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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_
Questions of Jean-Luc Marion
After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology,Marion suggests, there is the sheer givenness ofphenomena without condition. In theology, this liberationmeans rethinking God in terms of phenomena such aslove, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essayby Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialoguebetween Marion and Richard Kearney, this book containsstimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss,Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask,Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue,Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix a Murchadha. After the subject and beyond Heideggerian ontology, Marion suggests, there is the givenness of phenomena without condition. In theology, this liberation means rethinking God in terms of phenomena such as love, gift, and excess. In addition to an important essay by Marion, The Reason of the Gift, and a dialogue between Marion and Richard Kearney, this book contains stimulating essays by ten other contributors: Lilian Alweiss, Eoin Cassidy, Mark Dooley, Brian Elliott, Ian Leask, Shane Mackinlay, Derek Morrow, John O'Donohue, Joseph S. O'Leary, and Felix a Murchadha.
From Irenaeus to Duns Scotus
In God, the Flesh, and the Other, the philosopher Emmanuel Falque joins the ongoing debate about the role of theology in phenomenology. An important voice in the second generation of French philosophy’s “theological turn,” Falque examines philosophically the fathers of the Church and the medieval theologians on the nature of theology and the objects comprising it. Falque works phenomenology itself into the corpus of theology. Theological concepts thus translate into philosophical terms that phenomenology should legitimately question: concepts from contemporary phenomenology such as onto-theology, appearance, reduction, body/flesh, inter-corporeity, the genesis of community, intersubjectivity, and the singularity of the other find penetrating analogues in patristic and medieval thought forged through millennia of Christological and Trinitarian debate, mystical discourses, and speculative reflection. Through Falque’s wide-ranging interpretive path, phenomenology finds itself interrogated—and renewed.
Martin Heidegger’s 1934–1935 lectures on Friedrich Hölderlin’s hymns "Germania" and "The Rhine" are considered the most significant among Heidegger’s lectures on Hölderlin. Coming at a crucial time in his career, the text illustrates Heidegger’s turn toward language, art, and poetry while reflecting his despair at his failure to revolutionize the German university and his hope for a more profound revolution through the German language, guided by Hölderlin’s poetry. These lectures are important for understanding Heidegger’s changing relation to politics, his turn toward Nietzsche, his thinking about the German language, and his breakthrough to a new kind of poetic thinking. First published in 1980 as volume 39 of Heidegger’s Complete Works, this graceful and rigorous English-language translation will be widely discussed in continental philosophy and literary theory.
Martin Heidegger’s writings on Hegel are notoriously difficult but show an essential engagement between two of the foundational thinkers of phenomenology. Joseph Arel and Neils Feuerhahn provide a clear and careful translation of Volume 68 of the Complete Works, which is comprised of two shorter texts—a treatise on negativity, and a penetrating reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. In this volume, Heidegger relates his interpretation of Hegel to his own thought on the event, taking up themes developed in Contributions to Philosophy. While many parts of the text are fragmentary in nature, these interpretations are considered some of the most significant as they bring Hegel into Heidegger’s philosophical trajectory.
Desire and Death in the Phenomenology of Spirit
In the most influential chapter of his most important philosophical work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel makes the central and disarming assertions that "self-consciousness is desire itself" and that it attains its "satisfaction" only in another self-consciousness. Hegel on Self-Consciousness presents a groundbreaking new interpretation of these revolutionary claims, tracing their roots to Kant's philosophy and demonstrating their continued relevance for contemporary thought.
As Robert Pippin shows, Hegel argues that we must understand Kant's account of the self-conscious nature of consciousness as a claim in practical philosophy, and that therefore we need radically different views of human sentience, the conditions of our knowledge of the world, and the social nature of subjectivity and normativity. Pippin explains why this chapter of Hegel's Phenomenology should be seen as the basis of much later continental philosophy and the Marxist, neo-Marxist, and critical-theory traditions. He also contrasts his own interpretation of Hegel's assertions with influential interpretations of the chapter put forward by philosophers John McDowell and Robert Brandom.
An Introduction to Reading the Phenomenology of Spirit
Reputed to be one of the most difficult yet rewarding works of philosophical literature, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit has long been in need of an introduction for English readers. Without using jargon or technical terms, Donald Phillip Verene provides that introduction, guiding the reader through Hegel’s text as a whole and offering a way to grasp the major insights and sections of Hegel’s text without oversimplifying its narrative. A glossary of sixty of Hegel’s terms, discussed in both their original German and English equivalents, is included.