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Displaying: 41-60 of 3082 documents

41. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Andrew Norris Dewey, Self-Realization, and Romanticism
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John Dewey’s conception of democracy as the political form devoted to the maximum individual self-realization of the citizenry, in the broadest sense of that term, promises to lift democracy above angry populism while avoiding untenable and contentious metaphysical commitments. The idea of self-realization is traditionally tied to a hierarchical and therefore unacceptable model of society. Dewey breaks this tie by stripping the idea of its metaphysical commitments. But Dewey requires supplementation. I argue that Dewey’s own insights can be best kept alive by being read in light of Stanley Cavell’s understanding of Emersonian Perfectionism, in particular the latter’s focus on the failure of the self to realize itself and its ordinary resistance to doing so. Bringing this Romanticism to bear upon Dewey’s ideas would temper them in important ways, preserving and developing what is best in the rich conception of democratic citizenship he has left us.
42. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Luce deLire How Ideal Is Ideal Theory, Actually?: Rawls, Mills, Reverse Racism and Justice as Failure
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In this article, I argue that Rawls is not actually an ideal theorist (as it is commonly understood), that his political theory remains unconvincing nevertheless, and that we should understand justice as failure in order to unlearn our adherence to dysfunctional ideals. I demonstrate that Rawlsian ideals are not removed from actuality, as both ideal theorists and their critics seem to think. Instead, they are already actualized as something to aspire to in a given culture. They are actual ideals. Non-ideal theorists, such as Charles Mills, who claim that instead of starting from ideals we should start from actual conditions thus miss the target. I then present an argument against theories of actual ideals: the original position requires optimal epistemological conditions in order to source actual ideals from public discourse. I offer Aamer Rahman’s “Reverse Racism” joke as a test for whether these conditions apply. I argue that in our world, they do not. Finally, I suggest justice as failure as a critical practice that may help us to unlearn our inherited dysfunctional actual ideals.
43. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Nathan Eckstrand A New Take on Speculative Realism: How Field Theory Both Critiques and Defends Speculative Accounts of Reality
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This paper argues that the inclusion of “fields” in speculative realist ontologies better explains human experience, encourages the inclusion of systems thinking, and avoids some of the unusual conclusions speculative realists currently accept. The paper begins by summarizing the philosophies of Quentin Meillassoux and Graham Harman, as well as major criticisms of each. Second, it explores the “math as structure” theories of Stewart Shapiro and Michael Resnik, and the ways relativity and quantum physics account for objects. Using these ideas, the paper argues that Meillassoux’s reference to math and Harman’s account of objects are insufficient without including a concept of “fields.” Third, the paper defines a concept of “field” and discusses how it can be applied to speculative realism. Finally, the paper shows how incorporating the concept of “fields” allows speculative realism to answer critics more effectively by showing how transcendental structures are embedded in reality.
44. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Kieran Aarons Exile and Fragmentation: The New Politics of Place
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In dialogue with Kristin Ross and Fred Moten, as well as recent theorizations of destituent power, this article aims to trace the practical logic that governs place-based politics in our anarchic epoch, including the construction of collective formations that defend them.
45. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Joshua M. Hall Guerrilla Warrior-Mages: Tiqqun and Magic: The Gathering
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If, as asserted by the French collective Tiqqun, we are essentially living in a global colony, where the 1% control the 99%, then it follows that the revolutionary struggle should strategically reorient itself as guerrilla warfare. The agents of this war, Tiqqun characterize, in part, by drawing on ethnologists Pierre de Clastres and Ernesto de Martino, specifically their figures of the Indigenous American warrior and the Southern Italian sorcerer, respectively. Hybridizing these two figures into that of the “warrior-mage,” the present article posits an actionable exemplar thereof in players of the massively popular trading and online card game, Magic: The Gathering (MTG). More specifically, I propose a strategic mapping of MTG’s five colors of magic onto the five divisions of a coalition against late capitalist Empire, which I call the “Warrior-Mage Guild,” including liberation clerics, animal rights activists, propagandists, anti-psychiatrists, hackers, saboteurs, and those who threaten decolonizing force contra Empire.
46. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Frances L. Restuccia Crime and Adventure: Gide/Agamben/Lacan
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This article arranges a dialogue between Gide’s Lafcadio’s Adventures and Agamben’s The Adventure, prompting a foray into Lacanian theory. Gide emerges as the bridge between Lacan and Agamben, enabling us to observe a transformation of what psychoanalysis deems pathology—perversion—into a political stance: perversion involves play with the law. Gide and Agamben promote a life of adventure composed of gestures that elude the law’s ability to stamp one’s behavior as crimen. For Gide and Agamben, life is not, or should not be, a law court pronouncing judgments or a psychoanalytic session intent upon detecting pathology—not a trial but a dance.
47. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Gregg Lambert Dismantling the Face
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This article addresses the chapter in A Thousand Plateaus, “Year Zero: Faciality,” by examining Deleuze and Guattari’s proposal to “dismantle” the abstract machine that is responsible for producing the subject’s collective or group face. After examining the components of the abstract machine, including its relationship to visual perception and emotion from the perspective of American Ego Psychology, a comparison is drawn between faciality and Walter Benjamin’s earlier thesis of the reproducibility of certain kinds of images in a technological or modern media society. The article concludes by outlining the three-step program of “schizoanalysis” that Deleuze and Guattari proposed as the political objective of “dismantling the face.”
48. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Michael Portal Introduction to Levinas’s “The Asymmetry of the Face”
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France Guwy and Emmanuel Levinas discuss the relationship between “the Bible and philosophy.” Levinas explains that he never “experienced” a contradiction between the two, and that they both aim at the same thing: meaning outside of immanence. Such transcendence, Levinas argues, is impossible for the Spinozist.
49. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
France Guwy, Emmanuel Levinas, Michael Portal The Asymmetry of the Face: Interview with Emmanuel Levinas by France Guwy for Dutch Television (1986)
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book discussion
50. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Daniel Conway Homo Natura: An Appreciation
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51. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Venessa Ercole Response to Vanessa Lemm’s Homo Natura: Nietzsche, Philosophical Anthropology and Biopolitics
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52. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Paul Patton Women, Power and Truth: Response to Vanessa Lemm, Homo Natura: Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophical Anthropology and Biopolitics
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53. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 2
Vanessa Lemm Nietzsche's Homo Natura: Response to Conway, Ercole, and Patton
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54. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Sabeen Ahmed Provocations on the Liberal Onto-Epistemology of Fascism: An Introduction to the Special Issue
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What follows is a series of provocations, loosely interconnected, centered on the ambiguous relationship between liberalism and fascism in our age of democratic decline. Together they seek to trouble the established binaries and analytic frameworks that would position liberalism and fascism as antithetical and suggest instead that both emerge from the same condition of possibility: imperial racialism. In doing so, they reflect on the discursive function of fascism in sustaining liberal democracy as a project of white supremacy.
55. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Falguni A. Sheth Violence, Democracy, and Selective Recognition
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The January 2021 attacks on the US Capitol prompt a renewed look at the relationship between violence and Western liberal democracies. The attacks were viewed in a race-neutral frame of staging an insurrection against a procedurally elected government of a liberal democracy. Without considering the racial-political context, we are susceptible to recognizing only certain iterations of political violence while missing others altogether. In what follows, I argue that political violence against nonwhites is often not seen as violence or harm committed against the polity; instead, it is frequently treated as a form of “self-defense,” enacted by white members of the polity. To illustrate my argument, I contrast the political principles and conditions under which the January 6 attacks were recognized as political violence with similar attacks in the twentieth century as they had been launched against African Americans who were attempting to participate in elections and run for office.
56. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Larry Alan Busk What Is “Totalitarian” Today?: Arendt after the Climate Breakdown
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This article reconsiders Hannah Arendt’s account of “totalitarianism” in light of the climate catastrophe and the apparent inability of our political-economic system to respond to it adequately. In the last two chapters of The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt focuses on the “ideology” of totalitarian regimes: a pathological denial of reality, a privileging of the ideological system over empirical evidence, and a simultaneous feeling of total impotence and total omnipotence—an analysis that maps remarkably well onto the climate zeitgeist. Thus, while Arendt used the concept of “totalitarianism” to foreclose alternatives to liberal capitalist democracy, the climate impasse suggests that the totalitarian label more properly belongs to the prevailing system itself.
57. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Takunda Matose The Anti-Vaxxer as a Moral Equal: Democracy, Legitimation, and Justice
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In this article, I argue that in portending potentially fatal harm to immunocompromised others, certain vaccine-hesitant views create a paradox for democratic deliberation on public health matters. In this paradox, either vaccine-hesitant views entailing potential harm to others are entertained as legitimate public health policy, or these views are disallowed, excluding discussion of competing harms from the deliberative process. In either case, the result is a deliberative process in which some group is not treated with the consideration owed to free and equal persons as required by the terms of democratic membership. I argue for capitalizing on and refining certain epistemic traits exhibited by anti-vaxxers to address vaccine-hesitant views and minimize this paradox. However, I make the case that this paradox cannot be completely resolved, so we should focus on certain demands of justice to protect the most vulnerable.
58. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Beverly Fok An Illegal Assembly of One
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In Singapore, the law holds that one person may constitute an illegal assembly. This makes each person, individually and at all times, latently assembled if not actually so. But where exactly does the permissible, non-assembled one end and the unlawful, gathered one begin? How and when does one become more than one, that is, some? For here an excess of one is not many, but rather an indeterminate some. Of what does this someness consist? This essay draws on Foucault and Lacan’s discussion of the liar paradox and set theory’s concept of the “not-all” via Bateson and Kordela to make a few observations about the political subject’s constitution under illiberal democracy.
59. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Lisa Guenther Property, Dispossession, and State Violence: The Criminalization of Indigenous Resistance in Canada
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In “Criminal Empire,” Ojibwe scholar Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark argues that the criminalization of Indigenous resistance to colonization “averts attention” from the criminality of democratic settler states, which fail or refuse to honor their own legal agreements with Indigenous peoples. This chapter reflects on the implications of Stark’s analysis for the relation between property, dispossession, and liberal democratic state violence. From this perspective, the prison appears not as a correctional institution for individual lawbreakers, but as a spatial strategy for the imposition and enforcement of a colonial legal order and a capitalist property regime. The challenge of decolonization, then, is not just to return stolen land to Indigenous peoples, but also to dismantle the structures of propertied personhood and dispossession that the settler democracy (re)produces through the prison system.
60. Philosophy Today: Volume > 67 > Issue: 1
Ashley J. Bohrer Toward a Critique of (Police) Violence: Walter Benjamin and Abolitionism in Theory and Practice
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In Walter Benjamin’s pivotal essay “Toward the Critique of Violence,” the state emerges as an originary site of violence, and the police figure as a key institution that makes possible both law-preserving and law-founding violence. I argue that Benjamin offers a unique and clarifying understanding of violence that can help make sense of twenty-first century calls for police and prison abolition. At the same time, Benjamin critiques several leftist attempts to combat state violence—such as the workplace strike and leftist reformism—finding in them a reformulation of the very violence they seek to combat. I argue that many of these critiques could be equally levied at some manifestations of the contemporary abolitionist movement. This paper concludes by distilling some of Benjamin’s insights about the propensity to reflect the violence we attempt to contest into some lessons for contemporary activism and social movements.