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Brill's Companion to Camus

Camus among the Philosophers

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Edited by Matthew Sharpe, Maciej Kałuża and Peter Francev

This book is the first English-language collection of essays by leading Camus scholars from around the world to focus on Albert Camus’ place and status as a philosopher amongst philosophers. After a thematic introduction, the dedicated chapters of Part 1 addresses Camus’ relations with leading philosophers, from the ancient Greeks to Jean-Paul Sartre (Augustine, Hume, Kant, Diderot, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Hegel, Marx, Sartre). Part 2 contains pieces considering philosophical themes in Camus’ works, from the absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus to love in The First Man (the absurd, psychoanalysis, justice, Algeria, solidarity and solitude, revolution and revolt, art, asceticism, love).

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Edited by Michael J. Thompson

Georg Lukács was one of the most important intellectuals and philosophers of the 20th century. His last great work was an systematic social ontology that was an attempt to ground an ethical and critical form of Marxism. This work has only now begun to attract the interest of critical theorists and philosophers intent on reconstructing a critical theory of society as well as a more sophisticated framework for Marxian philosophy. This collection of essays explores the concept of critical social ontology as it was outlined by Georg Lukács and the ways that his ideas can help us construct a more grounded and socially relevant form of social critique.
This work will of special interest to social, moral and political philosophers as well as those who study critical theory, social theory and Marxism. It is also of interest to those working within the area of social ontology.

Contributors include: Mario Duayer, Andreas Giesbert, Christoph Henning, Antonino Infranca, Reha Kadakal, Endre Kiss, Michael Morris, Michalis Skomvoulis, Matthew J. Smetona, Titus Stahl, Thomas Telios, Michael J. Thompson, Murillo van der Laan, Miguel Vedda, Claudius Vellay.

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Daniel Andrés López

Georg Lukács’s philosophy of praxis, penned between 1918 and 1928, remains a revolutionary and apocryphal presence within Marxism. His History and Class Consciousness has inspired a century of rapture and reprobation, perhaps, as Gillian Rose suggested, because of its ‘invitation to hermeneutic anarchy’.

In Lukács: Praxis and the Absolute, Daniel Andrés López radicalises Lukács’s famous return to Hegel by reassembling his 1920s philosophy as a conceptual-historical totality. This speculative reading defends Lukács while proposing an unprecedented, immanent critique. While Lukács’s concept of praxis approaches the shape of Hegel’s Absolute, it tragically fails to bear its weight. However, as López argues, Lukács’s failure was productive: it raises crucial political, methodological and philosophical questions for Marxism, offering to redeem a lost century.

Nietzsche, the Aristocratic Rebel

Intellectual Biography and Critical Balance-Sheet

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Domenico Losurdo

Perhaps no philosopher is more of a conundrum than Nietzsche, the solitary rebel, poet, wayfarer, anti-revolutionary Aufklärer and theorist of aristocratic radicalism. His accusers identify in his ‘superman’ the origins of Nazism, and thus issue an irrevocable condemnation; his defenders pursue a hermeneutics of innocence founded ultimately in allegory. In a work that constitutes the most important contribution to Nietzschean studies in recent decades, Domenico Losurdo instead pursues a less reductive strategy. Taking literally the ruthless implications of Nietzsche's anti-democratic thinking – his celebration of slavery, of war and colonial expansion, and eugenics – he nevertheless refuses to treat these from the perspective of the mid-twentieth century. In doing so, he restores Nietzsche’s works to their complex nineteenth-century context, and presents a more compelling account of the importance of Nietzsche as philosopher than can be expected from his many contemporary apologists.

Originally published in Italian by Bollati Boringhieri Editore as Domenico Losurdo, Nietzsche, il ribelle aristocratico: Biografia intellettuale e bilancio critico, Turin, 2002.

