The work of the French literary review, intellectual grouping and publishing team Tel Quel had a profound impact on the formation of literary and cultural debate in the 1960s and 70s. Its legacy has had enormous influence on the parameters of such debate today. From its beginning in 1960 to its closure in 1982, it published some of the earliest work of Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes. It was also associated with some of the key (...) ideas of the French avant-garde, publishing key articles by Georges Bataille and Antonin Artaud. The Tel Quel Reader presents for the first time in English the key essays written by the Tel Quel group. Essays by Julia Kristeva, one of the review's editor's Michel Foucault, and a fascinating interview with Roland Barthes are here made available for the first time in English. It provides a unique insight into the post-structuralist movement and presents some of the pioneering essays on literature and culture, film, semiotics and psychoanalysis. Assembling key essays from over a twenty-year period, The Tel Quel Reader is an indispensible resource for students of literature, cultural and visual studies, philosophy and French studies. (shrink)
The physics and metaphysics of identity and individuality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9463-7 Authors Don Howard, Department of Philosophy and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Elena Castellani, Department of Philosophy, University of Florence, Via Bolognese 52, 50139 (...) Florence, Italy Laura Crosilla, Department of Pure Mathematics, School of Mathematics, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK Décio Krause, Department of Philosophy, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 88040-900 Campus Trindade, Florianópolis, SC Brazil Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796. (shrink)
A Brazilian perspective on philosophy and history of science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9635-0 Authors Steven French, Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant 'Anglo-Saxon' reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a very (...) different idiom and intellectual context. Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the 'three H's' - Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the 'three masters of suspicion' - Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The 'internal' intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given French philosophy so much of its distinctive character. (shrink)
Badiou explores the exponentially rich and varied world of French philosophy in a number of groundbreaking essays, published her for the first time in English or in a revised translation. Included are the often-quoted review of Louis Althussers's canonical works For Marks and Reading Capital and the scathing critique of 'potato fascism' in Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guttari's A Thousand Plateus. There are also talks on Michel Foucault and Jean-Luc Nancy, and reviews of the work of Jean-François Lyotard and (...) Barbara Cassin, notable points of interest on an expansive tour of modern French thought.Guided by a small set of fundamental questions concerning the nature of being, the event, the subject, and truth, Badiou pushes to an extreme the polemical force of his thinking. Against the formless continuum of life, he posits the need for radical discontinuity; against the false modesty of finitude, he pleads for the mathematical infinity of everyday situations; against the various returns to Kant, the argues for the persistence of Hegelian dialectic; and against the lure of ultraleftism, his texts from the 1970s vindicate the role of Maoism as a driving force behind the communist Idea. (shrink)
"... no other book undertakes to relate all these French philosophers to each other the way that [Lawlor] does, brilliantly." —François Raffoul For many, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze represent one of the greatest movements in French philosophy. But these philosophers and their works did not materialize without a philosophical heritage. In Thinking through French Philosophy, Leonard Lawlor shows how the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty formed an important current in sustaining the development of structuralism and (...) post-structuralism. Seeking the "point of diffraction," or the specific ideas and concepts that link Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze, Lawlor discovers differences and convergences in these thinkers who worked the same terrain. Major themes include metaphysics, archaeology, language and documentation, expression and interrogation, and the very experience of thinking. Lawlor’s focus on the experience of the question brings out critical differences in immanence and transcendence. This illuminating and provocative book brings new vitality to debates on contemporary French philosophy. (shrink)
