In this essay Kelvin Beckett argues that Richard Peters's major work on education, Ethics and Education, belongs on a short list of important texts we can all share. He argues this not because of the place it has in the history of philosophy of education, as important as that is, but because of the contribution it can still make to the future of the discipline. The limitations of Peters's analysis of the concept of education in his chapter on “Criteria (...) of Education” are well known. In the chapter on “Education as Initiation,” however, Peters offered a synthetic sketch of education that, Beckett argues, points us toward a more comprehensive definition of education, one which, he maintains, can be accepted by all philosophers, regardless of the tradition they work in. (shrink)
For the past thirty years, the late Tom Regan bucked the trend among secular animal rights philosophers and spoke patiently and persistently to the best angels of religious ethics in a stream of publications that enjoins religious scholars, clergy, and lay people alike to rediscover the resources within their traditions for articulating and living out an animal ethics that is more consistent with their professed values of love, mercy, and justice. My aim in this article is to showcase some of (...) the wealth of insight offered in this important but under-utilized archive of Regan’s work to those of us, religious or otherwise, who wish to challenge audiences of faith to think and do better by animals. (shrink)
Tom Regan argues that human beings and some non-human animals have moral rights because they are “subjects of lives,” that is, roughly, conscious, sentient beings with an experiential welfare. A prominent critic, Carl Cohen, objects: he argues that only moral agents have rights and so animals, since they are not moral agents, lack rights. An objection to Cohen’s argument is that his theory of rights seems to imply that human beings who are not moral agents have no moral rights, but (...) since these human beings have rights, his theory of rights is false, and so he fails to show that animals lack rights. Cohen responds that this objection fails because human beings who are not moral agents nevertheless are the “kind” of beings who are moral agents and so have rights, but animals are not that “kind” of being and so lack rights. Regan argues that Cohen’s “kind” arguments fail: they fail to explain why human beings who are not moral agents have rights and they fail to show that animals lack rights. Since Cohen’s “kind” arguments are influential, I review and critique Regan’s objections . I offer suggestions for stronger responses to arguments like Cohen’s. (shrink)
We are used to hearing Žižek respond to a proposed choice between two options with the replies “yes please!” or “no thanks!” – this answer amounting to a refusal of choice that maintains the productive antagonism between the presented options or a refutation that one offers a better solution than the other. However, when it comes to the question “Joyce or Beckett?” Žižek unequivocally responds “Beckett, please!” Through a close reading of Žižek’s scattered references to and reflections on (...) both writers, this paper sets out the theoretical stakes of such a response whilst also addressing other matters such as Žižek’s remarks on the “Joycean” Lacan. (shrink)
The article offers a new approach for the exploration of media and television studies by extracting the television-philosophy implicit in Samuel Beckett’s television play … but the clouds …. The reading focuses on the immanent logic of the play seen as a televisual and an intermedial whole, instead of constructing it as an intertextual tapestry of references. The article argues against a popular interpretation of Beckett as the artist of failure. The reading of …but the clouds… as illustrating (...) the failure of memory and as a comment on the televisual loss of pro-filmic referentiality is subsequently also contested. On the contrary, it is argued that the play in a self-reflexive positive gesture explores both the ontology of the television-image and the ontology of memory as a process of conjuration by presenting a successful emergence of the televisual Image-in-itself. (shrink)
O artigo tenciona, primeiramente, enriquecer o estudo da função que o conceito de tom desempenha na ideia kantiana de razão, ao estendê-lo à análise da música como arte dos sons que a Crítica do Juízo contém. Em segundo lugar, propõe-se determinar os motivos pelos quais a matemática se revela incapaz, devido à especificidade do método filosófico e à corporalidade da ecepção musical, respectivamente, de expressar o modo de proceder da razão e da arte dos sons. Finalmente, aponta-se para uma semelhança (...) entre música e razão, no que diz respeito à rejeição que compartilham da queda na Schwärmerei, apesar da distância que se estabelece entre ambas enquanto duas maneiras contrárias de exercitar e fomentar a vida e o sentimento dela. (shrink)
