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Western Philosophy

CRITIQUE AND PRAXIS

CRITIQUE AND PRAXIS

By: Harcourt, Bernard E
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Critical philosophy has always challenged the division between theory and practice. At its best, it aims to turn contemplation into emancipation, seeking to transform society in pursuit of equality, autonomy, and human flourishing. Yet today's critical theory often seems to engage only in critique. These times of crisis demand more.

Bernard E. Harcourt challenges us to move beyond decades of philosophical detours and to harness critical thought to the need for action. In a time of increasing awareness of economic and social inequality, Harcourt calls on us to make society more equal and just. Only critical theory can guide us toward a more self-reflexive pursuit of justice. Charting a vision for political action and social transformation, Harcourt argues that instead of posing the question, "What is to be done?" we must now turn it back onto ourselves and ask, and answer, "What more am I to do?"

Critique and Praxis advocates for a new path forward that constantly challenges each and every one of us to ask what more we can do to realize a society based on equality and justice. Joining his decades of activism, social-justice litigation, and political engagement with his years of critical theory and philosophical work, Harcourt has written a magnum opus.

CRITIQUE DIALECTICAL REASON 2

CRITIQUE DIALECTICAL REASON 2

By: Sartre, Jean-Paul
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Does history produce discernible meaning? Are human struggles intelligible? These questions form the starting-point for the second volume of Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason. Drafted in 1958 and published in France in 1985, this magisterial work first appeared in English in 1991 and now reappears with a major new introduction by Fredric Jameson.

Volume Two's theoretical framework is a logical extension of the predecessor's. As in Volume One, Sartre proceeds by moving from the simple to the complex: from individual combat (through a perceptive study of boxing) to the struggle of subgroups within an organized group form and, finally, to social struggle, with an extended analysis of the Bolshevik Revolution. The book concludes with a forceful reaffirmation of dialectical reason: of the dialectic as 'that which is truly irreducible in action'.

CRITIQUE OF RELIGION & PHILOSOPHY

CRITIQUE OF RELIGION & PHILOSOPHY

By: Kaufmann, Walter A
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From one of the major figures of twentieth-century intellectual life, an incisive critique of faith and reason in the secular age

Originally published in 1958, Critique of Religion and Philosophy is Walter Kaufmann's luminous appraisal of the orthodoxies of his day. Although he was a philosopher first and foremost, Kaufmann was not immune to the wellsprings from which religion originates, considering it to be among the most vital and radical expressions of the human intellect. In this panoramic and uniquely personal book, he tests the limits of faith and reason in our secular age. Kaufmann discusses topics ranging from positivism and existentialism to language, scripture, and Eros, and shares his views on thinkers such as Plato, Aquinas, Kant, Bultmann, Niebuhr, and Freud. Challenging, playful, and disarmingly honest, Critique of Religion and Philosophy is as bold and provocative as when it was first published.

CROSSOVER QUERIES

CROSSOVER QUERIES

By: Wyschogrod, Edith
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Exploring the risks, ambiguities, and unstable conceptual worlds of contemporary thought, Crossover Queries brings together the wide-ranging writings, across twenty years, of one of our most important philosophers.

Ranging from twentieth-century European philosophy--the thought of Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Levinas, Janicaud, and others--to novels and artworks, music and dance, from traditional Jewish thought to Jain and
Buddhist metaphysics, Wyschogrod's work opens radically new vistas while remaining mindful that the philosopher stands within and is responsible to a philosophical legacy conditioned by the negative.

Rather than point to a Hegelian dialectic of overcoming negation or to a postmetaphysical exhaustion, Wyschogrod treats negative moments as opening novel spaces for thought. She probes both the desire for God and an ethics grounded in the interests of the other person, seeing these as moments both of crossing over and of negation. Alert to the catastrophes that have marked our times, she exposes the underlying logical structures of nihilatory forces that have been exerted to exterminate whole peoples. Analyzing the negations
of biological research and cultural images of mechanized and robotic bodies, she shows how they contest the body as lived in ordinary experience.

