This article addresses a tendency within postcolonial studies to place the work of Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon in opposition. This has obscured the real, and potentially very productive, similarities between them. The most important of these links has to do with their shared critique of the sovereign subject of humanism: for Fanon and Foucault, this critique of the traditional humanist subject provides a way of opposing what they both see as the dangerous nostalgia for a lost moment of origin. (...) Furthermore, Fanon and Foucault both end in a moment of ethics, but it is an ethics without the sort of stable subjects assumed by humanism. I offer a consideration of some of the links that can be found in several texts by Fanon and Foucault. I then attempt to define the term I will be using to describe their shared strategy of an ethics without subjects: the “humanism effect.” I conclude by trying to suggest some of the strategic possibilities of an ethics without subjects in the postcolonial context. (shrink)
I’m certainly not alone in noting that the year 2011 brings, for those of us who are students of the work of Frantz Fanon, two different anniversaries. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Les damnés de la terre , Fanon’s final book and, for many, his most lasting achievement. But it also marks the fiftieth anniversary of Fanon’s death: he died, tragically young, on December 6, 1961, not long after the book’s publication. It is no exaggeration (...) to say that Les damnés de la terre was composed by Fanon from his deathbed, and that he was well aware that he was racing death as he rushed to complete the manuscript, as his publisher François Maspero remarked, “in pitiful haste.” Fanon had managed to complete it by July, although, as he told a friend, “I should have liked to have written something more.” As David Macey notes in his indispensable biography, “Fanon did see copies of his last book, but for its first readers, Les damnés de la terre was a posthumous work.” The book and Fanon’s death thus come to us bound inextricably together, fifty years later. So it would seem that we have an anniversary to celebrate (and in doing so, we would thus be celebrating the continuing relevance of a classic work, as this special issue intends us to do), but also a death to mourn. If I proceed to make a suggestion that will seem at first to be the height of perversity, let me preface it by saying that this suggestion is occasioned by what I believe to be Fanon’s greatest legacy, a legacy of unsparing intellectual and political commitment. For I want to begin by suggesting that this year brings us the mournful fact that fifty years on, Les damnés de la terre remains, in many ways, as relevant to our contemporary world as it was in 1961; but conversely, the anniversary of Fanon’s death offers us a cause for celebration. . (shrink)
This essay mobilizes Fanon as a point of entry into mapping the current state of postcolonial studies, and within that, reflects on what constitutes the postcolonial canon. Over a gradual course of the eighties and nineties, there has come about a transition from the field’s founding moments in which anti-imperialism, tricontinentalism, Third World nationalism and aesthetics of realism and resistance thrived, to the current trends that show a slant toward postmodernist fragmentation, multiculturalism, issues of diaspora, metropolitan narratives as well as (...) a proclivity toward theorizing the field itself. There are many reasons for this: the specific dynamics of the post-Cold War American culture within which these works were received; the compromised relationship between academic and commercial publishing culture, which made a jump from narratives of decolonization and neocolonialism to metropolitan multiculturalism; and the sway of postmodernism over academia as a whole, which led to a disregard for Marxist theories and, more importantly, to a neglect of realism as a mode and aesthetic in postcolonial theory. These factors have worked together to shape how the genealogy of postcolonial studies and its theory have come to be accepted as “obvious.” This has, in turn, had strong repercussions for the kind of literature and theory that have come to be celebrated and canonized within the field. The essay draws on AnthonyAlessandrini's Frantz Fanon and the Future of Cultural Politics: Finding Something Different and Neil Lazarus' The Postcolonial Unconscious to offer a reconstructed genealogy of the field of postcolonial studies. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question of whether a general method is capable of accommodating the vast array of contexts in which art objects are studied. I propose a framework for such a general method, which is, however, limited to a specific research task: reconstructing the circumstances under which a culturally and/or temporally distant or “exotic” art object becomes interesting (or menacing) to look at. The proposed framework is applied to evaluate Anthony Forge’s essays on the visual art of the (...) Abelam. The essays played a central role in the rekindling of anthropological interest in visual art, but they have also been subject to criticism for forcing on Abelam art Western categories that distort the role art objects play in the Abelam world. Assessing the corpus in terms of the proposed framework allows me to exemplify the main differences between a pragmatic and a semantic approach to gaining access to the efficacy of culturally or temporally distant art. (shrink)
