These works were written against a background of war and racism. Freud sought the sources of conflict in the deepest memories of humankind, finding clear continuities between our ‘primitive’ past and ‘civilized’ modernity.
In Totem and Taboo he explores institutions of tribal life, tracing analogies between the rites of hunter-gatherers and the obsessions of urban-dwellers, while Mourning and Melancholia sees a similarly self-destructive savagery underlying individual life in the modern age, which issues at times in self-harm and suicide. And Freud’s extraordinary letter to Einstein, Why War? – rejecting what he saw as the physicist’s naïve pacifism – sums up his unsparing view of history in a few profoundly pessimistic, yet grimly persuasive pages.
As the world around us increases in technological complexity, our understanding of it diminishes. Underlying this trend is a single idea: the belief that our existence is understandable through computation, and more data is enough to help us build a better world.
In reality, we are lost in a sea of information, increasingly divided by fundamentalism, simplistic narratives, conspiracy theories, and post-factual politics. Meanwhile, those in power use our lack of understanding to further their own interests. Despite the apparent accessibility of information, we’re living in a new Dark Age.
From rogue financial systems to shopping algorithms, from artificial intelligence to state secrecy, we no longer understand how our world is governed or presented to us. The media is filled with unverifiable speculation, much of it generated by anonymous software, while companies dominate their employees through surveillance and the threat of automation.
In his brilliant new work, leading artist and writer James Bridle surveys the history of art, technology, and information systems, and reveals the dark clouds that gather over our dreams of the digital sublime.
Primo Levi’s entire body of work, newly translated, with an introduction by Toni Morrison
Primo Levi has long been admired for his harrowing account of suffering in Auschwitz, If This Is a Man. Among the thousands of survivors who have written about their experiences, Levi’s work stands out for its understanding of the human condition and philosophical exploration of the polarities of good and evil.
The Complete Works of Primo Levi presents all-new translations of the life’s work of ‘one of the most important and gifted writers of our time’ (Italo Calvino). These fourteen books in three volumes will bear testament not only to a brave holocaust survivor but to a universally relevant twentieth-century author.
Highlights of the collection besides If This Is a Man include: The Periodic Table, one of the most acclaimed memoirs of the last half century where in each of the 21 stories Levi connects some aspect of his life in pre- and post-war Italy to an element from the periodic table; The Drowned and The Saved, his most philosophical work; and Levi’s essays and other non-fiction work never before published in English.
Primo Levi was an Italian Chemist who was arrested during the Second World War as a member of the anti-Fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz in 1944. He died prematurely in Turin in April 1987.
Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker and a recipient of a PEN Renato Poggioli translation award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Toni Morrison is a Nobel Laureate and the acclaimed author of Beloved.
Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) was one of the most original thinkers of the twentieth century. His work has profoundly influenced philosophers including Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jürgen Habermas, Charles Taylor, Richard Rorty, Hubert Dreyfus, Stanley Cavell, Emmanuel Levinas, Alain Badiou, and Gilles Deleuze. His accounts of human existence and being and his critique of technology have inspired theorists in fields as diverse as theology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and the humanities. This Lexicon provides a comprehensive and accessible guide to Heidegger’s notoriously obscure vocabulary. Each entry clearly and concisely defines a key term and explores in depth the meaning of each concept, explaining how it fits into Heidegger’s broader philosophical project. With over 220 entries written by the world’s leading Heidegger experts, this landmark volume will be indispensable for any student or scholar of Heidegger’s work.
Georg Lukács wrote The Theory of the Novel in 1914-1915, a period that also saw the conception of Rosa Luxemburg’s Spartacus Letters, Lenin’s Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, Spengler’s Decline of the West, and Ernst Bloch’s Spirit of Utopia. Like many of Lukács’s early essays, it is a radical critique of bourgeois culture and stems from a specific Central European philosophy of life and tradition of dialectical idealism whose originators include Kant, Hegel, Novalis, Marx, Kierkegaard, Simmel, Weber, and Husserl.
The Theory of the Novel marks the transition of the Hungarian philosopher from Kant to Hegel and was Lukács’s last great work before he turned to Marxism-Leninism.
Noted as a ‘civil poet’ by Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini was a creative and philosophical genius whose works challenged generations of Western Europeans and Americans to reconsider not only issues regarding the self, but also various social concerns. Pasolini’s works touched and continues to inspire students, scholars, and intellectuals alike to question the status quo. This collection of thirteen articles and two interviews evidences the on-going discourse around Pasolini’s lasting impressions on the new generation.
