Elisabeth Bronfen follows nocturnal spaces in which extraordinary events unfold, enabling the irrational exploration of desire, transformation, ecstasy, transgression, spiritual illumination, and moral choice. She begins with classical myths depicting the creation of the world and moves through nocturnal scenes in Shakespeare and Milton, Gothic figurations, Hegel's romantic philosophy, and Freud's psychoanalysis. In modern times, she shows how literature and film, particularly film noir, transmit that piece of night the modern subject carries within. From Mozart's "Queen of the Night" to Virginia Woolf 's oscillation between day and night, life and death, and chaos and aesthetic form, Bronfen renders something visible, conceivable, and tellable from the dark realms of the unknown.
Tracing the development of cultural formations of hysteria from the 1800s to the present, this book explores the writings of Freud, Charcot, and Janet together with fictional texts (Radcliffe, Stoker, Anne Sexton), opera (Mozart, Wagner), cinema (Cronenberg, Hitchcock, Woody Allen), and visual art (Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Cindy Sherman). Each of these creative works attests to a particular relationship between hysteria and self-fashioning, and enables us to read hysteria quite literally as a language of discontent. The message broadcasted by the hysteric is one of vulnerability: vulnerability of the symbolic, of identity, and of the human body itself.
Throughout this work, Bronfen not only offers fresh approaches to understanding hysteria in our culture, but also introduces a new metaphor to serve as a theoretical tool. Whereas the phallus has long dominated psychoanalytical discourse, the image of the navel--a knotted originary wound common to both genders--facilitates discussion of topics relevant to hysteria, such as trauma, mortality, and infinity. Bronfen's insights make for a lively, innovative work sure to interest readers across the fields of art and literature, feminism, and psychology.
Originally published in 1998.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 launches the series with Derrida’s exploration of the persistent association of bestiality or animality with sovereignty. In this seminar from 2001–2002, Derrida continues his deconstruction of the traditional determinations of the human. The beast and the sovereign are connected, he contends, because neither animals nor kings are subject to the law—the sovereign stands above it, while the beast falls outside the law from below. He then traces this association through an astonishing array of texts, including La Fontaine’s fable “The Wolf and the Lamb,” Hobbes’s biblical sea monster in Leviathan, D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Snake,” Machiavelli’s Prince with its elaborate comparison of princes and foxes, a historical account of Louis XIV attending an elephant autopsy, and Rousseau’s evocation of werewolves in The Social Contract.
Deleuze, Lacan, and Agamben also come into critical play as Derrida focuses in on questions of force, right, justice, and philosophical interpretations of the limits between man and animal.
Distinguished philosopher Richard Kearney calls this condition ana-theos, or God after God-a moment of creative "not knowing" that signifies a break with former sureties and invites us to forge new meanings from the most ancient of wisdoms. Anatheism refers to an inaugural event that lies at the heart of every great religion, a wager between hospitality and hostility to the stranger, the other& mdash;the sense of something "more." By analyzing the roots of our own anatheistic moment, Kearney shows not only how a return to God is possible for those who seek it but also how a more liberating faith can be born.
Kearney begins by locating a turn toward sacred secularity in contemporary philosophy, focusing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Paul Ricoeur. He then marks "epiphanies" in the modernist masterpieces of James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf. Kearney concludes with a discussion of the role of theism and atheism in conflict and peace, confronting the distinction between sacramental and sacrificial belief or the God who gives life and the God who takes it away. Accepting that we can never be sure about God, he argues, is the only way to rediscover a hidden holiness in life and to reclaim an everyday divinity.
From the female soldiers involved in Abu Ghraib to Palestinian women suicide bombers, women and their bodies have become powerful weapons in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In Women as Weapons of War, Kelly Oliver reveals how the media and the administration frequently use metaphors of weaponry to describe women and female sexuality and forge a deliberate link between notions of vulnerability and images of violence. Focusing specifically on the U.S. campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, Oliver analyzes contemporary discourse surrounding women, sex, and gender and the use of women to justify America's decision to go to war. For example, the administration's call to liberate "women of cover," suggesting a woman's right to bare arms is a sign of freedom and progress.
