An Atheism that Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought

Author: Stefanos Geroulanos
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804774246
Format: PDF, Mobi
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French philosophy changed dramatically in the second quarter of the twentieth century. In the wake of World War I and, later, the Nazi and Soviet disasters, major philosophers such as Kojève, Levinas, Heidegger, Koyré, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Hyppolite argued that man could no longer fill the void left by the "death of God" without also calling up the worst in human history and denigrating the dignity of the human subject. In response, they contributed to a new belief that man should no longer be viewed as the basis for existence, thought, and ethics; rather, human nature became dependent on other concepts and structures, including Being, language, thought, and culture. This argument, which was to be paramount for existentialism and structuralism, came to dominate postwar thought. This intellectual history of these developments argues that at their heart lay a new atheism that rejected humanism as insufficient and ultimately violent.

Transparency in Postwar France

Author: Stefanos Geroulanos
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503603415
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This book returns to a time and place when the concept of transparency was met with deep suspicion. It offers a panorama of postwar French thought where attempts to show the perils of transparency in politics, ethics, and knowledge led to major conceptual inventions, many of which we now take for granted. Between 1945 and 1985, academics, artists, revolutionaries, and state functionaries spoke of transparency in pejorative terms. Associating it with the prying eyes of totalitarian governments, they undertook a critical project against it—in education, policing, social psychology, economic policy, and the management of information. Focusing on Sartre, Lacan, Canguilhem, Lévi-Strauss, Leroi-Gourhan, Foucault, Derrida, and others, Transparency in Postwar France explores the work of ethicists, who proposed that individuals are transparent neither to each other nor to themselves, and philosophers, who clamored for new epistemological foundations. These decades saw the emergence of the colonial and phenomenological "other," the transformation of ideas of normality, and the effort to overcome Enlightenment-era humanisms and violence in the name of freedom. These thinkers' innovations remain centerpieces for any resistance to contemporary illusions that tolerate or enable power and social coercion.

Posthuman Life

Author: David Roden
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317592328
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0. Posthuman Life argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. Posthuman Life develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.

The Young Derrida and French Philosophy 1945 1968

Author: Edward Baring
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139503235
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this powerful study Edward Baring sheds fresh light on Jacques Derrida, one of the most influential yet controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century. Reading Derrida from a historical perspective and drawing on new archival sources, The Young Derrida and French Philosophy shows how Derrida's thought arose in the closely contested space of post-war French intellectual life, developing in response to Sartrian existentialism, religious philosophy and the structuralism that found its base at the École Normale Supérieure. In a history of the philosophical movements and academic institutions of post-war France, Baring paints a portrait of a community caught between humanism and anti-humanism, providing a radically new interpretation of the genesis of deconstruction and of one of the most vibrant intellectual moments of modern times.

The Reject

Author: Irving Goh
Publisher:
ISBN: 0823262685
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This book seeks to posit a response commensurate with the radical horizon of Jean-Luc Nancy's question of who comes after the subject? We risk losing sight of that question today, as we witness a certain militant return of the subject. Consequently, we also risk diminishing our commitment to others and their differences, as the resurrection of the subject tends to bring with it a denigrating indifference to differences. Considering that the work to affirm others and differences remains unfinished, there is an urgency to revisit and respond more adequately to Nancy's question today. That is the endeavor of this book, and it responds with the reject. Through close, deconstructive readings of French thinkers such as Bataille, Deleuze, Derrida, Cixous, Clement, Nancy, Balibar, Ranciere, and Badiou, this book shows how the reject has always been nascent in contemporary French thought. Foregrounding the reject in French thought, this book argues, will enable us not only to rethink questions of friendship, love, community, democracy, the post-secular, and posthuman futures beyond anthropocentric limits, but also advance our commitment to others by ensuring that their differences are not acculturated in the process of their affirmation.

Re Envisioning Christian Humanism

Author: Jens Zimmermann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198778783
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Since the early 1980s, there has been renewed scholarly interest in the concept of Christian Humanism. A number of official Catholic documents have stressed the importance of "Christian humanism," as a vehicle of Christian social teaching and, indeed, as a Christian philosophy of culture. Fundamentally, humanism aims to explore what it means to be human and what the grounds are for human flourishing. Featuring contributions from internationally renowned Christian authors from a variety of disciplines in the humanities, Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism recovers a Christian humanist ethos for our time. The volume offers a chronological overview (from patristic humanism to the Reformation and beyond) and individual examples (Jewell, Calvin) of past Christian humanisms. The chapters are connected through the theme of Christian paideia as the foundation for liberal arts education.

Praying to a French God

Author: Dr Kenneth Jason Wardley
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 147242865X
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Beginning from the proposition that prayer is a theme that occurs throughout Lacoste’s writing, and using this proposition as a heuristic through which to view, interpret and critique his thought, this book examines Lacoste’s place amid both the recent “theological turn” in French thought and the post war emergence of la nouvelle théologie. Drawing upon unpublished and out of print material previously only available in French, Romanian or German, this will be of interest to scholars of philosophy, phenomenology and theology.

The Far Reaches

Author: Michael D. Gubser
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804792607
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When future historians chronicle the twentieth century, they will see phenomenology as one of the preeminent social and ethical philosophies of its age. The phenomenological movement not only produced systematic reflection on common moral concerns such as distinguishing right from wrong and explaining the status of values; it also called on philosophy to renew European societies facing crisis, an aim that inspired thinkers in interwar Europe as well as later communist bloc dissidents. Despite this legacy, phenomenology continues to be largely discounted as esoteric and solipsistic, the last gasp of a Cartesian dream to base knowledge on the isolated rational mind. Intellectual histories tend to cite Husserl's epistemological influence on philosophies like existentialism and deconstruction without considering his social or ethical imprint. And while a few recent scholars have begun to note phenomenology's wider ethical resonance, especially in French social thought, its image as stubbornly academic continues to hold sway. The Far Reaches challenges that image by tracing the first history of phenomenological ethics and social thought in Central Europe, from its founders Franz Brentano and Edmund Husserl through its reception in East Central Europe by dissident thinkers such as Jan Patočka, Karol Wojtyła (Pope John Paul II), and Václav Havel.

Adventures of the Symbolic

Author: Warren Breckman
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231512899
Format: PDF, ePub
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Marxism's collapse in the twentieth century profoundly altered the style and substance of Western European radical thought. To build a more robust form of democratic theory and action, prominent theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon class for more fragmented models of social action, and elevate the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they chose the "symbolic" as a concept powerful enough to reinvent leftist thought outside a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman critically revisits these thrilling experiments in the aftermath of Marxism. The post-Marxist idea of the symbolic is dynamic and complex, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first advanced a modern conception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for their otherworldly and nebulous posture, yet post-Marxist thinkers appreciated the rich potential of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first recognized. Mapping different ideas of the symbolic among contemporary thinkers, Breckman traces a fascinating reflection of Romantic themes and resonances, and he explores in depth the effort to reconcile a radical and democratic political agenda with a politics that does not privilege materialist understandings of the social. Engaging with the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj i ek, Breckman uniquely situates these important theorists within two hundred years of European thought and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.