"Crossover Queries brings together important essays on a remarkable range of topics by one of our most insightful cultural critics. Commenting on philosophical and theological issues that have shaped the recent past as well as scientific and technological questions that will preoccupy us in the near future, Wyschogrod consistently alerts us to the urgency of problems whose importance few recognize. To avoid the challenge these essays pose is to avoid responsibility for a future that appears to be increasingly fragile."--Mark C. Taylor, Columbia University

CULT OF NOTHINGNESS

CULT OF NOTHINGNESS

By: Droit, Roger-Pol
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The common Western understanding of Buddhism today envisions this major world religion as one of compassion and tolerance. But as Roger-Pol Droit reveals, this view bears little resemblance to one broadly held in the nineteenth-century European philosophical imagination that saw Buddhism as a religion of annihilation calling for the destruction of the self.

Originally published in France in 1997, this book traces the history of the Western discovery of Buddhism. Droit shows that such major philosophers as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Hegel, Cousin, and Renan imagined Buddhism as a religion that was, as Nietzsche put it, a "negation of the world." In fact, says Droit, such portrayals were more a reflection of what was happening in Europe at the time--when the collapse of traditional European hierarchies and values, the specter of atheism, and the rise of racism and social revolts were shaking European societies--than an accurate description of Buddhist thought. Droit also reflects on how this history continues to echo in contemporary Western understandings of Buddhism. The book includes a comprehensive bibliography of books on Buddhism published in the West between 1638 and 1890.

Courtesy of Zendoji. Photograph by Richard M. Jaffe.





CULTURAL OTHERNESS

CULTURAL OTHERNESS

By: Balslev, Anindita Niyogi
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This volume comprises a number of letters between author Anindita Niyogi Balslev and philosopher Richard Rorty. The letters explore ways to generate a creative and critical crosscultural discourse not only by challenging stereotypes about cultures and subcultures in general and traditions of thought in particular, but by being careful not to abolish the common ground on which stereotypes can be addressed.
CULTURE AND THE DEATH OF GOD

CULTURE AND THE DEATH OF GOD

By: Eagleton, Terry
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New observations on the persistence of God in modern times and why "authentic" atheism is so very hard to come by

How to live in a supposedly faithless world threatened by religious fundamentalism? Terry Eagleton, formidable thinker and renowned cultural critic, investigates in this thought-provoking book the contradictions, difficulties, and significance of the modern search for a replacement for God. Engaging with a phenomenally wide range of ideas, issues, and thinkers from the Enlightenment to today, Eagleton discusses the state of religion before and after 9/11, the ironies surrounding Western capitalism's part in spawning not only secularism but also fundamentalism, and the unsatisfactory surrogates for the Almighty invented in the post-Enlightenment era.

The author reflects on the unique capacities of religion, the possibilities of culture and art as modern paths to salvation, the so-called war on terror's impact on atheism, and a host of other topics of concern to those who envision a future in which just and compassionate communities thrive. Lucid, stylish, and entertaining in his usual manner, Eagleton presents a brilliant survey of modern thought that also serves as a timely, urgently needed intervention into our perilous political present.

CULTURE OF CRITICISM

CULTURE OF CRITICISM

By: Gunn, Giles B
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Giles Gunn's important new work is at once a provocative defense of the kind of moral reflection once associated in America with the writings of Lionel Trilling and Edmund Wilson and an acknowledgement that this pragmatic legacy must be reevaluated in the light of challenges posed by structuralist and post-structuralist theory. Including detailed discussions of such thinkers as Kenneth Burke, Clifford Geertz, Mikhail Bakhtin, Richard Rorty, Trilling, and Wilson, Gunn challenges the assumptions of modern criticism with a revised interpretation of pragmatism and its critical legacy. Part critical analysis, part philosophical argument, part literary and cultural history, this work is a carefully delineated vision of what criticism actively engaged in its society can accomplish.
CULTURE OF LITERACY

CULTURE OF LITERACY

By: Godzich, Wlad
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At the onset of modernity in the sixteenth century, literature and history were wrenched apart. Wlad Godzich, one of the animators of the turn toward literary theory, seeks to restore historical consciousness to criticism after a period of painful depression. In this sweeping study, he considers the emergence of the modern state, the institutions and disciplines of culture and learning, as well as the history of philosophy, the history of historiography, and literary history itself. He offers a powerful account of semiotics; an important critical perspective on narratology; a profound discussion of deconstruction; and many brief, practical demonstrations of why Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger remain essential resources for contemporary critical thought.

