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21. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
David A. Colón Deep Translation and Subversive Formalism: The Case of Salomón de la Selva’s Tropical Town, And Other Poems (1918)
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Salomón de la Selva (1893-1959) was a Nicaraguan writer/activist who authored many books of verse in Spanish, but only one in English: TropicalTown, And Other Poems (1918). Published in New York by John Lane–and regarded by Silvio Sirias as the first book of English verse published in the U.S.by a Latin American–Tropical Town exhibits a curious dynamic of avantgarde impulse: radically subversive in invoking counter-politics resisting U.S. colonial transnationalism, yet tending toward inherited, traditional aesthetic forms of poetry meant to legitimize Selva’s Latin American identity with an impression of authority that contiguous Modernist experimental poetries could not. Through its sympathy for the U.S. immigrant’s nostalgia for homeland, coupled with express disapproval of U.S. international affairs, Tropical Town leaves a poetic record that challenges presuppositions about the integral relationships between ethos, aesthetics, and consciousness vis-à-vis assumed understandings of what constitutes radical poetry in the Modernist moment.
22. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
Laurie Johnson Spectral Machinery (or Beyond Essence and System)
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The prospects for a phenomenology of technology have been guided in the past decade by a split between supporters of Martin Heidegger and those who subscribe to Bernard Stiegler’s critique of Heidegger. This essay proposes that both are needed for a phenomenology of what Edward Castronova calls “synthetic worlds” (large on-line environments like Second Life and World of Warcraft). Here is a phenomenology that must take into account histories of design and technical evolution to account for the particular “fantasy of disembodiment” that shapes a user’s experience of a synthetic world, forgetting the bodily engagement with hardware.
23. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
James Tar Tsaaior Postcolonial History, Memory and the Poetic Imagination: Interrogating the “Civan” Metaphor in Joe Ushie’s Eclipse in Rwanda.
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This paper, therefore, ploughs the furrow of postcolonial history, memory and the poetic imagination deploying the poetry of the Nigerian poet Joe Ushie.In particular, the paper negotiates the Rwandan genocide as a tragic foreground of the imperial process through its indulgent, artificial fixing of boundaries to accomplish its empire-building project in Africa. But beyond the colonial mediation in, and onslaught on, the cultures of others, the paper argues that African societies have also been complicit in their agonistic and violent history as the Rwandan genocide amply demonstrates. The paper concludes that a martial culture reminiscent of Civan, the warmonger, which manifests itself in private and especially public domains will only entrench intolerance, ethnocentrism, communal wars and violent death on the continent.
24. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 17
Lauren Berlant Affect and the Political
25. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
David E. Schrader Living Together in an Ecological Community
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Environmental ethics uniquely challenges us to re-examine the foundations of ethical thought. Ethical frameworks that focus on individual ethical agents and ethical patients, ignoring their status as parts of interrelated communities, lead to strongly counterintuitive results in important cases. Ideas only hinted at in Aldo Leopold’s idea of “land ethic” can be developed fruitfully by extending a pragmatist ethical framework drawn from the work of William James. Such a framework is not without difficulties, but does offer a potentially valuable way of framing our ethical obligations toward the encompassing environment within which we live.
26. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Herman Rapaport A Lover’s Lobster: Somatic Projection in Proust
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This paper considers a minor if not fleeting detail from Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu which easily escapes noticeability though it is a signifier that reverberates with and, in fact, repeats the extremely well known epiphany of the Madeleine, though by way of an extremely muted parody that I doubt a reader would notice if he or she had not stopped to examine it. This detail concerns a lobster dismantled on Marcel's plate during lunch at the home of the Swanns. My argument is that the figure of the lobster is what psychologists call a "somatic projection," which in this case has a surreal effect, given that the lobster suddenly becomes a substitute for, say, a woman's body. Moreover, by way of a culinary issue concerning the preparation of lobsters in France and the types of lobstersthat are being prepared, the lobster improbably becomes an object that symbolically traverses sexual orientations, which is also a somatic projection of sorts. That the lobster is a fantasized sexual object whose monstrosity is constitutive of a sexual field divided by different orientations is a matter that this paper takes up. The paper ends with a few remarks about Salvador Dali's surrealist use of imagining the lobster as a fetish object for woman's sex. In various degrees, this paper is relevant to gay studies, object relations theory, the study of fantasy, surrealism in fiction, literature and the culinary, psychology and epistemology, visual art, and, of course, Proust studies.
27. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Geraldine Friedman History and the Traumatic Narrative of Desire and Enjoyment in Althusser
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Among Marxists and Communists, Louis Althusser has long had a reputation for theoreticism and scientism, the factors most often cited to explain the eclipse of his work since the 1960’s. According to the standard account, the distinguishing characteristic and major flaw of his work is that it brings everything back to knowledge. In this essay, I interrogate this understanding of Althusser by reconsidering two cornerstones of Althusserian theory that seem most to exemplify his extreme privileging of epistemology: the symptom and the interpellation theory of ideology. I argue not that taking them to work on the epistemological level is wrong but rather incomplete; there exists a not quite acknowledged beyond of knowledge and interpellation in Althusser, which takes the form of a traumaticnarrative of history, enjoyment, and desire. The production of knowledge in Althusser unfolds as a pathos-laden story, which on one level gestures toward the turbulent world history in which he developed his theory: primarily WW II and the post-war Stalinist revelations, along with the conflicts it provoked in the Communist Party, and the French Communist Party in particular. Although not the subject of extended analysis, these events haunt Althusser’s texts in the form of allusions and the surprisingly violent figurative language with which Althusser discusses theoretical labor. I contend that they call to be analyzed as a kind of return of the repressed, best approached through Slavoj Žižek’s psychoanalytically inflected theory of ideology.
28. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Arjun Poudel Letters against Cultures: Neo-conservatism, Thomas Babington Macaulay and Three Centuries of the War between the Ancients and Moderns
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This essay draws a parallel between Macaulay’s stint as the “lawgiver” of India under the East India Company and the Anglicists-Orientalists debate that he brought to a decisive end on the one hand and on the other the culture/canon wars of the 1980s, and the neoconservative ascendancy that followed it and remained influential during the second Iraq War. Although neo-conservativism’s fierce resistance to a more inclusive liberal arts curriculum in the 1980s and its towering role during the militarization of the US foreign policy in the last decade has established it as the most Eurocentric and logocentric intellectual movement at present, post-colonial studies is yet to take a serious reckoning of this ideological movement. This essay tries to fill this lacuna with an attempt to first establish Macaulayite Whiggism as a precursor of the American neo-conservatism and then to focus on Macaulay’s oedipal hostility with Sir William Temple, who was not just the most accomplished statesman of English Restoration Era (that Macaulay himself considered the golden period of English history and became its historian laureate), but also stood on the exact opposite pole of Macaulay’s Whiggish Eurocentrism. Finally, the essay will briefly consider Temple’s little-known essay “On the Ancient and Modern Learning” and its genuine and uniquely anti-logocentric outlook on non-European cultures and their histories.
29. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Brian Mussaumi Beyond the “Techniques of Domination”: Affect, Capitalism and Resistance
30. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 7 > Issue: 18
Chris Hughes Dialogue Between Fukuyama’s Account of the End of History and Derrida’s Hauntology
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This paper explores the relationship between Fukuyama’s account of history and Derrida’s theory of hauntology. Initially, I use Derrida’s idea of hauntology tocritique Fukuyama’s account of an end of history. I argue that Derrida’s idea of a hauntology is a valuable theoretical tool for theorising about politics, sinceDerrida shows that the death of a particular social/political system (e.g. Communism) does not entail the death/devaluing of the thinker(s) who inspired that system, since critics of the contemporary social and political order may have something valuable to offer contemporary political thought. However, I do notendorse the view that history cannot reach an end point just because there are specters waiting to return. Instead, I argue that it is possible to bridge theapparent dualistic binary between Derrida’s hauntology and Fukuyama’s end of history, since the specter is something which must be recognised and realised atthe end of history.
31. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Mamikon Asatryan The Key to the Economic and Socio-political Fallacies of Marxism
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The defeat of the USSR and of the world system of socialism, which was of a world-wide significance, raised a key question of its underlying causes. As an answer to that question, it is shown that the defeat was by no way accidental as it was brought forth not only because of mistakes in the application of Marxism but also of significant economic and socio-political fallacies. The key is in the fallacies, which are hidden deeply inside the methodology of Marxism and which therefore went unnoticed by anyone, i.e. in the violation in Marx’s Das Kapital of the requirements of a number of scientific methods that he used. Marx violated the requirements of the main method used in Das Kapital, viz. the method of ascension from the abstract to the concrete (he attributed the function of forecasting the future to that method, even though the method does not have it) as well as the methods of forecast, systems approach and hypothesis. Those methodological fallacies and distortions and their epistemological consequences provide evidence that Marxism is a result of seriously flawed beliefs and it could not avoid failure. Exposure of the above-mentioned fallacies and distortions will help broad masses of people to shed communist illusions and to avoid new social and political upheavals.
32. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Charles Altiei Aesthetics of Affects: What Can Affect Tell Us about Literature?
33. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
John F. DeCarlo Introduction: Busting the Hermeneutical Ghosts in the Hamlet Machine
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Busting the Hermenuetical Ghosts: Steering clear of pre-modern, Romantic, Freudian, and post-modern readings, DeCarlo asserts how Shakespeare's Hamlet text foreshadows the modern philosophical thought of Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, particularly in regard to the intellectual issues of thought and doubt, time and action, and being and death.
34. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Heidi L. Pennington “But why must readers be made to feel. . . .”: Repulsing Readerly Sympathy for Ethical Ends in the Victorian Realist Novel
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In this article, I investigate the ethical potential of Victorian literature that markedly discourages readerly sympathy with the protagonists. Generating sympathy for fictional characters was, and often still is, considered to be the primary way in which the novel promotes ethical thoughts, feelings, and behavior in readers. For this reason, the ethical prospects of novels that fail or refuse to make their main characters appealing and instead inspire aversion in readers have received very little critical attention. Taking an unpopular novel by Anthony Trollope as my primary example, I analyze how the formal narrative strategy of “disnarration” (theorized by Gerald Prince) creates profound dislike for the book’s protagonists. Further, I propose that these same passages of disnarration, by emphasizing the text’s fictionality, can encourage readers to seek the sympathetic fulfillment that the text refuses them by engaging with the real world. In this way, I argue, even Victorian realist novels that defy the conventions of sympathy might still share an investment in realizing the ethical potential of fiction.
35. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 19
Charles Ross Murrin, Lewis, Greenblatt, and the Aristotelian Self-Swerve
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Michael Murrin’s work on allegory provides an instructive contrast to Stephen Greenblatt’s Aristotelian conception of art as representation. This essay argues that Christian Platonism created the allegorical mode in which Spenser wrote, allowing a different perspective of the self than the one Greenblatt describes in Renaissance Self-Fashioning. The essay then suggests that those Christian thinkers (cited by Greenblatt in The Swerve) who rejected Lucretius and Epicureanism did so for philosophical reasons deeply grounded in Plato’s thought–reasons that in the twentieth century found a home in the work of C. S. Lewis.
36. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 20
Hoyt Edge, Margaret A. McLaren Relational Selves: Gender and Cultural Differences in Moral Reasoning
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Our paper examines the impact of the intersection of cultural and gender identity on moral reasoning. We argue that concepts of self and approaches to moral reasoning are connected, concepts of self differ by gender and culture, moral reasoning differs by gender and culture. We propose that moral philosophy strives to be as inclusive as possible by including the full range of human diversity and experience. This would mean embracing—indeed, starting from—a multicultural, feminist approach to moral theories and questions; this approach would not only be sensitive to gender and cultural bias, but also offer an alternative model to the paradigmatic rational, autonomous, independent agent of traditional moral theory. This has implications for other areas of philosophy as well, such as recent work in philosophy of mind on the idea of extended cognition.
37. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 20
Daniel Thomières Emily Dickinson: What Is Called Thinking at the Edge of Chaos?
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The article is concerned with the problem of tradition. In what tradition should we place ourselves in order to understand Emily Dickinson a little better? For a number of reasons, empiricism is suggested and redefined, as there are at least two conceptions available (Locke's and Hume's). It is argued that this approach helps us account for the way Dickinson uses language in order to go as far as words will let her go. Can empiricism and Emily Dickinson enable us to see what the self, or identity–for want of better words–are? The poem "It was not Death, for I stood up" is studied in detail.
38. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 20
Peter Nicholls Late Pound: The Case of Canto CVII
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Pound’s Thrones de los Cantares, the last full sequence of The Cantos has always been the least popular part of the long poem. Ronald Bush speaks for many when he concludes that its “substance is so abbreviated as to be unreadable” and that “the truncated and gnomic style of Thrones is inappropriate to the point of absurdity.”This essay seeks to analyze in detail one Canto from the sequence–Canto CVII–so as to define more closely the particular problems, formal and conceptual, that it presents to the reader. The essay offers a reading of the Canto and of Thrones that detects a profound tension in Pound’s writing between reference and allusion.
39. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 20
Joseph Weiss The Reproduction of Subjectivity and the Turnover-time of Ideology: Speculating with German Idealism, Marx, and Adorno
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This essay aims to lay the grounds for further exploration into how Louis Althusser’s conception of ideological interpellation might relate to the contemporary stage of neo-liberal capitalism. While bearing in mind Althusser’s framework, I mainly focus on how both Marx’s conception of the turnover-time (Umschlagszeit) of circulation and T.W. Adorno’s conception of the war-torn process of negative dialectics bring to the fore the moment when the unity of subjectivity ruptures. Through an examination of the process of reproduction, we not only observe how much German Idealism’s appeal to the unity of apperception was already structured by the logic of the commodity-form, we also witness how modern subjection has always been caught up in a speculative fetishism that disavows the negativity of experience, prioritizes time over space, and remains in thrall to the ever-accelerating speed of the totality. This indicates that the historical transformations in the temporal and spatial organization of subjectivity may, on the one hand, strengthen subjectivity by upsetting the capacity or desire to answer the so-called “hail” of the State, but may also, on the other hand, increase its malleability to domination.
40. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry: Volume > 8 > Issue: 20
Charley Ejede Mejame The Question of Alterity and the Problem of Encounters, Communication, and Dialogue
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Contemporary philosophers, humanists, and social scientists have been wrestling with the difficulties mankind has in living together, with the problem of alterity, the problem of the other, the conundrum of the damnation of hell (as Jean-Paul Sartre terms it), its torture or agony and sufferings in the modern world. It is mentioned that we are nothing without others, that we are strongly interdependent, and that it is beyond the bounds of possibility avoiding their presence, which is basic to what we are. Yet living together with them is complex and difficult. Sundry problems, torments are, as it were, caused by their behaviors and judgments. We are sent negative images as well as deterministic plans to wrestle with. For Jean-Paul Sartre our relation with others is per se conflictual. The problem of alterity has all along presented serious problems to philosophers and humanists; they have not only found themselves powerless in the face of these manifestations but even seems foster them. This article identifies and examines the function and the devastating repercussions of this conflict, the representation, which we every one of us can have of himself in terms of identity in contemporary society. The paper also establishes significant points of convergence and contrast between contemporary Western thinkers (Levinas, Derrida etc.) and the healing wisdom of Africa implicit in its yet to be explored linguistic and literary corpus in addressing contemporary problems in humans living together, the problematic of an ethical life. According to Edgar Morin, we are in the prehistory of the human mind, meaning that the human mental capacities are yet to be explored, especially at the level of our relations with others.