‘The Reception of Paul the Apostle in the Works of Slavoj Žižek’ by Ole Jakob Løland

Published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018.

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This is the first book devoted entirely to exploring Žižek’s peculiar kind of Paulinism. It seeks to provide a full map of the Marxist philosopher’s interpretations of Paul and critically engage with it. As one of several radical leftists of European critical thought, Žižek embraces the legacy of an ancient apostle in fascinating ways. This work considers Žižek’s philosophical and political readings of Paul through the lens of reception history, and argues that through this recent philosophical turn to Paul, notions of the historical and philosophical are reproduced and negotiated anew.


Ole Jakob Løland holds a doctoral degree in Theology from the University of Oslo, Norway. Løland has co-authored books and published articles on the reception history of the Bible and its wider cultural and political function in modern contexts. He serves as a minister in the Lutheran Church of Norway.

‘Political Theory and Film: From Adorno to Žižek’ by Ian Fraser

Published by Rowman & Littlefield International in 2018.

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The actions, images and stories within films can impact upon the political consciousness of viewers, enabling their audience to imagine ways of resisting the status quo, politically, economically and culturally. But what does political theory have to say about film? Should we explore film theory through a political lens? Why might individuals respond to the political within films?

This book connects the work of eight radical political theorists to eight world-renowned films and shows how the political impact of film on the aesthetic self can lead to the possibility of political resistance. Each chapter considers the work of a core thinker on film, shows its relevance in terms of a specific case study film, then highlights how these films probe political issues in a way that invites viewers to think critically about them, both within the internal logic of the film and in how that might impact externally on the way they live their lives. Examining this dialogue enables Ian Fraser to demonstrate the possibility of a political impact of films on our own consciousness and identity, and that of others.

‘Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists’ by Joan Copjec

Published by Verso in 2015.

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Pits the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan against the historicist approach of Michel Foucault to develop a profound critique of historicism.

In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and those of Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern disciplines—psychoanalysis and historicism. Ordinarily, these modes of thinking only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive. Refusing to cede history to the historicists, Copjec makes a case for the superiority of Lacan’s explanation of historical processes and generative principles. Her goal is to inspire a new kind of cultural critique, one that is “literate in desire,” and capable of interpreting what is unsaid in the manifold operations of culture.

‘Supposing the Subject’ edited by Joan Copjec

Published by Verso in 1994.

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The psychoanalytic subject in modern culture and politics.

A collection of essays by theorists in culture and politics. Experts from a variety of fields re-examine the origins of the subject as understood by Descartes, Kant and Hegel, and consider contemporary ideas that revive the subject, including queer theory and national identity.


Contents:

Introduction by Joan Copjec

1. Subjection and Subjectivation by Etienne Balibar
2. Sex and the Euthanasia of Reason by Joan Copjec
3. Who’s Who? Introducing Multiple Personality by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen
4. The Phrenology of Spirit by Mladen Dolar
5. Is There a Cause of the Subject? By Slavoj Žižek
6. “Things to Come: A Hysteric’s Guide to the Future Female Subject by Juliet Flower MacCannell
7. “Experimental Desire: Rethinking Queer Subjectivity by Elizabeth Grosz
8. The Role of Gender and the Imperative of Sex by Charles Shepherdson
9. Father, Can’t You See I’m Filming? by Parveen Adams
10. Anxious Nations, Nervous States by Homi K. Bhabha

‘Hegel’s Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit’ by Yirmiyahu Yovel

Published by Princeton University Press in 2005.

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This is a new translation, with running commentary, of what is perhaps the most important short piece of Hegel’s writing. The Preface to Hegel’s first major work, the Phenomenology of Spirit, lays the groundwork for all his other writing by explaining what is most innovative about Hegel’s philosophy.

This new translation combines readability with maximum precision, breaking Hegel’s long sentences and simplifying their often complex structure. At the same time, it is more faithful to the original than any previous translation.

The heart of the book is the detailed commentary, supported by an introductory essay. Together they offer a lucid and elegant explanation of the text and elucidate difficult issues in Hegel, making his claims and intentions intelligible to the beginner while offering interesting and original insights to the scholar and advanced student. The commentary often goes beyond the particular phrase in the text to provide systematic context and explain related topics in Hegel and his predecessors (including Kant, Spinoza, and Aristotle, as well as Fichte, Schelling, Hölderlin, and others).

The commentator refrains from playing down (as many interpreters do today) those aspects of Hegel’s thought that are less acceptable in our time, and abstains from mixing his own philosophical preferences with his reading of Hegel’s text. His approach is faithful to the historical Hegel while reconstructing Hegel’s ideas within their own context.


Yirmiyahu Yovel (1935–2018) was professor emeritus of philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His books include Kant and the Philosophy of History; Spinoza and other Heretics (Princeton), and Dark Riddle: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the Jews.

