Author: Robert B. Pippin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2005-05-02
The Persistence of Subjectivity examines several approaches to, and critiques of, the core notion in the self-understanding and legitimation of the modern, 'bourgeois' form of life: the free, reflective, self-determining subject. Since it is a relatively recent historical development that human beings think of themselves as individual centers of agency, and that one's entitlement to such a self-determining life is absolutely valuable, the issue at stake also involves the question of the historical location of philosophy. What might it mean to take seriously Hegel's claim that philosophical reflection is always reflection on the historical 'actuality' of its own age? Discussing Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Leo Strauss, Manfred Frank, and John McDowell, Robert Pippin attempts to understand how subjectivity arises in contemporary institutional practices such as medicine, as well as in other contexts such as modernism in the visual arts and in the novels of Marcel Proust.
French philosophy and cultural theory continue to hold a prestigious and influential position in European thought. One of the central themes of contemporary French philosophy is its concern with the theoretical and political status of the subject, a question which has been broached by structuralists and poststructuralists through an analysis of the construction of the subject in and by language, discourse, power and ideology.Contemporary French Philosophy outlines the construction of the subject in modern philosophy, focusing in particular on the seminal work of Althusser, Lacan, Derrida and Foucault. The book interrogates some of the most influential perspectives on the question of the subject to contest those postmodern voices which announce its disappearance or death. It argues instead that the question of the subject persists, even in those perspectives which seek to abandon it altogether.Providing a broad introduction to the field and an original analysis of some of the most influential theorists of the 20th Century, the book will be of great interest to political and literary theorists, cultural historians, as well as to philosophers.
Author: Robert B. Pippin
Release Date: 1999-10-25
Modernism as a Philosophical Problem, 2e presents a new interpretation of the negative and critical self-understanding characteristic of much European high culture since romanticism and especially since Nietzsche, and answers the question of why the issue of modernity became a philosophical problem in European tradition.
Author: Robert B. Pippin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2001-07-19
Genre: Literary Collections
This important book argues that Henry James reveals in his fiction a sophisticated theory of moral understanding and moral motivation. The claim is that in his novels and short stories James is engaged in a distinctive kind of original thinking and reflecting on modern moral life. Sensitive to the precarious and extremely confusing situation of moral understanding in modern societies, James avoids skepticism and presents powerfully the full nature of moral claims and moral dependence. The book is written by one of the pre-eminent interpreters of the modern European philosophical tradition and will interest both philosophers and literary critics. However, the style is completely non-technical with no reliance on terms from contemporary literary or philosophical theory and will therefore be accessible to students and general readers of James.
Author: Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Publisher: Berghahn Books
Release Date: 2013-06-30
Genre: Political Science
Global imperial designs, which have been in place since conquest by western powers, did not suddenly evaporate after decolonization. Global coloniality as a leitmotif of the empire became the order of the day, with its invisible technologies of subjugation continuing to reproduce Africa's subaltern position, a position characterized by perceived deficits ranging from a lack of civilization, a lack of writing and a lack of history to a lack of development, a lack of human rights and a lack of democracy. The author's sharply critical perspective reveals how this epistemology of alterity has kept Africa ensnared within colonial matrices of power, serving to justify external interventions in African affairs, including the interference with liberation struggles and disregard for African positions. Evaluating the quality of African responses and available options, the author opens up a new horizon that includes cognitive justice and new humanism.
Author: David Carr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1999-06-03
Much effort in recent philosophy has been devoted to attacking the metaphysics of the subject. Identified largely with French post-structuralist thought, yet stemming primarily from the influential work of the later Heidegger, this attack has taken the form of a sweeping denunciation of the whole tradition of modern philosophy from Descartes through Nietzsche, Husserl, and Existentialism. In this timely study, David Carr contends that this discussion has overlooked and eventually lost sight of the distinction between modern metaphysics and the tradition of transcendental philosophy inaugurated by Kant and continued by Husserl into the twentieth century. Carr maintains that the transcendental tradition, often misinterpreted as a mere alternative version of the metaphysics of the subject, is in fact itself directed against such a metaphysics. Challenging prevailing views of the development of modern philosophy, Carr proposes a reinterpretation of the transcendental tradition and counters Heidegger's influential readings of Kant and Husserl. He defends their subtle and complex transcendental investigations of the self and the life of subjectivity. In Carr's interpretation, far from joining the project of metaphysical foundationalism, transcendental philosophy offers epistemological critique and phenomenological description. Its aim is not metaphysical conclusions but rather an appreciation for the rich and sometimes contradictory character of experience. The transcendental approach to the self is skillfully summed up by Husserl as "the paradox of human subjectivity: being a subject for the world and at the same time being an object in the world." Proposing striking new readings of Kant and Husserl and reviving a sound awareness of the transcendental tradition, Carr's distinctive historical and systematic position will interest a wide range of readers and provoke discussion among philosophers of metaphysics, epistemology, and the history of philosophy.
