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Abductive Analysis
Theorizing Qualitative Research
Iddo Tavory and Stefan Timmermans
University of Chicago Press, 2014
In Abductive Analysis, Iddo Tavory and Stefan Timmermans provide a new navigational map for theorizing qualitative research. They outline a way to think about observations, methods, and theories that nurtures theory formation without locking it into predefined conceptual boxes. The book provides novel ways to approach the challenges that plague qualitative researchers across the social sciences—how to conceptualize causality, how to manage the variation of observations, and how to leverage the researcher’s community of inquiry.  Abductive Analysis is a landmark work that shows how a pragmatist approach provides a productive and fruitful way to conduct qualitative research.
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About the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the Self
Lectures at Dartmouth College, 1980
Michel Foucault
University of Chicago Press, 2015
In 1980, Michel Foucault began a vast project of research on the relationship between subjectivity and truth, an examination of conscience, confession, and truth-telling that would become a crucial feature of his life-long work on the relationship between knowledge, power, and the self. The lectures published here offer one of the clearest pathways into this project, contrasting Greco-Roman techniques of the self with those of early Christian monastic culture in order to uncover, in the latter, the historical origin of many of the features that still characterize the modern subject. They are accompanied by a public discussion and debate as well as by an interview with Michael Bess, all of which took place at the University of California, Berkeley, where Foucault delivered an earlier and slightly different version of these lectures.

Foucault analyzes the practices of self-examination and confession in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the first centuries of Christianity in order to highlight a radical transformation from the ancient Delphic principle of “know thyself” to the monastic precept of “confess all of your thoughts to your spiritual guide.” His aim in doing so is to retrace the genealogy of the modern subject, which is inextricably tied to the emergence of the “hermeneutics of the self”—the necessity to explore one’s own thoughts and feelings and to confess them to a spiritual director—in early Christianity. According to Foucault, since some features of this Christian hermeneutics of the subject still determine our contemporary “gnoseologic” self, then the genealogy of the modern subject is both an ethical and a political enterprise, aiming to show that the “self” is nothing but the historical correlate of a series of technologies built into our history. Thus, from Foucault’s perspective, our main problem today is not to discover what “the self” is, but to try to analyze and change these technologies in order to change its form. 
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Accounting for Fundamentalisms
The Dynamic Character of Movements
Edited by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott Appleby
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Accounting for Fundamentalisms features treatments of fundamentalist movements, groups that often make headlines but are rarely understood, as part of the multivolume Fundamentalism Project. This book remains a standard reference source for comprehending the dynamics of fundamentalist movements around the world. Surveying fundamentalist movements in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, the contributors to Accounting for Fundamentalisms describe the organization of these movements, their leadership and recruiting techniques, and the ways in which their ideological programs and organizational structures shift over time in response to changing political and social environments.
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Addressing Levinas
Eric Sean Nelson
Northwestern University Press, 2005
At a time of great and increasing interest in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, this volume draws readers into what Levinas described as "philosophy itself"—"a discourse always addressed to another." Thus the philosopher himself provides the thread that runs through these essays on his writings, one guided by the importance of the fact of being addressed—the significance of the Saying much more than the Said. The authors, leading Levinas scholars and interpreters from across the globe, explore the philosopher's relationship to a wide range of intellectual traditions, including theology, philosophy of culture, Jewish thought, phenomenology, and the history of philosophy. They also engage Levinas's contribution to ethics, politics, law, justice, psychoanalysis and epistemology, among other themes.

In their radical singularity, these essays reveal the inalienable alterity at the heart of Levinas's ethics. At the same time, each essay remains open to the others, and to the perspectives and positions they advocate. Thus the volume, in its quality and diversity, enacts an authentic encounter with Levinas's thought, embodying an intellectual ethics by virtue of its style. Bringing together contributions from philosophy, theology, literary theory, gender studies, and political theory, this book offers a deeper and more thorough encounter with Levinas's ethics than any yet written.
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Adorno and Existence
Peter E. Gordon
Harvard University Press, 2016

From the beginning to the end of his career, the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno sustained an uneasy but enduring bond with existentialism. His attitude overall was that of unsparing criticism, verging on polemic. In Kierkegaard he saw an early paragon for the late flowering of bourgeois solipsism; in Heidegger, an impresario for a “jargon of authenticity” cloaking its idealism in an aura of pseudo-concreteness and neo-romantic kitsch. Even in the straitened rationalism of Husserl’s phenomenology Adorno saw a vain attempt to break free from the prison-house of consciousness.

