In the last decade, F. W. J. von Schelling has emerged as one of the key philosophers of German Idealism, the one who, for the first time, undermined Kant's philosophical revolution and in so doing opened up the way for a viable critique of Hegel. In noted philosopher Slavoj Zizek's view, the main orientations of the post-Hegelian thought, from Kierkegaard and Marx, to Heidegger and today's deconstructionism, were prefigured in Schelling's analysis of Hegel's idealism, and in his affirmation that the contingency of existence cannot be reduced to notional self-mediation. In The Abyss of Freedom, Zizek attempts to advance Schelling's stature even further, with a commentary of the second draft of Schelling's work The Ages of the World, written in 1813.
Zizek argues that Schelling's most profound thoughts are found in the series of three consecutive attempts he made to formulate the "ages of the world/Weltalter," the stages of the self-development of the Absolute. Of the three versions, claims Zizek, it is the second that is the most eloquent and definitive encompassing of Schelling's lyrical thought. It centers on the problem of how the Absolute (God) himself, in order to become actual, to exist effectively, has to accomplish a radically contingent move of acquiring material, bodily existence. Never before available in English, this version finally renders accessible one of the key texts of modern philosophy, a text that is widely debated in philosophical circles today.
The Abyss of Freedom is Zizek's own reading of Schelling based upon Lacanian psychoanalytic theory. It focuses on the notion that Lacan's theory--which claims that the symbolic universe emerged from presymbolic drives--is prefigured in Schelling's idea of logos as given birth to from the vortex of primordial drives, or from what "in God is not yet God." For Zizek, this connection is monumental, showing that Schelling's ideas forcefully presage the post-modern "deconstruction" of logocentrism.
Slavoj Zizek is not a philosopher who stoops to conquer objects but a radical voice who believes that philosophy is nothing if it is not embodied, nothing if it is only abstract. For him, true philosophy always speaks of something rather than nothing. Those interested in the genesis of contemporary thought and the fate of reason in our "age of anxiety" will find this coupling of texts not only philosophically relevant, but vitally important.
Slavoj Zizek is the author of The Sublime Object of Ideology, Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel and the Critique of Ideology, and most recently, The Indivisible Remainder: An Essay on Schelling and Related Matters. Currently he is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. Judith Norman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
The Activity of Being
Aryeh Kosman Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress B491.O5K67 2013 | Dewey Decimal 111.092
Understanding “what something is” has long occupied philosophers, and no Western thinker has had more influence on the nature of being than Aristotle. Focusing on a reinterpretation of the concept of energeia as “activity,” Aryeh Kosman reexamines Aristotle’s ontology and some of our most basic assumptions about the great philosopher’s thought.
Eugene Thacker University of Chicago Press, 2010 Library of Congress BD311.T43 2010 | Dewey Decimal 113.8
Life is one of our most basic concepts, and yet when examined directly it proves remarkably contradictory and elusive, encompassing both the broadest and the most specific phenomena. We can see this uncertainty about life in our habit of approaching it as something at once scientific and mystical, in the return of vitalisms of all types, and in the pervasive politicization of life. In short, life seems everywhere at stake and yet is nowhere the same.
In After Life, Eugene Thacker clears the ground for a new philosophy of life by recovering the twists and turns in its philosophical history. Beginning with Aristotle’s originary formulation of a philosophy of life, Thacker examines the influence of Aristotle’s ideas in medieval and early modern thought, leading him to the work of Immanuel Kant, who notes the inherently contradictory nature of “life in itself.” Along the way, Thacker shows how early modern philosophy’s engagement with the problem of life affects thinkers such as Gilles Deleuze, Georges Bataille, and Alain Badiou, as well as contemporary developments in the “speculative turn” in philosophy.
At a time when life is categorized, measured, and exploited in a variety of ways, After Life invites us to delve deeper into the contours and contradictions of the age-old question, “what is life?”
Blier illuminates the extraordinary architecture of the Batammaliba people of Western Africa, revealing these buildings as texts through which we can read the beliefs, psychology, traditions, and social concerns of their inhabitants. In doing so, she explores the role of vernacular architecture as an expression of culture.
"A splendid analysis of the centrality of architecture in the daily lives of the Batammaliba and its integral role in articulating social values....The story is beautifully told in the best of anthropological traditions."—Judith R. Blau, Contemporary Society
"A remarkable study....Blier's volume carries the study of African architecture to a qualitatively new level of scholarship. It introduces a new dimension whereby the architectural medium can be used to illuminate much of the entire belief system of any culture."—Labelle Prussin, African Arts
"In this excellent book Blier provides a richly detailed and searching account of what architecture means to the Batammaliba of northern Togo and Benin....The finest account I have yet read of the relations between systems of beliefs, ritual practices, and African aesthetics and plastic arts....The ethnography and basic insight should be the envy of any social anthropologist."—T.O. Beidelman, Man
In Animacies, Mel Y. Chen draws on recent debates about sexuality, race, and affect to examine how matter that is considered insensate, immobile, or deathly animates cultural lives. Toward that end, Chen investigates the blurry division between the living and the dead, or that which is beyond the human or animal. Within the field of linguistics, animacy has been described variously as a quality of agency, awareness, mobility, sentience, or liveness. Chen turns to cognitive linguistics to stress how language habitually differentiates the animate and the inanimate. Expanding this construct, Chen argues that animacy undergirds much that is pressing and indeed volatile in contemporary culture, from animal rights debates to biosecurity concerns.
