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A Philososphy for Communism

Rethinking Althusser

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Panagiotis Sotiris

In A Philosophy for Communism: Rethinking Althusser Panagiotis Sotiris attempts a reading of the work of the French philosopher centered upon his deeply political conception of philosophy. Althusser’s endeavour is presented as a quest for a new practice of philosophy that would enable a new practice of politics for communism, in opposition to idealism and teleology. The central point is that in his trajectory from the crucial interventions of the 1960s to the texts on aleatory materialism, Althusser remained a communist in philosophy. This is based upon a reading of the tensions and dynamics running through Althusser’s work and his dialogue with other thinkers and particular attention is paid to crucial texts by Althusser that remained unpublished until relatively recently.

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Edited by Lucilla Guidi and Thomas Rentsch

This volume, edited by Lucilla Guidi and Thomas Rentsch, establishes the first systematic connection between phenomenology and performativity. On the one hand, it outlines the performativity of phenomenology by exploring its enactment and the transformation of attitude it effects; this exploration is conducted through a number of parallels between phenomenology and the ancient understanding of philosophy as an exercise and a way of life. On the other hand, the volume examines different notions of performativity from a phenomenological perspective, so as to show that a phenomenological understanding of embodied experience complements a linguistic account of performativity and can also offer a ground for bodily practices of resistance, critique, and self-transformation in our own day and age.

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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Edited by Jochen Sattler

Mit diesem Band wird die Dokumentation einer Tagungsreihe zur Philosophie Oskar Beckers fortgeführt. Die Tagungen wurden im Zusammenhang mit der Herausgabe der Gesammelten Werke von Becker in den Jahren 1999–2008 an der FernUniversität in Hagen durchgeführt.
Der Band enthält Beiträge zu Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie und der Ethik in der Phänomenologie; ferner werden Beckers wissenschaftstheoretische und -historische Arbeiten zu den Grundlagen der Mathematik untersucht. Aus dem Nachlass des Philosophen wird eine Mitschrift der Freiburger Vorlesung „Grundfragen der Phänomenologie“ aus dem Wintersemester 1924/25 veröffentlicht.

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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.

Sandra Lehmann

Abstract

This essay follows the assumption that the first principle of classical metaphysics has its counterpart in political sovereignty as suprema potestas. Therefore, both can be equally described as arché. Their epitome is the God of so-called ontotheology, who thus proves to be what I call the Ur-Arché. In contrast to current post-metaphysical approaches, however, I suggest overcoming ontotheology through a different metaphysics, which emphasizes the self-transcending surplus character of being. I regard early Christian martyrdom as an eminent way in which the surplus of being is manifested. This has two interwoven aspects, one ontological and one political, both arising from the excessive idea of the Christ event, or the notion that there is life beyond life unto death. I will analyse the mechanism allowing early Christian martyrs to counteract Roman imperial sovereignty. Finally, I will relate this to contemporary life systems in which sovereignty has become anonymous biopower.

From the Unconditioned to Unconditional Claims

Violence, Radical Theology, and Crisis

Jason W. Alvis and Jeffrey W. Robbins

Andrew Benjamin

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to develop a conception of God that works with the identification of being-before-the-law and being-with-God. In addition, it argues that developing a rethinking of God along such lines necessitates, equally, the development of the concomitant political theology and philosophical anthropology that such a repositioning of God envisages. Processes of subject creation have to be thought in relation to any philosophical engagement with the law.

Kelly Oliver

Abstract

With the upsurge in various forms of religion, especially dogmatic forms that kill in the name of good versus evil, there is an urgent need for intellectuals to acknowledge and analyze the role of religion in contemporary culture and politics. If there is to be any hope for peace, we need to understand how and why religion becomes the justification for violence. In a world where religious intolerance is growing, and the divide between the secular and the religious seems to be expanding, Julia Kristeva’s writings bridge the gap and once again provide a path where others have seen only an impasse. Her approach is unique in its insistent attempt to understand the violence both contained and unleashed by religion. Moreover, she rearticulates a notion of the sacred apart from religious dogmatism, a sense of the sacred that is precisely lacking in fundamentalism.

The “Light of Light Beyond Light”

Derrida’s “Question” and the Meta-ontological Origins of Philosophy and Violence

Carl Raschke

Abstract

Despite Jürgen Habermas’ famous suggestion that the violence of history might be mitigated by “the liquidation of unconditional claims,” the issue of whether monotheistic religions and the metaphysical rationality they engender are indeed the hidden source of such violence remains an open one. This essay explores how Derrida with his project “deconstruction” sought to deal in a manner unique to philosophy with the question of the relationship between violence, the unconditional, and the ontological. It proposes that Derrida’s “Jew-Greek” dilemma, which encapsulates the problem of the “violence” of metaphysics, is resolved through Levinas’ project of disrupting Husserlian phenomenology with an alterity that is not simply a heteron that disintermediates the logic of predication, but one that challenges what is normally meant by philosophy itself.

Unconditional Responsibility in the Face of Disastrous Violence

Thoughts on religio and the History of Human Mortality

Burkhard Liebsch

Abstract

This essay draws attention to the question how a strong notion of unconditional responsibility in the face of the other’s mortality (as it was claimed by Emmanuel Levinas) is related to the historical experience of a disastrous violence that seems to annihilate not only numerous bodies, lives, identities and histories but, rather, any responsible religio to the other – whether living or dead. It is well known, that Levinas claimed that human responsibility demands not to let the other alone in his death. But if the other is already dead – like numerous others who share the same fate – keeps human responsibility silent, then? And how is this religio of human responsibility related to forms of disastrous violence which seem to deny it?

Violence and the Unconditional

A Radical Theology of Culture

John D. Caputo

Abstract

I distinguish between the deep culture and the manifest culture, the relationship between the two constituting a circle, which constitutes the circulation of a radical theology of culture. The deep culture surfaces in the manifest, and the manifest draws upon the depths; neither one without the other. My hypothesis is that religion is an expression of the deep culture and for that reason, religion is not accidentally violent; religion is violent in virtue of something essential to religion. Religion is playing with the fire of the concealed depths, of the unconditional, of the impossible, of the undeconstructible. Religion is the best way to save the world, but it also the best way to burn it down. It is both of these things and in virtue of the same property. This is not to say that religion is structurally violent, always and necessarily violent. It is structurally ambiguous, dangerous, on the verge of violence, whipsawing between radical violence and radical non-violence, between martyrdom and murder. Religious beliefs are not the cause of the violence but often a façade for deeper, visceral nationalism or ethnic hatred, The reaction of Christian right to the contemporary world is naive and simplistic but not superficial; it reflects a visceral fear of the postmodern world. Religion is a matter of being claimed by something unconditional, which means it should have the good sense not to lay claim to it. We should never trust anything that has not passes through that apophasis. Before any claims we make, we are laid claim to in advance by the unconditional, the undeconstructible, which Schelling calls the prius, the “un-pre-thinkable” (das Unvordenkliche). The unconditional in the optimal sense is love, which is an expenditure made without the expectation of a return, like loving one’s enemies, which is impossible, the impossible. But love does not get a pass. What would we not do for love? In that question is concentrated all the ambiguity of love, all the courage of the martyr, but no less the violence of the suicide bomber.

David W. Johnson

Abstract

One of the hallmarks of the Japanese psychiatrist and philosopher Kimura Bin’s (b. 1931) philosophical approach is the conversion of ordinary words into philosophical concepts. Here we focus on the way he appropriates the Japanese words onozukara and mizukara, ordinary terms associated, respectively, with things that occur naturally, spontaneously, or by themselves, and those that come from oneself. This re-reading of these terms as philosophical concepts furnishes an interpretive frame that brings together and makes sense of large and important concepts in philosophy and psychology such as self and nature, perception and sensation, collective subjectivity and individual subject, schizophrenia and self-realization. His appropriation of these two Japanese terms also uncovers a general and impersonal form of subjectivity that underlies our experience of ourselves as individuated subjects and stands at the center of his philosophical and psychological investigations into these phenomena.