“Gordon, in a detailed, sensitive, fair-minded way, leads the reader through Adorno’s various, usually quite vigorous, rhetorically pointed attacks on both transcendental and existential phenomenology from 1930 on…[A] singularly illuminating study.”
—Robert Pippin, Critical Inquiry

“Gordon’s book offers a significant contribution to our understanding of Adorno’s thought. He writes with expertise, authority, and compendious scholarship, moving with confidence across the thinkers he examines…After this book, it will not be possible to explain Adorno’s philosophical development without serious consideration of [Gordon’s] reactions to them.”
—Richard Westerman, Symposium

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Adventures of the Dialectic
Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Northwestern University Press, 1973
"We need a philosophy of both history and spirit to deal with the problems we touch upon here. Yet we would be unduly rigorous if we were to wait for perfectly elaborated principles before speaking philosophically of politics." Thus Merleau-Ponty introduces Adventures of the Dialectic, his study of Marxist philosophy and thought. In this study, containing chapters on Weber, Lukacs, Lenin, Sartre, and Marx himself, Merleau-Ponty investigates and attempts to go beyond the dialectic.
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The Affection in Between
From Common Sense to Sensing in Common
April Flakne
Ohio University Press, 2022
Exposing a fundamental but forgotten capacity to sense with others, this fresh approach to ethics centers on expressive, moving bodies in everyday affective encounters. Common sense has yet to yield its golden promise: robust selves, a stable sense of reality, and bonds of solidarity. The Affection in Between argues that reimagining common sense involves tackling two intractable philosophical puzzles together: the problems of sensory integration and of “other minds.” Construing common sense as either an individual cognitive capacity or a communal body of beliefs and practices, as our tradition of philosophical and political thought has done for too long, constricts possibilities of self and other, ethics and politics. Neither register alone can evade political manipulation and deliver common ground between confident yet unavoidably porous selves. April Flakne begins with a novel interpretation of the neglected Aristotelian concept of sunaisthesis, an embodied, interactive capacity to create overlapping meaning through the cultivation of a sensibility that is neither individual nor communal but unfolds between bodies in movement. Bolstering Aristotle’s concept with classical and contemporary phenomenology, including critical phenomenology, empirical theories of social cognition, and affect theory, Flakne offers fresh answers to a pressing and legitimate skepticism about selfhood and the role that ethics might play in countering disorientation and manufactured division. Through an exploration of the intimate experiences of birth, death, caregiving, and mourning, Flakne brings the ethical and political aspects of interembodied interaction home and into lived experience.
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The Affirmation of Life
Nietzsche on Overcoming Nihilism
Bernard Reginster
Harvard University Press, 2009

Among all the great thinkers of the past two hundred years, Nietzsche continues to occupy a special place--not only for a broad range of academics but also for members of a wider public, who find some of their most pressing existential concerns addressed in his works. Central among these concerns is the question of the meaning of a life characterized by inescapable suffering, at a time when the traditional responses inspired by Christianity are increasingly losing their credibility. While most recent studies of Nietzsche's works have lost sight of this fundamental issue, Bernard Reginster's book The Affirmation of Life brings it sharply into focus.

Reginster identifies overcoming nihilism as a central objective of Nietzsche's philosophical project, and shows how this concern systematically animates all of his main ideas. In particular, Reginster's work develops an original and elegant interpretation of the will to power, which convincingly explains how Nietzsche uses this doctrine to mount a critique of the dominant Christian values, to overcome the nihilistic despair they produce, and to determine the conditions of a new affirmation of life. Thus, Reginster attributes to Nietzsche a compelling substantive ethical outlook based on the notions of challenge and creativity--an outlook that involves a radical reevaluation of the role and significance of suffering in human existence.

Replete with deeply original insights on many familiar--and frequently misunderstood--Nietzschean concepts, Reginster's book will be essential to anyone approaching this towering figure of Western intellectual history.