Chen's book is the first to bring the concept of animacy together with queer of color scholarship, critical animal studies, and disability theory. Through analyses of dehumanizing insults, the meanings of queerness, animal protagonists in recent Asian/American art and film, the lead in toys panic in 2007, and the social lives of environmental illness, Animacies illuminates a hierarchical politics infused by race, sexuality, and ability. In this groundbreaking book, Chen rethinks the criteria governing agency and receptivity, health and toxicity, productivity and stillness—and demonstrates how attention to the affective charge of matter challenges commonsense orderings of the world.
Anselm's Other Argument
A. D. Smith Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress B765.A84S65 2014 | Dewey Decimal 212.1
Some commentators claim that Anselm's writings contain a second independent "modal ontological argument" for God's existence. A. D. Smith contends that although there is a second a priori argument in Anselm, it is not the modal argument. This "other argument" bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ.
The art scene today is one of appropriation—of remixing, reusing, and recombining the works of other artists. From the musical mash-ups of Girl Talk to the pop-culture borrowings of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, it’s clear that the artistic landscape is shifting—which leads to some tricky legal and philosophical questions. In this up-to-date, thorough, and accessible analysis of the right to copyright, Darren Hudson Hick works to reconcile the growing practice of artistic appropriation with innovative views of artists’ rights, both legal and moral.
Engaging with long-standing debates about the nature of originality, authorship, and artists’ rights, Hick examines the philosophical challenges presented by the role of intellectual property in the artworld and vice versa. Using real-life examples of artists who have incorporated copyrighted works into their art, he explores issues of artistic creation and the nature of infringement as they are informed by analytical aesthetics and legal and critical theory. Ultimately, Artistic License provides a critical and systematic analysis of the key philosophical issues that underlie copyright policy, rethinking the relationship between artist, artwork, and the law.
In Being after Rousseau, Richard L. Velkley presents Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the founder of a modern European tradition of reflection on the relation of philosophy to culture—a reflection that calls both into question. Tracing this tradition from Rousseau to Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schelling, and Martin Heidegger, Velkley shows late modern philosophy as a series of ultimately unsuccessful attempts to resolve the dichotomies between nature and society, culture and civilization, and philosophy and society that Rousseau brought to the fore.
The Rousseauian tradition begins, for Velkley, with Rousseau's criticism of modern political philosophy. Although the German Idealists such as Schelling accepted much of Rousseau's critique, they believed, unlike Rousseau, that human wholeness could be attained at the level of society and history. Heidegger and Nietzsche questioned this claim, but followed both Rousseau and the Idealists in their vision of the philosopher-poet striving to recover an original wholeness that the history of reason has distorted.
Being and God argues that defensible philosophical theorization concerning the topic “God” is both possible and necessary within the framework of an adequate systematic philosophy—which must include a theory of Being—but is not possible in the absence of such a framework. The book provides critiques of philosophical approaches to this topic that have not relied on such frameworks; targets include the most important and influential treatments presented by historical, contemporary analytic, and contemporary continental philosophers. The book also further develops the systematic framework presented in Puntel’s Structure and Being (2008), extending a line of argumentation to show that the absolutely necessary dimension of Being is, when more fully explicated, appropriately named “God.”
Being and the Cosmos
Robert E. Wood Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress BD331.W85 2018 | Dewey Decimal 111
Robert Wood’s aim in Being and the Cosmos<\i> is to reestablish a speculative view of the cosmos that goes back to the ancient Greeks and that corresponds to the holism of contemporary physics. There are two sets of problems in contemporary thought that militate against any such attempt. Most widespread is scientific reductionism in biology and neuroscience that explains awareness in terms of the mechanisms that underlie it. The second is the widespread attack in philosophy itself on speculative holism by deconstruction and anti-foundationalism.
In Being and the Cosmos<\i>, the tack against both is to make explicit the character of the mind that sees and thinks, that actively takes up commitment to the truth available in the disciplines involved. The basic ground of this position rests upon the functioning of the notion of Being that opens up the question of the character of the Whole and the human being’s place in it. Thus position the treatment of the notion of Being as foundation and as orientation toward the Whole between the attack on reductionism and on deconstruction and anti-foundationalism. Wood concludes with a multidimensional sketch of an evolutionary view of the cosmos whose initial phases contain the potentialities for life, sensibility, and intellect as cosmic telos. The holism of contemporary physics has to be reconfigured in terms of this observation. Both reductionists and dualists should know that matter itself has to be re-minded and that mind itself matters.
The Being of the Beautiful collects Plato’s three dialogues, the Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesmen, in which Socrates formulates his conception of philosophy while preparing for trial. Renowned classicist Seth Benardete’s careful translations clearly illuminate the dramatic and philosophical unity of these dialogues and highlight Plato’s subtle interplay of language and structure. Extensive notes and commentaries, furthermore, underscore the trilogy’s motifs and relationships.
“The translations are masterpieces of literalness. . . . They are honest, accurate, and give the reader a wonderful sense of the Greek.”—Drew A. Hyland, Review of Metaphysics
The Body Multiple is an extraordinary ethnography of an ordinary disease. Drawing on fieldwork in a Dutch university hospital, Annemarie Mol looks at the day-to-day diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis. A patient information leaflet might describe atherosclerosis as the gradual obstruction of the arteries, but in hospital practice this one medical condition appears to be many other things. From one moment, place, apparatus, specialty, or treatment, to the next, a slightly different “atherosclerosis” is being discussed, measured, observed, or stripped away. This multiplicity does not imply fragmentation; instead, the disease is made to cohere through a range of tactics including transporting forms and files, making images, holding case conferences, and conducting doctor-patient conversations.
