Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Provocations

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p. xi

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Introduction: Fatalism in Times of Universalized Assthetization

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pp. 1-14

Nothing, less than nothing, without any further determination. This book will argue that any rationalist should start from this assumption in order to conceptualize freedom. Fatalism, the pure fatalism it will defend, aims at abolishing freedom in all prevailing senses...

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1. Protestant Fatalism: Predestination as Emancipation

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pp. 15-40

In 1525 Luther retaliated. His reply to Erasmus of Rotterdam was so drastic that the latter retorted, “You plunge the whole world into fatal discord.”1 Their dispute concerned the question of free choice. Erasmus was for it, Luther against it. Luther...

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2. René the Fatalist: Abolishing (Aristotelian) Freedom

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pp. 41-72

In 1649, almost 125 years after Luther opposed Erasmus by contending that there is no relation between man and God and defended the idea that true faith must begin by accepting the divine and unknowable doctrine of predestination, Descartes...

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3. From Kant to Schmid (and Back): The End of All Things

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pp. 73-100

In the historical move from religious to philosophical fatalism, from defending predestination against the assumption of free will to defending it in order to undo the Aristotelian identification of freedom and capacity, fatalism appears at the center...

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4. Ending with the Worst: Hegel and Absolute Fatalism

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pp. 101-130

Before the more or less recent revival of a “democratic” or “Habermasian” Hegel brought about by some of his influential Anglo-American readers, Hegel was for a very long time considered to be the worst philosopher, and many of the traditional...

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5. After the End: Freud against the Illusion of Psychical Freedom

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pp. 131-164

The unconscious does not know time. The same is true for Freud, who somehow managed to make things worse after there was not even nothing anymore, that is, after Hegel. From 1915 to 1917 Freud held the first series of his introductory lectures on psychoanalysis...

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Last Words

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pp. 165-172

Start by expecting the worst! Act as if you did not exist! Act as if you were not free! Act in such a way that you accept the struggle you cannot flee from! Act in such a way that you never forget to imagine the end of all things! Act as if the apocalypse has always already...

Notes

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pp. 173-193