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Knowing Otherwise Cover

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Knowing Otherwise

Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding

Alexis Shotwell

Prejudice is often not a conscious attitude: because of ingrained habits in relating to the world, one may act in prejudiced ways toward others without explicitly understanding the meaning of one’s actions. Similarly, one may know how to do certain things, like ride a bicycle, without being able to articulate in words what that knowledge is. These are examples of what Alexis Shotwell discusses in Knowing Otherwise as phenomena of “implicit understanding.” Presenting a systematic analysis of this concept, she highlights how this kind of understanding may be used to ground positive political and social change, such as combating racism in its less overt and more deep-rooted forms. Shotwell begins by distinguishing four basic types of implicit understanding: nonpropositional, skill-based, or practical knowledge; embodied knowledge; potentially propositional knowledge; and affective knowledge. She then develops the notion of a racialized and gendered “common sense,” drawing on Gramsci and critical race theorists, and clarifies the idea of embodied knowledge by showing how it operates in the realm of aesthetics. She also examines the role that both negative affects, like shame, and positive affects, like sympathy, can play in moving us away from racism and toward political solidarity and social justice. Finally, Shotwell looks at the politicized experience of one’s body in feminist and transgender theories of liberation in order to elucidate the role of situated sensuous knowledge in bringing about social change and political transformation.

La Dynamique multiculturelle et les fins de l'histoire Cover

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La Dynamique multiculturelle et les fins de l'histoire

Réal Fillion

Dans La dynamique multiculturelle et les fins de l'histoire, Réal Fillion propose une lecture originale de textes clés portant sur la philosophie de l'histoire signés par Kant, Hegel et Marx, et démontre que ces textes demeurent pertinents aujourd'hui pour comprendre l'histoire. Il présente les thèses de ces trois auteurs à propos de la dynamique et des fins de l'histoire afin de répondre à la question suivante : où allons-nous? Appuyant sa réponse sur le double constat que le monde devient de plus en plus multiculturel et de plus en plus unifié, Fillion réaffirme la tâche de la philosophie spéculative de l'histoire telle que l'avait comprise la philosophie allemande : il s'agit de comprendre et d'expliciter le processus historique en tant que tout en évolution. De sa compréhension de la dynamique du passé et du présent telle que présentée par Kant, Hegel et Marx, l'auteur considère plusieurs courants récents de la pensée sociale et politique afin de jeter un éclairage différent sur les événements actuels et les avenirs possibles. Il présente ainsi une réponse à la fois riche et actuelle à la question : où le monde actuel s'en va-t-il?

La Rénovation de l'héritage démocratique Cover

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La Rénovation de l'héritage démocratique

Entre fondation et refondation

Collectif dirigé par Anne Trépanier

Les expressions politiques du Québec et du Canada donnent l’impression d’une quête identitaire perpétuelle. L’obsession du moi est passée du « je » au « nous ». Ce collectif pluridisciplinaire donne une portée philosophique et historique à la question du renouveau démocratique au Québec et au Canada. La tension entre les identités citoyennes et les identités des groupes exige l’émergence ou la renaissance d’un référent politique collectif et invite à la reformulation du credo identitaire, à la rénovation de l’héritage commun. Cet ouvrage examine la nature de ce mouvement de refondation et regarde comment le groupe est convié à participer à cet exercice de se nommer.

Law and the Public Sphere in Africa Cover

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Law and the Public Sphere in Africa

La Palabre and Other Writings

Translated and edited by Laura Hengehold. Jean Godefroy Bidima

Jean Godefroy Bidima’s La Palabre examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding. This volume, which includes other essays on legal processes, cultural diversity, memory, and the internet in Africa, offers English-speaking readers the opportunity to become acquainted with a highly original and important postcolonial thinker.

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Le Procès de l'Europe

Grandeur et mis


L’Europe se trouve aujourd’hui en position d’accusée, souvent par les Européens eux-mêmes, du fait de sa prétention à l’universalité, de sa supériorité proclamée et de son arrogance intellectuelle. Qu’elle n’ait pas toujours été fidèle à ses principes, lors de la colonisation des autres peuples, ne met pourtant pas en cause sa légitimité. La critique de l’Europe n’est en effet possible qu’à l’aide des normes juridiques et des principes éthiques qu’elle a diffusés auprès de tous les peuples pour connaître le monde plutôt que pour le juger.
Levinas n’avait donc pas tort de louer «la générosité même de la pensée occidentale qui, apercevant l’homme abstrait dans les hommes, a proclamé la valeur absolue de la personne et a englobé dans le respect qu’elle lui porte jusqu’aux cultures où ces personnes se tiennent et où elles s’expriment.» Il faut en prendre son parti : il n’y a pas plus d’égalité des cultures que de relativisme des valeurs. On ne saurait faire le procès de l’universel sans faire appel à la culture qui a donné cet universel en partage aux autres cultures.

Learning from Bosnia Cover

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Learning from Bosnia

Approaching Tradition

Rusmir Mahmutcehajic

This book, at the intersections of political sociology,political philosophy, and theology, reads the legacyof Bosnia as both a paradigm and an antiparadigm forthe human condition. The adjective Bosnian sums up anacceptance of the diversity of human attitudes towardthe world and toward God. Yet the Bosnian tradition ofaccepting the inevitability of, and thus the right to, differingChristologies among people who speak the samelanguage and share the same history has been reduced tothe antiparadigms of confessionalism, ethnicism, andultimately nationalism, which seeks either to expel or tosubordinate to the majority everything that is other.