The Body Multiple juxtaposes two distinct texts. Alongside Mol’s analysis of her ethnographic material—interviews with doctors and patients and observations of medical examinations, consultations, and operations—runs a parallel text in which she reflects on the relevant literature. Mol draws on medical anthropology, sociology, feminist theory, philosophy, and science and technology studies to reframe such issues as the disease-illness distinction, subject-object relations, boundaries, difference, situatedness, and ontology. In dialogue with one another, Mol’s two texts meditate on the multiplicity of reality-in-practice.
Presenting philosophical reflections on the body and medical practice through vivid storytelling, The Body Multiple will be important to those in medical anthropology, philosophy, and the social study of science, technology, and medicine.
From one end of his philosophical work to the other, Gilles Deleuze consistently described his position as a transcendental empiricism. But just what is transcendental about Deleuze's transcendental empiricism? And how does his position fit with the traditional empiricism articulated by Hume? In Difference and Givenness, Levi Bryant addresses these long-neglected questions so critical to an understanding of Deleuze's thinking. Through a close examination of Deleuze's independent work--focusing especially on Difference and Repetition--as well as his engagement with thinkers such as Kant, Maimon, Bergson, and Simondon, Bryant sets out to unearth Deleuze's transcendental empiricism and to show how it differs from transcendental idealism, absolute idealism, and traditional empiricism. What emerges from these efforts is a metaphysics that strives to articulate the conditions for real existence, capable of accounting for the individual itself without falling into conceptual or essentialist abstraction. In Bryant's analysis, Deleuze's metaphysics articulates an account of being as process or creative individuation based on difference, as well as a challenging critique--and explanation--of essentialist substance ontologies. A clear and powerful discussion of how Deleuze's project relates to two of the most influential strains in the history of philosophy, this book will prove essential to anyone seeking to understand Deleuze's thought and its specific contribution to metaphysics and epistemology.
Dynamic Structure of Reality makes available in English some of the most mature thought of the modern Spanish philosopher Xavier Zubiri. He first presented this material as a set of 1968 public lectures in Madrid. They were collected, edited, and published in 1989 as Estructura dinámica de la realidad.
In 1962 Zubiri had published Sobre la esencia (On essence), a work of metaphysics that was praised by critics with one qualification: its treatment of reality was too static. The 1968 course was devised as a response to those critics. Dynamic Structure of Reality retraces the road Hegel traveled concerning the creation of a self and how that self is realized by an interplay between spirit and nature.
Like his great predecessor José Ortega y Gasset, and like his great Jewish contemporary Emmanuel Levinas, Zubiri takes religion in all seriousness and locates its questions within the questions of modern philosophy. In harmony with science, he advances a new idea of becoming. Reality, not being, becomes. As reality’s traits are revealed, in different degrees, reality resembles God, the universal self-giver. Zubiri systematically touches on many disciplines to show the varieties of self-giving--throughout the universe--of structural dynamism.
Philosophers and theorists have long been puzzled by humans' ability to talk about things that do not exist, or to talk about things that they think exist but, in fact, do not. Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence is a collection of 13 new works concerning the semantic and metaphysical issues arising from empty names, non-existence, and the nature of fiction. The contributors include some of the most important researchers working in these fields. Some of the papers develop and defend new positions on these matters, while others offer important new perspectives and criticisms of the existing approaches. The volume contains a comprehensive introductory essay by the editors, which provides a survey of the philosophical issues concerning empty names, the various responses to these issues, and the literature on the subject to date.
The End of Philosophy
Martin Heidegger University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress B3239.H47E55 2003 | Dewey Decimal 110
Joan Stambaugh's translations of the works of Heidegger, accomplished with his guidance, have made key aspects of his thought and philosophy accessible to readers of English for many years. This collection, writes Stambaugh, contains Heidegger's attempt "to show the history of Being as metaphysics," combining three chapters from the philosopher's Nietzsche ("Metaphysics as a History of Being," "Sketches for a History of Being as Metaphysics," and "Recollection in Metaphysics") with a selection from Vorträge und Aufsätze ("Overcoming Metaphysics").
Modern philosophy continues to grapple with the idea of subjectivity—and, as the concept of subjectivity has consequently been repeatedly refined and redefined, the struggle has spread to the ways we conceive of sovereignty, collectivity, nationality, and identity as a result. Yet, in the absence of an authoritative account of these central philosophical concepts, exciting new ways of thinking have emerged which continue to develop and evolve.
Epidemic Subjects—Radical Ontology brings together a renowned team of contributors, including Levi Bryant, Angela Melitopoulos, and Susan Stryker, who together forge a radically inclusive definition of subjectivity. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s concept of the “girl” as a heuristic device for examining modern society and its foundations, they tie together recent trends in philosophy and offer a concrete way forward from the conception of the “thing” or “object” privileged by new materialism, speculative realism, and other theories of subjectivity.
