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Displaying: 1-13 of 13 documents


1. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Andrea Mura Lacan and Debt: The Discourse of the Capitalist in Times of Austerity
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In this article a reference to Jacques Lacan’s ‘capitalist discourse’ will help highlight the bio-political workings of neo-liberalism in times of austerity, detecting the transition from so-called ‘debt economy’ to an ‘economy of anxiety.’ An ‘il-liberal’ turn at the core of neoliberal discourses will be examined in particular, which pivots on an ‘astute’ intersecting between outbursts of renunciation; irreducible circularity of guilt and satisfaction; persistent attachment to forms of dissipative enjoyment; and a pervasive blackmail under the register of all-encompassing regulations and evaluations — all of which elevates the production of success up to the point of a production and consumption of failure.
2. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Jason Read The Order and Connection of Ideology Is the Same as the Order and Connection of Exploitation: Towards a Bestiary of the Capitalist Imagination
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The turn to Spinoza by many Marxists combines the classic problem of Marxism, that of base and superstructure, economy and ideology, with Spinoza’s challenging assertion of the identity of order of connection of ideas and things. This paper looks at two contemporary neo-Spinozists, Frédéric Lordon and Yves Citton, examining the ways in which their works intertwine economy and ideology, desire and imagination. The point, however, is not to just read Marx with Spinoza, but to use both together to make sense of the imaginary and affective dimension of changes within the economy.
3. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Lode Lauwaert, Erica Harris The Enjoyment of Pure Reasoning: Gilles Deleuze on Marquis de Sade
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This paper is dedicated to a discussion of Gilles Deleuze’s Coldness and Cruelty and its special place in French Sade studies. In this text, Deleuze famously argues against the notion of ‘sadomasochism’ as a unity. Sadism and masochism are, on his view, two entirely separate and incompatible ways of making use of pain and suffering in perversion. What is less known about Deleuze’s text is that he argues, against the current in French philosophy, psychiatry, and even intuition, that the essence of sadism is a kind of thinking rather than a pleasure in causing pain to others. In this essay, we try to make sense of the idea that the sadist, at heart, is a metaphysician who thinks by means of suffering and indifference. Our paper also addresses the related concern about how to account for the properly sexual nature of this metaphysical perversion. We argue that the sexuality of thinking is rooted in pre-genital sexual life as described by Freud in his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.
4. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Basil Vassilicos Of Life that Resists: On Michel Henry’s Notion of Self-Affection
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For Michel Henry, the Cartesian notion of “videre videor” (“I seem to see”) provides the clearest schema of the type of self-affection in which life is experienced, and through which one can provide a properly phenomenological conception of life. It is above all in Henry’s exemplification of the ‘videor’ in terms of affective experience (in undergoing a passion, feeling pain) that one is able to pin down his two principle arguments concerning the nature of this self-affection. The one, regarding the videor as a form of self-awareness, ultimately fails to convince, whereas the same cannot be said for Henry’s analyses of those types of affective experience whose primary characteristic is precisely a form of resistance internal to life itself. This leads to a demonstration of how Henry’s phenomenology of the videor founds an understanding of life that presupposes a form of impotence and limitation, and even finitude, as the very implication of its appearance.
5. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Idit Alphandary Love and Worldliness in Psychoanalysis and in the Work of Hannah Arendt
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Despite Hannah Arendt’s scepticism about psychoanalysis, this essay shows the relevance of Freud’s psychoanalytic notions of love and sublimation for Arendt. In her rejection of a political relevance of love, Arendt does not take into consideration the libidinal aspects of collective bonds, nor does she give an account of the passionate aspect of being together despite the crucial role of amor mundi in her work. Following Freud, I demonstrate that love and sublimation are fundamental to worldliness, central to our understanding of forgiveness and the making of promises, all of which is pivotal to understanding Hannah Arendt's political thought. In Freud’s writing love and sublimation expand knowledge and creativity and enable community building. By negotiating between Arendt’s and Freud’s writings on love and politics, this article demonstrates that sublimated love mediates between the private and public spheres. The ultimate question I ask concerns the relation between love of the world and its negation by radical evil.
6. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Antonio Calcagno The Transcendental and Inexistence in Alain Badiou’s Philosophy: A Derridean Similarity?
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In Logics of Worlds, Badiou claims that his concept of inexistence is similar to Derrida’s différance. This paper argues that Derrida’s double bind of possibility and impossibility, which co-constitutes and flows from the spatio-temporising that is différance, is less binary in its logic than Badiou’s notion of inexistence allows. For Badiou, time and the subject are constituted by the event, by a decision and the fidelity to a decision. He has no real sense of Derridean space: Badiou discusses space as localisation, atoms, situations or the containment that is proper to any set. Derridean spatialsing stems from de Saussure and his view of the differentiation between signs and words and phrases that produces meaning. I maintain that though there may be a resemblance between the two philosophers qua what they see is unaccountable or lies closed or hidden yet conditions any given “system” or “meaning-structure,” the way they justify such accounts would suggest a greater gap than what Badiou may be prepared to concede.
7. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Nathan Ross On Truth Content and False Consciousness in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory
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This paper argues that the central notion of truth content in Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory is to be understood through the way that art provides a mimesis of false consciousness. The paper is divided into three main parts: in the first part, I examine Adorno’s distinction between discursive truth and aesthetic truth. The latter rests on a theory of non-objectifying synthesis. The second part of the paper shows how art can be understood as a form of mimesis, thus distinguishing it from the ontology of representation. I argue that while there are many forms of mimesis, Adorno gives specific significance to the way in which modern art imitates social rationality. In the final section, I argue that art can be true by imitating ‘false consciousness’ and thus transforming it. I explain Adorno’s notion of false consciousness through four features: (1) there is a rigid bifurcation of enjoyment from work, (2) there is a sadistic enjoyment of violence, (3) there is a lack of cognitive tension between intuition and concept, and (4) there is a false projection of one’s own desires onto others.
8. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Colby Dickinson Slavoj Žižek on Jacques Derrida, or On Derrida’s Search for a Middle Ground between Marx and Benjamin, and His Finding Žižek Instead
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Critiques of Derrida from contemporary Marxist positions are nothing new, though the nature and force of their argumentation need to be further analyzed in order to conceive of what stake Derrida will continue to have in our understanding of any political (Hegelian) inheritance within the coming decades. In this essay, I seek to advance the conversation between Derrida and his Hegelian-Marxist critics—with Slavoj Žižek’s unique reading of Derrida being here foremost among them—in order to ascertain more precisely the framework of debate on dialectics and deconstruction that continues to define our realms of political representation.
9. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Beata Stawarska Strange Life of a Sentence: Saussurean Doctrine and Its Discontents
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In this essay, I follow the lead of recent scholarship in Saussure linguistics and critically examine the Saussurean doctrine associated with the Course in General Linguistics, which later became a hallmark of structuralism. Specifically, I reconstruct the history of the concluding sentence in the Course which establishes the priority of la langue over everything deemed external to it. This line assumed the status of an oft-cited ‘famous formula’ and became a structuralist motto. The ‘famous formula’ was, however, freely inserted by the editors of the Course who effectively ghostwrote the book after Saussure’s death, and authored a series of early book-reviews of the same text in dedicated scholarly venues. I argue that the editorial success turning their vision of Saussure’s teaching into official doctrine was enabled in part by the dominant social structures regulating twentieth-century European academia.
10. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Robert Trumbull Derrida and the Death Penalty: The Question of Cruelty
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This paper looks at the recently published text of Derrida’s 1999–2000 Death Penalty Seminars, reading it alongside a key text from the early 2000s, Derrida’s address to the Estates General of Psychoanalysis. Tracking Derrida’s insistent references to psychoanalysis in his writings on the issue of capital punishment, I argue that the deconstruction of the death penalty, in its full scope, can perhaps best be approached in the terms emerging out of Derrida’s engagement with psychoanalysis in this period. If this is the case, it is because the way psychoanalysis conceptualizes cruelty ultimately opens onto to a particular thinking of life that will come to serve as a crucial lever in Derrida’s treatment of the death penalty. What emerges in Derrida’s engagement with psychoanalysis in this period, then, I argue in conclusion, is the radical thinking of finitude and mortality at the core of the deconstruction of the death penalty.
book discussion: debra b. bergoffen, contesting the politics of genocidal rape: affirming the dignity of the vulnerable body
11. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Falguni A. Sheth Framing Rape: Patriarchy, Wartime, and the Spectacle of Genocidal Rape: Comment on Deborah B. Bergoffen, Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape: Affirming the Dignity of the Vulnerable Body
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Debra Bergoffen’s Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape shows us beautifully what is gained by considering rape as a consequence of genocide. What gets lost here, in relation to considering cases of rape that are not the result of such, such as gang rape, “mass rape,” or other instances of rape? Is rape qua rape a human rights violation of a sort that is articulated within the context of the “right to sexual integrity”? Can a case be made, even in “non-wartime” societies where rape occurs systematically as an instance of patriarchy and misogyny, that rape is a human rights violation of the right to sexual self-determination? Or is it the case that the conditions of wartime rape merit a different set of considerations in order to locate it as a human rights violation? My comments attempt to think through some of these questions with Bergoffen.
12. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Ann V. Murphy The Traffic in Women Reconsidered: On Debra Bergoffen's Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape
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This essay explores the dynamics of shame as they relate to genocidal rape in Debra Bergoffen’s work, as well as her diagnosis of the traffic in women’s bodies that motivates genocidal rape and is responsible for its deployment as a weapon of war.
13. Philosophy Today: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Debra B. Bergoffen Disruptions
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This response to Falguni Sheth’s and Ann Murphy’s readings of my book, Contesting the Politics of Genocidal Rape: Affirming the Dignity of the Vulnerable Body, pursues the questions they raise regarding the domestic implications of establishing rape as a crime against humanity, the problematic distinction between genocide and ethnic cleansing, the politics of autonomy, the trafficking in shame, the relationship between violence and vulnerability, and the possibility of an ethics of vulnerability, by focusing on the disruptions created by ICTY Kunarac case. These disruptions blur the distinction between wartime and peacetime rape, challenge the difference between genocide and ethnic cleansing, expose the norms of patriarchal privilege embedded in ontologies of autonomy and invulnerability, reveal the relationship between an ontology and ethics of vulnerability and show how shame, as Pharmakon, can transform the shocked conscience of humanity invoked in contemporary human rights documents into political action.