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21. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Alain Badiou, Alex Ling Hegel, the Arts and Cinema
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Alain Badiou embarks on a close reading of Hegel’s Aesthetics to consider how his own recently-developed concept of the “index”—designating the crucial point of mediation between finite works and the absolute (or the means by which “works of art obtain their seal of absoluteness”)—might figure therein, as well as to explore what Hegel would have made of cinema, had he lived to experience it. After first examining the various ways that this “index of absoluteness” functions in the Hegelian conception of art—both according to its canonical forms (sculpture, architecture, painting, music, and poetry including theatre) and its historical classifications (classical, symbolic and romantic)—Badiou proceeds to investigate whether Hegel’s aesthetic system could and should have foreseen the eventual birth of cinema, together with its general characteristics; and whether this new development would ultimately refute or confirm his famous thesis on the end of art.
22. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Gianni Vattimo, Paolo Diego Bubbio Interpreting the World Is Transforming the World
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Vattimo argues that the core of Gadamer’s hermeneutics resides in the identification of interpreting with changing the world, and analyzes the ontological turn in hermeneutics in light of such identification. Vattimo advocates for a radical reading of Gadamer’s claim “Being, which can be understood, is language” and maintains that hermeneutics requires a profound revolution in ontology, overcoming the idea of Being as a given object “out there”. In light of the dialogue that Gadamer’s Truth and Method establishes with Heidegger’s Being and Time, Vattimo concludes that hermeneutic ontology has its core in the identification of reality with the history of effects; not as a descriptive proposition, but as the meaning of Being in whose horizon hermeneutics interprets the experience of the world. A coherent philosophy of interpretation, conceived as a call to transform the objective reality of things “out there” into truth, namely into language and project, actually changes the world.
23. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Dennis Schmidt, Chris Fleming, Diego Bubbio, Anthony Uhlmann, Jennifer Mensch College of Fellows Roundtable Transcript: 27 November, 2019
24. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Nicole Loraux, Alex Ling Aspasia, Foreigner, Intellectual
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The brilliant Aspasia owes her fame to two men. She was the beloved and revered companion of Pericles, the most powerful and prestigious Athenian of the city’s golden age (460–430 BCE), and the privileged and respected interlocutor of Socrates. Her position as a valued companion and recognised intellectual—exceptional in a city where custom dictated that silence and invisibility represented a woman’s greatest glory—was no doubt connected with her status as a metic (resident alien). This status, while denying her the right to become the legal spouse of the man whose life she shared, allowed her—at the risk of a somewhat sulphurous reputation—the freedom to be seen, to think, and to express herself. While the beautiful woman from Miletus has remained silent, if we assume that the insults she was showered with were essentially aimed at her lover, the leader of the democrats, the sources we have at our disposal allow us to study her relationships with Socrates and Pericles.
25. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Karl Löwith, J. Goesser Assaiante, S. Montgomery Ewegen The Human and History (1960)
26. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Matthias Fritsch Discourse Ethics and the Intergenerational Chain of Concern
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This paper addresses the question of what discourse ethics might have to contribute to increasingly urgent issues in intergenerational justice. Discourse ethics and deliberative democracy are often accused of neglecting the issue, or, even worse, of an inherently presentist bias that disregards future generations. The few forays into the topic mostly seek to extend to future people the “all affected principle” according to which only those norms are just to which all affected can rationally consent. However, this strategy conflicts with core commitments of discursive ethics, as it renders agreement hypothetical and discursive participation virtual. I will attempt a supplementary route toward a connection between discourse ethics and intergenerational justice. Discourse ethics must be concerned, in what Habermas calls the symbolic reproduction of the lifeworld, with the emergence of rational minds capable of assessing reasons for proposed norms and policies, and such emergence is an intrinsically intergenerational affair. Symbolic reproduction links overlapping and non-overlapping generations in what has been elaborated as a chain-of-concern model, which I show to be linked to forms of indirect reciprocity among more than two parties. I conclude by discussing some consequences of this model for the all affected principle when viewed as specifically applied to future generations.
27. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Simone Weil, Chris Fleming Reflections on War
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In this essay from 1933, Simone Weil—only 24 at the time—offers her analysis of war, particularly as it appears in leftist discourse and revolutionary movements, and set in the context of a brewing war with Germany. In Marxism, and in leftist theory more generally, Weil finds no consistent attitude towards armed conflict, and certainly no principled opposition to it. Through certain historical falsifications and philosophical feints, leftists—of which Weil counted herself—end up propagating the very forms of oppression to which they declare themselves opposed. For Weil, “la guerre révolutionnaire est la tombe de la revolution” [revolutionary war is the tomb of the revolution], as long as workers are denied the means of waging it without a state machine controlling them, without military courts, and without execution for desertion. The conventional attitude towards (and the means of) revolutionary war threatens, in the words of Marx, to perfect the state apparatus rather than to overthrow it.
28. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Babette Babich Günther Anders’s Epitaph for Aikichi Kuboyama
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Günther Anders’s poem Du kleiner Fischerman is read here as a text contribution to the irruption that is violence and its enduring (omnipresent) aftermath. The essay includes a discussion of transmedial expression, including dramatization, or television and social media, text and subtext, as well as the inspiration of Anders’s poem as a work of art continuing in our times: the ongoing exclusion(s) of certain names and certain thinkers as of certain musical modes, including electronic musical works, as of voices and of collective memory, or oblivion. Reading Raymond Williams along with Anders and Adorno on television updated in today’s era of screen-being, this essay reads the challenges of on-line music magazines, Leonard Cohen and k.d.lang, between modes of memorialization, including a reading of Anders’s poetic memorial on the violence of Walter Benjamin’s death to conclude with Ivan Illich on the ongoing expropriation of death (and health) today.
29. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Ian Alexander Moore On the Manifold Meaning of Letting-Be in Reiner Schürmann
30. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Günther Anders, Christopher John Müller, Jason Dawsey Resistance Today
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Following decades of neglect, the work of the German Jewish philosopher, literary author, cultural critic, and poet Günther Anders (1902–1992) is gaining increasing recognition in the English-speaking world. This translation of “Résistance heute” (Resistance Today) makes one of Anders’s most programmatic and polemical short texts available. Published at the height of his anti-nuclear activism, “Resistance Today” is the written version of a speech Anders delivered in November 1962 upon acceptance of the northwest Italian city of Omegna’s Resistance Prize (other notable recipients included Jean-Paul Sartre and Frantz Fanon). It first appeared in print in the West German left-wing journal Das Argument in November 1963. Clearly written for the occasion, the text condenses (and often further radicalizes) key premises about the end of history, the amoral character of work, and the continuity between Nazi totalitarianism, the nuclear age and the world of consumerism that are developed in great nuance across a range of books that Anders had recently published. Key co-ordinates include: Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen 1 (The Obsolescence of Human Beings 1, 1956), his groundbreaking critique of technology; Der Mann auf der Brücke (The Man on the Bridge, 1959), a philosophical travel diary occasioned by Anders’s 1958 visit to Japan and his participation at the World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Tokyo; Burning Conscience (1961), a correspondence with the American reconnaissance pilot Claude Eatherly, who scouted the target area before the Enola Gay went on to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima. It seems likely that Burning Conscience, which turned into an international bestseller, occasioned the award of the prize.
31. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
List of Contributors
32. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Adriana Cavarero, Daniele Fulvi Feminist Thought. A Theoretical Approach
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In this essay, Cavarero thematically highlights the main issues of feminist thought, by criticizing the patriarchal system and its theoretical products—such as the concepts of complementarity of the sexes and of equality—through the lens of sexual difference. In doing so, she radically criticizes the so-called binary economy, namely the interpretative model on which the patriarchal system is based, in which the sole male sex is self-represented, establishing at the same time a representation of the female sex that is functional to men. Accordingly, by criticizing both the traditional and the postmodern approach, she aims to rethink from a feminist point of view the question of the subject, of the identity, and of the self. In this respect, she advances an account of the self as relational, namely a self that is given only through its relationship with others, hence rejecting the abstract universality of the male subject of traditional metaphysics. Subsequently, Cavarero presents a notion of identity as an interplay of relations that makes it fluid and dynamic, and not as fixed and permanent, as per the metaphysical tradition that understands it as universal substance. In conclusion, she argues that the unicity of the self—and of each human being—can be grasped only through a narrative discourse that counterposes the philosophical investigations on the essence of an absolute and universal principle of reality, and emphasizes the singular and unrepeatable nature of the self.
33. Journal of Continental Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Charles Barbour Introduction: The Meanings of History