Dōgen and Continental Philosophy

An Essay on the Powers of Thinking

Jason M. Wirth

Abstract

Continental philosophy, beginning with Kant, has found itself exposed to the abyss of reason. This crisis makes it a more ready dialogue partner with some of the Zen tradition. I explore this opening by bringing Eihei Dōgen (1200–1253) into an encounter with Continental thought, broadly construed. Rather than demonstrate how Dōgen already fits within Continental thought or re-engineering the latter so that he can fit, I argue that this encounter, already precipitated by Continental philosophy’s own acknowledgement of the felix culpa of Western philosophy’s otherwise indefensible overreach, transforms and expands the manners in which thinking counts as philosophical. This is no less than to recover a sense of philosophy as genetic and creative, rather than a shopworn tool kit of universal insights.

Eric S. Nelson

Abstract

Heidegger’s “Evening Conversation: In a Prisoner of War Camp in Russia, between a Younger and an Older Man” (1945), one of three dialogues composed by Heidegger after the defeat of National Socialist Germany published in Country Path Conversations (Feldweg-Gespräche) explores the being-historical situation and fate of the German people by turning to the early Daoist text of the Zhuangzi. My article traces how Heidegger interprets fundamental concepts from the Zhuangzi, mediated by way of Richard Wilhelm’s translation Das wahre Buch vom südlichen Blütenland (1912), such as naturalness, letting/releasement (Gelassenheit/wuwei), the unnecessary (wuyong zhi wei yong) and the useless (wuyong zhi yong) in the context of his hermeneutical and political situation. I consider to what extent this dialogue, along with his other discussions of the Zhuangzi and intensive engagement with the Daodejing from 1943 to 1950, constitute a “Daoist turn” in Heidegger’s thinking that helped shape his Postwar thought.

Hiding Between Basho and Chōra

Re-imagining and Re-placing the Elemental

Brian Schroeder

Abstract

This essay considers the relation between two fundamentally different notions of place—the Greek concept of χώρα and the Japanese concept of basho 場所—in an effort to address the question of a possible “other beginning” to philosophy by rethinking the relation between nature and the elemental. Taking up a cross-cultural comparative approach, ancient through contemporary Eastern and Western sources are considered. Central to this endeavor is reflection on the concept of the between through an engagement between, on the one hand, Plato, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Edward Casey, and John Sallis, and on the other, Eihei Dōgen, Nishida Kitarō, and Watsuji Tetsurō.

Knowing Limits

Toward a Versatile Perspectivism with Nietzsche, Heidegger, Zhuangzi and Zen

Bret W. Davis

Abstract

This essay is about “knowing limits,” both in the sense of acknowledging the inevitable perspectival limits of our knowledge, and in the sense in which the act of knowing delimits the parameters of that which is known. Moreover, it aims to cultivate a versatile perspectivism that is ethically oriented by a capacity for ecstatic empathy rather than an egocentric will to power. The essay begins with an examination of the mind/body problem as a paradigmatic case of perspectival ambiguity, making reference to a wide range of authors. The focus of the central sections of the essay is on Nietzsche and Heidegger, while the final sections are devoted to developing a phenomenological reading of Zhuangzi and Zen. At issue throughout is the articulation of a versatile perspectivism responsive to both the demarcative and disclosive senses of knowing limits.

Metaphorical Bridges

Paul Ricoeur’s Theory of the Interanimation of Discourses for Phenomenology of Religion

Jacob Benjamins

Abstract

This study considers Paul Ricoeur’s theory of discourses within the context of a phenomenology of religion. I focus on the eighth study of La métaphore vive, wherein Ricoeur explores the possibility of interanimation between speculative and poetic discourses. While Ricoeur is willing to consider the interactions between religious and philosophical discourse in a number of essays, he does not develop the further possibility of the interanimation between religious and speculative thought. I take up this unexplored possibility by suggesting that metaphors are capable of slipping between discourses and animating speculative and religious discourses. Specifically, I use Jean-Louis Chrétien’s metaphor of “wounding” as a case study wherein the phenomenal form of paradox defines one meaning of wounding, while another meaning is connected to a poetic expression that refers to our belonging in the world. Together, the two meanings of the metaphor enliven Chrétien’s phenomenology of religion.

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Joseph D. Kuzma

This work offers an exploration and critique of Blanchot’s various engagements with psychoanalysis, from the early 1950s onward. Kuzma highlights the political contours of Blanchot’s writings on Freud, Lacan, Leclaire, Winnicott, and others, ultimately suggesting a link between these writings and Blanchot’s broader attempts at rethinking the nature of human relationality, responsibility, and community. This book makes a substantive contribution to our understanding of the political and philosophical dimensions of Blanchot’s writings on madness, narcissism, and trauma, among other topics of critical and clinical relevance. Maurice Blanchot and Psychoanalysis comprises an indispensable text for anyone interested in tracing the history of psychoanalysis in post-War France.

Alejandro A. Vallega

Jason M. Wirth

Exordio: Towards a Hermeneutics of Liberation

Understanding Liberatory Thought Out of the Movement of Effected Historical Consciousness in Hans-Georg Gadamer

Alejandro A. Vallega

Abstract

Liberatory thought in Latin American philosophy leads to the question of the reinterpretation of historical time consciousness. In the following pages I first introduce the challenge as articulated out of Latin American thought, particularly with reference to Enrique Dussel and Aníbal Quijano, and then I develop a reinterpretation of historical time consciousness in its happening as understood through Hans-Georg Gadamer’s discussion of effected historical consciousness (Wirkungsgeschichtliches Bewußtsein) in Truth and Method. As already marked by this trajectory, this essay is not comparative, but, through a dialogue with these thinkers, seeks to rethink the temporalizing-historical movement that is historical consciousness as a possible path to engaging in and understanding liberatory philosophy.

The Verge of Silence

Gadamer on Celan and the Poetic Word

Daniel L. Tate

Abstract

Gadamer’s question “Are Poets Falling Silent?” is motivated by the “linguistic need” (Sprachnot) of modern lyric indicative of the “forgetfulness of language” (Sprachvergessenheit) that prevails today. In Paul Celan’s late work, Gadamer finds poetry that, bordering on the cryptic, stands on the verge of silence. Nevertheless, he insists that these poems do speak and that the title of Celan’s poem series, Breath-crystal, figures the truth of the poetic word. From this standpoint the paper discusses Gadamer’s hermeneutic understanding of the poetic word treating the constitutive elements of the poetic word as an event of language, the way this conception of the poetic word both embraces and yet departs from the usual understanding of the radical turn to language in modern lyric, and the meaning of Gadamer’s claim regarding the truth of the poetic word that fulfills the original saying power of language.

The Virtue of Joy

Spinoza in Jean-Luc Nancy’s Deconstruction of Christianity

Ashok Collins

Abstract

In this article, I examine the presence of Spinoza within Jean-Luc Nancy’s deconstruction of Christianity project. Although the debt Nancy owes to other philosophers such as Derrida and Heidegger has been recognized, less well known is his reliance on a Spinozist frame of reference throughout his writings on Christianity. Analyzing Nancy’s reading of key moments within the deconstruction of Christianity—the doctrines of creation ex nihilo and the incarnation—I explore how the coupling of transcendence and immanence in a Heideggerian ontological mode can be enlightened by Spinoza’s philosophy. What takes shape is a profoundly embodied and affective relationality that I argue is the central resource Nancy wishes to expose at the heart of both Christianity and the secular West.