This is a version of a paper delivered at the Beckett centenary conference held at University College Cork, May 26-27, 2006. It was subsequently published under the title ‘Stellar Separation orMachine? Badiou and Deleuze and Guattari on Beckett’ in Beckett Re-Membered: After the Centenary, edited by James Carney,Mi chael O’Sullivan, Leonard Madden and Karl White, pp. 92-107, ISBN 1443835005. This is a pre-publication version of the paper as it appeared in the latter publication. OPENING PARAGRAPH: In the (...) most important study to date of the respective use of Beckett’s writings in the work of Deleuze and Badiou, Jean-Jacques Lecercle concludes by surmising that “Perhaps the close proximity, in the French edition, of Deleuze’s essay, ‘The Exhausted’, to Beckett’s own text, is indeed more than a fortunate coincidence: perhaps it is a symptom”.1 For, Lecercle, despite his long-term support for Deleuze and indeed despite his misgivings concerning Badiou’s characteristically strong reading of Beckett, decides that there may be, after all, something more compelling in the Badiou than in the less consistent Deleuze. This may also be, he suggests, attributable to Deleuze’s own modernism as a writer, which, though it gives him greater access to, and understanding of, the materiality of Beckett’s writing, also in the final analysis, renders his reading of Beckett somewhat orthodox. By contrast, the defiantly declarative and unhesitatingly dogmatic reading advanced by Badiou, is able to disclose strikingly original insights, not least because of the co-implication and reversibility of the readings of Badiou-Beckett and Beckett-Badiou. This essay seeks to examine the symptomatology of one text in particular as it operates and produces or is indicative of symptoms in the work of Badiou and Deleuze respectively. (shrink)
This paper reconvenes Samuel Beckett’s psychotherapy with Wilfred Bion during 1934–1936 during which time Beckett’s conceived and began writing this second novel, Murphy . Based on Beckett’s visits to the Bethlem & Maudsley Hospital and his observation of the male nurses, the climax of Murphy is a chess match between Mr Endon (a male schizophrenic patient) and Murphy (a male psychiatric nurse). The precise notation of the Endon v Murphy chess match tells us that the Beckett (...) intended it to be an exemplar of an anti-match, perhaps a metaphor for the tragedy of being locked into madness. It is also argued that the match offers us insight into Beckett’s experience of the process of psychotherapy with Bion. Based on new information from Beckett’s nephew and Bion’s widow, hypotheses about the long term impact of the Bion-Beckett analysis are advanced as a mutual experience which shaped the lives and later literary output of both men, producing conjoined career writings which continue to offer us stark and sublime condensations of depression, psychosis, and the challenges of therapy and recovery. (shrink)
Nos proponemos recorrer aquí algunas de las líneas de fuerza que permiten vincular la obra de Samuel Beckett con la estética desarrollada en los escritos de Gilles Deleuze. Para ello dedicaremos un primer apartado a las relaciones entre Beckett y la filosofía, para hacer patente allí la afinidad con algunas de las fuentes fundamentales de la filosofía deleuziana, como Nietzsche, Spinoza y la distancia con aquel que se constituye como uno de sus “enemigos” filosóficos: Martin Heidegger. Plantearemos luego (...) algunos puntos de reparo en relación con el vínculo entre Deleuze y literatura en general para abordar por último la específica interpretación que se hace de Beckett en los textos dedicados exclusivamente a su obra. (shrink)
How are we to think of Beckett's fiction? Lyrical, inventive, uncompromising, beautifully precise-an immense achievement—is it really an art that proclaims the disintegration of language and of the imagination, as traditional readings conclude? Eyal Amiran's study demonstrates that Beckett's work does not embody the failure of synthetic vision. Beckett's fiction transposes a large intertextual logic from the Western metaphysics it is said to disown, and so takes its place in a literary and philosophical tradition that extends from (...) Plato to Joyce and Yeats. At the same time, it develops as a serial narrative, from the early novels to the late short fictions, to unravel the story itself that its metaphysical tradition tells. (shrink)