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Leo Strauss and Anglo-American Democracy

A Conservative Critique

In this original new study, Grant Havers critically interprets Leo Strauss’s political philosophy from a conservative standpoint. Most mainstream readers of Strauss have either condemned him from the Left as an extreme right-wing opponent of liberal democracy or celebrated him from the Right as a traditional defender of Western civilization. Rejecting both of these portrayals, Havers shifts the debate beyond the conventional parameters of our age. He persuasively shows that Strauss was neither a man of the Far Right nor a conservative, but in fact a Cold War liberal with a strong secular bias who taught his followers to uphold Anglo-American democracy as the one true universal regime that can be embraced and practiced by all human beings regardless of time, place, or creed. Strauss firmly rejects the traditional conservative view held by Edmund Burke and others about the leavening influence of Christian morality. Havers maintains that this inattention to Christianity, though historically unjustified, is crucial to Strauss and the Straussian portrayal Anglo-American democracy as a regime whose eternal ideals of liberty and constitutional government are in accord with the teachings of Plato and Aristotle, rather than the Gospels. In the process, Havers argues, Straussians end up rewriting history by falsely idealizing the ancient Greeks, who tolerated slavery and infanticide, as the forerunners of modern liberal democracy. Straussians also misrepresent heroes of the Anglo-American political tradition such as Abraham Lincoln and Sir Winston Churchill as heirs to the ancient Greek tradition of statecraft. Havers suggests that the most troubling implication of this Straussianism is that it provides a rationale for the aggressive spread of democratic values on a global basis while ignoring the preconditions that make these values possible. Concepts such as the rule of law, constitutional government, Christian morality, and the separation of church and state are not easily transplanted beyond the historic confines of Anglo-American civilization, as recent wars to spread democracy in the Middle East and Central Asia have demonstrated.

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Les Cultural Studies dans les mondes francophones

Sous la direction de Boulou De B'Béri

Depuis trois décennies le monde anglo-saxon a considéré sérieusement les Cultural Studies comme une analyse des pratiques quotidiennes et de la production de sens. Mais la production analytique en français dans cette discipline est restée presque absente. Les mondes francophones ont déjà vécu plusieurs événements qui auraient intéressé les Cultural Studies au XXIe siècle : les manifestations sociales de l’hiver 2006 et de l’automne 2007 en France, les mouvements migratoires d’Africains vers l’Europe et le débat sur « les accommodements raisonnables » au Québec entre autres. Pour tous ces événements, nous avions entendu s’élever plusieurs voix qui offraient des articulations généralistes de différentiation de nous à l’autre et des idiomes comme « ces gens-là », « les enfants issus d’immigration », « nous ne voulons pas accueillir la misère du monde » et bien d’autres. Nous n’avions pas entendu s’élever des perspectives provenant des Cultural Studies dans leur compréhension particulière d’événements politiques, ni en France, ni en Belgique, ni en Suisse, encore moins au Québec. Ces perspectives nous invitent à tenir compte des rapports entre discours et représentations, de placer les contextes politiques des pratiques quotidiennes comme prémisses de nos analyses, d’ouvrir les identités aux pratiques de production de sens et de revoir les groupes et formations identitaires. Cet ouvrage a pour but de souligner les repères utiles des Cultural Studies pour mieux comprendre les milieux politiques et culturels de la francophonie au XXIe siècle.

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Lessons in Secular Criticism

Stathis Gourgouris is Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature and Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University He is the author of Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution

Secular criticism is a term invented by Edward Said to denote not a theory but a practice that counters the tendency of much modern thinking to reach for a transcendentalist comfort zone, the very space philosophy wrested away from religion in the name of modernity. Using this notion as a compass, this book reconfigures recent secularism debates on an entirely different basis, by showing (1) how the secular imagination is closely linked to society’s radical poiesis, its capacity to imagine and create unprecedented forms of worldly existence; and (2) how the space of the secular animates the desire for a radical democratic politics that overturns inherited modes of subjugation, whether religious or secularist. Gourgouris’s point is to disrupt the co-dependent relation between the religious and the secular—hence, his rejection of fashionable languages of postsecularism—in order to engage in a double critique of heteronomous politics of all kinds. For him, secular criticism is a form of political being: critical, antifoundational, disobedient, anarchic, yet not negative for negation’s sake but creative of new forms of collective reflection, interrogation, and action that alter not only the current terrain of dominant politics but also the very self-conceptualization of what it means to be human. Written in a free and combative style and given both to close readings of texts and to gazing off into the broad horizon, these essays cover a range of issues—historical and philosophical, archaic and contemporary, literary and political—that ultimately converge in the significance of contemporary radical politics: the assembly movements we have seen in various parts of the world in recent years. The secular imagination demands a radical pedagogy and unlearning a great many established thought patterns. Its most important dimension is not battling religion per se but dismantling theological politics of sovereignty in favor of radical conditions for social autonomy.

Liberal Faith Cover

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Liberal Faith

Essays in Honor of Philip Quinn

Edited by Paul J. Weithman

Philip Quinn, John A. O’Brien Professor at the University of Notre Dame from 1985 until his death in 2004, was well known for his work in the philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and core areas of analytic philosophy. Although the breadth of his interests was so great that it would be virtually impossible to identify any subset of them as representative, the contributors to this volume provide an excellent introduction to, and advance the discussion of, some of the questions of central importance to Quinn in the last years of his working life. Paul J. Weithman argues in his introduction that Quinn’s interest and analyses in many areas grew out of a distinctive and underlying sensibility that we might call “liberal faith.” It included belief in the value of a liberal education and in rigorous intellectual inquiry, the acceptance of enduring religious, cultural, and political pluralism, along with a keen awareness of problems posed by pluralism, and a deeply held but non-utopian faith in liberal democratic politics. These provocative essays, at the cutting edge of epistemology, the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and political philosophy, explore the tenets of liberal faith and invite continuing engagement with the philosophical issues.

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