Ethics without Ontology
Hilary PUTNAM Harvard University Press, 2004 Library of Congress B945.P873E84 2004 | Dewey Decimal 191
In this brief book one of the most distinguished living American philosophers takes up the question of whether ethical judgments can properly be considered objective--a question that has vexed philosophers over the past century. Reviewing what he deems the disastrous consequences of ontology's influence on analytic philosophy--in particular, the contortions it imposes upon debates about the objective of ethical judgments--Putnam proposes abandoning the very idea of ontology.
For an Ontology of Morals: A Critique of Contemporary Ethical Theory assesses contemporary trends in ethical theory, including the deontological tradition dating back to Kant, the teleological tradition of the utilitarians, the analytic movement, and the existentialist-phenomenologist movement. In refuting these trends, Henry B. Veatch argues that moral and ethical distinctions cannot be rightly or adequately understood if they are regarded simply as matters of linguistic use but are grounded in the very being and nature of things.
In Geontologies Elizabeth A. Povinelli continues her project of mapping the current conditions of late liberalism by offering a bold retheorization of power. Finding Foucauldian biopolitics unable to adequately reveal contemporary mechanisms of power and governance, Povinelli describes a mode of power she calls geontopower, which operates through the regulation of the distinction between Life and Nonlife and the figures of the Desert, the Animist, and the Virus. Geontologies examines this formation of power from the perspective of Indigenous Australian maneuvers against the settler state. And it probes how our contemporary critical languages—anthropogenic climate change, plasticity, new materialism, antinormativity—often unwittingly transform their struggles against geontopower into a deeper entwinement within it. A woman who became a river, a snakelike entity who spawns the fog, plesiosaurus fossils and vast networks of rock weirs: in asking how these different forms of existence refuse incorporation into the vocabularies of Western theory Povinelli provides a revelatory new way to understand a form of power long self-evident in certain regimes of settler late liberalism but now becoming visible much further beyond.
Speaking as one of the founders of American Continental philosophy, Calvin O. Schrag offers an exceptionally clear, balanced, and informative discussion of a complex questions vexing postmodern currents of philosophical and theological reflection: Does the "death" of the god conceived as a "highest being" in Western, and especially modern, traditions open a new space within which to rethink God in terms of a "gift" or "giving" that would stand beyond the usual spate of metaphysical categories?
Schrag draws with grace, ease, and precision upon the history of Western metaphysics, from Plato and Aristotle through Nietzsche and Heidegger. Most important to his central question of God as "otherwise than Being," however, are such influential post-Heideggerian thinkers as Jean-Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, and Emmanuel Levinas. Schrag's inquiry engages these thinkers at a serious level and also expands recent discussions by relating them to the work of figures hitherto overlooked or underplayed, most notably Paul Tillich.
Jean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love.
This volume, the first translation into English of the work of this leading Catholic philosopher, offers a contemporary perspective on the nature of God.
"An immensely thoughtful book. . . . It promises a rich harvest. Marion's highly original treatment of the idol and the icon, the Eucharist, boredom and vanity, conversion and prayer takes theological and philosophical discussions to a new level."—Norman Wirzba, Christian Century
Jean-Luc Marion is one of the world’s foremost philosophers of religion as well as one of the leading Catholic thinkers of modern times. In God Without Being, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of traditional philosophy, theology, and metaphysics: that God, before all else, must be. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance and engaging in passionate dialogue with Heidegger, he locates a “God without Being” in the realm of agape, or Christian charity and love. If God is love, Marion contends, then God loves before he actually is.
First translated into English in 1991, God Without Being continues to be a key book for discussions of the nature of God. This second edition contains a new preface by Marion as well as his 2003 essay on Thomas Aquinas. Offering a controversial, contemporary perspective, God Without Being will remain essential reading for scholars and students of philosophy and religion.
“Daring and profound. . . . In matters most central to his thesis, [Marion]’s control is admirable, and his attunement to the nuances of other major postmodern thinkers is impressive.”—Theological Studies
In this groundbreaking work, Richard L. Velkley examines the complex philosophical relationship between Martin Heidegger and Leo Strauss. Velkley argues that both thinkers provide searching analyses of the philosophical tradition’s origins in radical questioning. For Heidegger and Strauss, the recovery of the original premises of philosophy cannot be separated from rethinking the very possibility of genuine philosophizing.
Common views of the influence of Heidegger’s thought on Strauss suggest that, after being inspired early on by Heidegger’s dismantling of the philosophical tradition, Strauss took a wholly separate path, spurning modernity and pursuing instead a renewal of Socratic political philosophy. Velkley rejects this reading and maintains that Strauss’s engagement with the challenges posed by Heidegger—as well as by modern philosophy in general—formed a crucial and enduring framework for his lifelong philosophical project. More than an intellectual biography or a mere charting of influence, Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy is a profound consideration of these two philosophers’ reflections on the roots, meaning, and fate of Western rationalism.
Heidegger's Question of Being
Holger Zaborowski Catholic University of America Press, 2017 Library of Congress B3279.H49H46 2017 | Dewey Decimal 193
The number of open and controversial questions in contemporary Heidegger research continues to be a source of scholarly dialogue. There are important questions that concern the development, as it were, of his thought and the differences and similarities between his early main work Being and Time and his later so-called being-historical thought, the thinking of the event, or appropriation, of Being. There are questions that focus on his relation to important figures in the history of ideas such as the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, the German idealists, and Nietzsche. Other questions focus on his biography, on his rectorate and on his relation to politics in general and to National Socialism in particular or on his influence on subsequent philosophers.
