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With particular focus on imagination, Bernard Freydberg presents a close reading of Kant's second critique, The Critique of Practical Reason. In an interpretation that is daring as well as rigorous, Freydberg reveals imagination as both its central force and the bridge that links Kant's three critiques. Freydberg's reading offers a powerful challenge to the widespread view that Kant's ethics calls for rigid, self-denying obedience. Here, to the contrary, the search for self-fulfillment becomes an enormously creative endeavor once imagination is understood as the heart of Kantian ethics. Seasoned scholars and newer students will find a surprising and provocative view of Kant's ethics in this straightforward and accessible book.
Metapsychology and the Analytic A Posteriori
Andrew Cutrofello's book performs a psychoanalytic inversion of transcendental philosophy, taking Kant's synthetic a prior judgments and reading them in terms of a foreclosed Kantian category that of the analytic a posteriori. Working primarily out of Freudian and Lacanian problematics, Cutrofello not only subjects Kantian thought to psychoanalytic questioning, but also develops a systematic critique of metapsychology itself, disclosing and assessing its own paralogisms, antinomies, ideal, and ethics. This is a provocative reflection on the tensions between the Enlightenment project of critique and psychoanalytic theory.
Toward a New Concept of Life
The Implications of Immanence develops a philosophy of life in opposition to the notion of bio-power,which reduces the human to the question of power over what Giorgio Agamben terms bare life,mere biological existence. Breaking with all biologism or vitalism, Lawlor attends to the dispersion of death at the heart of life, in the minuscule hiatusthat divides the living present, separating lived experience from the living body and, crucially for phenomenology, inserting a blind spot into a visual field.Lawlor charts here a post-phenomenological French philosophy. What lies beyond phenomenologyis life-ism,the positive working out of the effects of the minuscule hiatusin a thinking that takes place on a plane of immanence,whose implications cannot be predicted. Life-ism means thinking life and death together, thinking death as dispersed throughout life. In carefully argued and extensively documented chapters, Lawlor sets out the surpassing of phenomenology and the advent of life-ism in Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, and Foucault, with careful attention to the writings by Husserl and Heidegger to which these thinkers refer.A philosophy of life has direct implications for present-day political and medical issues. The book takes its point of departure from the current genocide in Darfur and provides conceptual tools for intervening in such issues as the AIDS epidemic and life-support for the infirm. Indeed, the investigations contained in The Implications of Immanence are designed to help us emerge once and for all out of the epoch of bio-power.Lawlor's novel way of treating the concept of life is stimulating, original, and necessary for the social well being of our time.-Fred Evans, Duquesne UniversityThe Implications of Immanence continues the most promising, rigorous, and fruitful ongoing research project among scholars of twentieth-century philosophy. . . .A wonderful new book.-John Protevi, Louisiana State University
The Earth, Animals, and the Body in Heidegger's Thought
The Incarnality of Being addresses Martin Heidegger’s tendency to neglect the problem of the body, an omission that is further reflected in the field of Heidegger scholarship. By addressing the corporeal dimension of human existence, author Frank Schalow uncovers Heidegger’s concern for the materiality of the world. This allows for the ecological implications of Heidegger’s thought to emerge, specifically, the kinship between humans and animals and the mutual interest each has for preserving the environment and the earth. By advancing the theme of the “incarnality of being,” Schalow brings Heidegger’s thinking to bear on various provocative questions concerning contemporary philosophy: sexuality, the intersection of human and animal life, the precarious future of the earth we inhabit, and the significance that reclaiming our embodiment has upon ethics and politics.
The Lessons of Hegel's Science of Experience
Infinite Phenomenology builds on John Russon’s earlier book, Reading Hegel’s Phenomenology, to offer a second reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Here again, Russon writes in a lucid, engaging style and, through careful attention to the text and a subtle attunement to the existential questions that haunt human life, he demonstrates how powerfully Hegel’s philosophy can speak to the basic questions of philosophy. In addition to original studies of all the major sections of the Phenomenology, Russon discusses complementary texts by Hegel, namely, the Philosophy of Spirit, the Philosophy of Right, and the Science of Logic. He concludes with an appendix that discusses the reception and appropriation of Hegel’s Phenomenology in twentieth-century French philosophy. As with Russon’s earlier work, Infinite Phenomenology will remain essential reading for those looking to engage Hegel’s essential, yet difficult, text.
Phenomenology and the Pittsburgh Neo-Hegelians
World-renowned analytic philosophers John McDowell and Robert Brandom, dubbed “Pittsburgh Neo-Hegelians,” recently engaged in an intriguing debate about perception. In The Intentional Spectrum and Intersubjectivity Michael D. Barber is the first to bring phenomenology to bear not just on the perspectives of McDowell or Brandom alone, but on their intersection. He argues that McDowell accounts better for the intelligibility of empirical content by defending holistically functioning, reflectively distinguishable sensory and intellectual intentional structures. He reconstructs dimensions implicit in the perception debate, favoring Brandom on knowledge’s intersubjective features that converge with the ethical characteristics of intersubjectivity Emmanuel Levinas illuminates.