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After Poststructuralism
Transitions and Transformations
Edited by Rosi Braidotti
University of Chicago Press, 2010

From Kant to Kierkegaard, from Hegel to Heidegger, continental philosophers have indelibly shaped the trajectory of Western thought since the eighteenth century. Although much has been written about these monumental thinkers, students and scholars lack a definitive guide to the entire scope of the continental tradition. The most comprehensive reference work to date, this eight-volume History of Continental Philosophy will both encapsulate the subject and reorient our understanding of it. Beginning with an overview of Kant’s philosophy and its initial reception, the History traces the evolution of continental philosophy through major figures as well as movements such as existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and poststructuralism. The final volume outlines the current state of the field, bringing the work of both historical and modern thinkers to bear on such contemporary topics as feminism, globalization, and the environment. Throughout, the volumes examine important philosophical figures and developments in their historical, political, and cultural contexts.

The first reference of its kind, A History of Continental Philosophy has been written and edited by internationally recognized experts with a commitment to explaining complex thinkers, texts, and movements in rigorous yet jargon-free essays suitable for both undergraduates and seasoned specialists. These volumes also elucidate ongoing debates about the nature of continental and analytic philosophy, surveying the distinctive, sometimes overlapping characteristics and approaches of each tradition. Featuring helpful overviews of major topics and plotting road maps to their underlying contexts, A History of Continental Philosophy is destined to be the resource of first and last resort for students and scholars alike.

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The Age of Immunology
Conceiving a Future in an Alienating World
A. David Napier
University of Chicago Press, 2003
In this fascinating and inventive work, A. David Napier argues that the central assumption of immunology—that we survive through the recognition and elimination of non-self—has become a defining concept of the modern age. Tracing this immunological understanding of self and other through an incredibly diverse array of venues, from medical research to legal and military strategies and the electronic revolution, Napier shows how this defensive way of looking at the world not only destroys diversity but also eliminates the possibility of truly engaging difference, thereby impoverishing our culture and foreclosing tremendous opportunities for personal growth.

To illustrate these destructive consequences, Napier likens the current craze for embracing diversity and the use of politically correct speech to a cultural potluck to which we each bring different dishes, but at which no one can eat unless they abide by the same rules. Similarly, loaning money to developing nations serves as a tool both to make the peoples in those nations more like us and to maintain them in the nonthreatening status of distant dependents. To break free of the resulting downward spiral of homogenization and self-focus, Napier suggests that we instead adopt a new defining concept based on embryology, in which development and self-growth take place through a process of incorporation and transformation. In this effort he suggests that we have much to learn from non-Western peoples, such as the Balinese, whose ritual practices require them to take on the considerable risk of injecting into their selves the potential dangers of otherness—and in so doing ultimately strengthen themselves as well as their society.

The Age of Immunology, with its combination of philosophy, history, and cultural inquiry, will be seen as a manifesto for a new age and a new way of thinking about the world and our place in it.
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The Age of the World Target
Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work
Rey Chow
Duke University Press, 2006
Martin Heidegger once wrote that the world had, in the age of modern science, become a world picture. For Rey Chow, the world has, in the age of atomic bombs, become a world target, to be attacked once it is identified, or so global geopolitics, dominated by the United States since the end of the Second World War, seems repeatedly to confirm. How to articulate the problematics of knowledge production with this aggressive targeting of the world? Chow attempts such an articulation by probing the significance of the chronological proximity of area studies, poststructuralist theory, and comparative literature—fields of inquiry that have each exerted considerable influence but whose mutual implicatedness as postwar U.S. academic phenomena has seldom been theorized. Central to Chow’s discussions is a critique of the predicament of self-referentiality—the compulsive move to interiorize that, in her view, constitutes the collective frenzy of our age—in different contemporary epistemic registers, including the self-consciously avant-garde as well as the militaristic and culturally supremacist. Urging her readers to think beyond the inward-turning focus on EuroAmerica that tends to characterize even the most radical gestures of Western self-deconstruction, Chow envisions much broader intellectual premises for future transcultural work, with reading practices aimed at restoring words and things to their constitutive exteriority.
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All Thoughts Are Equal
Laruelle and Nonhuman Philosophy
John Ó Maoilearca
University of Minnesota Press, 2015

All Thoughts Are Equal is both an introduction to the work of French philosopher François Laruelle and an exercise in nonhuman thinking. For Laruelle, standard forms of philosophy continue to dominate our models of what counts as exemplary thought and knowledge. By contrast, what Laruelle calls his “non-standard” approach attempts to bring democracy into thought, because all forms of thinking—including the nonhuman—are equal.