The contributions to this volume, written by leading scholars in the field of Heidegger research, address many of these questions in close readings of Heidegger’s texts and thus provide sound orientation in the field of contemporary Heidegger research. They show how the different trajectories of Heidegger’s thought—his early interest in the meaning of Being and in Dasein, his discussion of, and involvement with, politics, his understanding of art, poetry, and technology, his concept of truth and the idea of a history of Being—all converge at one point: the question of Being. It thus becomes clear that, all differences notwithstanding, Heidegger followed one very consistent path of thinking.
In his latest book, esteemed philosopher John Kekes draws on anthropology, history, and literature in order to help us cope with the common predicaments that plague us as we try to take control of our lives. In each chapter he offers fascinating new ways of thinking about a particular problem that is fundamental to how we live, such as facing difficult choices, uncontrollable contingencies, complex evaluations, the failures of justice, the miasma of boredom, and the inescapable hypocrisies of social life.
Kekes considers how we might deal with these predicaments by comparing how others in different times and cultures have approached them. He examines what is good, bad, instructive, and dangerous in the sexually charged politics of the Shilluk, the Hindu caste system, Balinese role-morality, the religious passion of Cortes and Simone Weil, the fate of Colonel Hiromichi Yahara during and after the battle for Okinawa, the ritual human sacrifices of the Aztecs, and the tragedies to which innocence may lead. In doing so, he shakes us out of our deep-seated ways of thinking, enlarging our understanding of the possibilities available to us as we struggle with the problems that stand in the way of how we want to live. The result is a highly interesting journey through time and space that illuminates and helps us cope with some of the most basic predicaments we all face as human beings.
Institution and Passivity is based on course notes for classes taught at the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris. Philosophically, this collection connects the issue of passive constitution of meaning with the dimension of history, furthering discussions and completing arguments started in The Visible and the Invisible and Signs (both published by Northwestern). Leonard Lawlor and Heath Massey’s translation makes available to an English-speaking readership a critical transitional text in the history of phenomenology.
Kant, Ontology, and the A Priori is a close study of Kant’s conception of metaphysical propositions. In it Moltke Gram aims to show in what sense Kant is offering a theory of metaphysical propositions about objects in general. Gram presents a criticism of the tendency to focus on Kant’s theory of dialectic as the source of paradigm cases of metaphysical propositions.
In The Logic of Being, Paul Livingston examines the relationship of truth and time from a perspective that draws on Martin Heidegger’s thought and twentieth-century analytic philosophy. In his influential earlier work The Politics of Logic, Livingston elaborated an innovative “formal” or “metaformal" realism. Here he extends this concept into a “temporal realism” that accounts for the reality of temporal change and becoming while also preserving realism about logic and truth.
Livingston's formal and phenomenological analysis articulates and defends a realist position about being, time, and their relationship that understands that all of these are structured and constituted in a way that does not depend on the human mind, consciousness, or subjectivity. This approach provides a basis for new logically and phenomenologically based accounts of the structure of linguistic truth in relation to the appearance of objects and of the formal structure of time as given.
Livingston draws on philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to Davidson and Heidegger in this exploration. In it, readers and scholars will discover innovative connections between continental and analytic philosophy.
Margins of Philosophy
Jacques Derrida University of Chicago Press, 1984 Library of Congress B53.D4613 1982 | Dewey Decimal 190
"In this densely imbricated volume Derrida pursues his devoted, relentless dismantling of the philosophical tradition, the tradition of Plato, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger—each dealt with in one or more of the essays. There are essays too on linguistics (Saussure, Benveniste, Austin) and on the nature of metaphor ("White Mythology"), the latter with important implications for literary theory. Derrida is fully in control of a dazzling stylistic register in this book—a source of true illumination for those prepared to follow his arduous path. Bass is a superb translator and annotator. His notes on the multilingual allusions and puns are a great service."—Alexander Gelley, Library Journal
Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology shows how the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, from its very beginnings, seeks to find sense or meaning within nature, and how this quest calls for and develops into a radically new ontology.
David Morris first gives an illuminating analysis of sense, showing how it requires understanding nature as engendering new norms. He then presents innovative studies of Merleau-Ponty's The Structure of Behavior and Phenomenology of Perception, revealing how these early works are oriented by the problem of sense and already lead to difficulties about nature, temporality, and ontology that preoccupy Merleau-Ponty's later work. Morris shows how resolving these difficulties requires seeking sense through its appearance in nature, prior to experience—ultimately leading to radically new concepts of nature, time, and philosophy.
Merleau-Ponty's Developmental Ontology makes key issues in Merleau-Ponty's philosophy clear and accessible to a broad audience while also advancing original philosophical conclusions.
Few writers' unfinished works are considered among their most important, but such is the case with Merleau-Ponty's The Visible and the Invisible. What exists of it is a mere beginning, yet it bridged modernism and postmodernism in philosophy. Low uses material from some of Merleau-Ponty's later works as the basis for completion. Working from this material and the philosopher's own outline, Low presents how this important work would have looked had Merleau-Ponty lived to complete it.
Originally published in 1988, M.C. Dillon's classic study of Merleau-Ponty is now available in a revised second edition containing a new preface and a new chapter on "Truth in Art." Dillon's thesis is that Merleau-Ponty has developed the first genuine alternative to ontological dualism seen in Western philosophy. From his early work on the philosophical significance of the human body to his later ontology of flesh, Merleau-Ponty shows that the perennial problems growing out of dualistic conceptions of mind and body, subject and object, immanence and transcendence can be resolved within the framework of a new way of thinking based on the exemplar of the worldly embodiment of thought.