Oliver also considers what forms of cultural meaning, or lack of meaning, could cause both the guiltlessness demonstrated by female soldiers at Abu Ghraib and the profound commitment to death made by suicide bombers. She examines the pleasure taken in violence and the passion for death exhibited by these women and what kind of contexts created them. In conclusion, Oliver diagnoses our cultural fascination with sex, violence, and death and its relationship with live news coverage and embedded reporting, which naturalizes horrific events and stymies critical reflection. This process, she argues, further compromises the borders between fantasy and reality, fueling a kind of paranoid patriotism that results in extreme forms of violence.
François Dosse, a prominent French intellectual known for his work on the Annales School, structuralism, and biographies of the pivotal intellectuals Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Chaunu, and Michel de Certeau, examines the prolific if improbable relationship between two men of distinct and differing sensibilities. Drawing on unpublished archives and hundreds of personal interviews, Dosse elucidates a collaboration that lasted more than two decades, underscoring the role that family and history& mdash;particularly the turbulent time of May 1968& mdash;play in their monumental work. He also takes the measure of Deleuze and Guattari's posthumous fortunes and the impact of their thought on intellectual, academic, and professional circles.
Strange Wonder locates a reopening of wonder's primordial uncertainty in the work of Martin Heidegger, for whom wonder is first experienced as the shock at the groundlessness of things and then as an astonishment that things nevertheless are. Mary-Jane Rubenstein traces this double movement through the thought of Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Jacques Derrida, ultimately thematizing wonder as the awesome, awful opening that exposes thinking to devastation as well as transformation. Rubenstein's study shows that wonder reveals the extraordinary in and through the ordinary, and is therefore crucial to the task of reimagining political, religious, and ethical terrain.
So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion, belief, and the thought and work of a renowned psychoanalyst and critic. With dialogue and essay, Kristeva analyzes our "incredible need to believe"& mdash;the inexorable push toward faith that, for Kristeva, lies at the heart of the psyche and the history of society. Examining the lives, theories, and convictions of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, and other individuals, she investigates the intersection between the desire for God and the shadowy zone in which belief resides.
Kristeva suggests that human beings are formed by their need to believe, beginning with our first attempts at speech and following through to our adolescent search for identity and meaning. Kristeva then applies her insight to contemporary religious clashes and the plight of immigrant populations, especially those of Islamic origin. Even if we no longer have faith in God, Kristeva argues, we must believe in human destiny and creative possibility. Reclaiming Christianity's openness to self-questioning and the search for knowledge, Kristeva urges a "new kind of politics," one that restores the integrity of the human community.
The book has three sections—the first, on picturebooks; the second, on chapter books; and the third, on two sets of paired readings of two very popular picturebooks. By means of its three sections, the book sets forth as its goal to show how philosophy can be helpful in reappraising books aimed at children from early childhood on. Particularly in the third section, the book emphasizes how philosophy can help to multiply the type of interpretative stances that are possible when readers listen again to what they thought they knew so well.
The kinds of questions this book raises are the following: How are children’s books already anticipating or articulating philosophical problems and discussions? How does children’s literature work by means of philosophical puzzles or language games? What do children’s books reveal about the existential situation the child reader faces?
In posing and answering these kinds of questions, the readings within the book thus intersect with recent, developing scholarship in children’s literature studies as well as in the psychology and philosophy of childhood.
It contains selected contributions on the Philosophy of media, Philosophy of the Internet, on Ethics and the political economy of information society. Also included are papers presented in a workshop on electronic philosophy resources and open source/open access.
Our edition include (among others) contributions authored by Peter Hacker, Jennifer Hornsby, John Hyman, Michael Kober, Richard Rorty, Hans Rott, Gerhard Schurz, Barry Smith, Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer, Franz Wimmer, and Kwasi Wiredu.