We-Synthesis

Husserl and Henry on Empathy and Shared Life

Joseph Rivera

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is threefold: (1) To show the basic contours of transcendental subjectivity in the later work of Edmund Husserl, especially the Cartesian Meditations and the Crisis, and in the strictly phenomenological work of Michel Henry, especially Material Phenomenology; (2) to highlight Henry’s radical critique of Husserlian intersubjectivity and show that such critique, while valuable in its intention, is ultimately misguided because it neglects the important contribution Husserl’s complicated vocabulary of lifeworld makes to the study of intersubjectivity; and (3) to point toward a phenomenological conception of intersubjective practice we may call the realm of we-synthesis that prioritizes the first-person perspective rooted in empathy, which enables meaningful engagement with the second-person perspective. Working in conjunction with Husserl and Henry on the phenomenological conception of shared life enables the recuperation of the fragile line between subjectivity and intersubjectivity.

Dennis J. Schmidt

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Edited by Vitali I. Betaneli and Peter R. Weisensel

Audacity of the Spirit by A.F. Losev (1893-1988) dares us to think holistically, dialectically. Translated from the Russian original Дерзание духа (Politizdat Moskva, 1988) by Peter R. Weisensel and Vitali I. Betaneli, the book falls into three parts: the dialectical method; Losev’s application of dialectics to history and culture; and his personal reflections on studying philosophy. Losev’s insatiable intellectual curiosity probes a remarkable variety of areas. Positions he considers, though, are not always easily reconcilable, as with Marxism-Leninism and Orthodox Christianity. In Losev’s conception of culture, however, culture and the intrinsic unity of any given cultural order is the common element that underlies everything living, even the order’s incompatibles. The given culture cannot be reduced to any single position nor to all of them taken together. Audacity of the Spirit is an introduction to dialectics for beginners, but it is also a major philosopher’s summing-up of his reflections to a non-specialized audience.

Philosophizing Brecht

Critical Readings on Art, Consciousness, Social Theory and Performance

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Edited by Norman Roessler and Anthony Squiers

This anthology unites scholars from varied backgrounds with the notion that the theories and artistic productions of Bertolt Brecht are key missing links in bridging diverse discourses in social philosophy, theatre, consciousness studies, and aesthetics. It offers readers interdisciplinary perspectives that create unique dialogues between Brecht and important thinkers such as Althusser, Anders, Bakhtin, Benjamin, Godard, Marx, and Plato. While exploring salient topics such as consciousness, courage, ethics, political aesthetics, and representations of race and the body, it penetrates the philosophical Brecht seeing in him the never-ending dialectic—the idea, the theory, the narrative, the character that is never foreclosed. This book is an essential read for all those interested in Brecht as a socio-cultural theorist and for theatre practitioners.

Contributors: Kevin S. Amidon, José María Durán, Felix J. Fuch, Philip Glahn, Jim Grilli, Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Norman Roessler, Jeremy Spencer, Anthony Squiers, Peter Zazzali.

The Aggrieved Community

Nancy and Blanchot in Dialogue

Kevin Hart

Abstract

Does “community” contain an ineradicable memory of “communion,” and thereby inevitably have conceptual ties to Christianity, if not to fascism? Or can the word, rather, indicate a new way of being in common, one that became briefly visible in the communist experiment, understood first as the appearing of the truth of democracy before it collapsed under the weight of ideology and militarism? While Jean-Luc Nancy identifies motifs from Maurice Blanchot’s early right-wing political commitments in his later left-wing thought, this essay addresses and critiques another of Nancy’s claims: that despite Blanchot’s affirmation of a community unregulated by a reference to unity, he is, in fact, committed to the Christian notion of communion. However, Blanchot distanced his notion of inter-subjectivity from any conception of God, proposing, instead, a “dissymmetric” rather than asymmetric relation, grounded in the encounter of the Other’s death rather than in some trace of the divine.

Emmanuel Falque

Translator Sarah Horton

Abstract

Phenomenology must begin to acknowledge the organic, animal nature of the body instead of focusing only on the pure subjectivity of the flesh. Mediating between Descartes’s extended body (a mere object that is entirely distinct from the self) and Husserl’s lived body (the flesh that is the self), the spread body is the organic body that I have, that is not simply myself and yet is mine. This essay reveals the steep cost of phenomenology’s neglect of the body, which produces a discarnation, or dissolution of the flesh itself. The “flesh without body” vanishes into transparency, exemplified by Descartes’ “madmen” who lose all connection to their organic bodies, to the point of supposing that their bodies are glass. Because organicity is in fact proper to us, denying or rejecting its import can lead only to madness.

Double Hospitality

Between Word and Touch

Richard Kearney

Abstract

A precarious balance exists between remaining faithful to one’s own language and history while also maintaining an ethical attentiveness to the Other. The danger in the former is the penchant for colonizing and violently reducing the Other. The danger of the later is a supine servility and inability to offer a linguistic home for welcoming the Other. To navigate these two extremes, the conditional hospitality of Ricoeur’s hermeneutics is brought into dialogue with the unconditional hospitality of Derrida’s deconstruction. What is needed is the more embodied approach of a carnal hospitality that assists in discerning the right ways of touching and not touching, of uniting word and body, teaching us how to incarnate the impossible possibility of reconciliation and forgiveness with the stranger.

John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Brian W. Becker and Matthew Clemente

Irresponsibility and the Eternal Return of Religion

A Review of Religion in Contemporary European Cinema: the Postsecular Constellation

William J. Hendel

Phenomenology and Ritual Practice

For Broadening Contemporary Philosophical Study of Religious Experience

Christina M. Gschwandtner

Abstract

This paper highlights several problems in the contemporary phenomenological analysis of religious experience in Continental philosophy of religion, especially in its French iteration, as manifested in such thinkers as Jean-Luc Marion, Michel Henry, Jean-Yves Lacoste, Jean-Louis Chrétien, Emmanuel Falque, and others. After laying out the main issues, the paper proposes a fuller investigation of religious practices, such as liturgy or ritual, as a fruitful way to address some of the identified limitations. The final section of the paper assesses what questions remain and how one might draw on existing resources in these thinkers to push a phenomenological analysis of religious practices further in ways that broaden phenomenology of religion beyond its current somewhat narrow strictures and commitments.

Road Not Taken

A Review of Raoul Moati’s Levinas and the Night of Being

Eric Severson

Jean-Luc Marion

Translator Brian W. Becker

Abstract

This essay traces the phenomenon of revelation beginning with the humblest (sports), to the most personal (love), to the most exalted (religion). Through this analysis, we discover several qualities of revelation: it reveals itself from itself, reveals a new world to me, and reveals another me to myself and to others. Turning to divine Revelation, a further set of concepts is uncovered: the witness who encounters a Revelation without understanding it, a resistance to the testimony of the witness, and a paradox that provokes this resistance by exceeding expectations. These qualities make Revelation both more intelligible and meaningful. For, while holding an exceptional privilege, divine Revelation nonetheless remains in continuity with phenomenality in general and, in arriving from elsewhere by its own initiative, it opens my eyes to the unfolding of its unseen reserves.

Daniela Vallega-Neu

Abstract

Comparisons between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty’s writings on the body tend to focus on the earlier works of these philosophers, i.e. on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, and Heidegger’s Zollikon Seminars in the context of Being and Time. This paper focuses on their later works in order to show how each philosopher respectively opens venues to think the human body non-subjectively and as emerging from being, where being includes the being also of other bodies, things, or events. This thinking of bodies “from being” articulates them in terms of spatio-temporal events. The article shows that in thinking from being, both Heidegger’s and Merleau-Ponty’s accounts harbor a sense of being with a unifying force, which is tied to meaning or sense. The article ends by questioning the possibility of accounts of bodies as spatio-temporal events not bound by a unifying force of being, bodies that may carry both sense and non-sense.

Jason W. Alvis

Abstract

Although Eugen Fink often reflected upon the role religion, these reflections are yet to be addressed in secondary literature in any substantive sense. For Fink, religion is to be understood in relation to “play,” which is a metaphor for how the world presents itself. Religion is a non-repetitive, and entirely creative endeavor or “symbol” that is not achieved through work and toil, or through evaluation or power, but rather, through his idea of play and “cult” as the imaginative distanciation from a predictable lifeworld. This paper describes Fink’s understanding of religion and its most relevant aspects found in Spiel als Weltsymbol. The paper is organized into five sections—1: An introduction to his phenomenological approach in general, and description of the role of “play”; 2: investigations into the relation between play and world; 3: a description of his phenomenology of religion; 4: engagements in the idea of cult-play and the sacred sphere, and 5: reflection on his idea of the play of God.