This book gives a critical assessment of key developments in contemporary French philosophy, highlighting the diverse ways in which recent French thought has moved beyond the philosophical positions and arguments which have been widely associated with the terms 'post-structuralism' and 'postmodernism'. These developments are assessed through a close comparative reading of the work of seven contemporary thinkers: Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou and François Laruelle. The book situates the writing of each (...) philosopher in relation to earlier traditions of French thought. In differing ways, these philosophers decisively distance themselves from the linguistic paradigm which dominated so much twentieth-century thought in order to rethink philosophical conceptions of materiality, worldliness, shared embodied existence and human agency or subjectivity. They thereby open the way for a radical renewal of the claims, possibilities and transformative power of philosophical thinking itself. This book will be an indispensable text for students of philosophy and for anyone interested in current developments in philosophy and social thought. (shrink)
In this book Gary Gutting tells, clearly and comprehensively, the story of French philosophy from 1890 to 1990. He examines the often neglected background of spiritualism, university idealism, and early philosophy of science, and also discusses the privileged role of philosophy in the French education system. Taking account of this background, together with the influences of avant-garde literature and German philosophy, he develops a rich account of existential phenomenology, which he argues is the central achievement of French (...) thought during the century, and of subsequent structuralist and poststructuralist developments. His discussion includes chapters on Bergson, Sartre, Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, and Derrida, with sections on other major thinkers including Lyotard, Deleuze, Irigaray, Levinas, and Ricoeur. He offers challenging analyses of the often misunderstood relationship between existential phenomenology and structuralism and of the emergence of poststructuralism. Finally, he sketches the major current trends of French philosophy. (shrink)
The late 20th century saw a remarkable flourishing of philosophy in France. The work of French philosophers is wide ranging, historically informed, often reaching out beyond the boundaries of philosophy; they are public intellectuals, taken seriously as contributors to debates outside the academy. Gary Gutting tells the story of the development of a distinctively French philosophy in the last four decades of the 20th century. His aim is to arrive at an account of what it was to 'do (...) philosophy' in France, what this sort of philosophizing was able to achieve, and how it differs from the analytic philosophy dominant in Anglophone countries. -/- His initial focus is on the three most important philosophers who came to prominence in the 1960s: Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. He sets out the educational and cultural context of their work, as a basis for a detailed treatment of how they formulated and began to carry out their philosophical projects in the 1960s and 1970s. He gives a fresh assessment of their responses to the key influences of Hegel and Heidegger, and the fraught relationship of the new generation to their father-figure Sartre. He concludes that Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze can all be seen as developing their fundamental philosophical stances out of distinctive readings of Nietzsche. The second part of the book considers topics and philosophers that became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the revival of ethics in Levinas, Derrida, and Foucault, the return to phenomenology and its use to revive religious experience as a philosophical topic, and Alain Badiou's new ontology of the event. Finally Gutting brings to the fore the meta-philosophical theme of the book, that French philosophy since the 1960s has been primarily concerned with thinking the impossible. (shrink)
Philosophy plays an integral role in French society, affecting its art, drama, politics, and culture. In this accessible, chronological survey, Matthews offers some explanations for the enduring popularity of the subject and traces the developments that French philosophy has taken in the twentieth century, from its roots in the thought of Descartes to key figures such as Bergson, Sartre, Marcel, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Derrida, and the recent French Feminists.
Martin Heidegger's impact on contemporary thought is important and controversial. However in France, the influence of this German philosopher is such that contemporary French thought cannot be properly understood without reference to Heidegger and his extraordinary influence. Tom Rockmore examines the reception of Heidegger's thought in France. He argues that in the period after the Second World War, due to the peculiar nature of the humanist French Philosophical tradition, Heidegger became the master thinker of French philosophy. Perhaps (...) most importantly, he contends that this reception - first as philosophical anthropology and later as postmetaphysical humanism - is systematically mistaken. (shrink)
This volume offers a lively and accessible guide to some of the major issues current in French philosophy today and to some of the figures who are or have been influential in shaping its development. The collection is unusual and interesting in bringing together a range of contributors from both Britain and France, and is intended not only for professional philosophers but also for those with a more general interest in the French intellectual scene.