Born in Germany in 1928, Nicholas Rescher came to the U.S. at the age of nine. He is University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh where he has also served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department and as director (and currently chairman) of the Center for Philosophy of Science. In a productive research career extending over six decades, he has established himself as a systematic philosopher of the old style. His work represents a many-sided approach to fundamental philosophical issues that weaves together threads of thought from continental idealism and American pragmatism. And apart from this larger program Rescher has made various specific contributions to logic (the conception autodescriptive systems of many-sided logic), the history of logic (the medieval Arabic theory of modal syllogistic), to the theory of knowledge (epistemetrics as a quantitative approach in theoretical epistemology), and to the philosophy of science (the theory of a logarithmic retardation of scientific progress). Rescher has also worked in the area of futuristics, and along with Olaf Helmer and Norman Dalkey is co-inaugurator of the so-called Delphi method of forecasting. Ten books about Rescher’s philosophy have been published in four languages.
Rescher earned his doctorate at Princeton in 1951 while still at the age of twenty-two—a record for Princeton’s Department of Philosophy. He has served as a President of the American Philosophical Association, of the American Catholic Philosophy Association, of the American G. W. Leibniz Society, of the C. S. Peirce Society, and of the American Metaphysical Society. He was the founder of the American Philosophical Quarterly. An honorary member of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, he has been elected to membership in the European Academy of Arts and Sciences (Academia Europaea), the Royal Society of Canada, the Institut International de Philosophie, and several other learned academies. Having held visiting lectureships at Oxford, Constance, Salamanca, Munich, and Marburg, he has been awarded fellowships by the Ford, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundations. Author of some hundred books ranging over many areas of philosophy, over a dozen of them translated from English into other languages, he is the recipient of eight honorary degrees from universities on three continents. He was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize for Humanistic Scholarship in 1984, the Belgian Prix Mercier in 2005, and the Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association in 2007.
This kinship plays out in a number of ways. We sacrifice animals to establish human kinship, but without the animal, the bonds of "brotherhood" fall apart. Either kinship with animals is possible or kinship with humans is impossible. Philosophy holds that humans and animals are distinct, but in defending this position, the discipline depends on a discourse that relies on the animal for its very definition of the human. Through these and other examples, Oliver does more than just establish an animal ethics. She transforms ethics by showing how its very origin is dependent upon the animal. Examining for the first time the treatment of the animal in the work of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Agamben, Freud, Lacan, and Kristeva, among others, Animal Lessons argues that the animal bites back, thereby reopening the question of the animal for philosophy.
Claude Romano seeks to change all that, to describe precisely what sort of phenomenon an event is and to establish how it can be grasped via a phenomenology. He seeks, above all, to understand a human
being as one to whom events can occur, who is able to face them and to appropriate them through experience. "Evential hermeneutics" is the name he gives this approach, which conceives human being as an undergoing of events for which there can be no substitution and as thereby becoming himself.
Romano at once forces us to think human existence--or rather, human adventure--in the light of events and helps us understand how and why the event has been neglected in the ontological tradition.
This new edition includes an introduction by Lydia Goehr, a renowned scholar in philosophy, aesthetic theory, and musicology. Goehr illuminates Adorno's ideas as well as the intellectual, historical, and critical contexts that shaped his postwar thinking.
As two of the figures who have contributed the most to the theoretical reflections on the contemporary philosophical turn to religion, Caputo and Vattimo explore the changes, distortions, and reforms that are a part of our postmodern faith and the forces shaping the religious imagination today. Incisively and imaginatively connecting their argument to issues ranging from terrorism to fanaticism and from politics to media and culture, these thinkers continue to reinvent the field of hermeneutic philosophy with wit, grace, and passion.
In 1993, a conference was organized around the question, 'Whither Marxism?’, and Derrida was invited to open the proceedings. His plenary address, 'Specters of Marx', delivered in two parts, forms the basis of this book. Hotly debated when it was first published, a rapidly changing world and world politics have scarcely dented the relevance of this book.
Andrea Hurst begins by linking this logic to a strand of thinking (in which Freud plays a part) that unsettles philosophy's transcendental tradition. She then shows that Derrida is just as serious and careful a reader of Freud's texts as Lacan. Interweaving the two thinkers, she argues that the Lacanian Real is another name for Derrida's diff�rance and shows how Derrida's writings on Heidegger and Nietzsche embody an attitude toward sexual difference and feminine sexuality that matches Lacanian insights. Derrida's "plural logic of the aporia," she argues, can serve as a heuristic for addressing prominent themes in Lacanian psychoanalysis: subjectivity, ethics, and language.