The principal thesis in this book is that bioethics emerged—in the 1960s through the 1980s—under the influence of philosophers who claimed to have universally valid principles that could steer medicine and research to the solution of ethical problems, including even those arising at the bedside of patients. Tom Koch contends that these philosophers and their allied bioethicists “stole medicine” and its traditional values, substituting a philosophical discourse generally inaccessible to the average person. Philosophers thereby refashioned medical ethics in accordance with (...) their vision of a morally and intellectually robust new field. Koch maintains that philosophers have failed to deliver on their promises and that .. (shrink)
If Beckett’s study of Proust has belatedly received the criticisms its author no doubt anticipated, another influential study published a little over thirty years later has, like its predecessor, elicited, among others, the critical response that the author of the Recherche finds himself recruited to the self-serving project of the critic. Gilles Deleuze’s Proust is cast not as the pessimistic Schopenhauerian which Beckett makes of him, but rather, as a force of affirmation in the quasi-Nietzschean register of the (...) ‘powers of the false’. Deleuze would studiously augment his 1964 study with two additions in an effort to improve it. The consequence of this is to render its textual genesis a testament to one of the themes, and for Deleuze the theme of the Recherche, namely, apprenticeship. Moreover, the ‘pedagogy’ to which Proust’s novel subjects the philosopher becomes itself an example of the ‘untimely’ operations of art upon what Deleuze calls the upright or dogmatic image of thought. (shrink)
To explore literary silence is to explore the relationships between literary texts and the silence of the ineffable. Philosophical and critical accounts tend to operate with a dualistic understanding of silence as the negative other of text. This study, however, seeks to place silence within the literary text. Central to this theoretical endeavour are thinkers like Blanchot, Derrida, Gadamer and Vattimo, and the result is a fundamental challenge to our ideas of silence and text. The study continues to draw on (...) the ideas of Kierkegaard and Bataille to develop an effective methodology for reading such literary silences. (shrink)
In his article in this issue, " 'How do Mādhyamikas Think?' Revisited," Tom Tillemans reflects on his earlier article "How do Mādhyamikas Think?" (2009), itself a response to earlier work of ours (Deguchi et al. 2008; Garfield and Priest 2003). There is much we agree with in these non-dogmatic and open-minded essays. Still, we have some disagreements. We begin with a response to Tillemans' first thoughts, and then turn to his second thoughts.Tillemans (2009) maintains that it is wrong to attribute (...) to Nāgārjuna or to his Mādhyamika followers a strong dialetheism, according to which some contradictions of the form p ∧ ¬p are to be accepted. He argues that, nonetheless, a weak dialetheism may be implicit in the .. (shrink)
What can philosophy bring to the reading of Beckett? Combining intertextual analysis with a ‘schizoanalytic genealogy’ derived from the authors of L’Anti-Œdipe, Garin Dowd’sMachines: Samuel Beckett and Philosophy after Deleuze and Guattari offers an innovative response to this much debated question. The author focuses on zones of encounter and thresholds of engagement between Beckett’s writing and a range of philosophers and philosophical concepts. Beckett’s writing impacts in a variety of ways on Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, and, (...) in particular, resonates with Deleuze’s contributions to the history of philosophy, and his ‘critical and clinical’ approach to literature. Furthermore, the books co-written with Guattari, concerned as they are with the ‘molecularization’ of the discipline of philosophy in the name of ‘thinking otherwise’, reveal themselves in a new light when explored in conjunction with Beckett’s œuvre. With its arresting perspectives on a wide range of Beckett’s works, Abstract Machines will appeal to academics and postgraduate students interested in the philosophical aspects of his writing. Its engagement with alternative contributions to the question of Beckett and philosophy, including that of Alain Badiou, renders it a timely and provocative intervention in contemporary debates on the relationship between literature and philosophy, both within the field of Beckett studies and beyond. (shrink)
Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
