Edited by Hans-Christoph Schmidt am Busch & Christopher Zurn. This volume collects original, cutting-edge essays on the philosophy of recognition by international scholars eminent in the field. By considering the topic of recognition as addressed by both classical and contemporary authors, the volume explores the connections between historical and contemporary recognition research and makes substantive contributions to the further development of contemporary theories of recognition.
It is the persistence of social suffering in a world in which it could be eliminated that for Adorno is the source of the need for critical reflection, for philosophy. Philosophy continues and gains its cultural place because an as yet unbridgeable abyss separates the social potential for the relief of unnecessary human suffering and its emphatic continuance. Philosophy now is the culturally bound repository for the systematic acknowledgement and articulation of the meaning of the expanse of human suffering within (...) technologically advanced societies that are already committed to liberal ideals of freedom and equality. (shrink)
Most liberals agree that governments should protect certain basic liberties, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the person. Liberals disagree, however, about whether free market rights should also be protected. By “free market rights,” we mean those rights typically associated with laissez-faire economic systems such as freedom of contract, a right to market returns, and claims to privately own the means of production.We do not use the phrase “economic liberties,” as Tomasi does, because it does (...) not distinguish between the “economic rights” defended by classical liberal and those defended by socialists. Those on the right often see such freedoms as core liberal commitments, while those on the left argue that an economic system should be organized to protect the interests of the less advantaged members of society. If free market rights should be protected, then most existing societies are unjust. These societies fail the liberal standard in the same ways as th .. (shrink)
Aesthetic alienation may be described as the paradoxical relationship whereby art and truth have come to be divorced from one another while nonetheless remaining entwined. J. M. Bernstein not only finds the separation of art and truth problematic, but also contends that we continue to experience art as sensuous and particular, thus complicating and challenging the cultural self-understanding of modernity. Bernstein focuses on the work of four key philosophers—Kant, Heidegger, Derrida, and Adorno—and provides powerful new interpretations of their views. Bernstein (...) shows how each of the three post-Kantian aesthetics to construct a philosophical language that can criticize and displace the categorical assumption of modernity. He also examines in detail their responses to questions concerning the relations among art, philosophy, and politics in modern societies. (shrink)
The practical problem of assuaging the opponents of animal research may be solved without formally addressing (or resolving) the underlying ethical questions of the debate. Specifically, a peaceful boycott of the "fruits" of animal research may lead to a wider cessation of such research, than, say, vocal or even violent protest. To assist those who might wish to participate in such a boycott- and, moreover, to critically inform them of the implications of their actions-1 offer a modest proposal: the use (...) of an "animal research advance directive", a form which enumerates precisely which "fruits of research" are declined. (shrink)
Living in the Borderland addresses the evolution of Western consciousness and describes the emergence of the 'Borderland,' a spectrum of reality that is beyond the rational yet is palpable to an increasing number of individuals. Building on Jungian theory, Jerome Bernstein argues that a greater openness to transrational reality experienced by Borderland personalities allows new possibilities for understanding and healing confounding clinical and developmental enigmas. In three sections, this book charts the evolution of Western consciousness, examines the psychological and clinical (...) implications and looks at how the new Borderland consciousness bridges the mind-body divide. It challenges the standard clinical model, which views normality as an absence of pathology and equates normality with the rational, and abnormality with the transrational. Jerome Bernstein describes how psychotherapy itself often contributes to the alienation of many Borderland personalities by misdiagnosing the difference between the pathological and the sacred and uses case studies to illustrate the potential such misdiagnoses have for causing serious psychic and emotional damage to the patient. This challenge to the orthodoxies and complacencies of Western medicine's concept of pathology will interest Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists. (shrink)
This volume offers the first English language collection of academic essays on the post-Holocaust thought of Jean Améry, a Jewish-Austrian-Belgian essayist, journalist and literary author. Comprehensive in scope and multi-disciplinary in orientation, contributors explore central aspects of Améry's philosophical and ethical position, including dignity, responsibility, resentment, and forgiveness.
This article explores the influence of Winnicott’s conceptual constellation of early childhood, play, use, transitional phenomena, and transitional object upon Agamben’s thinking of contemporary historical exigency.