Finally, she takes up Derrida's prejudicial reading of Lacan's "Seminar on 'The Purloined Letter,'" which was instrumental in the antagonism between Derrideans and Lacanians. Although acknowledging the injustice of Derrida's reading, the author brings out the deep theoretical accord between thinkers that both recognize the power of psychoanalysis to address contemporary political and ethical issues.
Sloterdijk begins with Plato’s description of Socrates, whose internal monologues were so absorbing they often rooted the philosopher in place. The original academy, Sloterdijk argues, taught scholars to lose themselves in thought, and today’s universities continue this tradition by offering scope for Plato’s “accommodations for absences.” By training scholars to practice thinking as an occupation transcending daily time and space, universities create the mental capacity for thought that makes wisdom possible. Traversing the history of asceticism, the concept of suspended animation, and the theory of the neutral observer, Sloterdijk traces the evolution of philosophical practice from ancient times to today, showing how scholars can remain true to the tradition of “the examined life” even when the temporal dimension no longer corresponds to the eternal. Building on the work of Husserl, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Arendt, and other practitioners of the life of theory, Sloterdijk launches a posthumanist defense of philosophical inquiry and its everyday, therapeutic value.
According to Rosa, both the structural and cultural aspects of our institutions and practices are marked by the “shrinking of the present,” a decreasing time period during which expectations based on past experience reliably match the future. When this phenomenon combines with technological acceleration and the increasing pace of life, time seems to flow ever faster, making our relationships to each other and the world fluid and problematic. It is as if we are standing on “slipping slopes,” a steep social terrain that is itself in motion and in turn demands faster lives and technology. As Rosa deftly shows, this self-reinforcing feedback loop fundamentally determines the character of modern life.
The promises of modernity -freedom, progress, infinite human improvement -produced a world accelerating toward an unknown and unknowable future within which awaited the possibility of achieving utopian fulfillment. History, Koselleck asserts, emerged in this crucial moment as a new temporality providing distinctly new ways of assimilating experience. In the present context of globalization and its resulting crises, the modern world once again faces a crisis in aligning the experience of past and present. To realize that each present was once an imagined future may help us once again place ourselves within a temporality organized by human thought and humane ends as much as by the contingencies of uncontrolled events.
With his signature genius and patient yet dazzling readings of an impressive breadth of texts, Derrida examines everything from the Bible to Plato to Camus to Jean Genet, with special attention to Kant and post–World War II juridical texts, to draw the landscape of death penalty discourses. Keeping clearly in view the death rows and execution chambers of the United States, he shows how arguments surrounding cruel and unusual punishment depend on what he calls an “anesthesial logic,” which has also driven the development of death penalty technology from the French guillotine to lethal injection. Confronting a demand for philosophical rigor, he pursues provocative analyses of the shortcomings of abolitionist discourse. Above all, he argues that the death penalty and its attendant technologies are products of a desire to put an end to one of the most fundamental qualities of our finite existence: the radical uncertainty of when we will die.
Arriving at a critical juncture in history—especially in the United States, one of the last Christian-inspired democracies to resist abolition—The Death Penalty is both a timely response to an important ethical debate and a timeless addition to Derrida’s esteemed body of work.
Butler’s study remains a provocative and timely intervention in contemporary debates on the unconscious, the powers of subjection, and the subject. This edition features a foreword by French philosophical scholar Philippe Sabot, which accompanied the French edition of Subjects of Desire and was widely praised for its keen understanding of Butler’s insight and legacy. This is the first translation of the foreword into English.