The culture of literacy is on the wane, Godzich argues. Throughout the modern period, language has been the institution that provided the condition of possibility for all other institutions, from university to church to state. But the pervasive crisis of meaning we now experience is the result of a shift in the modes of production of knowledge. The culture of literacy has been faced with transformations it cannot accommodate, and the existing organization of knowledge has been challenged. By wedding literature to a reflective practice of history, Godzich leads us toward a critique of political reason, and a profound sense of how postmodernity can overcome by deftly sidestepping the modern. This book will bring to a wider audience the work of a writer who is recognized as one of the most commanding figures of his generation for range, learning, and capacity for innovation.

CURRENT CONTINENTAL THOUGHT & MOD

CURRENT CONTINENTAL THOUGHT & MOD

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For decades Continental theorists from Derrida to Deleuze have engaged in provocative, penetrating, and often extensive examinations of modern philosophers-studies that have opened up new ways to think about figures such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, and Kant. This volume, for the first time, gives this work its due. A systematic rereading of early modern philosophers in the light of recent Continental philosophy, it exposes overlooked but critical aspects of sixteenth- through eighteenth-century philosophy even as it brings to light certain historical assumptions that have colored-and distorted-our understanding of modernist thought. This volume thus retrieves modern thinkers from the modernistic ways in which they have been portrayed since the nineteenth century; at the same time, it enhances our view of the roots and concerns of current Continental thought.

What claims does the early modern period have on contemporary philosophy? How have recent theorists engaged this material, and why? In answer, some of these essays explore how major Continental theorists such as Derrida, Deleuze, Le Doeuff, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Althusser explicate the ideas of classical modern thinkers; others draw on recent Continental insights to examine the doctrines of modern philosophers beginning with Machiavelli and ending with Kant. Together they show how current Continental theory reinvigorates the study of the history of modern philosophers by transforming not only how we interpret their answers to certain questions, but also how we understand the very nature of these questions.

CYNICISM

CYNICISM

By: Allen, Ansgar
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A short history of cynicism, from the fearless speech of the ancient Greeks to the jaded negativity of the present.

Everyone's a cynic, yet few will admit it. Today's cynics excuse themselves half-heartedly--"I hate to be a cynic, but...--before making their pronouncements. Narrowly opportunistic, always on the take, contemporary cynicism has nothing positive to contribute. The Cynicism of the ancient Greeks, however, was very different. This Cynicism was a marginal philosophy practiced by a small band of eccentrics. Bold and shameless, it was committed to transforming the values on which civilization depends. In this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Ansgar Allen charts the long history of cynicism, from the "fearless speech" of Greek Cynics in the fourth century BCE to the contemporary cynic's lack of social and political convictions.

Allen describes ancient Cynicism as an improvised philosophy and a way of life disposed to scandalize contemporaries, subjecting their cultural commitments to derision. He chronicles the subsequent "purification" of Cynicism by the Stoics; Renaissance and Enlightenment appropriations of Cynicism, drawing on the writings of Shakespeare, Rabelais, Rousseau, de Sade, and others; and the transition from Cynicism (the philosophy) to cynicism (the modern attitude), exploring contemporary cynicism from the perspectives of its leftist, liberal, and conservative critics. Finally, he considers the possibility of a radical cynicism that admits and affirms the danger it poses to contemporary society.

DAWN: Thoughts on the Presumptions of Morality Vol. 5

DAWN: Thoughts on the Presumptions of Morality Vol. 5

By: Nietzsche, Friedrich
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Dawn is the most recent volume to appear in the first complete, critical, and annotated English edition of all of Nietzsche's work. The edition, organized originally by Ernst Behler and Bernd Magnus, is a translation of the celebrated Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden (1980) edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. The book is the first to appear under the editorial direction of Alan D. Schrift, Keith Ansell-Pearson, and Duncan Large, and to incorporate subsequent corrections to the 1980 edition.