Linguistics, Anthropology and Philosophy in the French Enlightenment treats the development of linguistic thought from Descartes to Degerando as both a part of and a determining factor in the emergence of modern consciousness. Through his careful analyses of works by the most influential thinkers of the time, author Ulrich Ricken demonstrates that the central significance of language in the philosophy of the enlightenment is how it reflected and acted upon contemporary understanding of humanity as a whole. Although primarily focused (...) on French thought between 1650 and 1800, the author discusses contemporary developments in England, Germany and Italy and covers an unusually broad range of writers and ideas, including Leibniz, Wolff, Herder and Humboldt. This study places the history of language philosophy within the broader context of the history of ideas, aesthetics and historical anthropology and will be of interest to scholars working in these disciplines. (shrink)
Originally published in 1914, this book examines the French Voluntarist school of philosophy and the key ways in which it differs from the Pragmatists. Stebbing argues that Voluntarism and Pragmatism both prove inadequate in their definition of truth, and suggests that an acknowledgment of the 'non-existential character of truth' is needed. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in philosophy.
This unique book addresses trends such as vitalism, neo-Kantianism, existentialism, Marxism and feminism, and provides concise biographies of the influential philosophers who shaped these movements, including entries on over ninety thinkers. Offers discussion and cross-referencing of ideas and figures Provides Appendix on the distinctive nature of French academic culture.
Philosophy and history (with Jean Hyppolite) -- Philosophy and science (with Georges Canguilhem) -- Philosophy and sociology (with Raymond Aron) -- Philosophy and psychology (with Michel Foucault) -- Philosophy and language (with Paul Ricœur) -- Philosophy and truth (with Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond Aron, Michel Foucault, Paul Ricœur, Alain Badiou and Dina Dreyfus) -- Philosophy and ethics (with Michel Henry) -- Model and structure (with Michel Serres) -- Teaching philosophy through television (with excerpts from Jean Hyppolite, Georges Canguilhem, Raymond (...) Aron, Michel Foucault and Paul Ricœur. Alain Badiou by telephone and Dina Dreyfus in the studio). (shrink)
First published in 1964, this is not just a chronicle or encyclopaedia, but deals thoroughly in turn with meaning, view about reason, and views about values, particularly moral values. The author's knowledge of French literature if extensive and thorough, and a feature of the book is his analysis of the philosophical implications of literarry wroks by Sartre, Paul Valery, Camus and others.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; Part I. Derrida Post-Existentialist: 1. Humanist pretensions: Catholics, Communists and Sartre's struggle for existentialism in post-war France; 2. Derrida's 'Christian' existentialism; 3. Normalization: the École Normale Supe;rieure and Derrida's turn to Husserl; 4. Genesis as a problem: Derrida reading Husserl; 5. The God of mathematics: Derrida and the origin of geometry; Part II. Between Phenomenology and Structuralism: 6. A history of diffe;rance; 7. L'ambiguite; du concours: the deconstruction of commentary and interpretation in Speech and Phenomena; (...) 8. The ends of man: reading and writing at the ENS; Epilogue. (shrink)
This article explores the thesis that novelty is central to a wide and diverse range of French philosophers in the twentieth century. Often these philosophers are seen on different sides of philosophic divides, but novelty brings them together. I will explore some of the fruitful areas for dialogue between French and process philosophy, particularly around the theme of novelty.