Arranged thematically, the essays begin with concepts like sexual difference and embodied subjectivity and follow with technoscience, feminism, postsecular citizenship, and the politics of affirmation. Braidotti develops a distinctly positive critical theory that rejuvenates the experience of political scholarship. Inspired but not confined by Deleuzian vitalism, with its commitment to the ontology of flows, networks, and dynamic transformations, she emphasizes affects, imagination, and creativity and the politics of radical immanence. Incorporating ideas from Nietzsche and Spinoza as well, Braidotti establishes a critical-theoretical framework equal parts critique and creation. Ever mindful of the perils of defining difference in terms of denigration and the related tendency to subordinate sexualized, racialized, and naturalized others, she explores the eco-philosophical implications of nomadic theory, feminism, and the irreducibility of sexual difference and sexuality. Her dialogue with techno-science is crucial to nomadic theory, which deterritorializes the established understanding of what counts as human, as well as our relationship to animals, the environment, and changing notions of materialism. Keeping her distance from the near-obsessive focus on vulnerability, trauma, and melancholia in contemporary political thought, Braidotti promotes a politics of affirmation that could become its own generative life force.
Inspired by these efforts, Nancy Fraser asks: What is the proper frame for theorizing justice? Faced with a plurality of competing scales, how do we know which one is truly just? In exploring these questions, Fraser revises her widely discussed theory of redistribution and recognition. She introduces a third, "political" dimension of justice& mdash;representation& mdash;and elaborates a new, reflexive type of critical theory that foregrounds injustices of "misframing." Engaging with thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, and Hannah Arendt, she envisions a "postwestphalian" mapping of political space that accommodates transnational solidarity, transborder publicity, and democratic frame-setting, as well as emancipatory projects that cross borders. The result is a sustained reflection on who should count with respect to what in a globalizing world.
The present collection gathers the most exemplary and influential essays from Felman's oeuvre, including articles previously untranslated into English. The Claims of Literature also includes responses to Felman's work by leading contemporary theorists, including Stanley Cavell, Judith Butler, Julia Kristeva, Cathy Caruth, Juliet Mitchell, Winfried Menninghaus, and Austin Sarat.
It concludes with a section on Felman as a teacher, giving transcripts of two of her classes, one at Yale in September 2001, the other at Emory in December 2004.
Why We Dance introduces a philosophy of bodily becoming that posits bodily movement as the source and telos of human life. Within this philosophy, dance appears as an activity that humans evolved to do as the enabling condition of their best bodily becoming. Weaving theoretical reflection together with accounts of lived experience, this book positions dance as a catalyst in the development of the brains, compassion, ritual proclivities, and ecological adaptability characteristic of human beings. Aligning with trends in new materialism, affect theory, and feminist philosophy, as well as advances in dance and religious studies, this book argues that dancing has a vital role to play in reversing the trajectory of ecological self-destruction along which human civilization is racing.
Braidotti's personal, surprising, and lively prose insists on an integration of feminism in mainstream discourse. The essays explore problems that are central to current feminist debates including Western epistemology's relation to the "woman question," feminism and biomedical ethics, European feminism, and how American feminists might relate to European movements.
In this innovative reimagining of Plato’s work, Badiou has removed all references specific to ancient Greek society—from lengthy exchanges about moral courage in archaic poetry to political considerations mainly of interest to the aristocratic elite—and has expanded the range of cultural references. Here, philosophy is firing on all cylinders: Socrates and his companions are joined by Beckett, Pessoa, Freud, and Hegel, among others. Together these thinkers demonstrate that true philosophy endures, ready to absorb new horizons without changing its essence.
Moreover, Badiou—who is also a dramatist—has transformed the Socratic dialogue into a genuine oratorial contest. In his version of the Republic, the interlocutors do much more than simply agree with Socrates. They argue, stand up to him, put him on the spot, and show thought in motion. In this work of dramatic scholarship and philosophy, we encounter a modern version of Plato’s text that is alive, stimulating, and directly relevant to our own world.
Deleuze and Guattari differentiate between philosophy, science, and the arts, seeing as means of confronting chaos, and challenge the common view that philosophy is an extension of logic. The authors also discuss the similarities and distinctions between creative and philosophical writing. Fresh anecdotes from the history of philosophy illuminate the book, along with engaging discussions of composers, painters, writers, and architects.
A milestone in Deleuze's collaboration with Guattari, What is Philosophy? brings a new perspective to Deleuze's studies of cinema, painting, and music, while setting a brilliant capstone upon his work.