Continuing the positivistic turn of Human, All Too Human, Dawn is the second installment in the free spirit trilogy that culminated in The Joyful Science. One of Nietzsche's "yes-saying" books, it marks his first significant confrontation with morality and offers glimpses of many of the signature themes in his mature works. Dawn has come to be admired in recent years for its ethical naturalism, psychological observations, and therapeutic insights. Presented in Nietzsche's aphoristic style, it is a text with hidden riches, one that must be read between the lines and one that the discerning reader will admire and cherish.

DEATH ALGORITHM AND OTHER DIGITAL DILEMMAS

DEATH ALGORITHM AND OTHER DIGITAL DILEMMAS

By: Simanowski, Roberto
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Provocative takes on cyberbullshit, smartphone zombies, instant gratification, the traffic school of the information highway, and other philosophical concerns of the Internet age.

In The Death Algorithm and Other Digital Dilemmas, Roberto Simanowski wonders if we are on the brink of a society that views social, political, and ethical challenges as technological problems that can be fixed with the right algorithm, the best data, or the fastest computer. For example, the "death algorithm " is programmed into a driverless car to decide, in an emergency, whether to plow into a group of pedestrians, a mother and child, or a brick wall. Can such life-and-death decisions no longer be left to the individual human?

In these incisive essays, Simanowski asks us to consider what it means to be living in a time when the president of the United States declares the mainstream media to be an enemy of the people--while Facebook transforms the people into the enemy of mainstream media. Simanowski describes smartphone zombies (or "smombies") who remove themselves from the physical world to the parallel universe of social media networks; calls on Adorno to help parse Trump's tweeting; considers transmedia cannibalism, as written text is transformed into a postliterate object; compares the economic and social effects of the sharing economy to a sixteen-wheeler running over a plastic bottle on the road; and explains why philosophy mat become the most important element in the automotive and technology industries.

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DEATH PENALTY, VOLUME I

By: Derrida, Jacques
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In this newest installment in Chicago's series of Jacques Derrida's seminars, the renowned philosopher attempts one of his most ambitious goals: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty. While much has been written against the death penalty, Derrida contends that Western philosophy is massively, if not always overtly, complicit with a logic in which a sovereign state has the right to take a life. Haunted by this notion, he turns to the key places where such logic has been established--and to the place it has been most effectively challenged: literature.

With his signature genius and patient yet dazzling readings of an impressive breadth of texts, Derrida examines everything from the Bible to Plato to Camus to Jean Genet, with special attention to Kant and post-World War II juridical texts, to draw the landscape of death penalty discourses. Keeping clearly in view the death rows and execution chambers of the United States, he shows how arguments surrounding cruel and unusual punishment depend on what he calls an "anesthesial logic," which has also driven the development of death penalty technology from the French guillotine to lethal injection. Confronting a demand for philosophical rigor, he pursues provocative analyses of the shortcomings of abolitionist discourse. Above all, he argues that the death penalty and its attendant technologies are products of a desire to put an end to one of the most fundamental qualities of our finite existence: the radical uncertainty of when we will die.
Arriving at a critical juncture in history--especially in the United States, one of the last Christian-inspired democracies to resist abolition--The Death Penalty is both a timely response to an important ethical debate and a timeless addition to Derrida's esteemed body of work.

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DEATH PENALTY, VOLUME II

By: Derrida, Jacques
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In the first volume of his extraordinary analysis of the death penalty, Jacques Derrida began a journey toward an ambitious end: the first truly philosophical argument against the death penalty. Exploring an impressive breadth of thought, he traced a deeply entrenched logic throughout the whole of Western philosophy that has justified the state's right to take a life. He also marked literature as a crucial place where this logic has been most effectively challenged. In this second and final volume, Derrida builds on these analyses toward a definitive argument against capital punishment.

Of central importance in this second volume is Kant's explicit justification of the death penalty in the Metaphysics of Morals. Thoroughly deconstructing Kant's position--which holds the death penalty as exemplary of the eye-for-an-eye Talionic law--Derrida exposes numerous damning contradictions and exceptions. Keeping the current death penalty in the United States in view, he further explores the "anesthesial logic" he analyzed in volume one, addressing the themes of cruelty and pain through texts by Robespierre and Freud, reading Heidegger, and--in a fascinating, improvised final session--the nineteenth-century Spanish Catholic thinker Donoso Cortés. Ultimately, Derrida shows that the rationality of the death penalty as represented by Kant involves an imposition of knowledge and calculability on a fundamental condition of non-knowledge--that we don't otherwise know what or when our deaths will be. In this way, the death penalty acts out a phantasm of mastery over one's own death.