John Ó Maoilearca examines how philosophy might appear when viewed with non-philosophical and nonhuman eyes. He does so by refusing to explain Laruelle through orthodox philosophy, opting instead to follow the structure of a film (Lars von Trier’s documentary The Five Obstructions) as an example of the non-standard method. Von Trier’s film is a meditation on the creative limits set by film, both technologically and aesthetically, and how these limits can push our experience of film—and of ourselves—beyond what is normally deemed “the perfect human.”

All Thoughts Are Equal adopts film’s constraints in its own experiment by showing how Laruelle’s radically new style of philosophy is best presented through our most nonhuman form of thought—that found in cinema.


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The Alpine Enlightenment
Horace-Bénédict de Saussure and Nature’s Sensorium
Kathleen Kete
University of Chicago Press

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Althusser and His Contemporaries
Philosophy's Perpetual War
Warren Montag
Duke University Press, 2013
Althusser and His Contemporaries alters and expands understanding of Louis Althusser and French philosophy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thousands of pages of previously unpublished work from different periods of Althusser's career have been made available in French since his death in 1990. Based on meticulous study of the philosopher's posthumous publications, as well as his unpublished manuscripts, lecture notes, letters, and marginalia, Warren Montag provides a thoroughgoing reevaluation of Althusser's philosophical project. Montag shows that the theorist was intensely engaged with the work of his contemporaries, particularly Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, and Lacan. Examining Althusser's philosophy as a series of encounters with his peers' thought, Montag contends that Althusser's major philosophical confrontations revolved around three themes: structure, subject, and beginnings and endings. Reading Althusser reading his contemporaries, Montag sheds new light on structuralism, poststructuralism, and the extraordinary moment of French thought in the 1960s and 1970s.
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Althusser, The Infinite Farewell
Emilio de Ipola
Duke University Press, 2018
In Althusser, The Infinite Farewell—originally published in Spanish and appearing here in English for the first time—Emilio de Ípola contends that Althusser’s oeuvre is divided between two fundamentally different and at times contradictory projects. The first is the familiar Althusser, that of For Marx and Reading Capital. Symptomatically reading these canonical texts alongside Althusser’s lesser-known writings, de Ípola reveals a second, subterranean current of thought that flows throughout Althusser’s classic formulations and which only gains explicit expression in his later works. This subterranean current leads Althusser to move toward an aleatory materialism, or a materialism of the encounter. By explicating this key aspect of Althusser’s theoretical practice, de Ípola revitalizes classic debates concerning major theoretico-political topics, including the relationship between Marxism, structuralism, and psychoanalysis; the difference between ideology, philosophy, and science; and the role of contingency and subjectivity in political encounters and social transformation. In so doing, he underscores Althusser’s continuing importance to political theory and Marxist and post-Marxist thought.
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The Ambivalence of Scarcity and Other Essays
Paul Dumouchel
Michigan State University Press, 2014
First published in French in 1979, “The Ambivalence of Scarcity” was a groundbreaking work on mimetic theory. Now expanded upon with new, specially written, and never-before-published conference texts and essays, this revised edition explores René Girard’s philosophy in three sections: economy and economics, mimetic theory, and violence and politics in modern societies. The first section argues that though mimetic theory is in many ways critical of modern economic theory, this criticism can contribute to the enrichment of economic thinking. The second section explores the issues of nonviolence and misrecognition (méconnaissance), which have been at the center of many discussions of Girard’s work. The final section proposes mimetic analyses of the violence typical of modern societies, from high school bullying to genocide and terrorist attacks. Politics, Dumouchel argues, is a violent means of protecting us from our own violent tendencies, and it can at times become the source of the very savagery from which it seeks to protect us. The book’s conclusion analyzes the relationship between ethics and economics, opening new avenues of research and inviting further exploration. Dumouchel’s introduction reflects on the importance of René Girard’s work in relation to ongoing research, especially in social sciences and philosophy.
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The American Evasion of Philosophy
A Genealogy of Pragmatism
Cornel West
University of Wisconsin Press, 1989

