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
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.
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.
“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.
Aspects of Psychologism is a penetrating look into fundamental philosophical questions of consciousness, perception, and the experience we have of our mental lives. Psychologism, in Tim Crane's formulation, presents the mind as a single subject-matter to be investigated not only empirically and conceptually but also phenomenologically: through the systematic examination of consciousness and thought from the subject's point of view.How should we think about the mind? Analytical philosophy tends to address this question by examining the language we use to talk about our minds, and thus translates our knowledge of mind and consciousness into knowledge of the concepts which this language embodies. Psychologism rejects this approach. The philosophy of mind, Crane believes, has become too narrow in its purely conceptual focus on the logical and linguistic formulas that structure thought. We cannot assume that the categories needed to understand the mind correspond absolutely with such semantic categories. A central claim of Crane's psychologism is that intentionality--the "aboutness" or "directedness" of the mind--is essential to all mental phenomena. In addition, Crane responds to proponents of materialist doctrines about consciousness and defends the claim that perception can represent the world in a non-conceptual, non-propositional way.Philosophers must take more seriously the findings of psychology and phenomenology, Crane contends. An investigation of mental phenomena from this broader viewpoint opens up philosophy to a more realistic and plausible account of the mind's nature.
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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