“In an Unbounded Way”

After Kant on Genius

Andrew Benjamin

Abstract

The project of this paper is present a specific engagement with Kant’s account of genius in the Critique of the Power of Judgment. Genius is a theory of production. Moreover, once genius is linked to production (and not to a personified agent) the philosophical moves way from the centrality of both the given and the subject and thus towards the produced. Such a possibility locates Kant’s engagement with genius at the threshold between aesthetics and a philosophy of art. The latter only emerges when centrality is attributed to the object: the object as the locus of presentation. This necessitates a move beyond the cognitive. Kant on genius is therefore at that threshold, on the other side of which is Hegel.

Richard Kearney

Abstract

This essay examines the recent critical debate on the hermeneutics of hospitality. It explores the philosophical and ethical implications of Paul Ricoeur’s notion of linguistic hospitality as a translation between host and guest, enemy and friend, and compares it to Derrida’s notion of impossible hospitality.

Nothing Else Matters

Towards an Ontological Concept of the Materiality of the Earth in the Age of Global Warming

Vincent Blok

Abstract

If the world in which we are intentionally involved is threatened by climate change, this raises the question about our place on Earth. In this article, we argue that the ecological crisis we face today draws our attention to the Earth as ontic-ontological condition of our being-in-the-world. Because the Earth is often reflected upon in relation to human existence, living systems or material entities in the philosophical tradition, we argue for an ontological concept of the materiality of the Earth as un-correlated being in this article. We develop five principles of the materiality of the Earth: the conativity, non-identity, responsiveness, performativity and eventuality of the Earth. We will argue that it is this notion of Earth that matters to us in the age of global warming.

Peter Warnek

Abstract

The article takes up the question of the “truth” of images by means of a somewhat playful reflection upon our human kinship with canine life and by considering the (perhaps surprisingly) recurrent images of dogs of all shapes and sizes within the philosophical tradition. Here there is occasion to consider both Socrates and Confucius, who had a special fondness for dogs and who were at times compared to dogs themselves. The paper begins with a reading of Kant’s schematism in the First Critique, as an operation that would establish a mediating relation between the concepts of the understanding and sensible intuitions, and ends with a meditation upon the dog-themed painting, “Dark Room,” by the contemporary artist, Alan Loehle. Kant accounts for our ability to grasp that we see a dog (his example!) by introducing a mysterious distortional skewing or Verzeichnung, which as a power of the imagination is able to freely sketch what appears for it within the sensible. The sense of this Kantian skewing or sketching thereby anticipates what Heidegger names the essential Verunstaltung belonging originally to the event of truth. The last half of the paper turns to Jean-Luc Nancy’s difficult but provocative work on the abysmal ground of images and attempts to show in this way how our human kinship with canine life exposes us to what Nancy would think, following Heidegger, as the elemental strife between earth and sky.

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Edited by Alan Kim

For six centuries, Plato has held German philosophy in his grip. Brill’s Companion to German Platonism examines how German thinkers have interpreted Plato and how in turn he has decisively influenced their thought. Under the editorship of Alan Kim, this companion gathers the work of scholars from four continents, writing on figures from Cusanus and Leibniz to Husserl and Heidegger. Taken together, their contributions reveal a characteristic pattern of “transcendental” interpretations of the mind’s relation to the Platonic Forms. In addition, the volume examines the importance that the dialogue form itself has assumed since the nineteenth century, with essays on Schleiermacher, the Tübingen School, and Gadamer. Brill’s Companion to German Platonism presents both Plato and his German interpreters in a fascinating new light.

Capitalism, Alienation and Critique

Studies in Economy and Dialectics (Dialectics, Deontology and Democracy, Vol. I)

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Asger Sørensen

Edited by Lisbet Rosenfeldt Svanøe

In Capitalism, Alienation and Critique Asger Sørensen offers a wide-ranging argument for the classical Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, thus endorsing the dialectical approach of the original founders (Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse) and criticizing suggested revisions of later generations (Habermas, Honneth). Being situated within the horizon of the late 20th century Cultural Marxism, the main issue is the critique of capitalism, emphasizing experiences of injustice, ideology and alienation, and in particular exploring two fundamental subject matters within this horizon, namely economy and dialectics. Apart from in-depth discussions of classical political economy and Hegelian dialectics, the explorative and inclusive argument also takes issues with Émile Durkheim’s theory of value, the general economy of Georges Bataille and the dialectics of Mao Zedong.

Becoming Marxist

Studies in Philosophy, Struggle, and Endurance

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Ted Stolze

In Becoming Marxist Ted Stolze offers a series of studies that take up the importance of philosophy for the development of an open and critical Marxism. He argues that an adequate ‘philosophy for Marxism’ must be open to engagement with a diverse range of traditions, texts, and authors – from Paul of Tarsus, via Averroes, Spinoza, and Hobbes, to Althusser, Deleuze, Negri, Habermas, and Žižek. Stolze also explores such practical contemporary issues as the politics of self-emancipation, the nature of Islamophobia, and climate change.

From Bayle to the Batavian Revolution

Essays on Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century Dutch Republic

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Wiep van Bunge

This book is an attempt to assess the part played by philosophy in the eighteenth-century Dutch Enlightenment. Following Bayle’s death and the demise of the radical Enlightenment, Dutch philosophers soon embraced Newtonianism and by the second half of the century Wolffianism also started to spread among Dutch academics. Once the Republic started to crumble, Dutch enlightened discourse took a political turn, but with the exception of Frans Hemsterhuis, who chose to ignore the political crisis, it failed to produce original philosophers. By the end of the century, the majority of Dutch philosophers typically refused to embrace Kant’s transcendental project as well as his cosmopolitanism. Instead, early nineteenth-century Dutch professors of philosophy preferred to cultivate their joint admiration for the Ancients.

Freiheit nach Kant

Tradition, Rezeption, Transformation, Aktualität

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Edited by Saša Josifović and Jörg Noller

Kant’s conception of freedom is of special importance in the history of philosophy. It not only brings together older traditions but has great influence on later theories of freedom. The edited volume analyzes Kant’s theory, referring to the concepts of will, choice, autonomy, and reason. It consists of four parts: Kant’s theory in its historical context; Kant’s own conception as developed in his various philosophical works; central conceptions of freedom in German Idealism after Kant (including Reinhold, Schiller, Maimon, Jacobi, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer); the systematic relevance of Kant’s conception of freedom with regard to recent debates in analytic philosophy (agent causality, compatibilism and incompatibilism).

Phenomenology and Experience

New Perspectives

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Edited by Antonio Cimino and Cees Leijenhorst

Experience has been a pivotal philosophical topic since Greek antiquity. The phenomenological movement has also played a crucial role in the history of philosophical theories or ideas of experience. The major contributions of Husserlian and post-Husserlian phenomenology to the philosophical understanding of experience can hardly be overestimated. The ambition of this volume is to illustrate how phenomenology still remains a very fruitful approach that is essential to current philosophical and interdisciplinary debates on experience.

Intelligent Materialism

Essays on Hegel and Dialectics

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Evald Ilyenkov

Edited by Evgeni Pavlov

Evald Ilyenkov is a unique figure among the many interesting (and many dull) Soviet thinkers that have recently been introduced to English-speaking readers. Although a thoroughly academic philosopher (both in the choice of his subject matter and in his institutional locations), Ilyenkov’s ideas are presented in a manner that one does not often find among academics. Texts selected for this collection are not the only texts dedicated to Hegel and dialectics but they are representative of Ilyenkov’s main themes and interests. It is hoped that this collection will continue to draw interest to the Soviet engagement with Hegel and dialectics.

