoría de la resonancia formulada por Hartmut Rosa permite revitalizar el debate sobre las condiciones que pueden minar las bases para el diálogo en las sociedades aceleradas sin apoyarse en el concepto de (...) ethos, sino en el de modo de relacionarse con el mundo [Modus der Weltbeziehung]. (shrink)
The present social-historical moment is marked by a sharp divide, a harrowing ‘communication breakdown’ between subject and object, between humanity and nature, between humanity and itself. This state of affairs pleads for the (re-)elaboration of a consciousness that resonates critically with the social, political and cultural realities of its time. This paper studies the lessons that can be drawn in this regard from the intersection between, on the one hand, Theodor W. Adorno’s ‘philosophical interpretation’ and his idea of an historically (...) adequate consciousness, and, on the other, Hans-Georg Gadamer’s ‘philosophical hermeneutics’ and his conception of the historically effected consciousness. The paper opens with a concise reconstruction of Adorno’s ‘philosophical interpretation’ as a critical response to instrumental rationality that borrows insights from radical historicism. The focus then shifts to Gadamer’s ‘philosophical hermeneutics’ which is read as a similar type of protest against instrumental reason that privileges dialogical forms of enculturation. Finally, the paper closes with some suggestive yet inconclusive reflections on some important elements of convergence/divergence between the two thinkers, notably, their theorisations of immanent and transcended critique, the role they ascribe to tradition and language vis-à-vis experience, and the special place of ‘mimesis’ in it. Overall, the argument is made that a ‘negative hermeneutics’ may be what is needed to fashion new interpretations of the world, to foster alternative ways of thinking about and being in it, which, pace Marx, go hand in hand with its transformation – or, perhaps more aptly nowadays, the mere feat of sparing it. (shrink)
In this reflection I draw out Richard J. Bernstein’s claim that he was a ‘scavenger’ and put it to use in revisiting main themes of his engagements with pragmatism, hermeneutics, Hegel, and critical theory. This piece is included in a memorial issue of Dewey Studies on Bernstein.
This article reconstructs and defends Theodor Adorno’s social theory by motivating the central role of abstract domination within it. Whereas critics such as Axel Honneth have charged Adorno with adhering to a reductive model of personal domination, I argue that the latter rather understands domination as a structural and de-individualized feature of capitalist society. If Adorno’s social theory is to be explanatory, however, it must account for the source of the abstractions that dominate modern individuals and, in particular, that of (...) value. While such an account remains undeveloped in Adorno, Marx provides resources for its development, in positing the constitution of value neither in production nor exchange alone, but in the social totality. This article argues that Marx’s account is compatible with Adorno’s, and that it may be used to render Adorno’s theory of domination more credible on explanatory grounds. (shrink)
Con su teoría crítica de la resonancia, Hartmut Rosa ha propuesto las bases de un modelo para evaluar normativamente y afrontar en la práctica las consecuencias de la aceleración social y su inherente tendencia al crecimiento y la innovación. Dicho modelo ha supuesto una bocanada de aire fresco en la Teoría Crítica para reflexionar sobre una dinámica que atraviesa la práctica totalidad de las actividades sociales. No obstante, también ha sido asociado a determinadas características que podrían hacerlo merecedor de dos (...) calificativos siempre reprobados por la Teoría Crítica: el paternalismo y el totalitarismo. Con el fin de contribuir a los debates suscitados por el trabajo de Rosa, la pretensión de este artículo es mostrar el modo en que su planteamiento pretende sortear esas acusaciones al apoyarse especialmente en el concepto de Weltbeziehung [relaciones con el mundo]. (shrink)
With his critical theory of resonance, Hartmut Rosa has proposed the basis of a model for normatively criticizing and practically addressing the consequences of social acceleration, and its inherent tendency towards growth and innovation. This model has brought a fresh perspective to Critical Theory, offering a framework to examine a dynamic that permeates virtually all social activities. However, it has also been associated with certain characteristics that could potentially justify two labels always reproached by Critical Theory: paternalism and totalitarianism. To (...) contribute to the ongoing debates sparked by Rosa's work, this article aims to demonstrate how Rosa's approach actively seeks to avoid these accusations, primarily by incorporating the concept of Weltbeziehung [relationships with the world]. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to discuss Jürgen Habermas' thoughts of the relationship between right and power. Habermas neither advocates the separation of right and power as liberals, nor advocates the absolute integration of the two as republicans. In his view, the right to be the outcome of citizens’ spontaneous interaction must rely on coercive political power to enter into force. At the same time, political power can only obtain the legitimacy of existence in accordance with the principle of “people’s (...) sovereignty” of the discourse theory, and this legitimacy foundation is precisely reflected in the right system of communication cycle. In short, right and power restrict each other and depend on each other. (shrink)