Thinking through French Philosophy has two objectives. First, it seeks to demonstrate that the thought of Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze draw inspiration from the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty. Lawlor shows that Merleau-Ponty, residing somewhere between structuralism and poststructuralism, managed to articulate key ideas that helped Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze make the necessary breakthroughs that now come to mark their respective philosophies. Such ideas include Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the flesh as developed in The Visible and the Invisible, the chiasm, and expression (...) as a sense-giving event. The second objective of the book is to read the “great French philosophies of the Sixties” as a philosophy of “interrogation.” Lawlor argues that Derrida, Foucault, and Deleuze offer us a “point of diffraction” through which we can further elaborate our thinking on various aporias opened up by these thinkers. (shrink)
Eighteenth-century France witnessed the rise of matter itself—in forms ranging from atoms to anatomies—as a privileged object of study. Voluptuous Philosophy redefines what is at stake in the emergence of an enlightened secular materialism by showing how questions of figure—how should a body be represented? What should the effects of this representation be on readers?—are tellingly and consistently located at the very heart of 18th-century debates about the nature of material substance. French materialisms of the Enlightenment are crucially invested (...) not only in the development of a sophisticated theoretical apparatus around the notion of matter but in the production of specific relationships between readers and the "matter" of the texts that they consume. How, the book asks, did the period's fascination with a markedly immaterial and ephemeral event—the reading of works of fiction—come to coincide with what appears to be a gradual materialization of human subjects: men and women who increasingly manage to envision themselves transfigured, as the century wears on, into machines, animals, and even, in the work of the Marquis de Sade, tables and chairs? In what way did the spread of new philosophies of matter depend upon the ability of readers to perceive certain figures of speech as literally and immediately true—to imagine themselves as fully material bodies even as they found themselves most deeply compelled by disembodied literary forms? More broadly, in what sense does the act of reading literature alter and transfigure our perceptions of what is, and can be, real? Voluptuous Philosophy articulates the gradual coming into being of literature as a distinct arena of textual production with the rise of an enlightened reader who remains abstracted from the bodily symptoms that any given piece of writing may induce in him. The very definition of "the literary" as an autonomous field, this book suggests, may, ironically, be dependent upon the simultaneous construction of a material world that remains fully immune to its effects. (shrink)
Contemporary French philosophy is laying fresh claim to the human. Through a series of independent, simultaneous initiatives, arising in the writing of diverse current French thinkers, the figured of the human is being transformed and reworked. -/- Christopher Watkin draws out both the promises and perils inherent in these attempts to rethink humanity’s relation to ‘nature’ and ‘culture’, to the objects that surround us, to the possibility of social and political change, to ecology and even to our own (...) brains. This comparative assessment makes visible for the first time one of the most important trends in French thought today. (shrink)
This paper shows how reflection on habit leads in nineteenth-century French philosophy to Henri Bergson’s idea of duration in 1888 as a non-quantifiable dimension irreducible to time as measured by clocks. Historically, I show how Albert Lemoine’s 1875 L’habitude et l’instinct was crucial, since he holds – in a way that is both Ravaissonian and Bergsonian avant la lettre – that for the being capable of habit, the three elements of time are fused together. For that habituated being, Lemoine (...) claims, it is not true to say that the past is no longer, nor even that the future is not yet. This historical link between Ravaisson and Bergson, however, only sharpens the philosophical question of how a dynamic conception of habit involves and requires a conception of real duration, of a temporality more original than clock-time, and, conversely, of how reflection on duration prior to clock-time involves a notion of habit. With reference to the work of Gilles Deleuze, the paper concludes by showing that there is an internal connection between these two grand philosophical themes of nineteenth- and then twentieth-century French thought: habit and time. (shrink)
I come to praise contemporary French philosophy not to bury it. My aim is not to hail the appearance in France of a native brand of analytic philosophy—in itself an important event in the last decade—but to describe the indirect and selective importation of certain Anglo-Saxon concepts by French philosophers whose practice is far from analytic; and also to describe the resultant misunderstanding. In this paper I shall analyse the use of pragmatic concepts—and of the concept ‘pragmatics’—in the (...) recent work by Deleuze and Guattari, Mille Plateaux , and I shall try to show that these concepts are the object of a creative misunderstanding, of a misprision. (shrink)
