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Displaying: 1-18 of 18 documents


1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Andrew Benjamin The Problem of Authority in Arendt and Aristotle
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The aim of the paper is to examine the limits of Aristotle’s and Arendt’s contributions to a philosophical anthropology. By focusing on the concept of ‘potentiality’—and thus the ‘good life’ as a potentiality awaiting actualization—the limit emerges from the way Aristotle understands ‘life.’ His discussion of slavery is pivotal in this regard.
2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Salomon J. Terreblanche Ernst Bloch’s Laboratorium possibilis Salutis: On the Humane Ideal in History
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This article considers Ernst Bloch’s philosophy of hope in terms of its significance for debates in contemporary humanist thought. It is argued that Bloch achieves a commendable balance between, on the one hand, the maintenance of Utopian ideals, and, on the other hand, ethical vigilance towards the vulnerable position of the human individual. Bloch’s Utopian hermeneutics offers a corrective to the limitations and shortcomings of anti-totalitarian humanism. The potential for a constructive dialogue between an interpretation of Bloch’s work and anti-totalitarian authors (such as Emmanuel Levinas and Tzvetan Todorov) is explored. Bloch’s phenomenology of death indicates the extent to which his philosophy remains attentive to the existential experiences of the individual human being. The emotion which characterises the individual subject’s realisation of his / her mortality is characteristically one of melancholy over the incomplete work of life.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Miguel Vatter Cosmopolitan Political Theology in Cohen and Rosenzweig
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This article discusses the relation between Judaism and political theology in the work of Hermann Cohen and Franz Rosenzweig. Both Cohen and Rosenzweig give an interpretation of Judaism that prioritizes the messianic ideal while maintaining the priority of philosophy over religion. With respect to political theology, this article argues that Cohen and Rosenzweig criticize the priority assigned to the national state in modern politics in favour of a politics that is both cosmopolitan and republican, in so far as it makes the internal relation between peoplehood and rule of law central, and detaches the rule of law from sovereignty. In this sense, the messianism of Cohen and Rosenzweig is opposed to Christian conceptions of the messianic recovered in recent contemporary political theory. The article concludes with a discussion of Rosenzweig’s hypothesis concerning how the antagonism between these two forms of messianism are to be reconciled in a new understanding of natural right.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Sanja Dejanovic Through the Fold: A Jointure of Gilles Deleuze and Jean-Luc Nancy
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In a short paper bearing the title “The Deleuzian Fold of Thought” (1996), Jean-Luc Nancy engages a concept that has a prominent place in contemporary continental philosophy, the fold, so as to accentuate a shared tendency that nevertheless estranges his own thought from Gilles Deleuze’s. This shared tendency deals with the shifting conception of thinking through the fold itself, the unfolding and refolding of the fold, which in its discontinuity has transformed the image of what it means to think. I do not seek to reconcile the two thinkers through the fold, but to demonstrate the way in which their estrangement through the fold is what it means to think and defines the exigency of thought.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Messay Kebede Action and Forgetting: Bergson's Theory of Memory
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This paper is about the Bergsonian synchronization of the perpetual present or memory with the passing present or the body. It shows how forgetting narrows and focuses consciousness on the needs of action and how motor memory allows the imagining of the useful side of memory. The paper highlights the strength of Bergson’s analysis by respectively confronting classical theories of memory, the highly regarded perspective of the phenomenological school, Deleuze’s interpretation of Bergsonism, and Sartre’s theory of mental imagery.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Frances Restuccia The Melancholic and Messianic Allure of Venice, or How Best to Access the Inaccessible