Kwame Anthony Appiah has devoted much scholarly work to exploring the problems surrounding racial and cultural identities in the USA. He defends the position that such identities need not be centrally significant in the psyche of the subject, and that black demands for blacks to be recognised as having a black (race) identity, is symptomatic of black racism. Like other racisms, black racism has a tendency to go imperial, affecting the autonomy of the individual to decide which identity constructs (...) she is willing to endorse as her own. Appiah believes that free association, as the locus of social solidarities and the formation of individual and social identities, should be upheld as a counterweight to the imperialism of racisms in the USA. He believes, furthermore, that the cosmopolitan state best caters for free associations of this kind. In this article I offer a comprehensive view of Appiah's support for cosmopolitanism as the best answer to the problems of identity which race and culture generate in multicultural USA. (shrink)
Anthony Collins (1676-1729) maintains that consciousness might be a material process or result from material processes. On the one hand, Collins accepts Locke’s view that from consciousness, i.e., the activity of thinking, we acquire no knowledge about the nature of the thinking substance. On the other, he takes seriously Samuel Clarke’s challenge that the thinking substance must be suitably unified because consciousness is unified. In this paper, I argue that, throughout his correspondence with Clarke, Collins maintains that consciousness signifies (...) actual thinking and does not refer to the capacity of thinking. His main materialist thesis is that the powers of parts of material systems can bring about unified powers and that the power of thinking may be such a power. Collins attempts to satisfy the unity requirement by arguing that a unity correspondence can obtain between consciousness and the power of thinking that is realized in a material composite. (shrink)
In the present article I examine the influence of Grotius's works on English republican literature by focusing on the writings of Anthony Ascham. Ascham's interpretation of Grotius is set in the context of the multifaceted uses of the Dutch lawyer's works in the 1640s and in early 1650s, comparing it to Marchamont Nedham's use of Grotius in support of the republican regime. In order to explain the purposes behind Ascham's and Nedham's deployment of Grotian language, I seek to connect (...) them with the politics of propaganda carried on by political groupings within the Parliament between 1648 and 1650. Finally, by pointing to Ascham's use of Grotius, some considerations follow concerning Anglo-Dutch republicanism in mid-seventeenth century. (shrink)
John Searle began to discuss his recently published book `The Construction of Social Reality' with Anthony Freeman, and they ended up talking about God. The book itself and part of their conversation are introduced and briefly reflected upon by Anthony Freeman. Many familiar social facts -- like money and marriage and monarchy -- are only facts by human agreement. They exist only because we believe them to exist. That is the thesis, at once startling yet obvious, that philosopher (...) John Searle explores in The Construction of Social Reality. (shrink)
The following interview of Mark William Westmoreland with Anthony Paul Smith–well-known scholar and translator of François Laruelle –considers both implications and extensions of Laruelle's non-philosophy for contemporary thought. Smith has helped bring about a surge of interest in Laruelle due to his many translations of his texts as well as being the author or co-editor of several books on Laruelle. Discussed are in particular the difficulties and joys of translating and the usefulness of Laruelle's thought for Smith's own work, (...) especially in environmental and animal studies. Also considered are some themes of non-philosophy, the adaptability of Laruelle's thought for various disciplines, as well as new paths for Laruelle studies –new, unforeseen landscapes and uses of non-philosophy –that explore social phenomena such as race, racism, sexism, victim a.o. (shrink)
An important work in the debate between materialists and dualists, the public correspondence between Anthony Collins and Samuel Clarke provided the framework for arguments over consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century Britain. In Clarke's view, mind and consciousness are so unified that they cannot be compounded into wholes or divided into parts, so mind and consciousness must be distinct from matter. Collins, by contrast, was a perceptive advocate of a materialist account of mind, who defended the possibility that thinking (...) and consciousness are emergent properties of the brain. Appendices include philosophical writings that influenced, and responded to, the correspondence. (shrink)