Taking Emerson as his starting point, Cornel West’s basic task in this ambitious enterprise is to chart the emergence, development, decline, and recent resurgence of American pragmatism. John Dewey is the central figure in West’s pantheon of pragmatists, but he treats as well such varied mid-century representatives of the tradition as Sidney Hook, C. Wright Mills, W. E. B. Du Bois, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Lionel Trilling. West’s "genealogy" is, ultimately, a very personal work, for it is imbued throughout with the author’s conviction that a thorough reexamination of American pragmatism may help inspire and instruct contemporary efforts to remake and reform American society and culture.

"West . . . may well be the pre-eminent African American intellectual of our generation."—The Nation

"The American Evasion of Philosophy is a highly intelligent and provocative book. Cornel West gives us illuminating readings of the political thought of Emerson and James; provides a penetrating critical assessment of Dewey, his central figure; and offers a brilliant interpretation—appreciative yet far from uncritical—of the contemporary philosopher and neo-pragmatist Richard Rorty. . . . What shines through, throughout the work, is West's firm commitment to a radical vision of a philosophic discourse as inextricably linked to cultural criticism and political engagement."—Paul S. Boyer, professor emeritus of history, University of Wisconsin–Madison.



Wisconsin Project on American Writers

Frank Lentricchia, General Editor


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Anaesthetics of Existence
Essays on Experience at the Edge
Cressida J. Heyes
Duke University Press, 2020

“Experience” is a thoroughly political category, a social and historical product not authored by any individual. At the same time, “the personal is political,” and one's own lived experience is an important epistemic resource. In Anaesthetics of Existence Cressida J. Heyes reconciles these two positions, drawing on examples of things that happen to us but are nonetheless excluded from experience. If for Foucault an “aesthetics of existence” was a project of making one's life a work of art, Heyes's “anaesthetics of existence” describes antiprojects that are tacitly excluded from life—but should be brought back in. Drawing on critical phenomenology, genealogy, and feminist theory, Heyes shows how and why experience has edges, and she analyzes phenomena that press against those edges. Essays on sexual violence against unconscious victims, the temporality of drug use, and childbirth as a limit-experience build a politics of experience while showcasing Heyes's much-needed new philosophical method.

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The Anarchy of Black Religion
A Mystic Song
J. Kameron Carter
Duke University Press, 2023
In The Anarchy of Black Religion, J. Kameron Carter examines the deeper philosophical, theological, and religious history that animates our times to advance a new approach to understanding religion. Drawing on the black radical tradition and black feminism, Carter explores the modern invention of religion as central to settler colonial racial technologies wherein antiblackness is a founding and guiding religious principle of the modern world. He therefore sets black religion apart from modern religion, even as it tries to include and enclose it. Carter calls this approach the black study of religion. Black religion emerges not as doctrinal, confessional, or denominational but as a set of poetic and artistic strategies for improvisatory living and gathering. Potentiating non-exclusionary belonging, black religion is anarchic, mystical, and experimental: it reveals alternative relationalities and visions of matter that can counter capitalism’s extractive, individualistic, and imperialist ideology. By enacting a black study of religion, Carter elucidates the violence of religion as the violence of modern life while also opening an alternate praxis of the sacred.
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The Anatomy of Disillusion
Martin Heidegger's Notion of Truth
W. B. Macomber
Northwestern University Press, 1967
The Anatomy of Disillusion is an introduction to Heidegger’s phenomenology that focuses on Heidegger’s notion of truth. Unlike many of his contemporaries, W.B. Macomber presents Heidegger as a systematic thinker, whose phenomenology is inextricably bound up with his ontology and epistemology.
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Annotations
On the Early Thought of W. E. B. Du Bois
Nahum Dimitri Chandler
Duke University Press, 2022
In Annotations Nahum Dimitri Chandler offers a philosophical interpretation of W. E. B. Du Bois’s 1897 American Negro Academy address, “The Conservation of Races.” Chandler approaches Du Bois as a generative and original philosophical thinker-writer on the status and historical implication of matters of human difference, both the fact of and the very idea thereof. Chandler proposes both a close reading of Du Bois’s engagement of the concept of so-called race and a deep meditation on Du Bois’s conceptualization of historicity in general. He elaborates on the way Du Bois’s thought in this address can give an account of the organization of the historicity that yields the emergence of something like the African American, at once with its own internal dimensions and yet also as an originary articulation of forces and possibilities that have world historical implications. Chandler refigures Du Bois’s thought as a vital theoretical resource for rethinking our concepts of differences among humans and, so too, our understanding of modern historicity itself.
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Another World Was Possible
A Century of Movements, Volume 2005
Duane J. Corpis and Ian Christopher Fletcher, eds.
Duke University Press
Another World Was Possible modifies the slogan of the World Social Forum—an annual meeting formed as an alternative to the more elite World Economic Forum—“Another world is possible!” The change from present to past tense in the phrase acknowledges the importance of social movements from the past century that have worked for alternative visions of justice and freedom leading up to and continuing to influence current movements. This special issue of Radical History Review highlights the global and transnational dimensions of radical history that are less visible in other historical accounts whose horizons are national or local or that are oriented toward either “centers” or “peripheries.” By emphasizing social movements and political contention, this issue offers a globalized radical history that enriches the wider field of world history.