Marx on Capitalism

The Interaction-Recognition-Antinomy Thesis

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James Furner

In Marx on Capitalism, James Furner offers a new answer to the fundamental question of Marxism: can a thesis connecting capital, the state and classes with the desirability of socialism be developed from an analysis of the commodity? The Interaction-Recognition-Antinomy Thesis is anchored in a systematic retranslation of Marx’s writings. It provides an antinomy-based strategy for grounding the value of social humanity in working-class agency, facilitates a dialectical derivation of political representation, and condemns capitalism as unjust without appeal to rights.

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Raya Dunayevskaya

Edited by Franklin Dmitryev

Marx’s Philosophy of Revolution in Permanence for Our Day, a selection of writings by the Marxist-Humanist philosopher and revolutionary Raya Dunayevskaya, brings out the contemporary urgency of Marx’s work as a philosophy of revolution in permanence. That dialectic permeates the totality of Marx’s body of ideas and activities. Major themes include Marx’s transformation of the Hegelian dialectic; the inseparability of Marx’s economics, humanism, and dialectic; the battle of ideas with post-Marx Marxism, beginning with Engels; Black liberation, internationalism, and women’s liberation; today’s burning question of the relationship between spontaneity, organization, and philosophy; the emergence of counter-revolution from within the revolution; and the problem of what happens after the revolution.

The Sociogony

Social Facts and the Ontology of Objects, Things, and Monsters

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Mark P. Worrell

The Sociogony re-examines the social ontology of what Durkheim calls ‘social facts’ in the light of critical and progressive hostilities to the facticity of facts and the necessity of moral absolutes in the shift from bourgeois liberalism to a neoliberal global order. The introduction offers a wide-ranging rumination on the concept of the absolute after its apparent downfall; the chapter on facts turns the problem of external authority on its head and the chapter dealing with the sociogony situates facts in a process of generation, rule, and decay. Drawing heavily on the works of Hegel, Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, the resulting synthesis is what the author refers to as a Marxheimian Social Theory that offers a new map and a stable ontology for the homeless mind.

Mark J. Thomas

Abstract

The success of the early music movement raises questions about performing historical works: Should musicians perform on period instruments and try to reconstruct the original style? If a historically “authentic” performance is impossible or undesirable, what should be the goal of the early music movement? I turn to Gadamer to answer these questions by constructing the outlines of a hermeneutics of early music performance. In the first half of the paper, I examine Gadamer’s critique of historical reconstruction and argue that this critique sheds light on mistaken tendencies and misunderstandings within the early music movement, but it does not discredit the movement as such. In the second half of the paper, I attempt to show how Gadamer’s dialogical account of historical consciousness provides a framework for understanding what historically informed performance is seeking to accomplish, as well as its advantage over a Nietzschean approach.

Intangible Matters

On Color and Sound in Art (James Turrell, Morton Feldman)

Günter Figal

Abstract

This paper is on matter and on art. Based on the assumption that the everyday attitude toward the world is a kind of materialistic realism and that philosophers, from the beginning of philosophy on, have objected to the plausibility of epistemological reliance on matter, I make attempts to investigate what matter is. I suggest doing this in reference to art. In particular I discuss works of art representing kinds of matter so extraordinary that their material character even could be doubted: light and sound. An installation by James Turrell and a piece of music composed by Morton Feldman, Rothko Chapel, function as paradigms to demonstrate the material character of light and sound and also the affinity of matter to space. Having qualities, matter proves to be different from space; being amorphous, however, matter as such has no distinct appearance, but, like space, enables appearance.

Musical “Covers” and the Culture Industry

From Antiquity to the Age of Digital Reproducibility

Babette Babich

Abstract

This essay foregrounds “covers” of popular recorded songs as well as male and female desire, in addition to Nietzsche’s interest in composition, together with his rhythmic analysis of Ancient Greek as the basis of what he called the “spirit of music” with respect to tragedy. The language of “sonic branding” allows a discussion of what Günther Anders described as the self-creation of mass consumer but also the ghostly time-space of music in the broadcast world. A brief allusion to Rilke complements a similarly brief reference to Jankelevitch’s “ineffable.”

Jessica Wiskus

Abstract

Memory plays an integral role in music listening and music performance. But what specific memory structures do we employ when we engage with music? Taking Aristotle’s De memoria et reminiscentia as principle guide, I aim to press upon a matter of central interest to the phenomenologist of music, focusing on the relation between memory proper [µνήµη] and recollection [ἀνάµνησις]. Drawing upon Physics IV and De anima III, I clarify a two-fold temporal structure—a structure comprised of sensation and flowing continuity—at work in the experience of remembering. Finally, I claim that music, through the ordered expression of its successive sensations, pertains directly to ἀνάµνησις but supports access to µνήµη, as well.

Peter Hanly

Abstract

This essay considers the work of Jean-Luc Nancy on touch as a model for a conception of the musical body. More than a re-emphasizing of the tactile, though, it is possible to show that Nancy’s work enables an understanding of music as touch. The significance of this re-thinking lies in the counterweight it provides to the degradation of music entailed in its digitalized de-materialization. Hegel is seen to be complicit in this degradation.

Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback

Abstract

The present article proposes a reflection on the relation between music and language setting out from the experience of listening to words and listening to music. It relies to a certain extent upon an existential-phenomenological approach and develops the distinction between the sounding of sounds (sounding words) and the sound of sounding (musical sounds). From this distinction, a redefinition of rhythm is suggested based on the experience of listening and on the close listening to some pieces of music.

Δύναµις and Dasein, Ἐνέργεια and Ereignis

Heidegger’s (Re)Turn to Aristotle

Francisco J. Gonzalez

Abstract

The “destructive” appropriation of the Aristotelian concepts of δύναµις and ἐνέργεια played a central role in Martin Heidegger’s own reflection on the meaning of being. While this has been generally known for some time, it is only now that we can understand the full scope, complexity and evolving character of this appropriation. One reason is the fairly recent publication (in 2012, Gesamtausgabe 83) of notes and protocols for seminars Heidegger led on Aristotle as late as the 1940s and 1950s. Another is the existence of student transcripts in the Special Collections Department of Stanford University for a number of unpublished seminars on Aristotle that Heidegger led during the 1920s. Considering all of this material enables us to see both the significance of Heidegger’s interpretation of the δύναµις/ἐνέργιεα pair as well as how this interpretation evolved along with his own “Kehre”: from a “pandynamic” conception of being to being as “Ereignis.”

Lacan and Cassirer

An Essay on Symbolisation 

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Antoine Mooij

The Neo-Kantian philosopher Cassirer and the psychoanalyst Lacan are two key figures in the so-called medial turn in philosophy: the notion that any form of access to reality is mediated by symbols (images, words, signifiers). This explains why the theories of both philosophers merit a description in their own unique idioms, as well as having their respective basic tenets compared. It will be argued that, rather surprisingly, these tenets turn out be complementary - actually correcting each other – based on their shared notion of man as an animal symbolicum. Its fruitfulness will be substantiated for a limited number of topics within the humanities: perception, language, politics and ethics, and mental disorder, all to be considered from this perspective.

Metaphysics of Freedom?

Kant's Concept of Cosmological Freedom in Historical and Systematic Perspective

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Edited by Christian H. Krijnen

Freedom is one of the main issues of modern philosophy and Kant’s philosophy of freedom a major source for comprehending it. Whereas in contemporary debates Kant’s concept of practical freedom is addressed frequently, the cosmological foundation of it is much less discussed and even mostly taken for granted. In Metaphysics of Freedom?, by contrast, Kant’s concept of cosmological freedom is scrutinized both in a historical and a systematic perspective. As a result, a deeper and broader understanding of Kant’s conception of freedom, its presuppositions, and problems emerges.