New Materialisms brings into focus and explains the significance of the innovative materialist critiques that are emerging across the social sciences and humanities. By gathering essays that exemplify the new thinking about matter and processes of materialization, this important collection shows how scholars are reworking older materialist traditions, contemporary theoretical debates, and advances in scientific knowledge to address pressing ethical and political challenges. In the introduction, Diana Coole and Samantha Frost highlight common themes among the distinctive critical projects that comprise the new materialisms. The continuities they discern include a posthumanist conception of matter as lively or exhibiting agency, and a reengagement with both the material realities of everyday life and broader geopolitical and socioeconomic structures.
Coole and Frost argue that contemporary economic, environmental, geopolitical, and technological developments demand new accounts of nature, agency, and social and political relationships; modes of inquiry that privilege consciousness and subjectivity are not adequate to the task. New materialist philosophies are needed to do justice to the complexities of twenty-first-century biopolitics and political economy, because they raise fundamental questions about the place of embodied humans in a material world and the ways that we produce, reproduce, and consume our material environment.
Contributors Sara Ahmed Jane Bennett Rosi Braidotti Pheng Cheah Rey Chow William E. Connolly Diana Coole Jason Edwards Samantha Frost Elizabeth Grosz Sonia Kruks Melissa A. Orlie
On Time and Being charts the so-called "turn" in Martin Heidegger's philosophy away from his earlier metaphysics in Being and Time to his later thoughts after "the end of philosophy." The title lecture, "Time and Being," shows how Heidegger reconceived both "Being" and "time," introducing the new concept of "the event of Appropriation" to help give his metaphysical ideas nonmetaphysical meanings. On Time and Being also contains a summary of six seminar sessions that Heidegger conducted on "Time and Being," a lecture called "The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking," and an autobiographical sketch of Heidegger's intellectual history in "My Way of Phenomenology."
"This collection may well vie with Vom Wesen des Grundes and Identität and Differenz as definitive statements of Heidegger's ontology."—Library Journal
"The title of the English translation is that of the lead essay, the highly celebrated lecture which Heidegger gave in 1962 and which bears the same title as the never published 'third division' of the 'first half' of Being and Time. This lecture is perhaps the most significant document to be added to the Heideggerian corpus since the Letter of Humanism. . . . Stambaugh's translation is superb."—Stanley O. Hoerr and staff, The Review of Metaphysics
In Ontological Terror Calvin L. Warren intervenes in Afro-pessimism, Heideggerian metaphysics, and black humanist philosophy by positing that the "Negro question" is intimately imbricated with questions of Being. Warren uses the figure of the antebellum free black as a philosophical paradigm for thinking through the tensions between blackness and Being. He illustrates how blacks embody a metaphysical nothing. This nothingness serves as a destabilizing presence and force as well as that which whiteness defines itself against. Thus, the function of blackness as giving form to nothing presents a terrifying problem for whites: they need blacks to affirm their existence, even as they despise the nothingness they represent. By pointing out how all humanism is based on investing blackness with nonbeing—a logic which reproduces antiblack violence and precludes any realization of equality, justice, and recognition for blacks—Warren urges the removal of the human from its metaphysical pedestal and the exploration of ways of existing that are not predicated on a grounding in being.
M. C. Dillon (1938–2005) was widely regarded as a world-leading Merleau-Ponty scholar. His book Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology (1988) is recognized as a classic text that revolutionized the philosophical conversation about the great French phenomenologist. Dillon followed that book with two others: Semiological Reductionism, a critique of early-1990s linguistic reductionism, and Beyond Romance, a richly developed theory of love. At the time of his death, Dillon had nearly completed two further books to which he was passionately committed. The first one offers a highly original interpretation of Nietzsche’s ontology of becoming. The second offers a detailed ethical theory based on Merleau-Ponty’s account of carnal intersubjectivity. The Ontology of Becoming and the Ethics of Particularity collects these two manuscripts written by a distinguished philosopher at the peak of his powers—manuscripts that, taken together, offer a distinctive and powerful view of human life and ethical relations.
Ontology of Production presents three essays by the influential Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitarō (1870–1945), translated for the first time into English by William Haver. While previous translations of his writings have framed Nishida within Asian or Oriental philosophical traditions, Haver's introduction and approach to the texts rightly situate the work within Nishida's own commitment to Western philosophy. In particular, Haver focuses on Nishida's sustained and rigorous engagement with Marx's conception of production.
Agreeing with Marx that ontology is production and production is ontology, Nishida in these three essays—"Expressive Activity" (1925), "The Standpoint of Active Intuition" (1935), and "Human Being" (1938)—addresses sense and reason, language and thought, intuition and appropriation, ultimately arguing that in this concept of production, ideality and materiality are neither mutually exclusive nor oppositional but, rather, coimmanent. Nishida's forceful articulation of the radical nature of Marx's theory of production is, Haver contends, particularly timely in today's speculation-driven global economy. Nishida's reading of Marx, which points to the inseparability of immaterial intellectual labor and material manual labor, provokes a reconsideration of Marxism's utility for making sense of—and resisting—the logic of contemporary capitalism.