The collection argues that radical movements offer an intriguing counternarrative to the more familiar history of imperialism and globalization in the twentieth century. One essay illuminates the radical anticolonial and diasporic South Asian Ghadar movement, which worked to free India from British rule. Another delves into the global politics of South African radicalism between antifascism and apartheid in the 1940s and 1950s. A third essay explores the encounter between U.S. black activists and Cuban revolutionaries in the 1960s. In an interview, a Latina activist illustrates the transnational scope of contemporary social movements by describing her organizing work among immigrants in Atlanta, Georgia.

Contributors. Adina Black, Mansour Bonakdarian, Duane J. Corpis, Ian Christopher Fletcher, Yael Simpson Fletcher, Robert Gregg, Bob Hannigan, Chia Yin Hsu, Madhavi Kale, R. J. Lambrose, Christopher Joon-Hai Lee, Teresa Meade, Adelina Nicholls, Enrique C. Ochoa, Susan D. Pennybacker, Maia Ramnath, Besenia Rodriguez

Another World Was Possible is the companion issue to Two, Three, Many Worlds (Radical History Review, #91).

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Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View
Immanuel Kant. Translated by Victor Lyle Dowdell. Revised and Edited by Hans H. Rudnick
Southern Illinois University Press, 1996

In the fall semester of 1772/73 at the Albertus University of Königsberg, Immanuel Kant, metaphysician and professor of logic and metaphysics, began lectures on anthropology, which he continued until 1776, shortly before his retirement from public life. His lecture notes and papers were first published in 1798, eight years after the publication of the Critique of Judgment, the third of his famous Critiques. The present edition of the Anthropology is a translation of the text found in volume 7 of Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by Oswald Külpe.

Kant describes the Anthropology as a systematic doctrine of the knowledge of humankind. (He does not yet distinguish between the academic discipline of anthropology as we understand it today and the philosophical.) Kant’s lectures stressed the "pragmatic" approach to the subject because he intended to establish pragmatic anthropology as a regular academic discipline. He differentiates the physiological knowledge of the human race—the investigation of "what Nature makes of man"—from the pragmatic—"what man as a free being makes of himself, what he can make of himself, and what he ought to make of himself." Kant believed that anthropology teaches the knowledge of humankind and makes us familiar with what is pragmatic, not speculative, in relation to humanity. He shows us as world citizens within the context of the cosmos.

Summarizing the cloth edition of the Anthropology, Library Journal concludes: "Kant’s allusions to such issues as sensation, imagination, judgment, (aesthetic) taste, emotion, passion, moral character, and the character of the human species in regard to the ideal of a cosmopolitan society make this work an important resource for English readers who seek to grasp the connections among Kant’s metaphysics of nature, metaphysics of morals, and political theory. The notes of the editor and translator, which incorporate material from Ernst Cassirer’s edition and from Kant’s marginalia in the original manuscript, shed considerable light on the text."

