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Philosophy Today

Volume 61, Issue 4, Fall 2017

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Displaying: 1-10 of 23 documents


1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Peg Birmingham, Ian Alexander Moore, Vilde Aavitsland Editors' Introduction: Étienne Balibar and Remembering Werner Hamacher
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the work of étienne balibar: the new universalities
2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Angelica Nuzzo "Living in the Interregnum": Hegelian Reflections on the "Dynamic Universal"
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The essay uses the second moment of Hegel’s “absolute method,” namely, the moment of the advancing action, in order to shed light on the constitution of the dynamic universal in society, politics, and history through the moment of stasis or crisis. In the action that advances or in the middle moment of the method lies the “crisis” of the unfolding process. Dialectically, action advances by stalling and imploding but also by emerging from this frozen state, moving on from it. I indicate the moment of crisis-stasis as the predicament of “living in the interregnum” and examine it by appealing to Thucydides, Gramsci, and Gordimer.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Hasana Sharp Spinoza’s Commonwealth and the Anthropomorphic Illusion
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Balibar presents Spinoza as a profound critic of “the anthropomorphic illusion.” Spinoza famously derides the tendency of humans to project their own imagined traits and tendencies onto the rest of nature. The anthropomorphic illusion yields a gross overestimation our own agency. I argue in this essay that the flip side of this illusion is our refusal to extend certain properties we reserve exclusively to ourselves. The result is that we disregard the power of social and political institutions because they do not resemble us. The anthropomorphic illusion therefore causes us both to overestimate our power as singular individuals and to underestimate the power of social and political institutions. If we understand ourselves and institutions as “transindividuals” rather than on the illusory model of substantial individuality, it is unproblematic to attribute individuality to collective powers, like the commonwealth.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Cinzia Arruzza Capitalism and the Conflict over Universality: A Feminist Perspective
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In this paper I adopt Étienne Balibar’s distinction between three forms of universality—“universality as reality,” “fictive universality,” and “ideal universality”—in order to retrieve universalism for feminist politics. The paper articulates a proposal for the feminist adoption of a specific notion of universality, which I call political insurgent universality. This notion is not based on a definition of human essence or of women's nature. It is rather rooted in the “real universality” historically created by capitalism, that is, in the fact that capitalism has generated a world in which people are interdependent and in which capitalist accumulation poses objective universal constraints on social reproduction.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Simon Morgan Wortham Antinomies of the Super-Ego: Étienne Balibar and the Question of the Psycho-Political
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This essay explores Étienne Balibar’s treatment of the conceptual development of a notion of the super-ego in Freud as crucial to Balibar’s own thinking of the connection between politics and psychoanalysis. Via Balibar’s writing, however, it traces the antinomic forces at work in the question of a psychoanalytic supplement of politics, in the process examining not only the psychic conditions of the "political" but also the "politics" of different forms of psychological discourse and debate.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Martin McQuillan Saint Étienne: Balibar, Grexit, and Universalism
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Étienne Balibar has provided a sustained commentary on the politics of Greece and its relation to the European Union. This writing is a practical mobiliza­tion of Balibar’s theoretical work on universalism and European identities. This essay questions some of the assumptions that provide a seeming confidence in Balibar’s decision-making with respect to Greece that are not found elsewhere in his work. It goes on to explore the questions of balance and calculation in Balibar and in writing on politics more generally.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Mark G. E. Kelly Whither Balibar's Europeanism?
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This article is a critique of Étienne Balibar's philosophical orientation towards Europe, construed as both an ideal and an institutional reality, in light of recent European crises. I argue that Balibar's commitment to Europe follows from his longstanding political-philosophical preference for a compromise position between political utopianism and political realism, but that this compromise is ultimately incoherent, combining the ungroundedness of utopianism with the undue self-limitation of realism.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Dimitris Vardoulakis What Comes Before the Citizen?: Violence and the Limits of the Political in Balibar
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Vardoulakis traces the function of violence in Balibar’s theory of the subject/citizen. Doing so, Vardoulakis brings together areas of Balibar’s philosophy that are usually discussed separately, such as his work on Spinoza, his anthropology and his lectures on violence. Finally, Vardoulakis uses the presentation of the way violence figures in all these fields to offer a critique of Balibar’s conceptions of democracy and power.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Étienne Balibar A New Querelle of Universals
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We are witnessing and participating in a new “Querelle of Universals” which has indissoluble political and philosophical characters. It ranges from the incorporation of anthropological differences (of gender-sex, race-culture, normality and abnormality, etc.) into the very definition of the “human” to the contemporary attempts at rethinking the diversity of histories within mankind as a multiverse of translations rather than a failed unity. The essay discusses a series of typical aporias that are relevant to this querelle and proposes a concept of subjectivity which elaborates their productivity.
werner hamacher: in memoriam
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 61 > Issue: 4
Werner Hamacher, Julia Ng The One Right No One Ever Has
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The right to have rights was never a right to be had. Hannah Arendt’s famous formulation of the most elementary right of all, the right to participate in the definition of rights, is not a description of a given right that belongs to one or the other form of law, but an indictment of a deficit in the construction of legality on the basis of the right to withdraw legal protection from members of a community, and therefore to refuse rights. The one and only human right thus turns out to be ungrounded in anything but the idea of its being had: a “property right” that traces back to the legal, philosophical and linguistic definitions of “one’s own” since antiquity. Only the gift of the incalculable and of that which cannot possibly be legitimated can ground the autarchic self-relation of having: ungrounded in the rationally organized nature of any given, possessing the right to membership in a political community turns out to be permission to freely transfer this possession to another, without expectation of a return.