Derrida's thoughts arrive at a particular moment in history: when the death penalty in the United States is the closest it has ever been to abolition, and yet when the arguments on all sides are as confused as ever. His powerful analysis will prove to be a paramount contribution to this debate as well as a lasting entry in his celebrated oeuvre.

DELAY OF THE HEART

DELAY OF THE HEART

By: Appelbaum, David
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David Appelbaum is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York, New Paltz and editor of Parabola magazine.
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DEMOCRATIC THEORY OF JUDGMENT

By: Zerilli, Linda M G
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In this sweeping look at political and philosophical history, Linda M. G. Zerilli unpacks the tightly woven core of Hannah Arendt's unfinished work on a tenacious modern problem: how to judge critically in the wake of the collapse of inherited criteria of judgment. Engaging a remarkable breadth of thinkers, including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Leo Strauss, Immanuel Kant, Frederick Douglass, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, Martha Nussbaum, and many others, Zerilli clears a hopeful path between an untenable universalism and a cultural relativism that forever defers the possibility of judging at all.

Zerilli deftly outlines the limitations of existing debates, both those that concern themselves with the impossibility of judging across cultures and those that try to find transcendental, rational values to anchor judgment. Looking at Kant through the lens of Arendt, Zerilli develops the notion of a public conception of truth, and from there she explores relativism, historicism, and universalism as they shape feminist approaches to judgment. Following Arendt even further, Zerilli arrives at a hopeful new pathway--seeing the collapse of philosophical criteria for judgment not as a problem but a way to practice judgment anew as a world-building activity of democratic citizens. The result is an astonishing theoretical argument that travels through--and goes beyond--some of the most important political thought of the modern period.
DEMONS, DREAMERS & MADMEN

DEMONS, DREAMERS & MADMEN

By: Frankfurt, Harry G
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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller On Bullshit, a landmark account of Descartes, reason, and truth

In this classic work, philosopher and bestselling author Harry Frankfurt provides a compelling analysis of the question that not only lies at the heart of Descartes's Meditations, but also constitutes the central preoccupation of modern philosophy: on what basis can reason claim to provide any justification for the truth of our beliefs? Demons, Dreamers, and Madmen provides an ingenious account of Descartes's defense of reason against his own famously skeptical doubts that he might be a madman, dreaming, or, worse yet, deceived by an evil demon into believing falsely.

Frankfurt's masterful and imaginative reading of Descartes's seminal work not only stands the test of time; one imagines Descartes himself nodding in agreement.

DEONTOLOGY

DEONTOLOGY

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Deontology brings together some of the most significant philosophical work on ethics, presenting canonical essays on core questions in moral philosophy. Edited and introduced by Stephen Darwall, these readings are essential for anyone interested in normative theory.

  • With a helpful introduction by Stephen Darwall, examines key topics in deontological moral theory.
  • Includes seven essays which respond to the classic sources.
  • Includes classic excerpts by key figures such Kant, Richard Price and W. D. Ross; and recent reactions to this work by philosophers, including Robert Nozick, Thomas Nagel, Stephen Darwall, Judith Thomson, Frances Kamm, Warren Quinn, and Christine Korsgaard.
  • DERRIDA and HUSSERL: The Basic Problem of Phenomenology

    DERRIDA and HUSSERL: The Basic Problem of Phenomenology

    By: Lawlor, Leonard
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    "[A] magnificent work . . . that will definitely shape the discussion on Derrida for years to come." --Rodolphe Gasché

    What is the nature of the relationship of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction to Edmund Husserl and phenomenology? Is deconstruction a radical departure from phenomenology or does it trace its origins to the phenomenological project? In Derrida and Husserl, Leonard Lawlor illuminates Husserl's influence on the French philosophical tradition that inspired Derrida's thought. Beginning with Eugen Fink's pivotal essay on Husserl's philosophy, Lawlor carefully reconstructs the conceptual context in which Derrida developed his interpretation of Husserl. Lawlor's investigations of the work of Jean Cavaillès, Tran-Duc-Thao, and Jean Hyppolite, as well as recent texts by Derrida, reveal the depth of Derrida's relationship to Husserl's phenomenology. Along the way, Lawlor revisits and sheds light on the origin of many important Derridean concepts, such as deconstruction, the metaphysics of presence, différance, intentionality, the trace, and spectrality.