Fascism, according to the Deleuzo-Guattarian perspective and new materialist viewpoints, can be conceived of in terms of desire. In mediating desire’s pure flows, the schizoanalytical programme attempts to bypass what Deleuze calls ‘the strange detour of the other’ (B, 356). In this respect, concepts developed in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Capitalism and Schizophrenia cycle are critical to the project of the problematic of desire, the other and (neo-)fascism. In this chapter, we explore how Deleuzo-Guattarian anti-fascist concepts, such as the (...) Body without Organs (BwO), together with new materialist approaches towards vital materialism, may help us to ‘keep an eye on all that is fascist, even [the fascist] inside us’ (TP, 165). Such a critical-creative analysis, we argue, is needed to distinguish contemporary vitalist new materialisms from so-called Lebensphilosophien (philosophies of life) and frame the rise of neoliberal capitalism-supported regimes of neo-fascism. (shrink)
Departing from the (post-)Anthropocenic crisis state of today’s world, fuelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, various post-truth populist follies, and an apocalyptic WW3-scenario that has been hanging in the air since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, this article argues for the possibility – and necessity – of an affirmative posthumanist-materialist mapping of hope. Embedded in the Deleuzoguattarian-Braidottian (see Deleuze and Guattari 2005 ; Braidotti 2011 ) methodology of critical cartography, and infused with critical posthumanist, new materialist, and queer theoretical perspectives, (...) this cartography of hope is sketched out against two permacrisis-infused positionalities: nostalgic humanism and tragic (post-)humanism. Forced to navigate between these two extremes, the critical cartography of hope presented here explores hope in numerous historico-philosophical (re-)configurations: from the premodern ‘hope-as-all-too-human’, to a more politicised early modern ‘hope-as-(politically-)human’ – representing hope’s first paradigm shift (politicisation), and from a four decades-long neoliberal redrawing of hope as ‘no-more-hope’ – hope’s second shift (depoliticisation) – to a critical (new) materialist plea to de-anthropocentrise and re-politicise hope – hope’s third and final post-Anthropocenic shift (re-politicisation). By mapping these (re-)configurations of hope, a philosophical plea is made for hope as a material(ist) praxis that can help us better understand – and counter – these extractive late capitalist, neoliberal more-than-human crisis times. (shrink)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made explicit what many of us already knew and some of us are constantly made to feel: good health and the abilities of our bodies & minds1 are fluid and uncertain. We can only ever hold them precariously (Butler, 2004; Scully, 2014). In the end, we are all vulnerable beings. And, yet, vulnerability, perhaps especially in times of crisis, can never be fully universalised, nor is it distributed equally: the value and definition of what our (...) bodies & minds can do, what they mean, and how they are expected – and often pushed – to function, are intrinsically unstable, as they depend on the socio-cultural, political, and economic context. This is perfectly echoed by the title Rosi Braidotti (2020) gave to one of her recent articles on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the current posthuman predicament: ‘“We” Are in This Together, But We Are Not One and the Same’. (shrink)
Gender, sexuality and embodiment in digital spheres have been increasingly studied from various critical perspectives: From research highlighting the articulation of intimacies, desires, and sexualities in and through digital spaces to theoretical explorations of materiality in the digital realm. With such a high level of (inter)disciplinarity, theories, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in relation to digital spheres have become highly diversified. Aiming to reflect this diversity, this special issue brings together innovative and newly developed theoretical, empirical, analytical, (...) and critical approaches in the study of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. By connecting intersectionality and digitality to one another, it adopts an integrated approach that reflects the intricacy and interconnectedness of social categories and markers of difference, privilege, performance, and discrimination. The contributions explore a range of differently situated digital cultural practices, including intimate and sexual experiences with(in) digital media, online self-presentation, expressions of digital resistance, and forms of backlash and online attacks. What connects all these articles, is their critical approach to intersectional inequalities and privileges in relation to digitality, plus their nuanced perspective on gender, sexuality, and embodiment interferentially. The final article is based on a roundtable discussion and aims to encourage interdisciplinary connections and suggests ways of doing research that builds bridges between academia and activism. (shrink)
During the past two decades or so, the emergence and ever-accelerating development of digital media have sparked scholarly interest, debates, and complex challenges across many disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities. Within this diverse scholarship, the research on digitality, gender, sexuality, and embodiment has contributed substantially to many academic fields, such as media studies, sociology, religion, philosophy, and education studies. As a part of the special issue “Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment in Digital Spheres: Connecting Intersectionality and Digitality,” this (...) roundtable consists of a conversation between five researchers from different (inter)disciplinary locations, all addressing matters of methodology, intersectionality, positionality, and theory in relation to the topics of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres. Said roundtable begins with a critical self-positioning of the participants’ (inter)disciplinary and embodied locations using examples from their own research. The conversation then progresses to how these researchers have employed contemporary theories, conceptual vocabularies, methods, and analyses of gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital spheres to then conclude with some ethico-political notes about collaborations between scholars and (digital) activists. (shrink)
In the pre-Independence era, our republic founders held the Cold War mindset strongly. Consequently, the Indonesian republic proclaimed in 1945 was based on a Cold War mindset; our state philosophy (Pancasila) and the Constitution (UUD '45) were understood and construed on the Cold War discourse basis; and binary oppositions of capitalism-socialism and liberalism-communism since then have been created. Up to the 2020s, the Cold War mindset has still been held by public intellectuals and the binary oppositions have still been rampant (...) in intellectual discourses. If the mindset were still held for three decades to come, it would cause a setback to the development of Indonesian philosophy history. This article is a call to stop and an invitation to escape from the retrogressive mindset. As a call, the article exposes first the evil root of the Cold War mindset as well as the philosophical critique towards it. Then, as an invitation, it suggests three realistic alternative mindsets to replace the Cold War mindset, i.e. post- Cold War capitalistic mindset, deconstructive mindset, and utopian mindset, which are called herein as three growth scenarios. It is believed that, if the three generating scenarios are followed, they will move Indonesian philosophy history forward, and its ongoing development will not hinder or retard. (shrink)
Esta tesis doctoral analiza el potencial de una crítica ética sobre la continua necesidad de acelerar, crecer e innovar, así como de hacer todo disponible para el turismo. La hipótesis es que la dinámica conformada por estos aspectos puede afectar a las formas de vida y menoscabar la capacidad dialógica para la resolución de conflictos de quienes se encuentran implicados o afectados por el turismo. A partir de un estudio sistemático e interdisciplinar de la cinética del turismo, esta tesis analiza (...) la naturaleza coercitiva y cultural de sus motores aceleratorios y de sus manifestaciones, y amplía el margen de reflexión de la ética del turismo a través de la teoría crítica de la resonancia de Hartmut Rosa. Se concluye que la resonancia ofrece una base compatible con el modelo de ética procedimental exigido por el pluralismo ético y por las demandas de justicia que puede contribuir a hacer frente a los retos que la cinética plantea en el turismo a través de instituciones, prácticas sociales y modos de socialización. This doctoral thesis examines the potential of an ethical critique on the constant need for acceleration, growth and innovation, and to make everything available for tourism. The hypothesis is that the dynamics created by these aspects can affect life forms, and undermine the capacity for dialogue for conflict resolution among those involved or affected by tourism. Taking a systematic and interdisciplinary study of the kinetics of tourism as its starting point, this thesis analyses the coercive and cultural nature of the engines of its acceleration and its manifestations, and broadens the scope for reflection on the ethics of tourism through Rosa’s Resonance Critical Theory. It concludes that resonance offers foundations compatible with the model of procedural ethics required by ethical pluralism, and the demands of justice, which could help to address the challenges posed by kinetics in tourism through institutions, social practices and modes of socialization. (shrink)
Jaakko Nevasto has offered a number of thoughtful criticisms of our attempt to show that Adorno’s work can fruitfully be brought to bear on topics in business ethics. After welcoming his constructive clarifications, we attempt to defuse Nevasto’s main objections and defend our application of Adorno, focusing in particular on the topics of moral epistemology, needs, and the possibility of genuine activity – and thus good work – within capitalist society.