Pasolini’s Lasting Impressions: Death, Eros and Literary Enterprise in the Opus of Pier Paolo Pasolini thus explores the civic poet’s oeuvre in four parts: poetry, theatre, film, and culture. Although the collection does not include every genre in which Pasolini wrote, it addresses many, some which often receive little or no attention, particularly in Italian Studies of North America. The underlining theme of the book, ‘death, eros and literary enterprise’ intertwines these genres in a rather unique way, allowing for inter-disciplinary interpretations to Pasolini’s rich opus.
The edited volume concludes with two artists, Dacia Maraini and Ominio71’s reflections on Pasolini in the 21st century. In fact, the cover represents a recent work on Ominio71 underscoring Pasolini’s visual presence still within the Roman walls. In conclusion, this collection demonstrates how his works still influence contemporary Italian society and motivate intellectual dialogue through new theoretical outlooks on Pasolini’s oeuvre.
Kenny’s Descartes is notably good & important book, designed to help undergraduate and graduate students in understanding Descartes’ philosophy. The book concentrates on Descartes’ epistemology, metaphysics & philosophy of mind. The penultimate chapter, on Matter & Motion, contains a succinct account of Descartes’ mechanism & a critique of the a priori side of his natural philosophy.
The original edition of Kant: Political Writings was first published in 1970, and has long been established as the principal English-language edition of this important body of writing. In this new, expanded edition, two important texts illustrating Kants’s view of history are included for the first time: his reviews of Herder’s Ideas on the Philosophy of The History of Mankind and Conjectures on the Beginning of Human History; as well as the essay What is Orientation in Thinking.
In addition to a general introduction assessing Kant’s political thought in terms of his fundamental principles of politics, this edition also contains such useful student aids as notes on the texts, a comprehensive bibliography, and a new postscript, looking at some of the principal issues in Kantian scholarship that have arisen since first publication.
The common feature of many present-day “new realisms” is a general diagnosis according to which, with Kant, Western philosophy lost any contact with the outside world. In The Untruth of Reality, Jure Simoniti, in contrast, points out the necessary realist side of modern philosophy, arguing that the possibility of realism has always been there. The epistemological self-inauguration of the subject goes hand in hand with his anthropological dethronement, the god-like centrality of the “ego” is constantly counterbalanced with his creatural marginality, the activity of the constitutive subject is juxtaposed with the growing indifference of the world, and the linguistic appropriation of the world simultaneously performs operations of the de-symbolization of reality. However, with these precarious equilibria, the conditions of possibility of realism have become more complex and intricate. It is therefore the goal of this book to demonstrate how the paradigms of consciousness and language are not necessarily incompatible with realism, but rather open new and broader possibilities for the world behind and beyond consciousness and language to disclose itself.
This book will be of interest to graduate students and scholars in the fields of German idealism, continental philosophy, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.
We have been trapped in our correlationist cage, ever since Kant, unable to conceive of objectivity in any other way but through the lens of its correlation to the subject. We should break out of it and reach for the Great Outside – such is the grand narrative going around and informing a large part of contemporary philosophy. There is nothing like this brilliant new book by a young Slovene philosopher to deflate and undo this narrative. It lucidly points to another kind of realism which has been at work within the modern philosophical tradition and which went largely unnoticed. Jure Simoniti is a highly original new voice in philosophy, with the rare audacity to address the biggest philosophical issues and propose new patterns of thought.
The article attempts to reconstruct the logical space within which, at the beginning of Hegel’s Logic, “being” and “nothing” are entitled to emerge and receive their names. In German Idealism, the concept of “being” is linked to the form of a proposition; Fichte grounds a new truth-value on the absolute thesis of the “thetical judgement”. And the article’s first thesis claims that Hegel couldn’t have placed “being” at the beginning of this great system, if the ground of its logical space had not been laid out by precisely those shifts of German Idealism that posited the ontological function of the judgement. At the same time, the abstract negation, the absence of a relation and sufficient reason between “being” and “nothing”, reveals a structure of an irreducibly dual beginning. The logical background of this original duality could be constituted by the invention of the “transcendental inter-subjectivity” in German Idealism, manifested, for instance, in Hegel’s life-and-death struggle of two self-consciousnesses. The second thesis therefore suggests that “being” and “nothing” are elements of the logical space, established in concreto in a social situation of (at least) two subjects one of whom poses an affirmative statement and the other negates it abstractly. From here, one could draw out the coordinates of a sphere by the name of “public” whose structure is defined by the invalidation of two basic laws of thought, the law of non-contradiction and the principle of sufficient reason. The article shows how only the statements capable of absorbing negation, of sustaining a co-existence of affirmation and its symmetrical, abstract negation, can climb the ladder of public perceptibility and social impact.