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Volume 64
Marxism and New Materialism

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Displaying: 41-60 of 83 documents


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41. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Karim Barakat Grounding Reasonableness in Rawls’s Reading of Hobbes
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I argue in this paper that Rawls is unable to offer a ground for the normativity of his freestanding politics, where his account is susceptible to a number of criticisms he raises against Hobbes. Rawls identifies three problems in Hobbes’s political view: the absence of reasonableness, the lack of a social role for morality, and finally resorting to an absolute sovereign to maintain stability. I maintain that Rawls’s Kantian account circumvents these problems. However, I argue that his move to a freestanding politics that disposes of the Kantian moral basis is unable to justify normative commitments and ultimately resorts to contingent justifications resulting from uncritically accepting norms institutions inculcate.
42. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Michael Naas The Inside Story of Derrida’s Of Grammatology
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This essay returns to Of Grammatology, Derrida’s seminal work of 1967, in order to demonstrate the key role played by the category of interiority in that work and in deconstruction more generally. The essay show how Derrida traces the values associated with interiority in his readings of Plato, Rousseau, and Levi-Strauss in order to argue that the opposition between interiority and exteriority is not one philosophical opposition among others but the single most powerful and persistent opposition in Western philosophy, organizing everything from the relationship between speech and writing to that between presence and absence, essence and accident, even life and death. We thus come to see through a reading of this early work of Derrida’s that deconstruction will have been from its very inception a deconstruction of any claims to an inside that would come before or exclude its outside, that is, a deconstruction of every phantasm of interiority.
43. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Benjamin Brewer Good Enough Justice?: Stanley Cavell and Walter Benjamin on the Moral Demands of Justice
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This essay contends that Stanley Cavell’s criterion of “good enough justice,” which designates the minimal condition of social justice necessary for his perfectionist understanding of ethical selfhood, constitutes an avoidance—rather than an acknowledgment—of the problem of injustice. Taking Cavell’s misreading of Walter Benjamin as exemplary of this tendency, the essay shows how Cavell’s moral perfectionism consistently converts questions about the suffering of others into a problem of the self and its conscience, thereby avoiding the ethical claim at the heart of Benjamin’s project.
44. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Christine Daigle Can Existentialism Be a Posthumanism?: Beauvoir as Precursor to Material Feminism
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In this article, I demonstrate that Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophy represents a first major step toward a rejection of the humanist subject and therefore was influential for the development of contemporary posthumanist material feminism. Specifically, her unprecedented attention to embodiment and biology, in The Second Sex and other works, as well as her notion of ambiguity, serve to challenge the humanist subject. While I am not claiming that Beauvoir was a posthumanist or material feminist thinker avant la lettre, I show that she is an important precursor to some of their key ideas. Indeed, her thinking about the body, sex, gender, and the importance of embodiment and situation constitutes a challenge to the subject of humanism, thereby opening up a path for thinkers that follow to push Beauvoir’s critique and articulate a posthumanism that does away with the subject of humanism.
45. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Steven Haug A Discussion on Heidegger’s “Über die Sixtina”
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In 1955, Raphael’s Sistine Madonna was returned to Germany following its removal from Dresden in anticipation of the city being bombed. That same year Heidegger wrote a short paper titled “Über die Sixtina,” likely to commemorate the painting’s return. The goal of this article is to bring the largely overlooked “Über die Sixtina” into discussions about Heidegger’s philosophy of art. While brief, Heidegger’s paper makes clear that the Sistine Madonna is an important work to consider when deliberating about his philosophy of art in general. This article elaborates on the topics Heidegger discusses in “Über die Sixtina,” particularly the image-being of the Sistine Madonna, the image as a window painting, and the place of the painting.
46. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Jean Wahl, Russell J. Duvernoy, Christopher Lura, Anna-Marie Hansen Poetry as Spiritual Exercise
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“La Poésie Comme Exercice Spirituel” first appeared in a 1942 issue of Revue Fontaine edited by Jacques and Raissa Maritain and was subsequently republished in Wah’s 1948 text Poésie, Pensée, Perception, published by Calmann-Lévy. The following is a translation of the Fontaine version. I have noted all of the variations from the latter version in the notes. As I emphasize in my commentary, the piece is a notable display of Wahl’s eclectic range of influences. Most importantly, it shows the extent to which his interest in radical empiricism and process metaphysics informs his creative approach to the intersection of poetics and metaphysics. These interests are not explicitly named in the essay, and yet their influence is pervasive. The essay also includes several moments of substantial resonance with the work of Gilles Deleuze, as noted in the commentary.
47. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Russell J. Duvernoy Commentary on Jean Wahl: Reckoning with “Poetry as Spiritual Exercise” in Times of Duress
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This commentary considers Wahl’s 1942 “Poetry as Spiritual Exercise” in the context of his interests in radical empiricism and process metaphysics. In doing so, it raises appreciation for the complexity of his thought, identifies specific notes of influence on Gilles Deleuze, and responds to worries that Wahl’s notion of spiritual exercise is predominantly a form of withdrawal, quietism, or retreat from the horrors of World War Two. For Wahl, rather than passive contemplation of a determinate artifact, poetry is a mode of experience that, to speak with Whitehead and James, is a making. This experience of poetry develops affordances of thought that strengthen existential capacity for remaining open to uncertainty, fragility, and vulnerability.
book review
48. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 3
Paolo Costa Michiel Meijer, Charles Taylor’s Doctrine of Strong Evaluation: Ethics and Ontology in a Scientific Age
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reading derrida’s geschlecht iii: responses to an archival discovery
49. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Katie Chenoweth, Rodrigo Therezo Introduction: Reading Geschlecht III
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50. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
David Farrell Krell Derrida, Heidegger, and the Magnetism of the Trakl House
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Derrida’s seminar “The Phantom of the Other” (1984–1985), reads Heidegger’s “Language in the Poem” (1953), which has the poetry of Georg Trakl at its center. Among the principal themes of Derrida’s seminar and/or of Heidegger’s essay are Heidegger’s effort to “place” Trakl’s presumably single, unsung poem; the relation of pain (Schmerz) to poetry; the two “strokes” of Geschlecht, a word that in part means the sexes, the first stroke being neutral, the second being evil; the German language and the Heideggerian idiom; philosophical nationalities and nationalisms; Derridean double-reading.
51. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Rodrigo Therezo The Phoenix and National Humanism in Hegel, Heidegger, and Derrida
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This paper tracks Derrida’s allusion to the “phoenix motif” in the recently published Life Death seminar, showing how it foreshadows and overlaps with the political problematic of “national humanism” made explicit in Geschlecht III. I argue that, be it in Hegel, Fichte, Nietzsche, or Heidegger, biological life is always in the service of a spiritual life that finds its breath in a certain reappropriation of the German idiom. Following Derrida, I argue that this “philosophy-of-life German” (cet allemand philosophe de la vie) introduces a sinister equivocality between these thinkers and National Socialism, and this in spite of all their prudence to shield their discourses from such a co-option.
52. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
François Raffoul Sexual Difference and Gathering in Geschlecht III
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Derrida states at the beginning of Geschlecht III that at stake is the question of sexual difference, one that is referred in Heidegger’s 1953 essay on Trakl to a twofoldness that precedes the opposition of sexual duality, a duality which, according to Derrida, neutralizes sexual difference. I follow the development of what Derrida also called the “dream” of “another sexual difference,” one that would not be ruled by the opposition of the two. Derrida’s guiding interpretation in Geschlecht III is that Heidegger privileges “gathering” (Versammlung) and the reference to the “one” in this thinking of difference, and of sexual difference, thereby neutralizing difference. Drawing a contrast between difference as polysemy (gathered) and difference as dissemination (dispersion), I attempt in what follows to discuss Derrida’s interpretation, raising questions concerning some of his readings with respect to the motifs of dispersion, dissemination, polysemy, and gathering.
53. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Elissa Marder Still (Un)Born: Derrida, Heidegger, Trakl
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This essay traces the pivotal—although largely unspoken—relation between the mother and language in Derrida’s reading of Heidegger’s reading of Trakl in Geschlecht III. Derrida’s gloss of the “idiom” in Heidegger’s text leads to a reflection on the language of gestation through the family of words linking “tragen” (carrying) to “austragen” (carrying to term). Following Derrida, the essay proposes that Heidegger’s conception of the time of the “unborn” in his essay “Language in the Poem” is the time of the promise and the promise of a future that would not be conceived according to a vulgar conception of time. Heidegger’s idiomatic use of the prefix “un-” in the terms “unspoken” and “unborn” can be read as a temporal inflection that opens up another kind of thinking about birth. The essay concludes by asking how the place of the mother is inscribed otherwise in this unthinking of birth.
54. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz ‘Étranger,’ ou plutôt ‘fremd’: Philosophical-Poetic Nationalism in Derrida’s Geschlecht III and Beyond
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This article takes up the specifically poetic dimension of what Jacques Derrida calls Martin Heidegger’s “philosophical nationalism” in the recently published Geschlecht III, arguing that this text doubles as a self-interrogation of Derrida’s own practice of reading poetry. Thus reading Geschlecht III alongside the nearly contemporaneous “Shibboleth: For Paul Celan,” I claim that Derrida’s critical deconstruction of Heidegger’s philosophical-poetic nationalism both allows us to read the traces of a more affirmatively deconstructive thinking of literary community in “Shibboleth” and draws attention to the limits and traps of such a project. Further, I demonstrate that Derrida’s and Heidegger’s respective approaches to the question of literary community cannot be separated from their respective approaches to the question of translation and their respective ways of mobilizing the motif of the “untranslatable.”
55. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Samir Haddad More than a Language to Come
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In this paper I demonstrate that the analysis supporting Derrida’s identification of the desire for a pure, originary idiom in Heidegger’s reading of Trakl in Geschlecht III provides a framework with which we can understand the call for a new language in Monolingualism of the Other. While acknowledging how his interpretation of Heidegger provides important insights that guide Derrida’s later negotiation with the dual dangers of nationalism and colonialism, I argue that the proximity to Heidegger, manifest in Derrida’s articulation of a desire for language in the singular, threatens to close down possibilities latent in the promising definition of deconstruction as plus d’une langue—both more than a language and no more of a language.
56. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Francesco Vitale Animal d’archive: On the Tracks of Derrida’s Writing
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The article seeks to outline the relationship between Geschlecht III and Jacques Derrida’s published texts devoted to the mark “Geschlecht,” in order to detect the general strategy followed by Derrida in the construction of his archive during his lifetime. Indeed, we suppose that his archive has to be built in accordance with his deconstructive statements about the classical conception of the archive: a totalizing closure of a textual production able to trace it back to the unity of an ideal identity (Archive Fever). In particular, the article aims to focus on a passage at the end of Jacques Derrida’s Geschlecht III, where the question of the animal in Heidegger comes into the foreground and in a way that is slightly different from what we already know through Derrida’s published works and that could require a re-reading of his “entire” work.
57. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Peggy Kamuf How Not to Translate—the Untranslatable
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This essay proceeds from the assertion that Derrida’s work has consistently been concerned with translation. This has been clearly evident since “Plato’s Pharmacy” (1968). This concern comes to the fore in Geschlecht III, where countless features of Heidegger’s language are underscored as untranslatable. This does not prevent Derrida from proposing re-translations, of doing what he describes as “harassing” Heidegger’s language “with wave after wave of touches, caresses, and blows.” Untranslatability, as he argues here and elsewhere, is simply a matter of economy, of the one-word-for-one-word principle, according to which standard every text is untranslatable. But translation is also for Derrida a touchstone for the broadest questions posed by or to philosophy. One such important question or problem is hospitality, which, as he asserts in his 1995–1996 seminar on the topic, is “basically the same problem” as translation. This confluence of the questions of hospitality and translation is particularly relevant for his reading of Heidegger’s essay on Trakl, “Die Sprache im Gedicht.”
58. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey Bennington Geschlecht pollachos legetai: Translation, Polysemia, Dissemination
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At an important moment in his reading of Heidegger in Geschlecht III, Derrida wields a pair of semi-technical terms (“polysemia” and “dissemination”) from his own earlier work, and uses them to identify a classical, indeed Aristotelian, vein in Heidegger’s reading of Trakl. This gesture is complex, both in that, in spite of appearances, the Mehrdeutigkeit Heidegger identifies in Trakl is not essentially to do with the term Geschlecht, and in that Derrida’s presentation of Aristotle’s views about polysemia is perhaps over-simplified, or at least leaves open the possibility of a more generous reading. Derrida’s notion of dissemination is shown not to entail a mere exacerbation of polysemia, but a quasi-semantic re-marking of the “syntax” that allows for any semantic effects at all. It is suggested that the fact that this marking can be described by Derrida as “monotonous” might open onto a slightly different reading both of Aristotle’s understanding of pollachos legomenon and pros hen, and Heidegger’s understanding of the Einklang of Trakl’s poetry.
59. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
Christian Sommer Das harte Geschlecht: Derrida Reading Heidegger in Geschlecht III
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This article suggests that the deconstruction of Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin in the Letter on Humanism is a precondition for what Derrida attempts to do in his commentary of Heidegger’s reading of Trakl in Geschlecht III. This preliminary deconstruction, through a constellation of Hölderlinian motifs (“homeland”, “return home”, “Occident”, “Greece”, “Germany”), controls the topology of Geschlecht III and determines Derrida’s approach to the themes of “nationality” and “philosophical nationalism”.
60. Philosophy Today: Volume > 64 > Issue: 2
David Wills Which Way Back (way back)?
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This essay considers together two recent posthumous publications by Derrida: Geschlecht III, and La vie la mort, both of which raise questions concerning translation. In Geschlecht III that is first of all the problem of how to translate the German word, how Heidegger’s reading of Trakl profits from, or loses in its translation, and how Derrida’s reading of Heidegger either does or does not translate Heidegger’s own interpretive practice. Reference to La vie la mort enables analysis of Benjamin’s concept of translation as a form of life that is “not limited to organic corporeality,” and consequently allows me to understand how Derrida’s thinking, very different from that of either Benjamin or Heidegger, takes us way back to something like originary inorganic lifedeath.