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Apprehending the Inaccessible
Freudian Psychoanalysis and Existential Phenomenology
Richard Askay and Jensen Farquhar
Northwestern University Press, 2006
Throughout history philosophers have relentlessly pursued what may be called "inaccessible domains." This book explores how the traditions of existential phenomenology relate to Freudian psychoanalysis. A clear, succinct, and systematic account of the philosophical presuppositions of psychoanalytic theory and practice, this work offers a deeper and richer understanding and appreciation of Freudian thought, as well as its antecedents and influences.

With its unique perspective on Freud's work, Apprehending the Inaccessible puts readers in a better position to appreciate his contributions and evaluate the relationship between his and other philosophical world views. The authors, both of whom have extensive backgrounds in philosophy and psychology, present balanced critical analyses of crucial developments in, for example, the evolution of the Freudian notion of the unconscious, and the engagement of existential phenomenology with Freudian psychoanalysis. Askay and Farquhar then consider—often for the first time—individual thinkers' reflections on and interpretations of Freud, ranging from the primary figures in existential phenomenology to the most prominent figures in the existential psychoanalytic movement. Even as their work offers a new approach to Freudian thought, it reasserts the importance of alternative views found in existential phenomenology as those views pertain to psychoanalysis and the question of apprehending the inaccessible.
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Archive Fever
A Freudian Impression
Jacques Derrida
University of Chicago Press, 1998
In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology—fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling.

"Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and e-mail all get fused into another staggeringly dense, brilliant slab of scholarship and suggestion."—The Guardian

"[Derrida] convincingly argues that, although the archive is a public entity, it nevertheless is the repository of the private and personal, including even intimate details."—Choice

"Beautifully written and clear."—Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review

"Translator Prenowitz has managed valiantly to bring into English a difficult but inspiring text that relies on Greek, German, and their translations into French."—Library Journal
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Archive Fever
A Freudian Impression
Jacques Derrida
University of Chicago Press, 1996
In Archive Fever, Jacques Derrida deftly guides us through an extended meditation on remembrance, religion, time, and technology—fruitfully occasioned by a deconstructive analysis of the notion of archiving. Intrigued by the evocative relationship between technologies of inscription and psychic processes, Derrida offers for the first time a major statement on the pervasive impact of electronic media, particularly e-mail, which threaten to transform the entire public and private space of humanity. Plying this rich material with characteristic virtuosity, Derrida constructs a synergistic reading of archives and archiving, both provocative and compelling.

"Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and e-mail all get fused into another staggeringly dense, brilliant slab of scholarship and suggestion."—The Guardian

"[Derrida] convincingly argues that, although the archive is a public entity, it nevertheless is the repository of the private and personal, including even intimate details."—Choice

"Beautifully written and clear."—Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review

"Translator Prenowitz has managed valiantly to bring into English a difficult but inspiring text that relies on Greek, German, and their translations into French."—Library Journal
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The Art of Being
Poetics of the Novel and Existentialist Philosophy
Yi-Ping Ong
Harvard University Press, 2018

The Art of Being is a powerful account of how the literary form of the novel reorients philosophy toward the meaning of existence. Yi-Ping Ong shows that for Kierkegaard, Sartre, and Beauvoir, the form of the novel in its classic phase yields the conditions for reconceptualizing the nature of self-knowledge, freedom, and the world. Their discovery gives rise to a radically new poetics of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century realist novel.

For the existentialists, a paradox lies at the heart of the novel. As a work of art, the novel exists as a given totality. At the same time, the capacity of the novel to compel belief in the free and independent existence of its characters depends on the absence of any perspective from which their lives may be viewed as a consummated whole. At stake in the poetics of the novel are the conditions under which knowledge of existence is possible. Ong’s reframing of foundational debates in novel theory takes us beyond old dichotomies of mind and world, interiority and totality, and form and mimesis. It illuminates existential dimensions of novelistic realism overlooked by empirical and sociological approaches.

Bringing together philosophy, novel theory, and intellectual history with groundbreaking readings of Tolstoy, Eliot, Austen, James, Flaubert, and Zola, The Art of Being reveals how the novel engages in its very form with philosophically rich notions of self-knowledge, freedom, authority, world, and the unfinished character of human life.