In this paper, I discuss the Agrégation de Philosophie—the French national examination that certifies philosophy teachers for both lycée and university instruction—in terms of the role it has played in the intellectual formation of all French philosophers and, as a corollary, its impact on developments in 20th-century French philosophy. Following a recounting of the history and structure of the examination, I discuss how the examination reveals that a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy, especially pre-1800 philosophy, (...) is a necessary condition for employment as an instructor of philosophy. After discussing the connections between the examination and the teaching activities of the Sorbonne’s Department of Philosophy, I analyze the content of the exam, showing how it offers important insights into the French philosophical tradition and how it differs from the English language and German philosophical traditions. I conclude by examining in detail the appearances of Comte, Plotinus, and Nietzsche on the examination, showing how their appearances correlate with publication trends as well as the careers of influential philosophers. (shrink)
In contrast to many of his contemporaries, A. J. Ayer was an analytic philosopher who had sustained throughout his career some interest in developments in the work of his ‘continental’ peers. Ayer, who spoke French, held friendships with some important Parisian intellectuals, such as Camus, Bataille, Wahl and Merleau-Ponty. This paper examines the circumstances of a meeting between Ayer, Merleau-Ponty, Wahl, Ambrosino and Bataille, which took place in 1951 at some Parisian bar. The question under discussion during this meeting (...) was whether the sun existed before humans did, over which the various philosophers disagreed. This disagreement is tangled with a variety of issues, such as Ayer’s critique of Heidegger and Sartre, Ayer’s response to Merleau-Ponty’s critique of empiricism, and Bataille’s response to Sartre’s critique of his notion of ‘unknowing’, which uncannily resembles Ayer’s critique of Sartre. Amidst this tangle one finds Bataille’s statement that an ‘abyss’ separates English from French and German philosophy, the first recorded announcement of the analytic-continental divide in the twentieth century. (shrink)
In this paper I examine two theories of democracy that can be found in contemporary French philosophy. Both Cornelius Castoriadis and Jacques Rancière offer a critique of modern democracy with the purpose of refounding it. The ‘refoundation narratives’ they propose are both based on an account of the origins of democracy in ancient Greece. According to Castoriadis, ancient democracy is grounded in a ‘magma’ of ‘social imaginary significations’ in which ‘autonomy’ is considered the correct response to Being defined as (...) an insurmountable ‘Chaos’. On the contrary, modern democracy defines Being as a determinacy and consequently fails to grasp the notion of autonomy. According to Rancière, the origins of democracy are to be found in the invasion of the public space by ‘those without a part’ who consequently have no title to govern. The problem with the ‘domesticated’ modern democracy is that it denies the existence of Otherness; that is, of non-citizens excluded from the public space. Therefore it appears incapable of letting the ‘dis-agreement’ manifest itself and consequently incapable of transforming the ‘police’ order. After examining the meaning of both theories, I attempt to elucidate the difficulties encountered by each author in the attainment of his goal, which is that of refounding modern democracy. (shrink)
This article examines the multiple relations between the rationalist tradition of French philosophy of science exemplified by the work of Gaston Bachelard, and the rethinking of the relation between science and ideology undertaken by Louis Althusser and a young Alain Badiou in the 1960s. Both Bachelard and Althusser are interrogated for the philosophy of language that underpins their respective visions of scientificity; in turn, the problem of the subject is posed, in part through an investigation of Althusser's inheritance and (...) transformation of Lacanian psychoanalysis. (shrink)
Adrian Johnston is well known for his work at the intersection of Lacanian psychoanalysis, German idealism, contemporary French philosophy and most recently cognitive neuroscience. In the context of the current issue, Johnston represents the most complete development of a contemporary theory of Transcendental Materialism. In the following interview we explore both the implications of Johnston’s previous work, as well as the directions his most recent projects are taking.
The idea of ‘gesture’ is present in the philosophical world in various forms. All of them might find an important theoretical grounding in pragmatist philosophy, if we combine pragmatism with some French philosophies of mathematics and read it as a way out of the Kantian philosophy of representation. The paper uses the insights of Jean Cavaillès to set out the problem of the weakness of the epistemic Kantian defense of mathematical and logical thought. Cavaillès rejected the possible amendments to (...) Kant’s explanation provided by both Husserl and Bolzano and their heirs. He used the word ‘gesture’ in order to explain the activity of mathematicians who have to act synthetically, following rules, with some physical representation, and being aware of the possibility of failure. Cavaillès conceived the use of gesture as an alternative to the Heidegerian idea of event defended by Albert Lautman. The paper then follows the idea of gesture in the French philosophy of mathematics of Gilles Châtelet and Giuseppe Longo. Finally, the paper illustrates how Peirce’s study of Existential Graphs and the main insights of pragmatism complete Cavaillès’s idea by giving to gestures a phenomenological and semiotic structure. The pragmatist philosophy of gesture is thus a new way of overthrowing Kant’s philosophy of representation without surrendering to irrationalism. (shrink)