Failure is seen as a problem in education. From failing schools, to failing students to rankings of universities, literacy or numeracy, the perception that one has failed to compete or to compare favourably with others has led to a series of policy initiatives internationally designed to ensure ‘success for all’. But when success is measured in comparison with others or against benchmarks or standards, then it is impossible to see how all could be successful given the parameters laid down. What (...) are the implications of a culture that values success and achievement? How difficult is it to become the kind of individual who is flourishing, autonomous and becomes ‘all she can be’, in particular under the precarious conditions of contemporary capitalism? Samuel Beckett was sceptical of the quest for progress, production and prestige. His philosophy invites another way of thinking about failure, not as something one is, but rather as something one does: the pain and fear of inadequacy that can mark educational relations and experiences is alleviated by a more renunciative, gentle philosophy of education. There are two interwoven strands in this article. One questions the emphasis on competition and achievement in contemporary education and explores its implications for our relationship to failure. The second, strongly influenced by Beckett, explores ways of reimagining our relationship to failure in such a way that allows us to reflect on what matters in life. (shrink)
The leading contemporary French philosopher Alain Badiou has been a lifelong devotee of Beckett's work. This ground-breaking study provides a full introduction to and critique of Badiou's philosophy, politics, ethics and aesthetics, and his interpretation of the Irish writer, as a basis for a major new reading of the Beckett corpus.
Review Essay: A Review of Tom Nairn and Paul James, Global Matrix: Nationalism, Globalism and State-Terrorism ; Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Globalization or Empire? ; Patrick Hayden and Chamsy el-Ojeili , Confronting Globalization: Humanity, Justice and the Renewal of Politics.
Kant's claim that modality is a 'category' provides an approach to modality to be contrasted with Lewis's reductive analysis. Lewis's position is unsatisfactory, since it depends on an inherently modal conception of a world. This suggests that modality is 'primitive'; and the Kantian position is a prima facie plausible position of this kind, which is filled out by considering the relationship between modality and inference. This provides a context for comparing the Kantian position with Wright's non-cognitivist 'conventionalism'. Wright's position is (...) vulnerable to the type of argument used against ethical non-cognitivism, and the Kantian position is further confirmed by Blackburn's acknowledgment that modality is 'antinaturalistic to its core'. The position is further elaborated to show that it can accommodate the famous Kripkean categories of the empirically necessary and the contingent a priori, and finally defended against the criticisms used by Quine against Carnap. (shrink)
Samuel Beckett’s choice of the title Ohio Impromptu to name the play first performed to an audience of academics and scholars at Columbus Ohio in 1981 is one manifestation of its author’s interest in the question of literary genre; more generally, in Beckett’s dramatic works one encounters a meticulous attention to the activity of categorisation, even if the energy is often directed toward the creation of phantom genres for spectral exemplars. This essay concerns itself with Ohio Impromptu in (...) particular because by means of elements specific to this play it comments upon its own very failure to occupy its designated genre co-ordinates. This play, which is so apt to incorporate other genres, however, is presided over by a stage direction which locates it firmly in the theatrical context. It is in its deliberate failure to attend to this stage direction that the Beckett on Film version of the play goes beyond the mere treacherous fidelity that is inevitably a feature of any adaptation. In arguing this, the essay analyses the foregrounding in the play of questions that can be said to pertain to genre. Its more specific intention is to suggest that, via a combination of casting and special effects, the adaptation succeeds not only in cancelling the critical reflection on the ‘genre gesture’ that is lodged in Ohio Impromptu, but also in eradicating the very disjunction between Reader and Listener upon which the play depends. (shrink)
