Comment on the war in Israel & Palestina

Why should we focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and why now?

The ongoing war there strongly resonates with all of the modern conflicts which are occurring all the time within each individual country. It’s also a powerful metaphor for a variety of different problems occuring in the modern era at the level of everyday life. It shows how the Western international calls for peace and the end of violence are a complete fake – the occupier and colonizer of every foreign country always wants peace and an end to the escalation of violence, as that means they won.

All of the most advanced technology employed by different states and digital corporations across the globe for the monitoring and control of their own domestic population are basically continuously being pioneered with the israeli-palestinian situation serving as the basic testing ground for the development of that tech. It’s no surprise that the most advanced spying software that not long ago targeted the main journalistic team of the Al Jazeera international news company was developed in Israel.

It’s even a question for me if Palestina still exists at all in any meaningful sense of the term today. I claim that what is happening there is actually that in reality the state of Israel already has de facto ownership and control of the entire territory (a two-state solution thus now being a long forgotten promise), with what was previously understood to be the Palestinian population of two million people basically reduced to an underprivileged class within the modern state of Israel, and what is happening is that now those two million people are in a very strange situation where they’re expected to abide by the foreign religious laws and the legal system of their formal occupier, that is, their official enemy.

Simon G.
11. May 2021

‘A Companion to Spinoza’ edited by Yitzhak Y. Melamed

Published by Wiley-Blackwell in 2021.

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An unparalleled collection of original essays on Benedict de Spinoza’s contributions to philosophy and his enduring legacy  

A Companion to Spinoza presents a panoramic view of contemporary Spinoza studies in Europe and across the Anglo-American world. Designed to stimulate fresh dialogue between the analytic and continental traditions in philosophy, this extraordinary volume brings together 53 original essays that explore Spinoza’s contributions to Western philosophy and intellectual history. A diverse team of established and emerging international scholars discuss new themes and classic topics to provide a uniquely comprehensive picture of one of the most influential metaphysicians of all time.  

Rather than simply summarizing the body of existing scholarship, the Companion develops new ideas, examines cutting-edge scholarship, and suggests directions for future research. The text is structured around six thematically-organized sections, exploring Spinoza’s life and background, his contributions to metaphysics and natural philosophy, his epistemology, politics, ethics, and aesthetics, the reception of Spinoza in the work of philosophers such as Kant, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Hegel, and more. This unparalleled research collection combines a timely overview of the current state of research with deep coverage of Spinoza’s philosophy, legacy, and influence.   

Part of the celebrated Blackwell Companions to Philosophy series, A Companion to Spinoza is an ideal text for advanced courses in modern philosophy, intellectual history, and the history of metaphysics, and an indispensable reference for researchers and scholars in Spinoza studies.

Lukács: Praxis to the Absolute | Red May 2021

Lukács again? That dimly recalled precursor of Adorno and Benjamin who ended up as a Stalinist hack? In his magisterial new book, Lukács: Praxis and the Absolute, Daniel Andrés López gives us a Lukacs for our time, reassembling his 1920s philosophy into a conceptual-historical totality and offering a speculative reading that both defends Lukács and proposes an unprecedented, immanent critique. If his concept of praxis approaches the shape of Hegel’s Absolute but ultimately fails to bear its weight, it raises crucial political, methodological and philosophical questions for Marxism that still resonate. (Plus, how many Ministers of Culture have actually scoured aristocratic mansions in search of hidden-away Old Master paintings to be transferred to a public museum?)

Red May has brought together a panel of thinkers well-versed in the Lukacsian era—Esther Leslie, biographer of Benjamin, and Andrew Feenberg, author of The Philosophy of Praxis—to discuss this essential book.

Reification, anyone?

Daniel Andrés López, Esther Leslie, Andrew Feenberg, Diego Arrocha Paris (mod)

‘The Philosophy of Praxis’ by Andrew Feenberg

Published by Verso in 2014.

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The early Marx called for the “realization of philosophy” through revolution. Revolution thus became a critical concept for Marxism, a view elaborated in the later praxis perspectives of Lukács and the Frankfurt School. These thinkers argue that fundamental philosophical problems are, in reality, social problems abstractly conceived.

Philosophy of Praxis examines the work of four Marxist thinkers, the early Marx and Lukács, and the Frankfurt School philosophers Adorno and Marcuse. The book holds that fundamental philosophical problems are in reality social problems, abstractly conceived. This argument has two implications: on the one hand, philosophical problems are significant insofar as they reflect real social contradictions; on the other hand, philosophy cannot resolve the problems it identifies because only social revolution can eliminate their social causes.

Originally published as Lukács, Marx and the Sources of Critical Theory, The Philosophy of Praxis traces the evolution of this argument in the writings of Marx, Lukács, Adorno and Marcuse. This reinterpretation of the philosophy of praxis shows its continuing relevance to contemporary discussions in Marxist political theory, continental philosophy and science and technology studies.

‘Dans la tempête virale’ par Slavoj Žižek

Juillet, 2020

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De février à mai 2020, reclus dans sa maison de Ljubljana, Slavoj Žižek observe ce qui se passe à l’échelle du monde. La pandémie a mis à nu ce que nous parvenons d’ordinaire à accepter ou à dissimuler : la barbarie à visage humain dans ses multiples formes. Žižek traque les virus idéologiques qui ont favorisé l’apparition et la dissémination de la Covid-19, mais aussi ceux que la pandémie active ou réactive, les virus du racisme, des fake news, des théories du complot. Il forme le vœu d’un autre type de contagion, propice à l’invention d’une société nouvelle qui ne pourra s’actualiser que dans la sobriété et une solidarité inconditionnelle. Une société où la vie de tous aura la même valeur. “Je ne suis pas un utopiste, et je n’en appelle pas à une solidarité idéalisée entre les peuples. Au contraire, la crise actuelle démontre clairement à quel point une solidarité et une coopération mondiales conditionnent la survie de tous et de chacun, à quel point un égotisme rationnel est la seule attitude valable.”