Jean-Luc Marion, Saturated Phenomena, and Hermeneutics
JJean-Luc Marion's theory of saturated phenomena is one of the most exciting developments in phenomenology in recent decades. It opens up new possibilities for understanding phenomena by beginning from rich and complex examples such as revelation and works of art. Rather than being curiosities or exceptions, these excessiveor saturatedphenomena are, in Marion's view, paradigms. He understands more straightforward phenomena, such as the objects of the natural sciences, as reduced and impoverished versions of the excess given in saturated phenomena.Interpreting Excess is a systematic and comprehensive study of Marion's texts on saturated phenomena and their place in his wider phenomenology of givenness, tracing both his theory and his examples across a wide range of texts spanning three decades.The author argues that a rich hermeneutics is implicit in Marion's examples of saturated phenomena but is not set out in his theory. This hermeneutics makes clear that attempts to overthrow the much-criticized sovereignty of the Cartesian ego will remain unsuccessful if they simply reverse the subject-object relation by speaking of phenomena imposing themselves with an overwhelming givenness on a recipient. Instead, phenomena should be understood as appearing in a hermeneutic space already opened by a subject's active reception. Thus, a phenomenon's appearing depends not only on its givenness but also on the way it is interpreted by the receiving subject. All phenomenology is, therefore, necessarily hermeneutic.Interpreting Excess provides an indispensable guide for any study of Marion's saturated phenomena. It is also a significant contribution to ongoing debates about philosophical ways of thinking about God, the relation between hermeneutics and phenomenology, and philosophy after the subject.
Levinas and Infinite Responsibility
“The essential theme of my research is the deformalization of the notion of time,” asserted Emmanuel Levinas in a 1988 interview, as he approached the end of his long philosophical career. But while the notion of time is fundamental to the development of every key theme in Levinas’s thought — the idea of the infinite, the issue of the alterity of the other, the face of the other, the question of our ethical relations with other people, the role of fecundity, speech and language, and radical responsibility — his view of time remains obscure. Yael Lin’s exhaustive look at Levinas’s primary texts, both his philosophical writings and his writings on Judaism, brings together his various perspectives on time. Lin concludes that we can, indeed, extract a coherent and consistent conception of time from Levinas’s thought, one that is distinctly political. First situating Levinas’s views against the background of two of his most influential predecessors, Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger, The Intersubjectivity of Time demonstrates that Levinas’s interpretation of time seeks to fill a void created by the egological views those thinkers emphasized. For Levinas, time is neither considered from the perspective of the individual nor is it a public dimension belonging to everyone, but it occurs in the encounter between the self and the other person, and the infinite responsibility inherent in that relation. Yet Levinas himself is surprisingly vague as to how exactly this relation to the other person creates time’s structure or how it is experienced in our everyday lives, and he does not make an explicit move from this intersubjective ethical dimension to the broader collective-political dimension. Lin offers a unique perspective to address this crucial question of the political dimension of Levinas’s project. By turning to Levinas’s talmudic writings and examining aspects of Jewish life, traditions of communal prayer, and ritual, Lin sketches out a multivocal account of time, deepening Levinas’s original claim that time is constituted via social relationships. This imaginative and evocative discussion truly opens the subject to further research.
From Plato's Symposium to Hegel's truth as a "Bacchanalian revel," from The Bacchae of Euripedes to Nietzsche, philosophy holds a deeply ambivalent relation to the pleasures of intoxication. At the same time, from Baudelaire to Lowry, from Proust to Dostoyevsky, literature and poetry are also haunted by scenes of intoxication, as if philosophy and literature share a theme that announces and navigates their proximities and differences. For Nancy, intoxication constitutes an excess that both fascinates and questions philosophy's sober ambitions for appropriate forms of philosophical behavior and conceptual lucidity. At the same time, intoxication displaces a number of established dualities--reason and passion, mind and body, rationality and desire, rigor and excess, clarity and confusion, logic and eros. Taking its point of departure from Baudelaire's categorical imperative to understand modernity--"be drunk always"--Nancy's little book is composed in fragments, quotations, drunken asides, and inebriated repetitions. His contemporary "banquet" addresses a range of related themes, including the role of alcohol and intoxication in rituals, myths, divine sacrifice, and religious symbolism, all those toasts to the sacred "spirits" involving libations and different forms of speech and enunciation--to the gods, to modernity, to the Absolute. Affecting both mind and body, Nancy's subject becomes intoxicated: Ego sum, ego existo ebrius--I am, I exist--drunk.