If truth hurts, this is no doubt because it is often enough forced on us. And the question as to whether the reception of “nice,” “easy” truths is similarly an outcome of coercion negates itself in its very formulation — we do not ask “why are things the way they are?” from a feeling of comfort; the plaintiff cry of “how, then, shall we live?” does not come to us out of a sense of security. Indeed, insofar as truth overtakes (...) us and interrupts the conventions of our lives, it occurs to us quite apart from our ordinary desires and wants. We are thus faced with a paradox: what claim can truth make on a bein g that “doesn’t need it and doesn’t care about it—since it doesn’t at all concern his needs”? When one considers that the awareness of truth is indexed to lived experience, the paradox is only heightened. (shrink)
Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism is usually considered to be either (1) an early Fichtean-influenced work that gives little insight into Schelling’s philosophy or (2) a text focusing on self-consciousness and aesthetics. I argue that Schelling’s System develops a subtle conception of history which originates in a dialogue with Kant and Hegel (concerning the question of teleology) and concludes in proximity to an Idealist version of Spinoza. In this way, Schelling develops a philosophy of history which is, simultaneously, a dialectical (...) engagement with the history of philosophy. (shrink)
This essay originated as a reply to Richard Rorty's ”Habermas, Derrida, and the Functions of Philosophy“. In it, I contest Rorty's deployment of the categories of private selfcreation and the collective political enterprise of increasing freedom, first developed in Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, to demonstrate that the philosophical projects of Habermas and Derrida are complementary rather than antagonistic. The focus of my critique is two-fold: firstly, I contend that so-called critiques of metaphysics are always simutaneously engaging with some form of (...) social domination or disintegration (e.g. nihilism or societal rationalization); secondly, I argue that the fault-line in Rorty's thought that structures his categories is his, Davidson inspired, naturalized philosophy of language. This philosophy of language falls afoul of Heidegger's analysis of the present-to-hand. (shrink)
BackgroundHip fractures are common and serious injuries in the geriatric population. Obtaining informed consent for surgery in geriatric patients can be difficult due to the high prevalence of comorbid cognitive impairment. Given that virtually all patients with hip fractures eventually undergo surgery, and given that delays in surgery are associated with increased mortality, we argue that there are select instances in which it may be ethically permissible, and indeed clinically preferable, to initiate surgical treatment in cognitively impaired patients under the (...) doctrine of presumed consent. In this paper, we examine the boundaries of the license granted by presumed consent and use the example of geriatric hip fracture to build an ethical framework for understanding the doctrine of presumed consent.DiscussionThe license to act under presumed consent requires three factors: patient incapacity, clinical urgency and clarity on the correct course of action. All three can apply to geriatric hip fracture. The typical patient frequently lacks capacity. Delays in initiating surgical treatment are associated with markedly increased mortality rates. Last, there appears to be consensus that surgery is the preferred treatment. Nonetheless, because there is a window of safe delay during which treating physicians can stabilize the patient, address reversible causes of cognitive impairment and identify surrogate decision makers, presumed consent should be invoked only as a method of last resort.ConclusionsA medical situation need not be characterized by risk of imminent and certain death for presumed consent to be relevant. Rather, there are two distinct windows that must be considered: the time interval in which action may be delayed without danger, and the time interval needed to obtain a better form of consent. Presumed consent is appropriate only when the latter exceeds the former. (shrink)
Jurgen Habermas' construction of a critical social theory of society grounded in communicative reason is one of the very few real philosophical inventions of recent times that demands and repays extended engagement. In this elaborate and sympathetic study which places Habermas' project in the context of critical theory as a whole past and future, J. M. Bernstein argues that despite its undoubted achievements, it contributes to the very problems of ethical dislocation and meaninglessness it aims to diagnose and remedy. Bernstein (...) further argues that the precise character of the failures of Habermas' program demonstrate the necessity for a return to the first generation critical theory of Adorno. Reading across nearly the whole range of Habermas' corpus, Recovering Ethical Life traces the development of the theory of communicative reason from its inception in Knowledge and Human Interests through its elaboration in The Theory of Communicative Action and into its defense against postmodernism in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity . In separate chapters Habermas' readings of Freud, Durkheim amd Mead, Adorno and Foucault, Castoriadis and Taylor are critically examined. The focus of Bernstein's analyses, however, is always problem centered and thematic rather than textual psychoanalytic theory as an account of self knowledge, the competing claims of ethical identity and moral reason, the place of judgment in practical reason, and the debate between philosophies of language based communities versus those oriented towards world-disclosure. Critical theory is unique among current philosophies in engaging with the problems of social injustice and nihilism by siding with an abstract moral reason that forfeits the processes of intersubjective recognition it intended to salvage. Even in the fine grain of Habermas' account of performative contradictions and the theory of discourses of application, Bernstein perceives a squandering of the resources of an ethical life in need of transfiguration. (shrink)
Let me begin with a wisp of political history. According to the Earl of Clarendon, in 1639 the king’s “three kingdoms [were] flourishing in entire peace and universal plenty.”1 Yet by 1642 civil war had broken out, and in 1649 the king was beheaded. What had caused this breakdown of civil and political order, a breakdown that was not localized in England but, in fact, rife throughout Europe—1648 like 1848 was a year of revolutions? Clarendon himself is less than acute (...) on the matter, opting generally for a conspiracy theory in which the traitorous plots of ill men were the cause of the rebellion. In his book Behemoth —whose title stands for the Long Parliament, which sat in session from 1640 until the surviving .. (shrink)
Adorno contends that something of what we think of knowing and rational agency operate in ways that obscure and deform unique, singular presentations by relegating them to survival-driven interests and needs; hence, in accordance with the presumptions of transcendental idealism, we have come to mistake what are, in effect, historically contingent, species-subjective ways of viewing the world for an objective understanding of the world. And further, this interested understanding of the world is deforming in a more radical way than just (...) obscuring what is there for the sake of interested needs and purposes; these instrumental ways of knowing and acting, are broadly self-interested, in the interest of survival, without effective concern for the well-being and worth of others; by becoming generalized and exclusive, hegemonic, by driving out modes of encountering things and persons that support their differences and independence, their needs and interests, these instrumental practices are the deepest cause of t. (shrink)
This paper attempts to explore the problem of collective identity and its subsequent historical legacies through a reading of Spinoza’s and Freud’s respective accounts of Moses. In working their way through the aggadah (i.e., legend) of Moses, both Spinoza and Freud find the halakhic (i.e., legal) core of collectivity to be expressed in and as social mediation. Moreover, both thinkers discover that the occlusion of this core leads to a collective trauma (in Freud’s sense), the symptom of which is the (...) formation of the ‘theological-political’ (in Spinoza’s sense). (shrink)