Author: Robert B. Pippin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2010-06-15
"Most scholars dismiss research into the paranormal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion." "Kripal grounds his study in the work of four major figures in the history of paranormal research: psychical researcher Frederic Myers; writer and humorist Charles Fort; astronomer, computer scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and philosopher and sociologist Bertrand Meheust. Through incisive analyses of these thinkers. Kripal ushers the reader into a beguiling world somewhere between fact, fiction, and fraud. The cultural history of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love story; the occult dimensions of science fiction; cold war psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate relationship between consciousness and culture all come together in Authors of the Impossible, a dazzling and profound look at how the paranormal bridges the sacred and the scientific.".
Author: Robert B. Pippin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2010-12-06
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.
This is a book about the difficulties of thinking and acting politically in ways that refuse the politics of nationalism. The book offers a detailed study of how contemporary attempts by theorists of cosmopolitanism, citizenship, globalism and multiculturalism to go beyond nationalism often reproduce key aspects of a nationalist imaginary. It argues that the challenge of resisting nationalism will require more than a shift in the scale of politics – from the national up to the global or down to the local, and more than a shift in the count of politics – to an emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism. In order to avoid the grip of ‘nationalist thinking’, we need to re-open the question of what it means to imagine community. Set against the backdrop of the imaginative geographies of the War in Terror and the new beginning promised by the Presidency of Barack Obama, the book shows how critical interventions often work in collaboration with nationalist politics, even when the aim is to resist nationalism. It claims that a nationalist imaginary includes powerful understandings of freedom, subjectivity, sovereignty and political space/time which must also be placed under question if we want to avoid reproducing ideas about ‘us’ and ‘them’. Drawing on insights from feminist, cultural and postcolonial studies as well as critical approaches to International Relations and Geography, this book presents a unique and refreshing approach to the politics of nationalism.
Author: Lynne Huffer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-10-08
Genre: Literary Criticism
Lynne Huffer’s ambitious inquiry redresses the rift between feminist and queer theory, traversing the space of a new, post-moral sexual ethics that includes pleasure, desire, connection, and betrayal. She begins by balancing queer theorists’ politics of sexual freedoms with a moralizing feminist politics that views sexuality as harm. Drawing on the best insights from both traditions, she builds an ethics centered on eros, following Michel Foucault’s ethics as a practice of freedom and Luce Irigaray’s lyrical articulation of an ethics of sexual difference. Through this theoretical lens, Huffer examines everyday experiences of ethical connection and failure connected to sex, including queer sexual practices, sodomy laws, interracial love, pornography, and work-life balance. Her approach complicates sexual identities while challenging the epistemological foundations of subjectivity. She rethinks ethics “beyond good and evil” without underestimating, as some queer theorists have done, the persistence of what Foucault calls the “catastrophe” of morality. Elaborating a thinking-feeling ethics of the other, Huffer encourages contemporary intellectuals to reshape sexual morality from within, defining an ethical space that is both poetically suggestive and politically relevant, both conceptually daring and grounded in common sexual experience.
Author: Grant Gillett
Publisher: Andrews UK Limited
Release Date: 2011-12-14
This book uses a neo-Aristotelian framework to examine human subjectivity as an embodied being. It examines the varieties of reductionism that affect philosophical writing about human origins and identity, and explores the nature of rational subjectivity as emergent from our neurobiological constitution. This allows a consideration of the effect of neurological interventions such as psychosurgery, neuroimplantation, and the promise of cyborgs on the image of the human. It then examines multiple personality disorder and its implications for narrative theories of the self, and explores the idea of human spirituality as an essential aspect of embodied human subjectivity.
Despite, or quite possibly because of, the structuralist, post-structuralist, and deconstructionist critiques of subjectivity, master signifiers, and political foundations, contemporary philosophy has been marked by a resurgence in interest in questions of subjectivity and the political. Guided by the contention that different conceptions of the political are, at least implicitly, committed to specific conceptions of subjectivity while different conceptions of subjectivity have different political implications, this collection brings together an international selection of scholars to explore these notions and their connection. Rather than privilege one approach or conception of the subjectivity-political relationship, this volume emphasizes the nature and status of the and in the ‘subjectivity’ and ‘the political’ schema. By thinking from the place between subjectivity and the political, it is able to explore this relationship from a multitude of perspectives, directions, and thinkers to show the heterogeneity, openness, and contested nature of it. While the contributions deal with different themes or thinkers, the themes/thinkers are linked historically and/or conceptually, thereby providing coherence to the volume. Thinkers addressed include Arendt, Butler, Levinas, Agamben, Derrida, Kristeva, Adorno, Gramsci, Mill, Hegel, and Heidegger, while the subjectivity-political relation is engaged with through the mediation of the law-political, ethics-politics, theological-political, inside-outside, subject-person, and individual-institution relationships, as well as through concepts such as genius, happiness, abjection, and ugliness. The original essays in this volume will be of interest to researchers in philosophy, politics, political theory, critical theory, cultural studies, history of ideas, psychology, and sociology.