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Emmanuel Renault

Marx and Critical Theory examines Marx’s main philosophical, political and social theoretical ideas. Its purpose is twofold: making sense of the concepts and theses of Marx, and showing that they remain relevant for contemporary critical theory. Part One focuses on Marx’s conception of philosophy. Part Two analyses the Marxian primacy of the practical. Part Three is devoted to Capital and the critique of political economy. This book will be useful for those who want to deepen their understanding of Marx’s main ideas, as well as for those who want to clarify what is at stake in contemporary debates about the ways in which contemporary critical theory could or should refer to Marx.

Selfhood and Appearing

The Intertwining

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James Mensch

What is the relation between our selfhood and appearing? Our embodiment positions us in the world, situating us as an object among its visible objects. Yet, by opening and shutting our eyes, we can make the visible world appear and disappear—a fact that convinces us that the world is in us. Thus, we have to assert with Merleau-Ponty that we are in the world that is in us: the two are intertwined. Author James Mensch employs the insights of Jan Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology to understand this double relationship of being-in. In this volume, he shows how this relation constitutes the reality of our selfhood, shaping our social and political interactions as well as the violence that constantly threatens to undermine them.

Nietzsche and the Dionysian

A Compulsion to Ethics

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Peter Durno Murray

Nietzsche and the Dionysian argues that the shuddering mania of the affect associated with Dionysus in Nietzsche’s early work runs as a thread through his thought and is linked to an originary interruption of self-consciousness articulated by the philosophical companion. In this capacity, the companion can be considered a ‘mask of Dionysus’, or one who assumes the singular role of the transmitter of the most valuable affirmative affect and initiates a compulsion to respond which incorporates the otherness of the companion. In the context of such engagements, Nietzsche envisages ‘Dionysian’ or divine ‘madness’ within an optics of life, through which an affirmative ethics can be thought. The ethical response to the philosophical companion requires an affirmation of the plurality of life, formulated in the imperatives to be ‘true to the earth’ and ‘become who you are’. Such an ethics, compelled by the Dionysian affect, grounds any future for humanity in the affirmation of the earth and life.

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Colby Dickinson

Continental philosophy underwent a ‘return to religion’ or a ‘theological turn’ in the late 20th century. And yet any conversation between continental philosophy and theology must begin by addressing the perceived distance between them: that one is concerned with destroying all normative, metaphysical order (continental philosophy’s task) and the other with preserving religious identity and community in the face of an increasingly secular society (theology’s task). Colby Dickinson argues in Continental Philosophy and Theology rather that perhaps such a tension is constitutive of the nature of order, thinking and representation which typically take dualistic forms and which might be rethought, though not necessarily abolished. Such a shift in perspective even allows one to contemplate this distance as not opting for one side over the other or by striking a middle ground, but as calling for a nondualistic theology that measures the complexity and inherently comparative nature of theological inquiry in order to realign theology’s relationship to continental philosophy entirely.

Mit Fichte philosophieren

Perspektiven seiner Philosophie nach 200 Jahren

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Edited by Matteo Vincenzo d'Alfonso

Dieser Band ist dem Andenken des 200. Todesjahres Fichtes gewidmet, mit der Absicht, seine letzten Schriften und die Aktualität seiner Philosophie zu würdigen. Nach dem Abschluss der Fichte-Gesamtausgabe im Jahre 2012 stehen alle Materialien zur Verfügung, die der Fichte-Forschung ermöglichen, eine schlüssige Interpretation der letzten Gedanken Fichtes zu liefern. Dementsprechend ist der Band in vier Teile gegliedert. Der erste Teil beschäftigt sich mit der theoretischen und systematischen Darlegung seines Denkens in den letzten Berliner Jahren; der zweite Teil thematisiert den Freiheitsgedanken als grundlegende Annahme seines Systems und unternimmt unter Berücksichtigung verschiedener Reaktionen auch den Versuch, diesen zu kontextualisieren. Der dritte Teil ist der politischen Seite seiner Theorie gewidmet, die Fichte gerade in den Berliner Jahren weiter ausarbeitete. Diesen klassischen Themen der Fichte-Forschung folgen im vierten Teil Beiträge, die Fichtes philosophische Ansätze in den Dialog mit gegenwärtigen Autoren und Fragen der Philosophie bringen.

Beitragende sind Frederick Beiser, Daniel Breazeale, Matteo Vincenzo d’Alfonso, Mário Jorge De Carvalho, Carla De Pascale, Erich Fuchs, Andres Höntsch, Marco Ivaldo, Christian Klotz, Douglas Moggach, Peter L. Oesterreich, Ives Radrizzani, Klaus Ries, Jacinto Rivera de Rosales Chacón, Friedrike Schick, Andreas Schmidt, Hartmut Traub, Klaus Vieweg, Hans Georg von Manz und Günter Zöller.

Objektiver und absoluter Geist nach Hegel

Kunst, Religion und Philosophie innerhalb und außerhalb von Gesellschaft und Geschichte

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Edited by Thomas Oehl and Arthur Kok

In Objektiver und absoluter Geist nach Hegel. Kunst, Religion und Philosophie innerhalb und außerhalb von Gesellschaft und Geschichte, Thomas Oehl and Arthur Kok offer an extensive selection of papers exploring the wide spectrum of Hegel’s philosophy of spirit from the viewpoint of the distinction between objective and absolute spirit.

Challenging Hegelianism’s current tendency to reduce absolute spirit to objective spirit, the editors have invited a large number of highly-esteemed Hegel scholars to reflect about the domains of absolute spirit (art, religion and philosophy) and their relation to society and history, thereby addressing the universal issue about whether there are cultural phenomena which transcend society and history anew from a Hegelian perspective.

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Edited by Fuat Gursozlu

Peace, Culture, and Violence examines deeper sources of violence by providing a critical reflection on the forms of violence that permeate everyday life and our inability to recognize these forms of violence. Exploring the elements of culture that legitimize and normalize violence, the essays collected in this volume invite us to recognize and critically approach the violent aspects of reality we live in and encourage us to envision peaceful alternatives. Including chapters written by important scholars in the fields of Peace Studies and Social and Political Philosophy, the volume represents an endeavour to seek peace in a world deeply marred by violence. Topics include: thug culture, language, hegemony, police violence, war on drugs, war, terrorism, gender, anti-Semitism, and other topics.

Contributors are: Amin Asfari, Edward Demenchonok, Andrew Fiala, William Gay, Fuat Gursozlu, Joshua M. Hall , Ron Hirschbein, Todd Jones, Sanjay Lal, Alessandro Rovati, Laleye Solomon Akinyemi, David Speetzen, and Lloyd Steffen.

Grounds of Pragmatic Realism

Hegel's Internal Critique and Reconstruction of Kant's Critical Philosophy

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Kenneth Westphal

Grounds of Pragmatic Realism argues that Hegel’s philosophy from the 1807 Phenomenology of Spirit through his last Berlin lectures on philosophical psychology demonstates how Kant’s critique of rational judgment across his Critical corpus can be disentangled from Kant’s failed Transcendental Idealism and developed into a cogent, pragmatic realism, within which the social and historical aspects of rational inquiry and justification are shown to justify realism about the objects of empirical knowledge. Hegel’s demonstration reveals how deeply contemporary epistemology remains beholden to pre-Critical options, none of which are adequate to the natural sciences, nor to commonsense. Hegel recognised and justified (independently) Kant’s semantics of singular cognitive reference to particulars within space and time. Hegel’s analysis of mutual recognition develops Kant’s insights into the self-critical and inter-subjective aspects of rational judgment and justification, to show that none of us can be properly rational judges, nor can we properly justify our judgments rationally, without constructive self-criticism and without acknowledging and benefitting from constructive critical assessment by others.

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Edited by Christopher Elson and Garry Sherbert

In the Name of Friendship: Deguy, Derrida and "Salut " centres on the relationship between poet Michel Deguy and philosopher Jacques Derrida. Translations of two essays, "Of Contemporaneity" by Deguy and "How to Name" by Derrida, allow Christopher Elson and Garry Sherbert to develop the implications of this singular intellectual friendship. In these thinkers’ efforts to reinvent secular forms of the sacred, such as the singularity of the name, and especially poetic naming, Deguy, by adopting a Derridean programme of the impossible, and Derrida, by developing Deguy's ethics of naming through the word "salut," situate themselves at the forefront of contemporary debates over politics and religion alongside figures like Alain Badiou and Jean-Luc Marion, John Caputo and Martin Hagglund.