Interpretation always takes place in the present tense. It is worth reminding ourselves of this, because few philosophical texts or treatises have suffered the rise and fall of the vagaries of their own contemporary Weltanschauung as Fichte's Addresses to the German Nation. Few texts in history have been simultaneously so overestimated and underestimated in their impact and importance as Fichte's Addresses; and therefore few texts can be said to be so misunderstood—and so need in of reassessment. This collection, Fichte's Addresses (...) to the German Nation Reconsidered, edited by Daniel Breazeale and Tom Rockmore, precisely seeks to fill this lacuna. The interpretative fate of the Addresses has always hinged on the... (shrink)
Film, Samuel Beckett's 1964 short starring Buster Keaton, dubbed by Deleuze as ‘The Greatest Irish Film’, is a seminal text in the latter's cinematic canon as it helps us to extrapolate the transition from the Bergson-based movement-image of Cinema 1 to the Nietzschean time-image of Cinema 2. Film is unique insofar as its narrative traverses and progressively destroys the action-, perception- and affection-images that constitute the movement-image as a whole, using Keaton's body, and more importantly his face, as a (...) means of attaining a pure intensity or Entity abstracted from all spatio-temporal coordinates, a condition of exhaustion/saturation that Deleuze and Guattari call, ‘non-human becoming’. Beckett's film is predicated on Bishop Berkeley's fundamental philosophical principle, esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived) and, using Keaton as its protagonist, raises the question of whether it is possible to escape perception, not only by a third party, but also by oneself. The latter is ‘played’ by the camera itself, which ‘stalks’ Keaton from behind, taking great pains not to exceed a 45-degree ‘angle of immunity’ (lest Buster experience percipi or the anguish of perceivedness) until the film's final close-up when he comes face to face with his own self-perception and affective annihilation. Film's denouement thus deconstructs the very nature of conventional cinematic language, whereby filmic suture – the enfolding of character, camera and spectatorial ‘viewing-views’ into a unified field of vision – gives way to a perspective where, at the very moment that the perceptive/affective body dies, the work of filmic art gives birth to itself as a being of pure sensation, exceeding lived experience. (shrink)
This book is an encounter between Deleuze the philosopher, Proust the novelist, and Beckett the writer creating interdisciplinary and inter-aesthetic bridges between them, covering textual, visual, sonic and performative phenomena, including provocative speculation about how Proust might have responded to Deleuze and Beckett.
Adorno had such an affinity for Beckett that he dedicated his posthumously published work, Aesthetic Theory, to him. In 1961, he wrote a thoughtful—if dizzyingly complex—tribute to Beckett’s play, Endgame, a work that models many aspects of Adorno’s cultural criticism. My aim, accordingly, is to offer an Adornian reading of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot by drawing upon his critiques of music, aesthetics, and the culture industry. My goal is twofold: to offer a refreshing analysis of one of (...) the most significant dramatic achievements of the twentieth century, and, in doing so, to demonstrate Adorno’s relevance to contemporary cultural studies by deploying multiple elements of his oeuvre. (shrink)
This paper inquires into the nexus between the Deleuzian critical-clinical hypothesis and its literary instantiation in Beckett, with a focus on How It Is (1964) and Worstward Ho (1983b). I propose to read the interruptions in style symptomatically, and stuttering language in Beckett as liminal expression, thus tracing the flows and breaks of desire which Deleuze theorises in the sense of a symptomatological unconscious. The schizoid style as liminal expression exemplified in Beckett's work will be read as (...) marking transit stages in the process of becoming which invites taking it as a proper language of the body without organs. (shrink)
This chapter examines the concepts of expression and affect in the works of Heinrich von Kleist, Samuel Beckett, and Gilles Deleuze. It suggests that Kleist, Beckett, and Edward Gordon-Craig belong a minor tradition of acting and explains that this minor tradition is one that aims to create a theatre which moves away from the inner world of an actor in favour of developing affects which express an external composite world. It also analyses Kleist's short story ‘On the Marionette (...) Theatre’ and Deleuze's Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza. (shrink)
