Deconstruction and pragmatism constitute two of the major intellectual influences on the contemporary theoretical scene; influences personified in the work of Jacques Derrida and Richard Rorty. Both Rortian pragmatism, which draws the consequences of post-war developments in Anglo-American philosophy, and Derridian deconstruction, which extends and troubles the phonomenological and Heideggerian influence on the Continental tradition, have hitherto generally been viewed as mutually exclusive philosophical language games. The purpose of this volume is to bring deconstruction and pragmatism into critical confrontation with (...) one another through staging a debate between Derrida and Rorty, itself based on discussions that took place at the College International de Philosophie in Paris in 1993. The ground for this debate is layed out in introductory papers by Simon Critchley and Ernesto Laclau, and the remainder of the volume records Derrida's and Rorty's responses to each other's work. Chantal Mouffe gives an overview of the stakes of this debate in a helpful preface. (shrink)
In Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life, Martin Hägglund fails to proceed deconstructively in his conception of radical atheism, opting instead for one term of an opposition, between the desire for immortality and an irreducible mortality that structures all human desire, rather than exploring the contamination of one term of an opposition by the other. The paper also responds to Hägglund's criticism of the author's account of articulation.
Discussion about the viability of democracy in what can broadly be called our `postmodern', technologically dominated age, has mainly turned around two central issues: does not the current dispersion and fragmentation of social actors — deriving partly from the overriding presence of the media in our civilization — conspire against the emergence of strong social identities which could operate as nodal points for the consolidation and expansion of democratic practices?; and is not this very multiplicity the source of a particularism (...) of social aims which could result in the dissolution of the wider emancipatory discourses considered as constitutive of the democratic imaginary?The first issue is connected with the increasing awareness of the ambiguities of those very social movements about which so many sanguine hopes were conceived in the 1970s. There is no doubt that their emergence has involved an expansion of the egalitarian imaginary to increasingly wider areas of social relations. However, it has also become progressively clear that such an expansion does not necessarily lead to the aggregation of the plurality of demands around a broader collective will. Even more: does not this fragmentation of social demands make it easier for the state apparatuses to deal with them in an administrative fashion — which results in the formation of all types of clientalistic networks, capable of neutralizing any democratic opening? The control of the media by powerful financial conglomerates is only one aspect — albeit a crucial one — of a far more general phenomenon.As for the second issue, its formulation runs along parallel lines. With the breaking up of the totalizing discourses of modernity, we are running the risk of being confronted with a plurality of social spaces, governed by their own aims and leaving any management of the community — conceived in a global sense — in the hands of a techno-bureaucracy located beyond any democratic control. With this, the notion of a public sphere, to which the very possibility of a democratic experience was always linked, is seriously put into question. (shrink)
To think the relationships which exist between Marxism and psychoanalysis obliges one to reflect upon the intersections between two theoretical fields, each composed independently of the other and whose possible forms of mutual reference do not merge into any obvious system of translation. For example, it is impossible to affirm—though it has often been done—that psychoanalysis adds a theory of subjectivity to the field of historical materialism, given that the latter has been constituted, by and large, as a negation of (...) the validity and the pertinence of any theory of subjectivity . Thus, no simple model of supplement or articulations is of the slightest use. The problem is rather that of finding an index of comparison between two different theoretical fields, but that, in turn, implies the construction of a new field, within which the comparison would make sense.This new field is one which may be characterized as “post-Marxist” and is the result of a multitude of theoretico-political interventions whose cumulative effect in relation to the categories of classical Marxism is similar to what Heidegger called a “de-struction of the history of ontology.” For Heidegger, this “de-struction” did not signify the purely negative operation of rejecting a tradition, but exactly the opposite: it is by means of a radical questioning which is situated beyond this tradition—but which is only possible in relation to it—that the originary meaning of the categories of this tradition may be recovered. In this sense, effecting a “de-struction” of the history of Marxism implies going beyond the deceptive evidence of concepts such as “class,” “capital,” and so on, and re-creating the meaning of the originary synthesis that such concepts aspired to establish, the total system of theoretical alternatives in regard to which they represented only limited options, and the ambiguities inherent in their constitution itself—the “hymen” in the Derridean sense—which, although violently repressed, rise up here and there in diverse discursive surfaces. It is the systematic and genealogical outline of these nuclei of ambiguity which initially allows for a destruction of the history of Marxism and which constitutes post-Marxism as the field of our current political reflection. But it is precisely in these surfaces of discursive ambiguity that it is possible to detect the presence of logics of the political which allows for the establishment of a true dialogue, without complacent metaphorization, between Marxism and psychoanalytic theory. I would like to highlight two points, which I consider fundamental, concerning these discursive surfaces. Ernesto Laclau is a lecturer in the Department of Government and director of the Graduate Program in Ideology and Discourse Analysis at the University of Essex. He is the author of Politics and Ideology in Marxist Theory and, with Chantal Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics . Amy G. Reiter-McIntosh is a lecturer and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago. (shrink)
¿Por qué construír al pueblo es la principal tarea de una política radical? -- Una ética del compromiso militante -- ¿Vida nuda o indeterminación social? -- ¿Puede la inmanencia explicar las luchas sociales? Crítica a Imperio.
Cet essai porte sur les implications ontologiques de l’opposition métaphore / métonymie. La première partie discute l’étude faite par Gérard Genette du rôle de la métonymie et de la métaphore dans la structure du roman proustien, explorant les relations d’implications mutuelles entre les deux mouvements tropologiques. La seconde partie essaie de montrer comment cette distinction s’ancre dans la structure même de signification et – étant donné le lien constitutif entre signification et objectivité – sa pertinence ontologique première. Elle étudie d’abord (...) l’importance de la distinction dans l’émergence et la constitution des espaces politiques, avant d’en discuter deux exemples : l’unilatéralisation de re-agrégations métaphoriques dans la logique de la « grève générale » selon Sorel et le rôle des métonymies dans les stratégies léninistes. This essay attempts to approach the ontological implications of the metaphor/metonymy opposition. A first part starts with a discussion of Gerard Genette’s study of the role of metonymy and metaphor in the structuration of Proust novel and explores the relations of mutual implications between both tropological movements. A second part tries to show how this distinction is anchored in the very structure of signification, and – given the constitutive link between signification and objectivity – its primary ontological relevance. A first part studies the importance of the distinction in the emergence and constitution of political spaces. Two examples are discussed : the unilateralization of metaphorical reaggregations in the logic of Sorel’s 'general strike', and the role of 'frozen' metonymies in the design of Leninist strategies. (shrink)
Avtor z inovativno interpretacijo klasičnega razlikovanja med idealizmom in materializmom izdela koncept zgodovinske biti. V nasprotju z idealistično redukcijo realnega na formo vpelje pojem realnega, ki preprečuje sklenitev simbolnega sistema, spodjeda formo in kaže na njeno nujno zgodovinskost in kontingentnosti. S tem presega zgolj epistemološko ali ontološko pozicijo in skuša pokazati, da je objektna bit vse prej kot fiksna in ljudem dana, marveč da jo ti družbeno konstituirajo s svojo dejavnostjo. S tem pojmovnim aparatom avtor kritizira klasični marksistični pojem razrednega (...) boja. (shrink)