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Exploring Kant, Hegel, and Marx
Multicultural Dynamics and the Ends of History provides a strikingly original reading of key texts in the philosophy of history by Kant, Hegel, and Marx, as well as strong arguments for why these texts are still relevant to understanding history today. Réal Fillion offers a critical exposition of the theses of these three authors on the dynamics and the ends of history, in order to provide an answer to the question: "Where are we headed?" Grounding his answer in the twin observations that the world is becoming increasingly multicultural and increasingly unified, Fillion reasserts the task of the speculative philosophy of history as it had been understood by German philosophy: the articulation and understanding the historical process as a developmental whole. Fillion's interpretation engages many recent strands of social and political thought in order to provide a new understanding of current events, and possible futures, grounded in the understanding of the dynamics of the past and the present provided by Kant, Hegel, and Marx. The result is a rich and timely answer to the question of where our world is headed today.
A Commentary on Book I of More’s Utopia Showing Its Relation to Plato’s Republic
Colin Starnes radical interpretation of the long-recognized affinity of Thomas More’s Utopia and Plato’s Republic confirms the intrinsic links between the two works. Through commentary on More’s own introduction to Book I, the author shows the Republic is everywhere present as the model of the “best commonwealth,” which More must first discredit as the root cause of the dreadful evils in the collapsing political situation of sixteenth-century Europe. Starnes demonstrates how More, once having shorn the Republic of what was applicable to a society that had for a thousand years accepted and been moved by the Christian revelation, then “Christianized” it to arrive at one of the earliest and most coherent accounts of the ideal modern state: the description of Utopia in Book II.
Knowing this radically new view of a long-recognized position may be questioned, the author has included a criticism and appreciation of the other major lines of interpretation concerning More’s Utopia.
Culture, Politics, and the Animality of the Human Being
This book explores the significance of human animality in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and provides the first systematic treatment of the animal theme in Nietzsche's corpus as a whole Lemm argues that the animal is neither a random theme nor a metaphorical device in Nietzsche's thought. Instead, it stands at the center of his renewal of the practice and meaning of philosophy itself. Lemm provides an original contribution to on-going debates on the essence of humanism and its future. At the center of this new interpretation stands Nietzsche's thesis that animal life and its potential for truth, history, and morality depends on a continuous antagonism between forgetfulness (animality) and memory (humanity). This relationship accounts for the emergence of humanity out of animality as a function of the antagonism between civilization and culture. By taking the antagonism of culture and civilization to be fundamental for Nietzsche's conception of humanity and its becoming, Lemm gives a new entry point into the political significance of Nietzsche's thought. The opposition between civilization and culture allows for the possibility that politics is more than a set of civilizational techniques that seek to manipulate, dominate, and exclude the animality of the human animal. By seeing the deep-seated connections of politics with culture, Nietzsche orients politics beyond the domination over life and, instead, offers the animality of the human being a positive, creative role in the organization of life. Lemm's book presents Nietzsche as the thinker of an emancipatory and affirmative biopolitics.This book will appeal not only to readers interested in Nietzsche, but also to anyone interested in the theme of the animal in philosophy, literature, cultural studies and the arts, as well as those interested in the relation between biological life and politics.
Free-Market Communism and the Slow-Motion General Strike
Nomad Citizenship argues for transforming our institutions and practices of citizenship and markets in order to release society from dependence on the state and capital. It changes Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of nomadology into a utopian project with immediate practical implications, developing ideas of a nonlinear Marxism and of the slow-motion general strike.
Responding to the challenge of creating philosophical concepts with concrete applications, Eugene W. Holland looks outside the state to analyze contemporary political and economic development using the ideas of nomad citizenship and free-market communism. Holland’s nomadology seeks to displace capital-controlled free markets with truly free markets. Its goal is to rescue market exchange, not perpetuate capitalism—to enable noncapitalist markets to coordinate socialized production on a global scale and, with an eye to the common good, to liberate them from capitalist control.
In suggesting the slow-motion general strike, Holland aims to transform citizenship: to renew, enrich, and invigorate it by supplanting the monopoly of state citizenship with plural nomad citizenships. In the process, he offers critiques of both the Clinton and Bush regimes in the broader context of critiques of the social contract, the labor contract, and the form of the state itself.
A Perfectionist Basis for Non-Perfectionist Politics
How can we establish a political/legal order that in principle does not require the human flourishing of any person or group to be given structured preference over that of any other? Addressing this question as the central problem of political philosophy, Norms of Liberty offers a new conceptual foundation for political liberalism that takes protecting liberty, understood in terms of individual negative rights, as the primary aim of the political/legal order. Rasmussen and Den Uyl argue for construing individual rights as metanormative principles, directly tied to politics, that are used to establish the political/ legal conditions under which full moral conduct can take place. These they distinguish from normative principles, used to provide guidance for moral conduct within the ambit of normative ethics. This crucial distinction allows them to develop liberalism as a metanormative theory, not a guide for moral conduct. The moral universe need not be minimized or morality grounded in sentiment or contracts to support liberalism, they show. Rather, liberalism can be supported, and many of its internal tensions avoided, with an ethical framework of Aristotelian inspiration—one that understands human flourishing to be an objective, inclusive, individualized, agent-relative, social, and self-directed activity.
The Existential Foundations of Governance
Death is the opposite not of life, but of power. And as such, Mohammed Bamyeh argues in this original work, death has had a great and largely unexplored impact on the thinking of governance throughout history, right down to our day. In Of Death and Dominion Bamyeh pursues the idea that a deep concern with death is, in fact, the basis of the ideological foundations of all political systems.
Race and Sovereignty in the New World
What are we talking about when we talk about sovereignty? Is it about formal legitimacy or practical authority? Does it require the ability to control the flow of people or goods across a border; is it primarily a principle of international recognition; or does its essence lie in the power to regulate the lives of a state's citizens? Political theorists, historians, scholars of international relations, lawyers, anthropologists, literary critics-all approach the dilemmas of sovereign power with a mixture of urgency and frustration.In On Lingering and Being Last, Jonathan Elmer argues that the logic of sovereignty that emerged in early modern Europe and that limits our thinking today must be understood as a fundamentally racialized logic, first visible in the New World. The modern concept of sovereignty is based on a trope of personification, the conjunction of individual and collective identities. In Grotius, Hobbes, and others, a fiction of sovereign autonomy enabled states to be personified as individuals, as bodies politic, even as individual humans could be imagined as miniature states. The contradictions of this logic were fully revealed only in the New World, as writers ranging from Aphra Behn to Thomas Jefferson and Herman Melville demonstrate.The racialized sovereign figures examined in On Lingering and Being Last-the slave king Oroonoko, the last chief Logan, and their avatars-are always at once a person and a people. They embody the connection between the individual and the collectivity, and thereby reveal that the volatile work of sovereign personification takes place in a new world constituted both by concepts of equality, homogeneity, and symmetry-by an ideal of liberal individualism-and by the realities of racial domination and ideology in the era of colonial expansion. The conjunction of the individual, race, and New World territorialization, Elmer argues, is key to understanding the deepest strata in the political imagination of Atlantic modernity.
Defending an Ancient Virtue in a Modern World
Moderation suffers in today's culture of excesses. In resuscitating this discarded virtue, Harry Clor unveils the intrinsic power of moderation to influence and engage, from the public square to the deeply personal. A mature book from a senior scholar, On Moderation answers critics of this misunderstood value, demonstrating its continued relevance to human flourishing.