Slavoj Žižek est l’un des philosophes les plus influents et les plus prolifiques de notre époque. Né en 1949 à Ljubljana (Slovénie), il est directeur international du Birbeck Institute for the Humanities (université de Londres), chercheur senior dans le Département de philosophie de l’université de Ljubljana et professeur émérite à l’université Kyung Hee (Séoul). Il est l’auteur de nombreux ouvrages.

‘Reading Lacan’s Écrits’ edited by Stijn Vanheule, Derek Hook & Calum Neill | 2 of 3 Volumes

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The Écrits was Jacques Lacan’s single most important text, a landmark in psychoanalysis which epitomized his aim of returning to Freud via structural linguistics, philosophy and literature. Reading Lacan’s Écrits is the first extensive set of commentaries on the complete edition of Lacan’s Écrits to be published in English.

An invaluable document in the history of psychoanalysis, and one of the most challenging intellectual works of the 20th Century, Lacan’s Écrits still today begs the interpretative engagement of clinicians, scholars, philosophers and cultural theorists. The three volumes of Reading Lacan’s Écrits offer just this: a series of systematic paragraph-by-paragraph commentaries – by some of the world’s most renowned Lacanian analysts and scholars – on the complete edition of the Écrits, inclusive of lesser known articles such as ‘Kant with Sade’, ‘The Youth of Gide’, ‘Science and Truth’, ‘Presentation on Transference’ and ‘Beyond the “Reality Principle”‘.

The originality and importance of Lacan’s Écrits to psychoanalysis and intellectual history is matched only by the text’s notorious inaccessibility. Reading Lacan’s Écrits is an indispensable companion piece and reference-text for clinicians and scholars exploring Lacan’s magnum opus. Not only does it contextualize, explain and interrogate Lacan’s arguments, it provides multiple interpretative routes through this most labyrinthine of texts.

Reading Lacan’s Écrits provides an incisive and accessible companion for psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists in training and in practice, as well as philosophers, cultural theorists and literary, social science and humanities researchers who wish to draw upon Lacan’s pivotal work.

The first volume in the sequence Reading Lacan’s Écrits: From ‘Overture’ to ‘Variations on the Standard Treatment’ will likely make an appearance at some point.

‘Blade Runner 2049: A Philosophical Exploration’ edited by Timothy Shanahan & Paul Smart

Published by Routledge in 2019.

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Widely acclaimed upon its release as a future classic, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is visually stunning, philosophically profound, and a provocative extension of the story in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Containing specially commissioned chapters by a roster of international contributors, this fascinating collection explores philosophical questions that abound in Blade Runner 2049, including:

  • What distinguishes the authentically “human” person?
  • How might natality condition one’s experience of being-in-the-world?
  • How might shared memories feature in the constitution of personal identities?
  • What happens when created beings transcend the limits intended in their design?
  • What (if anything) is it like to be a hologram?
  • Can artificial beings participate in genuinely romantic relationships?
  • How might developing artificial economics impact our behaviour as prosumers?
  • What are the implications of techno-human enhancement in an era of surveillance capitalism?

Including a foreword by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049: A Philosophical Exploration is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, film studies, philosophy of mind, psychology, gender studies, and conceptual issues in cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

‘Practical Philosophy from Kant to Hegel: Freedom, Right, and Revolution’ edited by James A. Klarke & Gabriel Gottlieb

Published by Cambridge University Press in 2021.

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Scholarship on Kant’s practical philosophy has often overlooked its reception in the early days of post-Kantian philosophy and German Idealism. This volume of new essays illuminates that reception and how it informed the development of practical philosophy between Kant and Hegel.

The essays discuss, in addition to Kant, Hegel and Fichte, relatively little-known thinkers such as Pistorius, Ulrich, Maimon, Erhard, E. Reimarus, Reinhold, Jacobi, F. Schlegel, Humboldt, Dalberg, Gentz, Rehberg, and Möser. Issues discussed include the empty formalism objection, the separation between right and morality, freedom and determinism, nihilism, the right to revolution, ideology, and the limits of the liberal state. Taken together, the essays provide an historically informed and philosophically nuanced picture of the development of post-Kantian practical philosophy.


James A. Klarke is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of York. He has published several articles on Fichte and Hegel. He is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, with responsibility for translations.

Gabriel Gottlieb is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Xavier University. In addition to publishing multiple articles on Fichte, he is the editor of Fichte’s Foundations of Natural Right: A Critical Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

‘Jacques Lacan’ by Dominiek Hoens


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Lacan’s central theory of the subject is expounded via a detailed discussion of two early texts, Logical Time and Number Thirteen. It is argued that the Lacanian subject is ‘not without others’ and the collectivity supporting any individual identity is based on an immanently shared property. From the perspective of later phases in Lacan’s theorizing, these others are to be considered as imaginary, and to be supplemented by the notion of the symbolic Other and the real object a. In that sense, the paper tackles the major conceptual innovations of Lacanian teaching from a point of view highlighting the socio-political conditioning of the subject on which psychoanalysis operates.