Revisiting Gramsci’s Laboratory

History, Philosophy and Politics in the Prison Notebooks

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Edited by Francesca Antonini, Aaron Bernstein, Lorenzo Fusaro and Robert Jackson

Revisiting Gramsci’s Laboratory offers a rich collection of historical, philosophical, and political studies addressing the thought of Antonio Gramsci, one of the most significant intellects of the twentieth century. Based on thorough analyses of Gramsci’s texts, these interdisciplinary investigations engage with ongoing debates in different fields of study. They are exciting evidence of the enduring capacity of Gramsci’s thought to generate and nurture innovative inquiries across diverse themes.

Gathering scholars from different continents, the volume represents a global network of Gramscian thinkers from early-career researchers to experienced scholars. Combining rigorous explication of the past with a strategic analysis of the present, these studies mobilise underexplored resources from the Gramscian toolbox to confront the actuality of our ‘great and terrible’ world.

Contributors include: Francesca Antonini, Aaron Bernstein, Derek Boothman, Watcharabon Buddharaksa, Takahiro Chino, Riccardo Ciavolella, Carmine Conelli, Anthony Crézégut, Valentina Cuppi, Yohann Douet, Anne Freeland, Fabio Frosini, Lorenzo Fusaro, Robert Jackson, Alex Loftus, Susi Meret, Sebastian Neubauer, Alessio Panichi, Ingo Pohn-Lauggas, Roberto Roccu, Bruno Settis, Anne Showstack Sassoon, Alen Sućeska, Peter D. Thomas, Nicolas Vandeviver, Marta Natalia Wróblewska.

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Jerry H. Gill

Words, Deeds, Bodies by Jerry H. Gill concentrates on the interrelationships between speech, accomplishing tasks, and human embodiment. Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Michael Polanyi have all highlighted these relationships. This book examines the, as yet, unexplored connections between these authors’ philosophies of language. It focuses on the relationships between their respective key ideas: Wittgenstein’s notion of “language game,” Austin’s concept of “performative utterances,” Merleau-Ponty’s idea of “slackening the threads,” and Polanyi's understanding of “tacit knowing,” noting the similarities and differences between and amongst them.

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Dan Swain

In None so Fit to Break the Chains Dan Swain offers an interpretation of Marx's ethics that foregrounds his commitment to working class self-emancipation and uses it as a guiding thread to interpret a number of different aspects of Marx’s ethical thought. This commitment is frequently overlooked in discussions of Marx's ethics, but it deeply influenced his criticism of capitalism, his approach towards an alternative, and his conception of his own role as activist and theorist.

Foregrounding self-emancipation offers new perspectives on various existing debates in the interpretation of Marx, such as the meanings of concepts like alienation, exploitation and utopianism, and can also offer insights into broader questions of the relationship between critical theory and practice.

Christophe Point

With this proposal, we wish to revisit the Idea of the University in the perspective of the democratic project of the American philosopher and pragmatist John Dewey. Our hypothesis consists in the thesis that the deweyen project confronts the problem of the social distribution of knowledge, in the aim of giving us the means to transform the latter. In this way, if we consider that the university is part of this distribution through its student learning function, then our purpose is to demonstrate that this learning is currently guided by an individual intelligence paradigm harms that the development of collective intelligence. For John Dewey, the latter is one of the central means of his democratic project which would reconcile the Idea of a University with real University institutions. Therefore, according to him, if universities want to contribute to the democratic project, we must adopt a new pedagogical orientation promoting individual and collective intelligence.

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Edited by Bryant William Sculos and Mary Caputi

In response to this current political and economic climate, Teaching Marx & Critical Theory in the 21st Century defends the importance, and difficulties, of teaching Marx and critical theory—and the crucial insights of critical pedagogy—through variously original and republished chapters, which, each in their own ways, reflect on ways to teach and reach twenty-first century students. This volume presents unique perspectives on teaching Marx and critical theory in various contexts, sub-fields, and geographies, and underscores the need for students of the modern world to be versed in Marxist thought and for pedagogues to push the limits of critical pedagogical strategies in the classroom—and beyond.

Contributors include: Allan Ardill, Mary Caputi, Mauro Caraccioli, Zachary Casey, Ronald Cox, Kevin Funk, Maylin M. Hernandez, Douglas Kellner, Jason Morrissette, Sebastian Sclofsky, Bryant William Sculos, Sean Walsh.