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Reading the Late Heidegger
Heidegger’s later thought is a thinking of things, so argues Andrew J. Mitchell in The Fourfold. Heidegger understands these things in terms of what he names “the fourfold”—a convergence of relationships bringing together the earth, the sky, divinities, and mortals—and Mitchell’s book is the first detailed exegesis of this neglected aspect of Heidegger’s later thought. As such it provides entrée to the full landscape of Heidegger’s postwar thinking, offering striking new interpretations of the atomic bomb, technology, plants, animals, weather, time, language, the holy, mortality, dwelling, and more. What results is a conception of things as ecstatic, relational, singular, and, most provocatively, as intrinsically tied to their own technological commodification. A major new work that resonates beyond the confines of Heidegger scholarship, The Fourfold proposes nothing less than a new phenomenological thinking of relationality and mediation for understanding the things around us.
Modernity and Postmodernity from Defoe to Gadamer
Postmodern thinkers have demonstrated the fragmentation of the Enlightenment understanding of the self, society, and nature; for many, however, the postmodern alternatives—the pursuit of individual self-definition, utter skepticism regarding the relation between language and reality, or the embrace of ideological power—are unconvincing. In The Fullness of Knowing, by placing the most promising postmodern insights in dialogue with eighteenth-century critics of the Enlightenment, Daniel Ritchie argues that we can begin to overcome post-Enlightenment fragmentation without abandoning either coherence (as many postmoderns have done) or the valid insights of modern and postmodern thought (as many traditionalists have done).
Promise and Method in Husserl, Levinas, and Derrida
From Husserl's account of protention to the recent turn to eschatology in "theological" phenomenology, the future has always been a key aspect of phenomenological theories of time. This book offers the first sustained reflection on the significance of futurity for the phenomenological method itself. In tracing the development of this theme, the author shows that only a proper understanding of the two-fold nature of the future (as constitution and as openness) can clarify the way in which phenomenology brings the subject and the world together. Futurity therefore points us to the centrality of the promise for phenomenology, recasting phenomenology as a promissory discipline.Clearly written and carefully argued, this book provides fresh insight into the phenomenological provenance of the "theological" turn and the phenomenological conclusions of Husserl, Levinas, and Derrida. Closely examining the themes of protention, eschatology, and the messianic, it will be essential reading for anyone interested in phenomenology, philosophy of religion, deconstruction, or philosophical theology.
A Philosophical Portrait
Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), one of the towering figures of contemporary Continental philosophy, is best known for Truth and Method, where he elaborated the concept of "philosophical hermeneutics," a programmatic way to get to what we do when we engage in interpretation. Donatella Di Cesare highlights the central place of Greek philosophy, particularly Plato, in Gadamer's work, brings out differences between his thought and that of Heidegger, and connects him with discussions and debates in pragmatism. This is a sensitive and thoroughly readable philosophical portrait of one of the 20th century’s most powerful thinkers.
Observing that humans often deal with the past in problematic ways, Jerome Veith looks to philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer and his hermeneutics to clarify these conceptions of history and to present ways to come to terms with them. Veith fully engages Truth and Method as well as Gadamer's entire work and relationships with other German philosophers, especially Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger in this endeavor. Veith considers questions about language, ethics, cosmopolitanism, patriotism, self-identity, and the status of the humanities in the academy in this very readable application of Gadamer's philosophical practice.
Foucault and the Problems of Modernity
Viewing Foucault in the light of work by Continental and American philosophers, most notably Nietzsche, Habermas, Deleuze, Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, and Ian Hacking, Genealogy as Critique shows that philosophical genealogy involves not only the critique of modernity but also its transformation. Colin Koopman engages genealogy as a philosophical tradition and a method for understanding the complex histories of our present social and cultural conditions. He explains how our understanding of Foucault can benefit from productive dialogue with philosophical allies to push Foucaultian genealogy a step further and elaborate a means of addressing our most intractable contemporary problems.
Tamsin Jones believes that locating Jean-Luc Marion solely within theological or phenomenological discourse undermines the coherence of his intellectual and philosophical enterprise. Through a comparative examination of Marion's interpretation and use of Dionysius the Areopagite and Gregory of Nyssa, Jones evaluates the interplay of the manifestation and hiddenness of phenomena. By placing Marion against the backdrop of these Greek fathers, Jones sharpens the tension between Marion's rigorous method and its intended purpose: a safeguard against idolatry. At once situated at the crossroads of the debate over the turn to religion in French phenomenology and an inquiry into the retrieval of early Christian writings within this discourse, A Genealogy of Marion's Philosophy of Religion opens up a new view of the phenomenology of religious experience.
Throughout his career, the influential new media theorist Vilém Flusser kept the idea of gesture in mind: that people express their being in the world through a sweeping range of movements. He reconsiders familiar actions—from speaking and painting to smoking and telephoning—in terms of particular movement, opening a surprising new perspective on the ways we share and preserve meaning. A gesture may or may not be linked to specialized apparatus, though its form crucially affects the person who makes it.
These essays, published here as a collection in English for the first time, were written over roughly a half century and reflect both an eclectic array of interests and a durable commitment to phenomenological thought. Defining gesture as “a movement of the body or of a tool attached to the body for which there is no satisfactory causal explanation,” Flusser moves around the topic from diverse points of view, angles, and distances: at times he zooms in on a modest, ordinary movement such as taking a photograph, shaving, or listening to music; at others, he pulls back to look at something as vast and varied as human “making,” embracing everything from the fashioning of simple tools to mass manufacturing. But whatever the gesture, Flusser analyzes it as the expression of a particular form of consciousness, that is, as a particular relationship between the world and the one who gestures.
Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction
Agamben’s thought has been viewed as descending primarily from the work of Heidegger, Benjamin, and, more recently, Foucault. This book complicates and expands that constellation by showing how throughout his career Agamben has consistently and closely engaged (critically, sympathetically, polemically, and often implicitly) the work of Derrida as his chief contemporary interlocutor. _x000B__x000B_The book begins by examining the development of Agamben’s key concepts—infancy, Voice, potentiality—from the 1960s to approximately 1990 and shows how these concepts consistently draw on and respond to specific texts and concepts of Derrida. The second part examines the political turn in Agamben’s and Derrida’s thinking from about 1990 onward, beginning with their investigations of sovereignty and violence and moving through their parallel treatments of juridical power, the relation between humans and animals, and finally messianism and the politics to come. _x000B_