    DERRIDA-HABERMAS READER

    DERRIDA-HABERMAS READER

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    Jacques Derrida and Jürgen Habermas have long represented opposite camps in contemporary thought. Derrida, who pioneered the intellectual style of inquiry known as deconstruction, ushered in the postmodern age with his dramatic critique of reason; Habermas, on the other hand, has consistently argued in defense of reason, modernity, and the legacy of the Enlightenment. Their many differences led to a long-standing, if scattered, dialogue, evidence of which has been available in only bits and pieces. But now, for the first time, TheDerrida-Habermas Reader brings these pieces together, along with a collection of essays documenting the intellectual relationship between two of the twentieth century's preeminent thinkers.

    Taken together, Derrida and Habermas's writings--combined here with contributions by other prominent philosophers and social theorists--tell the story of the two thinkers' provocative engagement with each other's ideas. Beyond exploring the conflict between Derrida's deconstruction and Habermas's communicative rationality, they show how the Derrida-Habermas encounter changed over the years, becoming more theoretically productive without ever collapsing into mutual rejection or simple compromise.

    Lasse Thomassen has divided the essays--including works on philosophy and literature, ethics, politics, and international law--into four parts that cover the full range of thought in which Derrida and Habermas engaged. The last of these sections fittingly includes the thinkers' jointly signed work on European solidarity and the Iraq War, highlighting the hopes they held in common despite their differences. The wide breadth of this book, along with Thomassen's lucid introductions to each section, makes The Derrida-Habermas Reader an ideal starting point for anyone interested in one of the most dynamic intellectual debates of our time.

    DETOUR and ACCESS: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece

    DETOUR and ACCESS: Strategies of Meaning in China and Greece

    By: Jullien, François
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    In Detour and Access, François Jullien investigates the subtlety, strategy, and production of meaning in ancient and modern Chinese aesthetic texts and political events. Moving between the rhetorical traditions of ancient Greece and China, Jullien attempts no simple comparison between these two civilizations. Rather, he uses the perspective provided by each to gain access to one culture considered all too strange -- "It's all Chinese to me" -- and to another whose strangeness has been eclipsed by the assumption of its essential familiarity and originary position in Western civilization.

    In Detour and Access, Jullien rereads the major texts and authors of Chinese thought -- The Book of Songs, Confucius's Analects, Mencius, and Lao Tse. He addresses the question of oblique, indirect, and allusive meaning in order to explore how literary and political techniques of detour give access to a world of symbolization and truth not characterized by simple modes of mimetic representation and static essentialism.

    Working indirectly, favoring the allusive expression over the direct one, the Chinese art of meaning appears as a complex mode of indication, open to multiple perspectives and variations, infinitely adaptable to situations and contexts. Concentrating on what is not said, or what is only conveyed through other means -- such as the distancing produced by allusive poetic and political motifs -- Jullien traces the ideological and aesthetic benefits and costs of a rhetorical strategy that lacks a fixed ontological perspective and absolute truth.

    Illuminating in its close textual readings, provocative and sophisticated in its theoretical insights and political analyses, Detour and Access provides a necessary refinement of ways of thinking about Chinese strategies of meaning as yet unanalyzed in the Western world.

    DEUXIEME SEXE TOME 1

    DEUXIEME SEXE TOME 1

    By: Beauvoir
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    DEUXIEME SEXE TOME 2

    DEUXIEME SEXE TOME 2

    By: Beauvoir, Simone
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    DIALECTIC OF ENLIGHTENMENT

    DIALECTIC OF ENLIGHTENMENT

    By: Adorno, Theodor W
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    Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism."

    Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present.

    The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization.

    Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book.

    This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory.