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As If
Idealization and Ideals
Kwame Anthony Appiah
Harvard University Press, 2017

“Appiah is a writer and thinker of remarkable range… [He] has packed into this short book an impressive amount of original reflection… A rich and illuminating book.”
—Thomas Nagel, New York Review of Books

Idealization is a fundamental feature of human thought. We build simplified models to make sense of the world, and life is a constant adjustment between the models we make and the realities we encounter. Our beliefs, desires, and sense of justice are bound up with these ideals, and we proceed “as if” our representations were true, while knowing they are not. In this elegant and original meditation, Kwame Anthony Appiah suggests that this instinct to idealize is not dangerous or distracting so much as it is necessary. As If explores how strategic untruth plays a critical role in far-flung areas of inquiry: decision theory, psychology, natural science, and political philosophy. A polymath who writes with mainstream clarity, Appiah defends the centrality of the imagination not just in the arts but in science, morality, and everyday life.

“Appiah is the rare public intellectual who is also a first-rate analytic philosopher, and the characteristic virtues associated with each of these identities are very much in evidence throughout the book.”
—Thomas Kelly, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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At the Heart of Reason
Translated from the French by Michael B. Smith and Claude Romano
Northwestern University Press, 2015
In At the Heart of Reason, Claude Romano boldly calls for a reformulation of the phenomenological project. He contends that the main concern of phenomenology, and its originality with respect to other philosophical movements of the last century, such as logical empiricism, the grammatical philosophy of Wittgenstein, and varieties of neo-Kantianism, was to provide a "new image of Reason."

Against the common view, which restricts the range of reason to logic and truth-theory alone, Romano advocates "big-hearted rationality," including in it what is only ostensibly its opposite, that is, sensibility, and locating in sensibility itself the roots of the categorical forms of thought. Contrary to what was claimed by the "linguistic turn," language is not a self-enclosed domain; it cannot be conceived in its specificity unless it is led back to its origin in the pre-predicative or pre-linguistic structure of experience itself.
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Athens and Jerusalem
Lev Shestov
Ohio University Press, 2016

For more than two thousand years, philosophers and theologians have wrestled with the irreconcilable opposition between Greek rationality (Athens) and biblical revelation (Jerusalem). In Athens and Jersusalem, Lev Shestov—an inspiration for the French existentialists and the foremost interlocutor of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Martin Buber during the interwar years—makes the gripping confrontation between these symbolic poles of ancient wisdom his philosophical testament, an argumentative and stylistic tour de force.

Although the Russian-born Shestov is little known in the Anglophone world today, his writings influenced many twentieth-century European thinkers, such as Albert Camus, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Czesław Miłosz, and Joseph Brodsky. Athens and Jerusalem is Shestov’s final, groundbreaking work on the philosophy of religion from an existential perspective. This new, annotated edition of Bernard Martin’s classic translation adds references to the cited works as well as glosses of passages from the original Greek, Latin, German, and French. Athens and Jerusalem is Shestov at his most profound and most eloquent and is the clearest expression of his thought that shaped the evolution of continental philosophy and European literature in the twentieth century.

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Autonomy After Auschwitz
Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity
Martin Shuster
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Ever since Kant and Hegel, the notion of autonomy—the idea that we are beholden to no law except one we impose upon ourselves—has been considered the truest philosophical expression of human freedom. But could our commitment to autonomy, as Theodor Adorno asked, be related to the extreme evils that we have witnessed in modernity? In Autonomy after Auschwitz, Martin Shuster explores this difficult question with astonishing theoretical acumen, examining the precise ways autonomy can lead us down a path of evil and how it might be prevented from doing so.

Shuster uncovers dangers in the notion of autonomy as it was originally conceived by Kant. Putting Adorno into dialogue with a range of European philosophers, notably Kant, Hegel, Horkheimer, and Habermas—as well as with a variety of contemporary Anglo-American thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, and Robert Pippin—he illuminates Adorno’s important revisions to this fraught concept and how his different understanding of autonomous agency, fully articulated, might open up new and positive social and political possibilities. Altogether, Autonomy after Auschwitz is a meditation on modern evil and human agency, one that demonstrates the tremendous ethical stakes at the heart of philosophy. 
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