Partindo das reflexões de Habermas e sua concepção de modernidade, compreendida como um projeto inacabado, Giddens salienta que, em todas as sociedades, a manutenção da identidade pessoal e sua conexão com identidades sociais mais amplas é um requisito primordial para a segurança ontológica. Para alcançar a segurança ontológica, a modernidade teve que (re)inventar tradições e se afastar de "tradições genuínas", isto é, aqueles valores radicalmente vinculados ao passado pré moderno. Este é um caráter de descontinuidade da modernidade - a separação (...) entre o que se apresenta como o novo e o que persiste como herança do velho. É sobre a relação entre tradição e modernidade e sobre um diálogo entre Giddens e Habermas que trata este texto. O objetivo é identificar os pontos de contato e as diferenças das teses defendidas por ambos, a fim de avaliar as contribuições de cada um para se pensar a racionalização das sociedades contemporâneas. A modernidade tardia ou reflexiva é um processo de mudanças ininterruptas que afetam as bases da sociedade ocidental. Frente a uma realidade em constante alteração, faz-se necessário escolher entre uma certeza do passado e uma nova realidade, em contínua mutação. Nesse sentido, e segundo a perspectiva habermasiana, o caráter reflexivo da modernidade está nesse processo de escolha entre as certezas herdadas do passado e as novas formas sociais que conduz à reflexão ou, até mesmo, à reformulação das práticas sociais, provocando a racionalização e a (re)invenção de diversos aspectos da vida em sociedade. (shrink)
[Richard Glauser] Shaftesbury's theory of aesthetic experience is based on his conception of a natural disposition to apprehend beauty, a real 'form' of things. I examine the implications of the disposition's naturalness. I argue that the disposition is not an extra faculty or a sixth sense, and attempt to situate Shaftesbury's position on this issue between those of Locke and Hutcheson. I argue that the natural disposition is to be perfected in many different ways in order to be exercised in (...) the perception of the different degrees of beauty within Shaftesbury's hierarchy. This leads to the conclusion that the exercise of the disposition depends, from case to case, on many different cognitive and affective conditions, that are realised by the collaborative functionings of our ordinary faculties. Essential to Shaftesbury's conception of aesthetic experience is a disinterested, contemplative love, that causes (or contains) what we may call a 'disinterested pleasure', but also an interested pleasure. I argue that, within any given aesthetic experience, the role of the disinterested pleasure is secondary to that of the disinterested love. However, an important function of the disinterested pleasure is that, in combination with the interested pleasure, it leads one to aspire to pass from the aesthetic experience of lower degrees of beauty to the experience of higher ones in the hierarchy. /// [Anthony Savile] (1) If Shaftesbury is to be seen as the doyen of modern aesthetics, his most valuable legacy to us may not so much be his viewing aesthetic response as a sui generis disinterested delight as his insistence on its turning 'wholly on [experience of] what is exterior and foreign to ourselves'. Not that we cannot experience ourselves, or what is our own, as a source of such admiration. Rather our responses, favourable or no, are improperly grounded in any essentially reflexive, or first-personal, ways of taking what engages us. The suggestion is tested against the case of Narcissus. (2) Glauser interestingly emphasizes Shaftesbury's neo-Platonic conception of a hierarchy of aesthetic experience that culminates in the joyful contemplation of God. That hierarchy must be something that is less unitary and systematic than Shaftesbury himself had supposed, even when his emphasis on the tie between aesthetic pleasure and contemplative experience is allowed to extend beyond perception and to encompass episodes of thought itself. (shrink)
Introduction Although Anthony Giddens describes his approach as “social” rather than “critical” theory, and although there is little obvious Frankfurt School influence in his writing, he believes “social theory is inevitably critical theory.”1 While he might aim at such a critical position, it is far from obvious that he succeeds. On the contrary, his later writings have become an apology for the status quo.2 Failing to consider his prejudices, perhaps because he thinks critique is inevitable, Giddens has increasingly vindicated (...) predominant relations of domination. He celebrates the rise of post-traditional individuals, who have the freedom of choice to create and…. (shrink)
Graham N. Stanton, University of Cambridge ?Anthony Thiselton is one of our leading theologians, equally at home in both New Testament studies and in philosophical and theological hermeneutics, and a collection of this major articles will ...
Honor has been in disrepute among intellectuals for almost a century now. The standard explanation for honor’s demise is its role in driving young men and their countries to surpass the limits of acceptable human slaughter in the First World War, the trenches of which became ‘a mass grave for honor’ (Welsh 2008: x). Academic interest in honor revived in the 1950s among anthropologists and sociologists, where it was treated with a studied moral distance. Literary scholars, historians, and political scientists (...) took up the subject a generation later, and broached the question of whether honor should be rehabiliated. So it was only a matter of time until philosophers turned their attention to honor (by name) in any sustained way. Fortunately for our field, one of the first to do so was Kwame Anthony Appiah. The Honor Code is an enjoyable, approachable, and yet immensely learned book in which all of Appiah’s many capabilities—as a philosopher, a historian of ideas, a cosmopolitan, and a prose stylist—are on full display in the service of honor and our understanding of it. (shrink)
In his Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty (1717), the English deist Anthony Collins proposed a complete determinist account of the human mind and action, partly inspired by his mentor Locke, but also by elements from Bayle, Leibniz and other Continental sources. It is a determinism which does not neglect the question of the specific status of the mind but rather seeks to provide a causal account of mental activity and volition in particular; it is a ‘volitional determinism’. Some decades (...) later, Diderot articulates a very similar determinism, which seeks to recognize the existence of “causes proper to man” (as he says in the Réfutation d’Helvétius). The difference with Collins is that now biological factors are being taken into account. Obviously both the ‘volitional’ and the ‘biological’ forms of determinism are noteworthy inasmuch as they change our picture of the nature of determinism itself, but my interest here is to compare these two determinist arguments, both of which are broadly Spinozist in nature – and as such belong to what Jonathan Israel called in his recent book “the radical Enlightenment,” i.e. a kind of underground Enlightenment constituted by Spinozism – and to see how Collins’ specifically psychological vision and Diderot’s specifically biological vision correspond to their two separate national contexts: determinism in France in the mid-1750s was a much more medico-biological affair than English determinism, which appears to be on a ‘path’ leading to Mill and associationist psychology. (shrink)
If you have never had a conversation with Tony La Vopa—and I mean a serious, four-hour conversation, in which topics range from Rousseau to the Final Four to marzipan to Kant—you have missed out on one of academia's great pleasures. Tony is one of intellectual history's most beloved conversationalists: because he knows many things, because he loves to tell stories, because he listens, because he argues. He also, incidentally, has mastered the pithy, but somehow personal, email: he once wrote me, (...) simply “You’re not resting,” and another time: “I’m alarmed about your porcelain addiction.” Those readers who know Tony only from his work on this journal or his published works will know the clarity, deep intelligence, and admirable density of his research and his editing, but may not know much about the conversations that he has sustained and that have sustained him across his career, and haven't caught the impish glint in his eye when he launches into a story about his own current fetishes, or lightly, invitingly, teases you about your own. And so, having had the pleasure of being a friend, coconspirator, and conversation partner of Tony's for several decades now, I have gladly accepted the honor of further acquaintingModern Intellectual History's readership with the career and contributions of Anthony J. La Vopa, whose work has done so much to make intellectual history the thriving field it is today. (shrink)
This article attends to an unnamed and often missing element of the cosmopolitanism discourse: care ethics. Developed out of feminist theory in the 1980s, care ethics privileges the relational, contextual, and affective aspects of morality. It is my suggestion that contemporary discussions of cosmopolitanism would benefit from integrating the moral commitments of care ethics. First, a definition of care ethics is offered followed by a delineation of themes of care in the cosmopolitan theorizing of an historical figure, Jane Addams, and (...) a contemporary theorist, Kwame Anthony Appiah. Ultimately, the contention here is that cosmopolitan societies envisioned by Addams and Appiah cannot be exclusively founded on systems of justice but needs caring to provide the social cohesion necessary for organic international justice, as well as lasting peace. (shrink)
Sport often seems to teeter on the edge, on one side of the entertainment industry, on the other of cheating violent aggression: from a make-believe simulacrum of serious play to a nasty chemically enhanced descent into a Hobbesian state of nature. Such perversions lend credibility to reductive views of sport itself as a metonymic feature of capitalism. But that sport as entertainment means fixing it to produce exciting outcomes and amplifying capacities to superhuman proportions, while sport as aggression means treating (...) rules as mere obstacles to brute dominance, shows how far we in fact are from these abysses, even in the days of the Coca Cola/Nike Olympics, Vinny Jones and cricket sledging. In this essay, I try to delineate through history— from Homer to … Gomer?—a common culture of sport and sportsmanship that, with its excesses and perversions, continues to operate as one, albeit complex, ideal of human excellence. (shrink)
What is the impact of science on philosophy? In “Experiments in Ethics”, Kwame Anthony Appiah addresses this question for morality and ethics. Appiah suggests that scientific results may undermine moral intuitions by undermining our confidence in the actual sources of our intuitions, or by invalidating our factual assumptions about the causes of human behavior. Appiah worries that scientific results showing situational causes on human behavior force us to abandon the intuition, formalized in virtue ethics, that what matters is “who (...) you are on the inside”. In this review, we agree with Appiah that scientific results at once force and do not force us to abandon this intuition. We also propose that Appiah’s worry is due in part to an over-simplified conception of “internal causes”, shared widely among scientists and philosophers. By re-introducing the true richness of internal causes invoked in moral judgments, we hope to relax the tension between scientific results and moral intuitions. Ultimately, we propose that science can undermine and constrain but cannot affirm our commitment to specific moral intuitions. (shrink)
This is not the first time the title ‘Art and Technology’ has been used, but to distinguish what I have to say from Walter Gropius's Bauhaus exhibition of 1923, I am subtitling my paper ‘an old tension’, where the architect spoke of ‘a new unity’. In a way, Gropius has been proved right; the structures of the future avoiding all romantic embellishment and whimsy, the cathedrals of socialism, the corporate planning of comprehensive Utopian designs have all gone up and some (...) come down. We have a mass media culture also largely made possible by technology. Corporatist architecture, whether statist ‘social housing’ or freemarket inspired, films, videos, modern recording and musical techniques are all due to technological advances made mostly this century. Only in a very puritanical sense could what has happened be thought of as inevitably bringing with it enslavement. All kinds of possibilities are now open to artists and architects, which would have been imaginable a few decades ago. No one is forced to use these possibilities in any specific way. (shrink)
Anthony K. Jensen has successfully undertaken an essential project for the fields of Nietzsche studies and philosophy of history. In his interpretation of Nietzsche's second "Untimely Meditation," On the Uses and Disadvantages for Life (henceforth HL), he demonstrates an attention to detail and meticulousness sometimes bordering on obsessiveness. This textual work is based on Jensen's comprehensive familiarity with the philosophical, philological, and historiographic culture in which Nietzsche was trained and to which he was in part responding. Unlike many Anglophone (...) philosophers interested in Nietzsche, Jensen is fully at home with German language and idiom. He combines this linguistic facility with philological expertise and encyclopedic archival research to bring sober clarity to a field often plagued by flights of interpretive speculation. Jensen is knowledgeable of not only the Anglophone but also the Germanophone secondary literatures, and he uses this expertise like a wide-angle lens to give his readers a synoptic perspective on the last thirteen decades of reactions to and interpretations of HL. I hasten to add, though, that his monograph is not simply a summary of the production, content, and reception of one of Nietzsche's early works; it is also a judicious philosophical evaluation of Nietzsche's views and arguments. It may not be the last word on HL, but the prospect of adding anything new and valuable is now daunting. (shrink)
Anthony O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behaviour in terms of evolution, arguing that, although evolutionary theory accounts for the development of life, it cannot satisfactorily explain the distinctive facets of human existence - self-consciousness, the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty - where we transcend our biological origins.
The paper attempts to trace the relevance of the work of Slavoj Žižek in the field of practical opera composition, taking as example the Greek contemporary opera Anthony’s Death, which dramatizes a multitude of Žižekian topics and concludes with a sung Žižek text. The paper argues that the tension between the dimensions of Meaning and Voice is constitutive of the genre of opera itself, and exhibits the strategies used by Anthony’s Death to thematize this disjunction. The work’s structure (...) is then examined as an attempt to artistically render several Žižekian topoi and from the point of view of the different uses it subjects Žižek’s text to. The vicissitudes of thought submitted to musical treatment are considered next, and it is argued that a “fall” from Meaning into Sound is inevitable when abstract thought is sung. Finally, the importance of Žižek’s work for contemporary opera is located on the level of operatic form, for which it is asserted that it has the ability to act as a potentially vivifying catalyst. (shrink)
Emotions are Janus-faced: their focus may switch from how a person is feeling deep inside her, to the busy world of actions, words, or gestures whose perception currently affects her. The intimate relation between the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’ seems to call for a redrawing of the traditional distinction of mental states between those that can look out to the world, and those that are, supposedly, irredeemably blind.
In June 1668 Anthony Ashley Cooper, later to become the 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, underwent abdominal surgery to drain a large abscess above his liver. The case is extraordinary, not simply on account of the eminence of the patient and the danger of the procedure, but also because of the many celebrated figures involved. A trove of manuscripts relating to this famous operation survives amongst the Shaftesbury Papers in the National Archives at Kew. These include case notes in the (...) hand of the philosopher John Locke and advice from leading physicians of the day including Francis Glisson, Sir George Ent and Thomas Sydenham. The majority of this material has never been published before. This article provides complete transcriptions and translations of all of these manuscripts, thus providing for the first time a comprehensive case history. It is prefaced with an extended introduction. (shrink)
Whether any property is internal to a particular object may be taken to depend upon the way in which the object is described. Thus it is not an internal property of Scott to have been the author of Waverley, neither is it an internal property of the author of Ivanhoe. But what of the author of Waverley? Is the proposition that the author of Waverley composed Waverley necessarily true? On one interpretation of it it surely is. Even so, one can (...) attach a sense to saying that the person who was in fact the author of Waverley might not have been so. All that is needed for this is that he be capable of being otherwise identified. (shrink)
Steinbock, Anthony J. Phenomenology and Mysticism: The Verticality of Religious Experience . Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10743-009-9056-8 Authors James G. Hart, Indiana University Department of Religious Studies Sycamore Hall 230 Bloomington IN 47405-7005 USA Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848 Journal Volume Volume 25 Journal Issue Volume 25, Number 2.
Much of recent ethics has been thoroughly formalistic in character. In the first place it has confined itself to the investigation of the general logical properties of møral discourse and has largely ignored the broad psychological context of motives and purposes in which that kind of discourse has its life. Secondly, it has sought to distinguish the field of discourse that it takes as its subject-matter in a formalistic way, in terms of such properties as its universalisability, its autonomy and (...) its overridingness, without reference to the concrete and specific human interests with which moral discourse is connected and which it might serve to promote. (shrink)
Judeo-Christian and Anglo-Saxon forms of marriage have injected patrilineal values and companionate expectations into the Akan matrilineal family structure. As Anthony Appiah demonstrates, these infusions have generated severe strains in the matrikin social structures and, in extreme cases, resulted in the break up of families. In this essay, I investigate the ideological politics at play in this patrilinealization of Asante society.
Anthony Dyson was a key figure in the early years of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, and was influential in the establishing of this journal. He was a member of its Editorial Board from 1989 until his death in September 1998. We pay tribute to his scholarship and record our gratitude for his outstanding work as a moral theologian. His contribution to Studies in Christian Ethics will be greatly missed.