An Atheism that Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought

Author: Stefanos Geroulanos
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804774246
Format: PDF
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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.

An Atheism that Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought

Author: Stefanos Geroulanos
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804762991
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
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
Format: PDF
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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, Docs
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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.

Between Utopia and Dystopia

Author: Hanan Yoran
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739136492
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Between Utopia and Dystopia offers a new interpretation of Erasmian humanism. It argues that Erasmian humanism created the identity of the universal and critical intellectual, but that this identity undermined the fundamental premises of humanist discourse. It closely reads several works of Erasmus and Thomas More, employing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of intellectual history, and adopting theoretical insights and methodological procedures from various disciplines.

Knowledge of Life

Author: Georges Canguilhem
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 0823229270
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As the work of thinkers such as Michel Foucault, Franois Jacob, Louis Althusser, and Pierre Bourdieu demonstrates, Georges Canguilhem has exerted tremendous influence on the philosophy of science and French philosophy more generally. In Knowledge of Life, a book that spans twenty years of his essays and lectures, Canguilhem offers a series of epistemological histories that seek to establish and clarify the stakes, ambiguities, and emergence of philosophical and biological concepts that defined the rise of modern biology. How do transformations in biology and modern medicine shape conceptions of life? How do philosophical concepts feed into biological ideas and experimental practices, and how are they themselves transformed? How does knowledge undo the experience of life so as to help man remake what life has made without him, in him or outside of him?Knowledge of Life is Canguilhem's effort to explain how the movements of knowledge and life come to rest upon each other. Published at the dawn of the genetic revolution and still pertinent today, the book tackles the history of cell theory, the conceptual moves toward and away from mechanical understandings of the organism, the persistence of vitalism, and the nature of normality in science and its objects.

Difficult Atheism Post Theological Thinking in Alain Badiou Jean Luc Nancy and Quentin Meillassoux

Author: Christopher Watkin
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748646302
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Reassesses the term 'atheism' in the context of contemporary French philosophy. Drawing primarily on the work of Alain Badiou, Jean-Luc Nancy and Quentin Meillassoux, Watkin explores post-theological reassessments of atheism through the ideas of the death of God and nihilism in contemporary French philosophy, and probes the limits of any 'atheistic politics'. He argues that rigorous atheism is elusive, and that Continental thought, even in its most stridently atheistic guises, has yet fully come to terms with the death of God.

A Short History of Atheism

Author: Gavin Hyman
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 0857730355
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The last few years have seen a remarkable surge of popular interest in the topic of atheism. Books about atheism by writers like richard dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have figured prominently in bestseller lists and have attracted widespread discussion in the media. The ubiquity of public debates about atheism, especially in conscious opposition to the perceived social threat posed by faith and religion, has been startling. However, as gavin Hyman points out, despite their prevalence and popularity, what often characterises these debates is a lack of nuance and sophistication. They can be shrill, ignorant of the historical complexity of discussions about belief, and tend to lapse into caricature. What is needed is a clear and well-informed presentation of how atheistic ideas originated and developed, in order to illuminate their contemporary relevance and application. That task is what the author undertakes here. Charting the rise of atheism as an explicit philosophical position (notably in the work of denis diderot), Hyman traces its development in the ideas of descartes, Locke and Berkeley, and draws too on the work of important contemporary scholars like amos Funkenstein and michael J. Buckley. arguing that the plausibility and persuasiveness of atheism is sustained by the demise of a religion that is defined by the presuppositions and assumptions of modernity, the author boldly suggests that atheism - like the belief to which it is antipathetic - is itself vulnerable to a future that challenges the intellectual inheritance of the enlightenment. For anyone interested in the origins of atheism (whether they consider themselves to be ‘an atheist’, or ‘religious’, or indeed somewhere in-between), and in the rich cultural, philosophical and historical matrix out of which it emerged, A Short History of Atheism offers a fascinating exploration of the often surprising co-dependency of faith and its negation.

The Drama of Atheist Humanism

Author: Henri de Lubac
Publisher: Ignatius Press
ISBN: 9780898704433
Format: PDF, Docs
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De Lubac traces the origin of 19th century attempts to construct a humanism apart from God, the sources of contemporary atheism which purports to have 'moved beyond God.' The three persons he focuses on are Feuerbach, who greatly influenced Marx; Nietzsche, who represents nihilism; and Comte, who is the father of all forms of positivism. He then shows that the only one who really responded to this ideology was Dostoevsky, a kind of prophet who criticizes in his novels this attempt to have a society without God. Despite their historical and scholarly appearance, de Lubac's work clearly refers to the present. As he investigates the sources of modern atheism, particularly in its claim to have definitely moved beyond the idea of God, he is thinking of an ideology prevalent today in East and West which regards the Christian faith as a completely outdated.