Political epistemology is the name of an ambitious task. In order to aptly conceptualise the internal relationship between truth and knowledge on one side, and politics and society on the other side, political epistemology must reformulate the concepts of epistemology and social and political theory. For the concept of knowledge, this task implies to consider the truth and the force of knowledge equally. Frieder Vogelmann shows in his book the far-reaching consequences of this endeavour: for the contemporary debate about untruth (...) in politics, for the possible forms of social critique, and for the reflection upon philosophy and its history. (shrink)
Currently, the rise of science denialism is met by a new positivism that is equally detrimental for the natural and social sciences and humanities. Both paint an unrealistic picture of science in the singular, based on an idealist epistemology. In stark opposition, the article argues for a materialist epistemology that can support a realistic understanding of scientific practices by taking seriously their plurality, historicity and contextuality.
ABSTRACT In this paper, I will offer some examples of the effectiveness of Adorno’s concept of mimesis for an analysis of extreme violence and for a defence of democratic institutions against possible regressions into authoritarian regimes. I will start by reading the concept of mimesis through the lens of the interlacement between the concepts of play and power. My aim is twofold: first, I wish to further the analysis of Adorno’s concept of mimesis by showing that it can be interpreted (...) as a form of play, which either empowers subjectivity or becomes a means of domination; second, I will use these speculations to highlight the relevance of Horkheimer and Adorno’s explanation of anti-Semitic violence when seen through the lens of the concept mimesis. Before concluding, I will briefly highlight Adorno’s ideas about what makes democracy vulnerable to potential regressions into extreme violence, and examine what can be done practically – from an Adornian perspective – to avoid regression: defending democratic institutions, and working towards a removal of those barriers that obstruct genuine mimetic experience and self-reflection. (shrink)
In this article, I argue for the necessary organicism of immanent critique and the resulting limits and applicability of immanent critique as elaborated in Rahel Jaeggi’s account of Lebensformen. Through a historical review of the problem of natural purposiveness between Kant, Schelling and Hegel, I show that the notion of immanent critique that Hegel produced, and Jaeggi adopts, was an intrinsically organic notion. With this conceptual connection, I demonstrate that Jaeggi’s elaboration of Lebensformen is consistent with this organicism, but also (...) explicate how this property limits critique where the criterion is the long-term stability of Lebensformen. Aligning the organicism of immanent critique with similar projects of social criticism citing the organic, namely eco-Marxism and cybernetics, I show that the cases of capitalism and bureaucracy are not practically vulnerable to immanent critique without supplement. I conclude by suggesting further research requires articulating a hybrid external-immanent form of criticism. (shrink)
Analytic metaphysics has become increasingly extended into the social domain. The aim of this article is critical self-reflection on the challenges of transferring the tools of analytic metaphysics from classical cases such as the very existence of abstract or composed objects to socially-contested phenomena such as gender and race. In reflecting on the status of metaphysics of race, I formulate a polemical hypothesis of misalignment according to which the tools of analytic metaphysics are not suitable for engaging with complex racial (...) phenomena and politics. In addressing this challenge of misalignment, the article sketches a perspective on critical metaphysics of race as interdisciplinary action research. (shrink)
Was meinen wir, wenn wir soziale Konstellationen als »möglich« bezeichnen? Diese Frage wurde allzu oft nur randständig beleuchtet, obwohl »Möglichkeit« seit Aristoteles zum grundbegrifflichen Repertoire der praktischen Philosophie zählt. Umso unverständlicher wirkt die Zurückhaltung von Horkheimer und Adorno, den Begriff gesellschaftstheoretisch zu explizieren. Gösta Gantner zeigt, inwiefern die Vorstellungen des »Andersseinkönnens« und der »Potentialität« die Kritische Theorie nahezu unbemerkt dominieren. Als Schlüsselbegriff trägt »Möglichkeit« dazu bei, aktuelle Varianten kritischen Denkens in ihrem leitenden Erkenntnisinteresse und ihrer praktischen Ausrichtung zu schärfen: Im (...) Lichte der Kritik des Gegebenen geht es um das, was anders sein kann. (shrink)