Care of the Self

Ancient Problematizations of Life and Contemporary Thought

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Vladislav Suvák, Lívia Flachbartová and Pavol Sucharek

The studies included in the Care of the Self: Ancient Problematizations of Life and Contemporary Thought focus on different manifestations of “taking care of the self” present in ancient and contemporary thought. Each of these studies approaches the issue of taking care of the self from a different perspective: Part I by Vladislav Suvák focuses on Socrates’ therapeutic education; Part II by Lívia Flachbartová centres on Diogenes’ ascetic practices; and Part III by Pavol Sucharek concentrates on Henri Maldiney’s existential phenomenology.
Taking care of the self ( epimeleia heautou) is not just one of a great many topics associated with ancient ethics. Echoing Michel Foucault, we could say that the care of the self applies to all problematizations of life.

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Steven Bindeman

Silence exists at the edge of the world, where words break off and meaning fades into ambiguity. The numerous treatments of silence in Steven L. Bindeman’s Silence in Philosophy, Literature, and Art question the misleading clarity of certainty, which persists in the unreflective discourse of common experience. Significant philosophical problems, such as the limits of language, the perception of sound and the construction of meaning, the dynamics of the social realm, and the nature of the human self, all appear differently as a consequence of this questioning. Silence is shown to have two modes, disruptive and healing, which work together as complementary stages within a creative process. The interaction between these two modes of silence serves as the dynamic behind the entire work.

Apparaître

Essai de philosophie phénoménologique

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Denis Seron

L’intentionnalité — cette singulière propriété qu’a l’esprit d’être dirigé vers le monde — est aujourd’hui un des problèmes les plus débattus dans le domaine de la philosophie de l’esprit. Dans Apparaître : Essai de philosophie phénoménologique, Denis Seron entend montrer que l’approche phénoménologique peut contribuer positivement à ce débat. Il propose de voir dans l’intentionnalité une notion fondamentalement phénoménologique et, en conséquence, de la définir en termes d’apparence. Il esquisse ensuite, sur cette base, une théorie de l’apparence, dont il suggère enfin qu’elle fournit un cadre approprié pour d’autres problèmes comme ceux de l’unité de la conscience, de l’inconscient, etc.

Intentionality — the mind’s directedness towards the world — is currently one of the most debated issues in the area of the philosophy of mind. In Apparaître: Essai de philosophie phénoménologique, Denis Seron aims to show that the phenomenological approach can contribute positively to this debate. He proposes to understand the notion of intentionality as a basic phenomenological notion and thus to define it in terms of appearances. On the basis of this, he then sketches a theory of appearance which he suggests is best suited to address a range of other issues such as the unity of consciousness, the unconscious, etc.

Series:

Timothy T.N. Lim

Ecclesial Recognition proffers a framework for churches to accept the legitimacy and authenticity of each other as the Church in the dialogical process towards fuller communion. Typically, ‘recognition’ and its reception investigate theologically the sufficiency of creeds as ecumenical statements of unity, the agreeability of essential sacramentality of the church, and the recognition of its ministries as the churches’ witness of the gospel. This monograph conceives ecclesial recognition as an intersubjective dynamics of inclusion and exclusion amid identity formation and consensus development, with insights from Hegelian philosophy, group social psychology, and the Frankfurt School Axel Honneth’s political theory. The viability of this interdisciplinary approach is demonstrated from the French Dominican Yves Congar’s oeuvre, with implications for intra-Communion and inter-Church relations.

"Dr Lim examines philosophical recognition theory, group social psychology and political recognition theory to analyse the non-theological impasses confronting the whole ecumenical movement." - Rev Dr Trevor Hoggard, Director English-speaking Ministries, Methodist Church of New Zealand.

"Lim masterfully argues for the viability of an interdisciplinary approach to ecumenical recognition within communities, among churches, and in their common pastoral mission.” - Fr. and Professor Radu Bordeianu, Duquesne University, and Orthodox theologian, Representative of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Pittsburgh, and Assistant Priest of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh.

“This book makes an important contribution to ecumenical ecclesiology.” - Rev. Dr and Professor Sandra Beardsall, St Andrew’s College, Canada and United Church of Canada Ordained Minister.

“I find Dr. Lim's work a solid and necessary contribution to ecumenical work around the world.” - Rev. Dr. and Professor Dominick D. Hanckle, Regent University, and priest of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.

“With penetrating analysis and creative suggestions, this monograph takes the talk about ecumenical recognition in a new level.” - Professor Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, University of Helsinki.


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Dana Freibach-Heifetz

In Secular Grace Dana Freibach-Heifetz addresses the crisis of modernity, proposing an ethic of love based on a new philosophical concept of “secular grace" as intersubjective relations.
Anchored in secular humanism as well as within the existentialist tradition, yet recognizing their limitations, Secular Grace seeks to protrude them by means of dialogue with their other: Christianity. Inspired by a variety of intellectual roots from ancient Greece to post modernist thinkers - chiefly the deliberations of Buber and Levinas in the encounter with the other, and notions of gift and friendship – it offers a rich concept of Secular Grace. It furthermore examines the possibilities of grace towards the dead, self-grace and secular salvation.

Fichte und seine Zeit

Streitfragen

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Edited by Matteo Vincenzo d'Alfonso, Carla De Pascale, Erich Fuchs and Marco Ivaldo

Mit dem Untertitel »Streitfragen« bringt dieser Band 44 der Fichte-Studien eine zweite Gruppe von Beiträgen, die das Hauptthema »Fichte und seine Zeit« behandeln und es aus unterschiedlichen Gesichtspunkten entfalten. Die erste Gruppe - mit dem Untertitel: Kontext, Konfrontationen, Rezeptionen - wurde im Band 43 der Fichte-Studien bereits veröffentlicht. In überarbeiteter und aktualisierter Form stellen die folgenden Beiträge Materialien dar, die in Bologna auf dem internationalen Fichte-Kongress von 2012 vorgelegt und besprochen wurden. Die ›Fragen‹ bzw. die Themen, um die es ›Streit‹ gab, oder die noch heute als diskussionswürdig anzusehen sind, werden in diesem Band der Fichte-Studien nach vier Schwerpunkten gegliedert und gesammelt: 1. Transzendentalphilosophie und Wissenschaftslehre, 2. Recht und Politik, 3. Geschichte und Geschichtsphilosophie, 4. Körper und Natur. Dem Leser wird somit ein breites Spektrum von gewichtigen Themen, Fragestellungen, Informationen angeboten, die unser Bild von Fichte und dessen Philosophieren in seiner Zeit und in unserer Zeit ergänzen, bereichern und vertiefen.

Kant on Conscience

A Unified Approach to Moral Self-Consciousness

Series:

Emre Kazim

In Kant on Conscience Emre Kazim offers the first systematic treatment of Kant’s theory of conscience. Contrary to the scholarly consensus, Kazim argues that Kant’s various discussions of conscience - as practical reason, as a feeling, as a power, as a court, as judgement, as the voice of God, etc. - are philosophically coherent aspects of the same unified thing (‘Unity Thesis’). Through conceptual reconstruction and historical contextualisation of the primary texts, Kazim both presents Kant’s notion of conscience as it relates to his critical thought and philosophically evaluates the coherence of his various claims. In light of this, Kazim shows the central role that conscience plays in the understanding of Kantian ethics as a whole.

Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World

Exercises in Philosophical Anthropology

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James Dodd

Phenomenology, Architecture and the Built World is an introduction to the methods and basic concepts of phenomenological philosophy through an analysis of the phenomenon of the built world. The conception of the built world that emerges is of space and time fashioned in accordance with a living understanding of what it is for human beings to exist in the world. Human building and making is thus no mere supplementary instrument in the pursuit of the ends of life, but a fundamental embodiment of the self-understanding of human beings. Phenomenological description is uniquely capable of bringing into view the physiognomy of this understanding, its texture and complexity, thereby providing an important basis for a critique of what constitutes its essence and its conditions of possibility.

