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Reviews155 that they are insufficiendy grounded and too far removed from either immediate practical or ultimate ethical choices. As a mundane example, Adams challenges the way universities tend to match departmental budgets to enrollments, and certainly most English departments have particular reason to lament such academic economics. However, hardpressed provosts and deans can avoid this sort of accounting only if they can be shown convincing alternative criteria. The question that cannot be shirked is how to determine a reasonable size for programs in, say, biochemistry, classics, physics, philosophy, and English. What is the "contrary" to the usual budget juggle? Much more troubling is Adams's essay on Cassirer in which, while defending Cassirer's thought, he specifically refuses to reject the Heideggerian philosophy he regards as its opposite. Closing with a commentary on the 1929 debate at the end ofwhich Heidegger refused to shake Cassirer's proffered hand, Adams goes so far as to remind us that Cassirer was Jewish and that Heidegger has been accused of Nazi sympathies. Nevertheless Adams tries to hold to what he sees as a conflict of contraries neither of which is to be repudiated. But it won't do—the question that has to be answered is not the degree to which Heidegger personally condoned the Nazi regime and program, but whether his philosophical position allows or inclines one who holds it to accept prejudice, hatred, and ultimately genocide. Which leads one to the question ofthe source or even the possibility of moral criteria. Though Adams frequendy uses the terms "ethics" and "ethical" he never addresses this problem. Thus one finds on a single page a description ofknowledge as a process ofquestioning and reformulating, ofavoiding "fixities and définîtes," together with an endorsement of "an ethic that refuses to accept tyranny, particularly intellectual tyranny" (p. 238). The two positions may be compatible, but they must be shown to be. Otherwise one is presented with a version of the Rortian assumption that humankind will be satisfied to engage in an endless dialogue about what is good, true, and beautiful while all the time accepting that there are no criteria to which anyone's attempts to persuade others can finally appeal. Pennsylvania State UniversityWendell Harris Cool Memories, by Jean Baudrillard; 234 pp. London: Verso, 1990, $15.95. "This journal is a subtle matrix of idleness." This is the final entry in Jean Baudrillard's "diary," Cool Memories, and it refers notjust to the work as a whole 156Philosophy and Literature but to a short passage two pages earlier in which the author notes, with obvious satisfaction, an apparently unique moment in his life. He writes that "today, a Monday [sometime in 1984-85], having written all the articles, replied to all my mail, earned my doctorate, finished onAmerica, for the first time for perhaps ten or twenty years, I realize I have nothing else to do." Cool Memories was born in this empty, idle space. Born, that is, for a second time (this time as a book with a name and a publisher). It is in a number ofways a purely excessive text, what Georges Bataille would have called an "unproductive expenditure." Cool Memories was never a project for Baudrillard until he found himself without a project. But by then, ofcourse, it was already finished. When he began keeping these notes, it was certainly not with the intention ofpublication. In one passage, he remarks how he fantasized that it would be read only after he was gone for good. A book completed without ever having to be, without ever intending to be, Cool Memories bears all the marks of an idle production, something done to kill time—? little foolish, a little vain, a little useless—but fascinating, even seductive, for precisely that reason. Baudrillard wrote the entries in Cool Memories—aphorisms, short poems, meditations, sketches, anecdotes—between 1980 and 1985. It is not a diary in the classical sense, but rather an intellectual notebook where one records those flashes of insight whose meaning is difficult to discern the next day. There are five subdivisions in the text, each ofwhich bears only the tide "October" followed by the year. A number of entries are included that...


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pp. 155-157
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