‘Kant and the Philosophy of History’ by Yirmiyahu Yovel

Published by Princeton University Press in 1980.

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Yovel’s major work on Kant.

“When I first read Yirmiyahu Yovel’s marvelous book on Kant and the Philosophy of History almost twenty years ago, I learned how one should approach the task of interpreting classical texts: Starting from the identification of a central problem in a philosopher`s writings, one must try rearrange the elements of the proposed solution until a new idea emerges that goes beyond the original author’s explicit intentions. Because I was extremely impressed by this method the way it was applied to Kant’s systematic thought, I not only became a regular and eager reader of Yirmiyahu Yovel’s publications, but I also tried to emulate this mode of thinking in my own work.”

—Axel Honneth, 2010

‘Kant’s Philosophical Revolution: A Short Guide to the Critique of Pure Reason’ by Yirmiyahu Yovel

Published by Princeton University Press in 2018.

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A short, clear, and authoritative guide to one of the most important and difficult works of modern philosophy.

Perhaps the most influential work of modern philosophy, Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is also one of the hardest to read, since it brims with complex arguments, difficult ideas, and tortuous sentences. A philosophical revolutionary, Kant had to invent a language to express his new ideas, and he wrote quickly. It’s little wonder that the Critique was misunderstood from the start, or that Kant was compelled to revise it in a second edition, or that it still presents great challenges to the reader. In this short, accessible book, eminent philosopher and Kant expert Yirmiyahu Yovel helps readers find their way through the web of Kant’s classic by providing a clear and authoritative summary of the entire work. The distillation of decades of studying and teaching Kant, Yovel’s “systematic explication” untangles the ideas and arguments of the Critique in the order in which Kant presents them. This guide provides helpful explanations of difficult issues such as the difference between general and transcendental logic, the variants of Transcendental Deduction, and the constitutive role of the “I think.” Yovel underscores the central importance of Kant’s insistence on the finitude of reason and succinctly describes how the Critique’s key ideas are related to Kant’s other writings. The result is an invaluable guide for philosophers and students.

‘Spinoza and Other Heretics, Volume 2: The Adventures of Immanence’ by Yirmiyahu Yovel

Published by Princeton University Press in 1989.

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This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity—and examines the question of whether he was the “first secular Jew.” A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes—The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a philosophical revolution in a radically new principlethe philosophy of immanence, or the idea that this world is all there is—and how he thereby anticipated secularization, the Enlightenment, the disintegration of ghetto life, and the rise of natural science and the liberal-democratic state.

In The Adventures of Immanence, Yovel discloses the presence of Spinoza’s philosophical revolution in the work of later thinkers who helped shape the modern mind. He claims it is no accident that some of the most unorthodox and innovative figures in the past two centuries—including Goethe, Kant, Hegel, Heine, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Einstein—were profoundly influenced by Spinoza and shared his view that immanent reality is the only source of valid social and political norms and that recognizing this fact is necessary for human liberation. But what is immanent reality, and how is liberation to be construed? In a work that constitutes a retelling of much of Western intellectual history, Yovel analyzes the rival answers given to these questions and, in so doing, provides a fresh view of a wide range of individual thinkers.

‘Spinoza and Other Heretics, Volume 1: The Marrano of Reason’ by Yirmiyahu Yovel

Published by Princeton University Press in 1989.

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This ambitious study presents Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) as the most outstanding and influential thinker of modernity―and examines the question of whether he was the “first secular Jew.” A number-one bestseller in Israel, Spinoza and Other Heretics is made up of two volumes―The Marrano of Reason and The Adventures of Immanence. Yirmiyahu Yovel shows how Spinoza grounded a philosophical revolution in a radically new principle―the philosophy of immanence, or the idea that this world is all there is―and how he thereby anticipated secularization, the Enlightenment, the disintegration of ghetto life, and the rise of natural science and the liberal-democratic state.

The Marrano of Reason finds the origins of the idea of immanence in the culture of Spinoza’s Marrano ancestors, Jews in Spain and Portugal who had been forcibly converted to Christianity. Yovel uses their fascinating story to show how the crypto-Jewish life they maintained in the face of the Inquisition mixed Judaism and Christianity in ways that undermined both religions and led to rational skepticism and secularism. He identifies Marrano patterns that recur in Spinoza in a secularized context: a “this-worldly” disposition, a split religious identity, an opposition between inner and outer life, a quest for salvation outside official doctrines, and a gift for dual language and equivocation. This same background explains the drama of the young Spinoza’s excommunication from the Jewish community in his native Amsterdam. Convention portrays the Amsterdam Jews as narrow-minded and fanatical, but in Yovel’s vivid account they emerge as highly civilized former Marranos with cosmopolitan leanings, struggling to renew their Jewish identity and to build a “new Jerusalem” in the Netherlands.