‘Political Writings’ by Immanuel Kant

Published by Cambridge University Press in 1991.

DOWNLOAD
(.pdf & .epub)


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 Untruth of Reality: The Unacknowledged Realism of Modern Philosophy’ by Jure Simoniti

Published by Lexington Books in 2016.

DOWNLOAD
(.epub & .pdf)


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.

—Mladen Dolar

‘Hegel’s Logic as the Exposition of God from the End of the World’ by Jure Simoniti


DOWNLOAD
(.pdf)


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.

‘True Sacrifice: On Hegel’s Presentation of Self-Consciousness’ by Zdravko Kobe


DOWNLOAD
(.pdf)


The paper provides a modest reading of Hegel’s treatment of self-consciousness in his Phenomenology of Spirit and tries to present it as an integral part of the overall project of the experience of consciousness leading from understanding to reason. Its immediate objective is, it is argued, to think the independence and dependence, that is the pure and empirical I within the same unity of self-consciousness. This implies a double movement of finding a proper existence for the pure I and at the same time a breaking down of the empirical I’s attachment to particularity. It is argued that the Hegelian struggle for recognition intends to show how the access to reason demands the subject’s renunciation of its attachment to particularity, that is to sacrifice not only its bare life but every thing indeed, including its particular identity, and yet, to go on living.

‘Why Psychoanalysis? Three Interventions’ by Alenka Zupančič

Published by Aarhus University Press in 2008.

DOWNLOAD
(.pdf)


In Why Psychoanalysis?, Alenka Zupančič outlines the relationship between the ontological, the ethical and the aesthetical spheres of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. In three bold interventions she investigates the question of Being, Freedom and Comedy. Taking her departure from issues of sex, cause, and horror Zupančič reinterprets Kant’s philosophical categories and outlines a unique theory of the subject. Why Psychoanalysis? continues her seminal work Ethics of the Real: Kant and Lacan from 2000 and links it with more recent work about comedy. Why Psychoanalysis? is suitable for beginners as well as for more advanced readers.

‘Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime’ by Bruno Latour

Published by Polity in 2018.

DOWNLOAD
(.epub & .pdf)


The present ecological mutation has organized the whole political landscape for the last thirty years. This could explain the deadly cocktail of exploding inequalities, massive deregulation, and conversion of the dream of globalization into a nightmare for most people. 

What holds these three phenomena together is the conviction, shared by some powerful people, that the ecological threat is real and that the only way for them to survive is to abandon any pretense at sharing a common future with the rest of the world. Hence their flight offshore and their massive investment in climate change denial.

The Left has been slow to turn its attention to this new situation. It is still organized along an axis that goes from investment in local values to the hope of globalization and just at the time when, everywhere, people dissatisfied with the ideal of modernity are turning back to the protection of national or even ethnic borders.

This is why it is urgent to shift sideways and to define politics as what leads toward the Earth and not toward the global or the national. Belonging to a territory is the phenomenon most in need of rethinking and careful redescription; learning new ways to inhabit the Earth is our biggest challenge. Bringing us down to earth is the task of politics today.

‘The Great Regression’ edited by Heinrich Geiselberger

Published by Polity in 2017.

DOWNLOAD
(.epub)


Suddenly we find ourselves in a world that few would have imagined possible just a few years ago, a world that seems to many to be a move backwards. How can we make sense of these dramatic developments and how should we respond to them? Are we witnessing a worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some kind of populist authoritarianism?

We are living through a period of dramatic political change – Brexit, the election of Trump, the rise of extreme right movements in Europe and elsewhere, the resurgence of nationalism and xenophobia and a concerted assault on the liberal values and ideals associated with cosmopolitanism and globalization. Suddenly we find ourselves in a world that few would have imagined possible just a few years ago, a world that seems to many to be a move backwards. How can we make sense of these dramatic developments and how should we respond to them? Are we witnessing a worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some kind of populist authoritarianism?

This timely volume brings together some of the world’s greatest minds to analyse and seek to understand the forces behind this ‘great regression’. Writers from across disciplines and countries, including Paul Mason, Pankaj Mishra, Slavoj Žižek, Zygmunt Bauman, Arjun Appadurai, Wolfgang Streeck and Eva Illouz, grapple with our current predicament, framing it in a broader historical context, discussing possible future trajectories and considering ways that we might combat this reactionary turn.

The Great Regression is a key intervention that will be of great value to all those concerned about recent developments and wondering how best to respond to this unprecedented challenge to the very core of liberal democracy and internationalism across the world today.

What is Education?

Published by Edinburgh University Press in 2017.