Voyeurism seems creepy. This paper considers whether these feelings are well-founded. It identifies a variety of ethically troubling features, including harmful consequences, deceit, and the violation of various religious, legal, and conventional norms. Voyeurism is something of a moral misdemeanor that seems worrisome when associated with these other failings. However, because voyeurism remains troubling even in the absence of harm or deceit, we must pay special attention to the ways complex social conventions can be used to show disrespect for others. (...) The discussion centers on the famous case of Lady Godiva and Peeping Tom, but much of the analysis applies to voyeurism more generally. (shrink)
In Beckett and Poststructuralism, Anthony Uhlmann offers a reading of Beckett in relation to recent French philosophy, particularly the work of Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Levinas, and Derrida. Uhlmann offers a work of literary criticism that is also a piece of intellectual history, emphasising how Beckett develops a kind of critical thinking which differs from yet is just as powerful as that of philosophers who, along with Beckett, found themselves faced with sets of ethical problems which (...) were thrown into sharp relief in post-war France. Uhlmann explores the links between ethics and physical existence in Beckett, Foucault and Deleuze and Guattari, and between ethics and language in Beckett, Derrida, and Levinas, showing how post-war French philosophy was powerfully affected by Beckett's work. Literature is not reduced to philosophy or vice versa; rather Uhlmann considers how they interrelate and overlap, informing and deforming one another, and how both encounter history. (shrink)
A la recherche du temps perdu van Proust lezen is binnen een reflectie op de zintuiglijkheid niets minder dan een feest. We raken via de rijke evocaties en metaforen in de werkelijkheid van oorden en plekken ondergedompeld. Dat wil zeggen dat we zelf deel gaan uitmaken van hun lijfelijkheid en bijgevolg van hun eigen tijd. In de reflectie genieten we van een ‘ont-plooiing’ van het sensuele, van een verlangen naar wereldlijkheid. Een tegenpool vinden we in het latere werk van (...) class='Hi'>Beckett. Zijn wereld schijnt af te sterven, het lichaam-subject vergaat, de oorden en plekken verschrompelen, de dingen vervreemden en de gebeurtenissen zijn nog slechts accidenten waarvan de reikwijdte niet meer te verwoorden valt. Er is een ‘in-plooiing’ van het sensuele. De woorden sterven. De wereld ‘ontwereldlijkt’. (shrink)
In 1966, Samuel Beckett wrote, and then abandoned, a short story to which he eventually gave the title Le dépeupleur. In 1970, he completed it to his satisfaction and it was published.1 Two years later, it was issued in an English translation prepared by Beckett himself, who gave it the very different title The Lost Ones. In this story, Beckett is, like Dante, inventing narrative images of a “realm” or “world” in which matters of the utmost existential (...) and moral gravity are at stake.Beckett is frequently interpreted as an existential nihilist—that is to say, someone who, in Nietzsche’s definition, would claim that, with the “death of God,” our moral ideals and values are without any grounding in an ultimate and.. (shrink)
This is an extremely thorough revision of the leading textbook of bioethics. The authors have made many improvements in style, organization, argument and content. These changes reflect advances in the bioethics literature over the past five years. The most dramatic expansions of the text are in the comprehensiveness with which the authors treat different currents in ethical theory and the greater breadth and depth of their discussion of public policy and public health issues. In every chapter, readers will find new (...) material and refinements of old discussions. This is evident in the many new sections on topics like communitarianism, ethics of care, relationship-based accounts, casuistry, case-based reasoning, principle-based common-morality theories, the justification of assistance in dying, rationing through priorities in the health care budget, and virtues in professional roles. The most extensive revisions are in chapters 1, 2 and 8. (shrink)
This article is both a personal response to Samuel Beckett?s Waiting for Godot and an examination of the concept within literature of making the strange familiar and making the familiar strange. It discusses the educative force and potential of Beckett?s strangers in a strange world by examining my own personal experiences with the play. At the same time the limitations of Beckett?s theatre are explored through the contrast with the work of Berthold Brecht, who sought to make (...) the familiar strange as a method of political enquiry to facilitate the transformation of the capitalist state. Parallels are drawn between the possibilities of both theatre and education as tools for social transformation and change. (shrink)