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Fielding Derrida

Philosophy, Literary Criticism, History, and the Work of Deconstruction

Joshua Kates

How to interpret Derrida's work now after so much commentary has been devoted to his thought, and his own astonishing productivity has come to an end? In this groundbreaking collection, Joshua Kates argues that we must begin from a different frame than Derrida himself provides, by inserting his work into already existing fields, by "fielding Derrida." Is Derrida a skeptic? Does he subscribe to a death of meaning (and the "I") at the hands of a sign? Is his thought at all proximate to contemporary Marxian/post-Marxist thinking? Thanks to placing Derrida's texts in broader fields (such as Husserlian phenomenology and analytic philosophy of language) and subsequently nuancing what such comparisons yield, Kates's work capture Derrida's stances on these and other questions with a new concreteness and an unprecedented scope, forging links to vital debates across the humanities today.; "Offers creative and well-defended new interpretations of Derrida's familiar texts."

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The Figure of Nature

On Greek Origins

John Sallis

Broaching an understanding of nature in Platonic thought, John Sallis goes beyond modern conceptions and provides a strategy to have recourse to the profound sense of nature operative in ancient Greek philosophy. In a rigorous and textually based account, Sallis traces the complex development of the Greek concept of nature. Beginning with the mythical vision embodied in the figure of the goddess Artemis, he reanimates the sense of nature that informs the fragmentary discourses of Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and Empedocles and shows how Plato takes up pre-Socratic conceptions critically while also being transformed. Through Sallis’s close reading of the Theaetetus and the Phaedo, he recovers the profound and comprehensive concept of nature in Plato’s thought.

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The Flame of Eternity

An Interpretation of Nietzsche's Thought

Krzysztof Michalski

The Flame of Eternity provides a reexamination and new interpretation of Nietzsche's philosophy and the central role that the concepts of eternity and time, as he understood them, played in it. According to Krzysztof Michalski, Nietzsche's reflections on human life are inextricably linked to time, which in turn cannot be conceived of without eternity. Eternity is a measure of time, but also, Michalski argues, something Nietzsche viewed first and foremost as a physiological concept having to do with the body. The body ages and decays, involving us in a confrontation with our eventual death. It is in relation to this brute fact that we come to understand eternity and the finitude of time. Nietzsche argues that humanity has long regarded the impermanence of our life as an illness in need of curing. It is this "pathology" that Nietzsche called nihilism. Arguing that this insight lies at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy as a whole, Michalski seeks to explain and reinterpret Nietzsche's thought in light of it. Michalski maintains that many of Nietzsche's main ideas--including his views on love, morality (beyond good and evil), the will to power, overcoming, the suprahuman (or the overman, as it is infamously referred to), the Death of God, and the myth of the eternal return--take on new meaning and significance when viewed through the prism of eternity.

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Four Seminars

Martin Heidegger. Translated by Andrew J. Mitchell and François Raffoul

In Four Seminars, Heidegger reviews the entire trajectory of his thought and offers unique perspectives on fundamental aspects of his work. First published in French in 1976, these seminars were translated into German with Heidegger's approval and reissued in 1986 as part of his Gesamtausgabe, volume 15. Topics considered include the Greek understanding of presence, the ontological difference, the notion of system in German Idealism, the power of naming, the problem of technology, danger, and the event. Heidegger's engagements with his philosophical forebears—Parmenides, Heraclitus, Kant, and Hegel—continue in surprising dialogues with his contemporaries—Husserl, Marx, and Wittgenstein. While providing important insights into how Heidegger conducted his lectures, these seminars show him in his maturity reflecting back on his philosophical path. An important text for understanding contemporary philosophical debates, Four Seminars provides extraordinarily rich material for students and scholars of Heidegger.

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The Fourfold

Reading the Late Heidegger

Andrew J. Mitchell

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.

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From Mastery to Mystery

A Phenomenological Foundation for an Environmental Ethic

By Bryan E. Bannon

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The Fullness of Knowing

Modernity and Postmodernity from Defoe to Gadamer

Daniel E. Ritchie

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).

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The Future Life of Trauma

Partitions, Borders, Repetition

Jennifer Yusin

The Future Life of Trauma elaborates a transformation in the concepts of trauma and event by situating a groundbreaking encounter between psychoanalytic and postcolonial discourse. Proceeding from the formation of psychical life as presented in the Freudian metapsychology, it thinks anew the relation between temporality and traumatized subjectivity, demonstrating how the psychic event, as a traumatic event, is a material reality that alters the character of the structure of repetition. By examining the role of borders in the history of the 1947 partition of British India and the politics of memorialization in postgenocide Rwanda, The Future Life of Trauma brings to light the implications of trauma as a material event in contemporary nation-formation, sovereignty, and geopolitical violence. In showing how the form of the psyche changes in the encounter, it presents a challenge to the category of difference in the condition of identity, resulting in the formation of a concept of life that elaborates a new relation to destruction and finitude by asserting its power to transform itself.

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Futurity in Phenomenology

Promise and Method in Husserl, Levinas, and Derrida

Neal DeRoo

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.

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Gadamer

A Philosophical Portrait

Donatella Di Cesare. Translated by Niall Keane

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.

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