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This article engages Agamben’s view that philosophy and poetry need to remarry, to heal a fracture that springs from the origin of Western culture between knowing and having the (inaccessible) object. While Agamben would like philosophy to wax more poetic (to have the object) and poetry to show more awareness of its philosophical implications (to know the object), he also encourages direct interventions between these two arenas. This essay thus stages an interpenetration of poetic writing and philosophy (Agamben with a little Derrida). James’s embodiment of Agamben’s theory of melancholia in The Aspern Papers set alongside Brodsky’s reflection of Agamben’s notions of nudity, the specter, and the messianic in Watermark—in relation to depictions of Venice—leads to the realization that Agamben’s messianic renders melancholia inoperative. Agamben’s messianic vision that finds salvation in loss cancels the desirability of clinging to the lost object by showing the redemption of its passage.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Véronique M. Fóti Adversity and Practices of Painting: Merleau-Ponty, Monet, and Joan Mitchell
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Merleau-Ponty’s abiding interest in the art and the enigmatic person of Paul Cézanne focuses importantly on both the pictorial expression of space, and on the freedom of artistic creation in the face of adversity. Examining these issues in relation to the art of Claude Monet (whom Merleau-Ponty neglected), together with Monet’s status as a precursor of painterly abstraction, one can follow the Merleau-Pontyan “indirect logic of institution” to confront the work of Joan Mitchell, within the parameters of gestural abstraction, so as to consider both her perspective on spatiality and horizon and her artistic trans-substantiation of adversity, focusing on the almost ecstatic intensity of her 1983-1985 series, La grande vallée.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Pierre Rodrigo Ontology of Movement: Painting and Cinema according to Merleau-Ponty
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In addressing the fundamental issues of Merleau-Ponty’s last ontology, for which Being is an expressive movement, this paper focuses on Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on painting, sculpture and, mainly, cinema. Two reasons justify such a choice. The first one is that Merleau-Ponty’s reflections on films as artistic objects are starting to become better known, while an exclusive privilege has been too long given to his texts on painting, sculpture and literature. An enrichment of our reading of his aesthetics and ontology is thus made possible. The second reason is that, although it is true that Merleau-Ponty’s general aesthetic doctrine introduces us to the question of movement, of its meaning and its ontological status as “expression,” it is even more true that, in the framework of this general aesthetic doctrine, his analyses of the mode of expression of cinematographic images become especially significant.
the sheehan-faye debate: further responses and a reply from thomas sheehan
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Peg Birmingham, Ian Alexander Moore Note from the Editors
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10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Johannes Fritsche Absence of Soil, Historicity, and Goethe in Heidegger's Being and Time: Sheehan on Faye
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In a paper entitled “Emmanuel Faye: The Introduction of Fraud into Philosophy?” (Philosophy Today 59[3] [2015]), Thomas Sheehan accuses Faye of committing many blunders in Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy. In this paper, I address what is according to Sheehan himself the most important part of his paper, namely his charges against Faye’s interpretation of Heidegger’s Being and Time. I show that they are all wholly unfounded. All the aspects of Being and Time that Sheehan addresses speak not only not against Faye but rather even for Faye.
11. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Gaëtan Pégny The Right of Reply to Professor Sheehan
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In this article, I address (1) the anti-academic procedures by which Professor Thomas Sheehan affirms that I “continue” a “scam,” before (2) presenting in a greater detail my work on the notion of being as a code name (Deckname) in Heidegger. In sections 3, 4, and 5, I analyze the way in which Sheehan authoritatively hollows out the state of the debate around the interpretation of Heidegger and the weakness of his philological interpretation. Finally, in the last section, I return to the necessity of the research that Sheehan’s “Emmanuel Faye: The Introduction of Fraud Into Philosophy?” attempts to discredit.
12. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Thomas Sheehan L’affaire Faye: Faut-il brûler Heidegger?: A Reply to Fritsche, Pégny, and Rastier
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L’affaire Faye: Johannes Fritsche’s bizarre Historical Destiny and National Socialism in Heidegger’s Being and Time (1999) mistranslates every key term in Sein und Zeit §74 and distorts the entire book. Gaëtan Pégny’s justification of Emmanuel Faye’s mistranslations of Heidegger is beyond irresponsible. François Rastier’s “Open Letter to Philosophy Today” lends uncritical support to Faye’s dubious “scholarship.”
book discussion: miguel vatter, the republic of the living
13. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Peter Fenves Benjamin, Einstein, Nietzsche: Some Remarks on the Conclusion to The Republic of the Living
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The brief paper discusses the final sections of Miguel Vatter’s with particular attention to its use of popular science. Taking its point of departure from Vatter’s contention that Benjamin’s image of two counteracting forces in the so-called “Theological-Political Fragment” refers to Einstein’s inclusion of a cosmological constant in the equations of general relativity, the paper shows that this suggestion, while intriguing, is improbable. By contrasting Benjamin’s and Nietzsche’s use of popular science with Vatter’s, the paper concludes by asking whether the proposed concept of eternal life is as compatible with “the most rigorous materialism” as Vatter contends.
14. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Alessia Ricciardi Response to Miguel Vatter's The Republic of the Living: Biopollitics and the Critique of Civil Society
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15. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Gil Morejón Eternal Life and the Time of Death: Biopolitical Threat and Miguel Vatter’s Republic of the Living
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In this paper I argue that Vatter’s proposed solution to the problem of thanatopolitics in the development of a concept of eternal life is inadequate. In the first section I situate Vatter’s project, sketching out Foucault’s concept of biopolitics and marking Vatter’s specific difference from others working to articulate an affirmative biopolitics in contemporary discussions. In the second section I argue, following Foucault and Mbembe, that the possibility of a thanatopolitics or necropolitics that institutes regimes of mass death by racist fragmentations of the population is a possibility intrinsic to biopolitics as such. In the third section I reconstruct Vatter’s proposal, according to which the thanatopolitical inversion can be blocked by developing an atheistic and philosophical concept of eternal life. I argue that this is inadequate for three reasons: first, the specifically contemplative character of the life Vatter proposes as eternal seems to valorize only a particular form of life; second, the transfinite character of living as such which is valorized in this conception seems to repeat, rather than repudiate, the logic of thanatopolitics; third, this concept of life as eternal seems not to be able to account for the reality of extinction.
16. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Miguel Vatter From Bare Life to Eternal Life: Response to Morejón, Ricciardi, and Fenves
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This response discusses the possibility of an affirmative biopolitics based on a materialist and atheist idea of eternal life in light of some of the challenges raised by the critiques of Morejón, Ricciardi, and Fenves. The first challenge concerns whether an affirmative biopolitics is at all possible given that biopolitics contains as an immanent possibility a racial politics that leads to a “necropolitics” (Mbembe). The second challenge concerns the political character of Italian theory, especially in Agamben, and its relation to communism and republicanism. The third challenge concerns the applicability of recent cosmological speculations for the purpose of joining messianism and historical materialism in Benjamin’s thought.
book reviews
17. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Johannes Fritsche National Socialism, Anti-Semitism, and Philosophy in Heidegger and Scheler: On Peter Trawny’s Heidegger & the Myth of a Jewish World-Conspiracy
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According to Trawny, Heidegger’s Black Notebooks show that he turned away from any National Socialism in 1938 and that his thinking could be “contaminated” by National Socialism and anti-Semitism only between 1931 and 1944/1945. However, in this paper it is argued that already in Being and Time (1927) Heidegger had made a case for National Socialism; that he discovered in 1938 the “true” National Socialism, and that Trawny’s main criterion regarding Heidegger’s anti-Semitism is false. Heidegger’s case is compared with Max Scheler, who, because of Hitler, turned from the right to the centre. In addition, alternatives to Trawny’s detailed interpretations of three of Heidegger’s anti-Semitic remarks are offered, it is shown that Trawny misconstrues Heidegger’s anti-Semitism, and the anti-Semitic aspects of Heidegger’s history of Being are presented.
18. Philosophy Today: Volume > 60 > Issue: 2
Mark Alznauer Secularizing Kenosis: Review of Sacrifice in the Post-Kantian Tradition: Perspectivism, Intersubjectivity, and Recognition, by Paolo Diego Bubbio
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