Ongeveer vijf weken na de start van de jacht op Jürgen Conings, de Belgische beroepsmilitair gezocht omwille van het bedreigen van viroloog Marc Van Ranst en andere prominente doelwitten, vond men zijn stoffelijk overschot terug in het Dilserbos, Dilsen-Stokkem. Ook na zijn dood – Conings overleed hoogstwaarschijnlijk door zelfmoord – blijft de zaak Conings het Belgische sociaal-politieke landschap beroeren en de publieke opinie verdelen: de mate van steun die Conings de afgelopen weken kreeg, toont nog maar eens aan dat extreemrechts (...) een serieus maatschappelijk probleem is in België, waarvan de reikwijdte bovendien maar al te vaak miskend wordt. (shrink)
Roberto Frega’s Pragmatism and the Wide View of Democracy reformulates the question of democracy posed by our current historic conjuncture using the resources of a variety of pragmatic thinkers. He brings into the contemporary conversation regarding democracy’s fortunes both classical and somewhat neglected figures in the pragmatic tradition to deal with questions of power, ontology, and politics. In particular, Frega takes a social philosophical starting point and draws out the consequences of this fundamental shift in approach to questions of democratic (...) and political theory. This turn to social philosophy as a theoretically more sufficient conceptual vocabulary, extended in detail by Frega, raises questions regarding the work that a social ontology does in clarifying the role of economic and political approaches to democracy that are worth further exploration. Likewise, the practical proposals for moving beyond methodological nationalism with respect to forming publics for the sake of problem-solving, while providing a clarifying and fresh starting point, are still too beholden to models of agency and expressions of coordinated action that themselves are the very fruit of those systems which undermine democratic power in the first instance. (shrink)
Mehmet Karabela draws upon Carl Schmitt’s analysis more explicitly to interrogate and understand how Islamic and Western scholars have conceptualized an “apolitical” Islam that could then be politicized. He applies Schmitt’s friend/enemy distinction as characteristic of the political to the study of Islam and shows how Islam has always been political and religious at the same time in this context. Liberalism posits a separate realm of religion and politics that it charges Islam and other political religions wrongly mix, but there (...) is no intrinsic separation of politics from religion in a post-secular context, and we have many lessons to learn of and from Islam. Rather than the modern nation-state, which is the locus for Schmitt, the polity of Islam is more situated on the Muslim community, which is less determinate and defined. Every community, particularly every religious community, is potentially political in the Schmittian context. (shrink)
According to a frequent objection coming from the tradition of political realism, deliberative democracy is impotent in the face of actors who, wielding power and money, refuse to engage in deliberation, or seek to distort deliberative processes. With the aim of disproving this objection, in this essay I proceed in three steps: first of all, I show that the realpolitik objection is based on a dyadic, two-person theoretical model of argumentative speech acts. To this model, considered limited and unsatisfactory by (...) many sociolinguists, I counter a more complex and articulated framework. Second, I aim to demonstrate that this latter framework is capable of accounting for a temporally and spatially enlarged democratic deliberation which can be rejected or distorted barely, if at all, by agents relying on positions of power. In the third section, I highlight the many and important differences in grounding, nature and finalities between the model of enlarged democratic deliberation and forms of power politics based on strategic calculations and tactical alliances. Finally, I focus on the application of the model to societies characterized by structural injustices and distortions, with the aim of showing how it can help marginalized and victimized groups have their requests heard and discussed in the public sphere and in deliberative settings. (shrink)