The Political Thought of Václav Havel

Philosophical Influences and Contemporary Applications

Series:

Daniel Brennan

The book considers Václav Havel’s body of writing as a cohesive whole offering a consistent political philosophy. This bold claim is backed up through a close examination of Havel’s plays, letters, essays and aphorisms. The political philosophy that a close reading of Havel reveals is a liberal one. However, Havel is not the run-of the-mill liberal having influences from the field of phenomenology, Masaryk, Husserl, Levinas Patočka and Heidegger which give him a nuanced view of the self. Havel sees the self as something always being formed. Hence for Havel man has an ability to ‘shake’ his current state and invite transcendence into his life. This agonistic process reveals our responsibility and liberates the self from forces which coerce behaviour.

Series:

Janet Janzen

In Media, Modernity and Dynamic Plants, Janet Janzen traces the motif of the “dynamic plant” through film and literature in early 20th century German culture. Often discussed solely as symbols or metaphors of the human experience, plants become here the primary focus and their role in literature and film is extended beyond their symbolic function.

Plants have been (and still are) seen as closer to static objects than to living, moving beings. Making use of examples from film and literature, Janet Janzen demonstrates a shift in the perception of plants-as-objects to plants-as-living-beings that can be attributed to new technology and also to the return of Romantic and Vitalistic discourses on nature.

The Rhythm of Thought in Gramsci

A Diachronic Interpretation of Prison Notebooks

Series:

Giuseppe Cospito

Many scholars have recently shown great interest in a diachronic re-examination of Antonio Gramsci’s main theoretical-political categories in the Prison Notebooks. This method would uncover the origins and development of Gramsci’s concepts using the same method that Gramsci himself believed would allow us to grasp ‘the rhythm of thought’ in Marx. The present work embraces this perspective and puts it to work in two ways. Its first part analyzes the relation between structure and superstructure and the concepts of hegemony and the regulated society. Its second part extends the diachronic analysis to the conceptual pairings which represent alternatives to structure-superstructure, encompassing questions of political and cultural organisation as well as the relation between Gramsci and the major proponents of historical materialism (Marx, Engels, Lenin).

English translation of Il ritmo del pensiero: per una lettura diacronica dei «Quaderni del carcere» di Gramsci published by Bibliopolis, Naples (2011).

Althusser and Theology

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

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Edited by Agon Hamza

Religion has always been an object of philosophical analysis, as well as a platform for political practice. One cannot imagine a form of philosophical thinking without its relation to a religion, whether it negates or affirms the latter. In different philosophical orientations, religion also serves as a condition for philosophy.

Althusser and Theology intends not so much to fill a gap in Althusser scholarship as to make an important contribution to the contemporary radical left movement. In this regard, Althusser and Theology is of significant importance in the current debates on the Left concerning its relation to theology. It will also contribute to the ongoing debate on Althusser, as well as opening up a new perspective on his philosophical project.

Contributors are: Roland Boer, Stanislas Breton, Isa Blumi, Geoff Pfeifer, Agon Hamza, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Knox Peden, Panagiotis Sotiris, Ted Stolze, Jana Tsoneva, and Gabriel Tupinambá.

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Edited by Ryan Crawford and Erik Vogt

Adorno and the Concept of Genocide examines the legacy of Critical Theory’s foremost authority on life ‘after Auschwitz.’ As a leading member of the Frankfurt School and one of post-war Europe’s most important public intellectuals, Adorno’s reflections on genocide and its relation to contemporary society achieved a level of urgency and insight that remains unparalleled to this day.

Assembled here for the first time in English is a wide-ranging collection of essays on the seminal significance of the concept of genocide for Adorno’s thought, as well as the enduring relevance of that thought for our own time.

Contributors include: Babette Babich, Ryan Crawford, Tom Huhn, Osman Nemli, Ulrich Plass, Erik M. Vogt, James R. Watson, Markus Zöchmeister


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Edited by Annabelle Dufourcq

While realism has enjoyed renewed vigor in contemporary philosophy, Est-ce réel ? Phénoménologies de l’imaginaire challenges the relevance of the concept of reality from a phenomenological perspective. The volume brings together an exciting and provocative range of contemporary research on these issues, moving beyond the classical opposition between the real and the imaginary. Est-ce réel? gathers original contributions from a selected group of specialists, including internationally acclaimed scholars as well as emerging researchers. The collection demonstrates a vast new territory unfolding in contemporary philosophy, from ontological reflections on the imaginary to the analysis of the fundamental aesthetic, ethical, socio-political, and therapeutic implications that follow from them.

With texts by G. Chernavin, A. Coignard, A. Dufourcq, I. Fazakas, A. Gléonec, A. Hervy, U. Idziak-Smoczyńska, A. Koubova, C. Lapierre, Y. Murakami, F. Pignarre, D. Popa, E. de Saint Aubert, J. Sallis, A. Schnell, R. Steinmetz et J.J. Wunenburger.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau écrivain polémique

Querelles, disputes et controverses au siècle des Lumières

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Ourida Mostefai

Simultanément sujet et objet de multiples débats et controverses, Jean-Jacques Rousseau n’a jamais cessé de produire et de susciter des différends, qu’ils soient personnels ou philosophiques. Auteur proprement en conflit avec son siècle, le Citoyen de Genève intervient dans l’arène publique en prenant partie dans d’importants débats idéologiques: ces querelles qui ont structuré le champ littéraire et politique sont l’objet de ce livre. On y analyse le rôle et la force de la polémique dans les œuvres de Rousseau. Prenant Les Confessions à rebours, cette étude met au jour un autre Rousseau : non la victime passive et innocente d’une réception hostile, mais un acteur majeur de ces conflits, c’est-à-dire un écrivain polémique.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau écrivain polémique focuses on the ways in which Rousseau’s career was constructed in a constant engagement with the practice of polemics and refutation in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Known throughout Europe for his highly controversial writings and for the intense polemics to which they gave rise in the realm of public opinion, Jean-Jacques Rousseau became in his lifetime the object of unprecedented public interest and scrutiny. The very public quarrels and controversies that accompanied the publication and reception of his works were instrumental in establishing a new role for the writer, making Rousseau an ideal case study for this major shift in the relationship between writers and a rapidly changing and newly dynamic public sphere.

The Early History of Embodied Cognition 1740-1920

The Lebenskraft-Debate and Radical Reality in German Science, Music, and Literature

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Edited by John A. McCarthy

This pioneering book evaluates the early history of embodied cognition. It explores for the first time the life-force ( Lebenskraft) debate in Germany, which was manifest in philosophical reflection, medical treatise, scientific experimentation, theoretical physics, aesthetic theory, and literary practice esp. 1740-1920. The history of vitalism is considered in the context of contemporary discourses on radical reality (or deep naturalism). We ask how animate matter and cognition arise and are maintained through agent-environment dynamics (Whitehead) or performance (Pickering). This book adopts a nonrepresentational approach to studying perception, action, and cognition, which Anthony Chemero designated radical embodied cognitive science. From early physiology to psychoanalysis, from the microbiome to memetics, appreciation of body and mind as symbiotically interconnected with external reality has steadily increased. Leading critics explore here resonances of body, mind, and environment in medical history (Reil, Hahnemann, Hirschfeld), science (Haller, Goethe, Ritter, Darwin, L. Büchner), musical aesthetics (E.T.A. Hoffmann, Wagner), folklore (Grimm), intersex autobiography (Baer), and stories of crime and aberration (Nordau, Döblin). Science and literature both prove to be continually emergent cultures in the quest for understanding and identity. This book will appeal to intertextual readers curious to know how we come to be who we are and, ultimately, how the Anthropocene came to be.