DOWNLOAD
(.pdf)


This book sets itself a difficult and essential task: nothing less than opening a new epoch of thought on the practice of what education is. – Alain Badiou


What is education? This volume collects some of the foremost voices in contemporary thought to think through this question from their unique perspectives. Revealing the contentions and possibilities of a new engagement with the question of education, it provides fresh insights into education: what it is, what it is not, and what is to be done about it.

At a time when education is so important as to be considered an essential human right yet is under attack from funding cuts, government policies and fundamentalists, this book will open the thinking on education onto new and important territory.


Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is Education? A Polemical Question by A. J. Bartlett and Justin Clemens
1. Education: Not Impossible by A. J. Bartlett
2. Education and the Enclosure of Knowledge in the Global University by Silvia Federici
3. Knowledge Enclosure & University Education: Notes from ‘Post-Restructured’ Bangladesh by Mushahid Hussain
4. Beyond the Human State: Bergson, Education, and the Art of Life by Keith Ansell-Pearson
5. The Master and the Professor Are Dead, and I am not Feeling well myself by Mladen Dolar
6. Herod, the Ogre… and Miss Cooper’s Rifle: Education as a Refuge for Childhood and the World by Jorge Larrosa
7. Parlomurs: A Dialogue on Corruption in Education by Alessandro Russo
8. When Shall We Go…? by Judith Balso

Analysing the Cultural Unconscious: Science of the Signifier

Published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2020

DOWNLOAD
(.epub)


What are we doing when taking psychoanalysis from the couch to the analysis of society, culture, and arts? How is it possible to do so? How is it possible to move from singular experiences to universal structures detected in culture and society? Could psychoanalysis applied to art works become more sensitive to their aesthetics form?

Psychoanalysis is often disclaimed as non-scientific, since its main object – the unconscious – has no positive existence. This book, however, proposes psychoanalysis to be a “science of the signifier”. It takes as its object the signifier – the signifying part of the sign – insisting that it always says more (or less) than intended, because its very materiality carries unintended messages. By defining the object of psychoanalysis as the signifier, this volume argues that we can speak of psychoanalysis as a science, even if it is closer to semiotics than biology.

Analysing the Cultural Unconscious builds on this idea by arguing that the analysis of the signifier is the way to understand not only the individual unconscious, but also the cultural one. Replacing a person’s monologue on the couch with ideology criticism or a piece of art, applied psychoanalysis allows us to analyse culture and the arts in a new way, uncovering the cultural unconscious.


Table of Contents:

Part I: Science and the Signifier
1. The Cunning of the Signifier by Henrik Jøker Bjerre
2. The Echo of the Signifier in the Body: On Drives Today by Juliet Flower MacCannell
3. Secret in the Body – the Fantasy Structure of Genes and Brains by Renata Salecl


Part II: From Couch to Culture
4. Drives and Culture by Mladen Dolar
5. Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac and the Four Discourses by Kirsten Hyldgaard
6. Courtly Capitalism by Center for Wild Analysis
7. Is there a Way out of the Capitalist Discourse? by René Rasmussen


Part III: Application
8. Examples and Surplus-Meaning by Brian Benjamin Hansen
9. Literature as Philosophy of the Real: Ethics and Sexual Difference in Coetzee’s Disgrace by Kari Jegerstedt
10. When I am Beside Myself by Linus Nicolai Carlsen
11. Analysis Sounds Boring – Is there an Analytical Potential in Modern Electronic Music? by Anders Ruby


Part IV: Materiality and the Signifier
12. Lol V. Stein to the Letter by Ida Nissen Bjerre
13. Lacan and the Archeology of the Subject by Carin Franzén
14. The Signifiers of Cherry Ripe – On the Trauma and Repetition of an Art-historical Motif by Jakob Rosendal
15. Colour of Flesh, Flesh of Colour by Lilian Munk Rösing

‘Is it Still Possible to be a Hegelian Today?’ by Slavoj Žižek

Published November 25th 2013 by Walter de Gruyter.

DOWNLOAD
(.pdf)


The main feature of the historical thought proper is not “mobilism” (the motif of the fluidification or historical relativization of all forms of life), but the full endorsement of a certain impossibility: after a true historical break, one simply cannot return to the past, one cannot go on as if nothing happened – if one does it, the same practice acquires a radically changed meaning.

Adorno provided a nice example of Schoenberg’s atonal revolution: after it took place, one can (and one does), of course, go on composing in the traditional tonal way, but the new tonal music has lost its innocence, since it is already “mediated” by the atonal break and thus functions as its negation. This is why there is an irreducible element of kitsch in the twentieth century tonal composers like Rachmaninov – something of a nostalgic clinging to the past, of an artificial fake, like the adult who tries to keep the naïve child in him alive.

And the same applies to all domains: after the emergence of philosophical analysis of notions with Plato, mythical thought lost its immediacy, all revival of it is a fake; and after the emergence of Christianity, all revivals of paganism are always nostalgic fakes. . .