In these studies Roman Ingarden investigates the nature and mode of being of four kinds of art works: the musical work, the picture, the architectural work, and the film. He establishes that the work of art is a purely intentional object but considers also its connections to the real world. By analyzing a work of art in its “constitutive heterogeneous strata,” Ingarden demonstrates that a work of art will reveal, when examined in the appropriate way, its own inherent structure. Further, he shows that in consequence of the art work’s structure, we must distinguish between the work itself and the concretizations of it by the listener or viewer.
Ingarden elaborates upon the conception of concretization which he present in The Literary Work of Art and applies it to music and visual art. He also employs the concept of aspect to clarify the ontic structure of these art works and the distinction between the concretization of the work and the work itself. The distinction between the work’s concretization — effectuated in the mental experiences of the listener or viewer — and the work itself serves to help Ingarden confirm and account for the work’s intersubjective identity.
The problem of aesthetic value, Ingarden maintains, can be fruitfully treated only after the ontic structure of art work has been clarified. His primary concern in Ontology of the Work of Art is to ascertain and describe that structure and the mode of existence of works of art. In addition, he offers several discussions of aesthetic value, showing in the m the connections between questions of aesthetic value and the structure of the work of art.
Living holds us between two places. It expresses what is most elementary—to be alive—and the absoluteness of our aspiration—finally living! But could we desire anything other than to live? In The Philosophy of Living, François Jullien meditates on Far Eastern thought and philosophy to analyze concepts that can be folded into a complete philosophy of living, including the idea of the moment, the ambiguity of the in-between, and what he calls the “transparency of morning.”
Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, this volume asks poignant questions about what it means to be alive and inhabit the present. Jullien develops a strategy of living that goes beyond morality and dwells in the space between health and spirituality.
The Laws was Plato's last work, his longest, and one of his most difficult. In contrast to the Republic, which presents an abstract ideal not intended for any actual community, the Laws seems to provide practical guidelines for the establishment and maintenance of political order in the real world. With this book, the distinguished classicist Seth Benardete offers an insightful analysis and commentary on this rich and complex dialogue. Each of the chapters corresponds to one of the twelve books of the Laws, illuminating the major themes and arguments, which have to do with theology, the soul, justice, and education.
The Greek word for law, "nomos," also means musical tune. Bernardete shows how music—in the broadest sense, including drama, epic poetry, and even puppetry—mediates between reason and the city in Plato's philosophy of law. Most broadly, however, Benardete here uncovers the concealed ontological dimension of the Laws, explaining why it is concealed and how it comes to light. In establishing the coherence and underlying organization of Plato's last dialogue, Benardete makes a significant contribution to Platonic studies.
In this systematic historical analysis, Nino Langiulli focuses on a key philosophical issue, possibility, as it is refracted through the thought of the Italian philosopher Nicola Abbagnano. Langiulli examines Abbagnano's attempt to raise possibility to a level of prime importance and investigates his understanding of existence. In so doing, the author offers a sustained exposition of and argument with the account of possibility in the major thinkers of the Western tradition—Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Kierkegaard. He also makes pertinent comments on such philosophers as Diodorus Cronus, William of Ockham, Spinoza, Hobbes, and Hegel, as well as such logicians as DeMorgan and Boole.
Nicola Abbagnano, who died in 1990, recently came to the attention of the general public as an influential teacher of author Umberto Eco. Creator of a dictionary of philosophy and author of a multiple-volume history of Western philosophy, Abbagnano was the only philosopher, according to Langiulli, to argue that "to be is to be possible."
Even though the concept of probability and the discipline of statistics are grounded in the concept of possibility, philosophers throughout history have grappled with the problem of defining it. Possibility has been viewed by some as an empty concept, devoid of reality, and by others as reducible to actuality or necessity—concepts which are opposite to it. Langiulli analyzes and debates Abbagnano's treatment of necessity as secondary to possibility, and he addresses the philosopher's conversation with his predecessors as well as his European and American contemporaries.
In the series Themes in the History of Philosophy, edited by Edith Wyschogrod.
Andrew Abbott University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress HM585.A237 2016 | Dewey Decimal 301.01
For the past twenty years, noted sociologist Andrew Abbott has been developing what he calls a processual ontology for social life. In this view, the social world is constantly changing—making, remaking, and unmaking itself, instant by instant. He argues that even the units of the social world—both individuals and entities—must be explained by these series of events rather than as enduring objects, fixed in time. This radical concept, which lies at the heart of the Chicago School of Sociology, provides a means for the disciplines of history and sociology to interact with and reflect on each other.
In Processual Sociology, Abbott first examines the endurance of individuals and social groups through time and then goes on to consider the question of what this means for human nature. He looks at different approaches to the passing of social time and determination, all while examining the goal of social existence, weighing the concepts of individual outcome and social order. Abbott concludes by discussing core difficulties of the practice of social science as a moral activity, arguing that it is inescapably moral and therefore we must develop normative theories more sophisticated than our current naively political normativism. Ranging broadly across disciplines and methodologies, Processual Sociology breaks new ground in its search for conceptual foundations of a rigorously processual account of social life.
Responding to the ongoing “objectal turn” throughout contemporary humanities and social sciences, the eleven essays in Subject Lessons present a sustained case for the continued importance—indeed, the indispensability—of the category of the subject for the future of materialist thought.
Various neovitalist materialisms and realisms currently en vogue across a number of academic disciplines (from New Materialism and actor-network theory to speculative realism and object-oriented ontology) advocate a flat, horizontal ontology that renders the subject just another object amid a “democracy of objects.” By contrast, the dialectical materialism presented throughout Subject Lessons maintains that subjectivity is crucial to grasping matter’s “vibrancy” and continual “becoming” in the first place. Approaching matters through the frame of Hegel and Lacan, the contributors to this volume—many of whom stand at the forefront of contemporary Hegel and Lacan scholarship—agree with neovitalist thinkers that material reality is ontologically incomplete, in a state of perpetual becoming, yet they do so with one crucial difference: they maintain that this is the case not in spite of but rather because of the subject.
Incorporating elements of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and literary and cultural studies, Subject Lessons contests the movement to dismiss the subject, arguing that there can be no truly robust materialism without accounting for the little piece of the Real that is the subject.
Thinking and Being:
Irad Kimhi Harvard University Press, 2018 Library of Congress B808.5.K56 2018 | Dewey Decimal 128.33
Opposing a long-standing orthodoxy of the Western philosophical tradition running from ancient Greek thought until the late nineteenth century, Frege argued that psychological laws of thought—those that explicate how we in fact think—must be distinguished from logical laws of thought—those that formulate and impose rational requirements on thinking. Logic does not describe how we actually think, but only how we should. Yet by thus sundering the logical from the psychological, Frege was unable to explain certain fundamental logical truths, most notably the psychological version of the law of non-contradiction—that one cannot think a thought and its negation simultaneously.
Irad Kimhi’s Thinking and Being marks a radical break with Frege’s legacy in analytic philosophy, exposing the flaws of his approach and outlining a novel conception of judgment as a two-way capacity. In closing the gap that Frege opened, Kimhi shows that the two principles of non-contradiction—the ontological principle and the psychological principle—are in fact aspects of the very same capacity, differently manifested in thinking and being.
As his argument progresses, Kimhi draws on the insights of historical figures such as Aristotle, Kant, and Wittgenstein to develop highly original accounts of topics that are of central importance to logic and philosophy more generally. Self-consciousness, language, and logic are revealed to be but different sides of the same reality. Ultimately, Kimhi’s work elucidates the essential sameness of thinking and being that has exercised Western philosophy since its inception.
Thoughts and Things
Leo Bersani University of Chicago Press, 2014 Library of Congress BD331.B475 2015 | Dewey Decimal 110
Leo Bersani’s career spans more than fifty years and extends across a wide spectrum of fields—including French studies, modernism, realist fiction, psychoanalytic criticism, film studies, and queer theory. Throughout this new collection of essays that ranges, interestingly and brilliantly, from movies by Claire Denis and Jean-Luc Godard to fiction by Proust and Pierre Bergounioux, Bersani considers various kinds of connectedness.
Thoughts and Things posits what would appear to be an irreducible gap between our thoughts (the human subject) and things (the world). Bersani departs from his psychoanalytic convictions to speculate on the oneness of being—of our intrinsic connectedness to the other that is at once external and internal to us. He addresses the problem of formulating ways to consider the undivided mind, drawing on various sources, from Descartes to cosmology, Freud, and Genet and succeeds brilliantly in diagramming new forms as well as radical failures of connectedness. Ambitious, original, and eloquent, Thoughts and Things will be of interest to scholars in philosophy, film, literature, and beyond.
The French philosopher Renaud Barbaras remarked that late in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s career, “The phenomenology of perception fulfills itself as a philosophy of expression.” In Tracing Expression in Merleau-Ponty: Aesthetics, Philosophy of Biology, and Ontology, Véronique M. Fóti addresses the guiding yet neglected theme of expression in Merleau-Ponty’s thought. She traces Merleau-Ponty’s ideas about how individuals express creative or artistic impulses through his three essays on aesthetics, his engagement with animality and the “new biology” in the second of his lecture courses on nature of 1957–58, and in his late ontology, articulated in 1964 in the fragmentary text of Le visible et l’invisible (The Visible and the Invisible). With the exception of a discussion of Merleau-Ponty’s 1945 essay “Cezanne’s Doubt,” Fóti engages with Merleau-Ponty’s late and final thought, with close attention to both his scientific and philosophical interlocutors, especially the continental rationalists. Expression shows itself, in Merleau-Ponty’s thought, to be primordial, and this innate and fundamental nature of expression has implications for his understanding of artistic creation, science, and philosophy.
This volume gathers studies by prominent scholars and philosophers about the question how have major figures from the history of philosophy, and some contemporary philosophers, addressed "the ultimate why question": why is there anything at all rather than nothing whatsoever?
Long awaited and eagerly anticipated, this remarkable volume allows English-speaking readers to experience a profound dialogue between the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and the Swiss psychiatrist Medard Boss. A product of their warm friendship, Zollikon Seminars chronicles an extraordinary exchange of ideas. Heidegger strove to transcend the bounds of philosophy while Boss and his colleagues in the scientific community sought to understand their patients and their world. The result: the best and clearest introduction to Heidegger's philosophy available.
Boss approached Heidegger asking for help in reflective thinking on the nature of Heidegger's work. Soon they were holding annual two-week meetings in Boss's home in Zollikon, Switzerland. The protocols from these seminars, recorded by Boss and reviewed, corrected, and supplemented by Heidegger himself, make up one part of this volume. They are augmented by Boss's record of the conversations he had with Heidegger in the days between seminars and by excerpts from the hundreds of letters the philosopher wrote to Boss between 1947 and 1971.