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Philosophy Today

Volume 60, Issue 4, Fall 2016
Special Topic: History, Today

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special topic: history, today
1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Jean-Luc Nancy History, Today
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2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Jean-Luc Nancy, Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback, Peter Hanly History Improvised: A Short Dialogue between Jean-Luc Nancy and Marcia Sá Cavalcante Schuback
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In this text, a dialogue about the difficult task of seizing the sense of history today is presented. The point of departure is the difficulty of the times to begin and the necessity to rethink the difference between historiography and historicity, and further between events, the event and the advent. The dialogue proposes to revisit the meaning of beginning from out the experience of improvisation and to reflect upon the possibility of developing improvisation as a sense of history.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Werner Hamacher, Peter Hanly En-counterings of Time
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The text tries to make plausible the necessity in every thought of time to think an un-time—a 'field' without the form of time that only allows for conceiving of time as a form.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Alexander García Düttmann The Hopeless
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This paper discusses hope and hopelessness in relation to history. It does so by turning to Benjamin’s famous statement that hope exists only for the hopeless, and to Derrida’s late thoughts on solitude and the world.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Peter Trawny, Ian Alexander Moore, Christoper Turner Fragments on the Philosophy of History
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Philosophy of History is in crisis. This crisis has a structural origin in separating a finitude of the one (fate, destiny, nation, people, identity) from an infinitude of the many (individuals, biographies, contingencies, banalities). This difference seems to produce an aporia. Where could history be that would talk of both?
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Jean-Luc Nancy, Peter Hanly Beni Vacanti
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There is no heritage.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Aïcha Liviana Messina, Lena Taub The Apocalypse of Blanchot
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The thoughts of apocalypse can either be intense and demanding, or lead to the risk of abandoning the present to a state of inertia and impotence. The apocalypse can be, in fact, the moment of the Last Judgment. In this case, justice is related to the revelation of truth. But the apocalypse can also be the revelation of the end of any truth, i.e. the revelation that the history doesn’t have any meaning, that the end is as endless as it is hopeless. This article takes up “the apocalypse of Blanchot.” It shows that by thinking that the apocalypse has always already occurred, history is not what leads to an end, but is rather the responsibility to an endless end. In that sense, for Blanchot, history is not the redemption of contingency as eternity; rather, what must be historicized is the eternity of the end.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Tatsuya Nishiyama Facticity and Poietics in History: Miki Kiyoshi’s Reading of Heidegger
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Modern Japanese thinkers tried to understand “history” as processes of translation through which the Japanese culture/society/nation integrated itself into world history. This paper analyzes Miki Kiyoshi’s (1897-1945) Philosophy of History [1932], a prominent example of such an approach to history. His understanding of history is deeply influenced by Martin Heidegger’s thoughts about facticity. The most essential part of Miki’s notion of “history” lies in his practico-poietic conception of history, which is elaborated through his own interpretation of Heidegger (via Marx). This paper attempts to investigate how Miki developed such a practico-poietic theory as well as how he was faced with its limit, not only on a theoretical level, but also in the specific historical contexts in the 1930s and 1940s. To seek answers to these questions enables us to understand why Miki came to re-create philosophical discourse to describe the space of history in approaching the question of translation, that is, the question concerning the transformation by and through language.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Andrea Potestà, Donald Cross The Fragility of the Present and the Task of Thinking: Heidegger, Thinker of the Future
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This article analyzes Heidegger’s Paris lecture, “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking,” in an attempt to understand the historical “task” that Heidegger seeks to examine when confronted with the agony of philosophy today. I attempt to valorize the understanding of time and history that Heidegger stages in his reading by demonstrating its entrance to be radical and novel with respect to other moments in Heidegger’s production: history here is not of “destiny” (Schicksal), that is, it does not coincide with the appropriating orientation of man in time already presented in Heidegger’s other texts; rather, it is understood on the basis of the opening to the future that fragilizes and suspends all hope and all historical resolution. History is thought here as the desertification of present times, the completion of metaphysical nihilism, in which there opens at the same time a “perhaps” that, repeated many times throughout the lecture, takes up in all its complexity the problem of the future’s coming, of the extraordinary, of the opening, that is, of what, from the future, exceeds destiny.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Rosaria Caldarone "Eternity, from Afar into Intimacy": Time and History in the Letters of Martin Heidegger to Hannah Arendt
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According to Heidegger’s philosophy, the essence of time is not chronological; for this reason, history is not a linear succession of facts but is opened up by an event: that is what Heidegger’s philosophy reveals at first glance and it’s also what we can’t consider suspect today. But it is less obvious that the ‘base’ from which time and history will disclose themselves is the phenomenon of love: love stands out in the letters of Heidegger to Hannah Arendt as a most excellent way of temporalizing time, and it allows the philosophy of finitude to be reconciled with the eternity.
11. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Juan Manuel Garrido From Ideality to Historicity, What Happens?: The Problem of the Origin of Geometry in the Formation of Derrida’s Early Conception of History
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The problem of the origin of geometry is crucial for understanding the formation and development of Derrida’s early conception of historicity. Mathematical idealities offer the most powerful example of meanings that are fully transmissible through history. Against Husserl’s explanation of the particular, Derrida considers that the logic and progression of mathematical idealities can only be explained if they are referred to non-intentional and pre-subjective movements of production and development of significations: language itself, which is structured as non-phonetic writing. Historicity is, to Derrida’s eyes, the non-intentional and non-present structure at work in the formation and transmission of meaning. Therefore, pure transmissibility of meaning is an essentially equivocal and creative process. However, Derrida’s analyses fail at understanding the logic of mathematical progression. He explains it by generalizing consciousness’ inner temporality to what he describes as being the “dialecticity” of non-present temporal modes (retention - protention). But the dialecticity of mathematical concepts is not reducible to the dialecticity of temporal modes of experience. We cannot characterize the pre-intentional conditions of historicity if we put into brackets the concrete field in which history becomes factual, i.e. in which meaning and appearing actually historialize: the effective progression of objects.
12. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Susanna Lindberg Natural History Today
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This essay is a broad overview of philosophy’s capacity of facing the historicity of nature. It shows why classical philosophy of history, especially Hegel, left nature outside of history, and also in what sense this kind of philosophy is outdated. Then it shows how natural sciences discovered historical phenomena since the invention of biology at the very end of the eighteenth century and especially since Darwinism, although these did not examine the philosophical presuppositions of their theories. Assuming that the challenge of contemporary philosophy of history is to learn to include nature in history, the essay finally examines climatic change as a test case that allows us to see the problematics of nature’s historicity today. Climatic change cannot be explained if one holds onto the classical division into natural sciences and humanities, and this is because it is neither a natural nor a cultural phenomenon but manifests reality as a techno-nature, that has a singular, non-teleological and eventful historicity, the understanding of which is crucial today.
book reviews
13. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
James Griffith Richard F. Hassing, Cartesian Psychophysics and the Whole Nature of Man: On Descartes’s Passions of the Soul
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14. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Andrew Cooper Terry Eagleton, Hope without Optimism
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15. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Will Johncock Richard Grusin, ed., The Nonhuman Turn; and Vicki Kirby, Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large
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book discussion: shannon sullivan, good white people
16. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Alexis Shotwell The Problem with Loving Whiteness: A Response to S. Sullivan's Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism
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17. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Ronald R. Sundstrom Comments on Shannon Sullivan’s Good White People: The Problem with Middle-Class White Anti-Racism
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18. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Shannon Sullivan I love Myself When I Am . . . What?: A Response to Shotwell and Sundstrom on Good White People
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19. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 60
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