    DIALOGUE OF THE COMMON LAWS ENGLAN

    DIALOGUE OF THE COMMON LAWS ENGLAN

    By: Hobbes, Thomas
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    This little-known late writing of Hobbes reveals an unexplored dimension of his famous doctrine of sovereignty. The essay was first published posthumously in 1681, and from 1840 to 1971 only a generally unreliable edition has been in print. This edition provides the first dependable and easily accessible text of Hobbes's Dialogue. In the Dialogue, Hobbes sets forth his mature reflections of the relation between reason and law, reflections more "liberal" than those found in Leviathan and his other well-known writings. Hobbes proposes a separation of the functions of government in the interest of common sense and humaneness without visibly violating his dictum that the sharing or division of sovereignty is an absurdity. This new edition of the Dialogue is a significant contribution to our understanding of seventeenth-century political philosophy.

    "Hobbes students are indebted to Professor Cropsey for this scholarly and accessible edition of Dialogue."--J. Roland Pennock, American Political Science Review

    "An invaluable aid to the study of Hobbes."--Review of Metaphysics

    DIALOGUE WITH NIETZSCHE

    DIALOGUE WITH NIETZSCHE

    By: Vattimo, Gianni
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    For more than forty years, Gianni Vattimo, one of Europe's most important and influential philosophers, has been a leading participant in the postwar turn that has brought Nietzsche back to the center of philosophical enquiry. In this collection of his essays on the subject, which is a dialogue both with Nietzsche and with the Nietzschean tradition, Vattimo explores the German philosopher's most important works and discusses his views on the Ubermensch, time, history, truth, hermeneutics, ethics, and aesthetics. He also presents a different, more "Italian" Nietzsche, one that diverges from German and French characterizations. Many contemporary French and poststructuralist philosophers offer literary or aesthetic readings of Nietzsche's work that downplay its political import. Shaped by the revolutionary tradition of 1968, Vattimo's interpretations take Nietzsche seriously as a political philosopher and argue for and defend his relevance to projects for social and political change. He emphasizes the hermeneutic aspect of Nietzsche's philosophy, characterizing the Nietzschean project as a political hermeneutics.

    Vattimo also grapples with Heidegger, a philosopher who has had a profound influence on the interpretation and understanding of Nietzsche. Vattimo examines Heidegger's philosophy through its complex relationship to Nietzsche's, and he produces a Heideggerian understanding of Nietzsche that paradoxically goes against Heidegger's own readings of Nietzsche's work. Heidegger believed Nietzsche was the ultimate metaphysician; Vattimo sees him as the founder of postmetaphysical philosophy.

    Throughout these essays, Vattimo draws on and quotes extensively from fragments in Nietzsche's notebooks, many of which have never before been translated into English. His writing is clear, elegant, and accessible, and, for the first time, Vattimo's own intellectual developments, shifts, and continuities can be clearly discerned. The loyal testimony and unique perspective in Dialogue with Nietzsche makes a convincing case for another orientation in Nietzsche scholarship.

    DILEMMAS AND CONNECTIONS: SELECTED ESSAYS

    DILEMMAS AND CONNECTIONS: SELECTED ESSAYS

    By: Taylor, Charles
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    There are, always, more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in one's philosophy--and in these essays Charles Taylor turns to those things not fully imagined or avenues not wholly explored in his epochal A Secular Age. Here Taylor talks in detail about thinkers who are his allies and interlocutors, such as Iris Murdoch, Alasdair MacIntyre, Robert Brandom, and Paul Celan. He offers major contributions to social theory, expanding on the issues of nationalism, democratic exclusionism, religious mobilizations, and modernity. And he delves even more deeply into themes taken up in A Secular Age the continuity of religion from the past into the future; the nature of the secular; the folly of hoping to live by "reason alone"; and the perils of moralism. He also speculates on how irrationality emerges from the heart of rationality itself, and why violence breaks out again and again.

    In A Secular Age, Taylor more evidently foregrounded his Catholic faith, and there are several essays here that further explore that faith. Overall, this is a hopeful book, showing how, while acknowledging the force of religion and the persistence of violence and folly, we nonetheless have the power to move forward once we have given up the brittle pretensions of a narrow rationalism.

    DISCERNING THE SUBJECT

    DISCERNING THE SUBJECT

    By: Smith, Paul
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    DISCIPLINE & CRITIQUE

    DISCIPLINE & CRITIQUE

    By: Cutrofello, Andrew
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    Andrew Cutrofello is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana.