‘Mythology, Madness, and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism’

October 2nd 2009 by Continuum

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Mythology, Madness and Laughter: Subjectivity in German Idealism explores some long neglected but crucial themes in German idealism. By applying idealistic theories of reflection and concrete subjectivity, including the problem of madness and everydayness in Hegel, this hugely important book aims to reinvigorate a philosophy of finitude and contingency, topics at the forefront of contemporary European philosophy.

Markus Gabriel was born in 1980 and studied in Heidelberg, Lisbon and New York. Since 2009 he has held the chair for Epistemology at the University of Bonn; and with this appointment he became Germany’s youngest philosophy professor. He is also the director of the International Center for Philosophy in Bonn. He has published a number of books and journal articles in German, including Der Mensch im Mythos (De Gruyter, 2006), and Das Absolute und die Welt in Schellings Freiheitsschrift (Bonn University Press, 2006).

Slavoj Žižek is a Hegelian philosopher and psychoanalytic social theorist. He is Senior Researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Ljubljana; Professor at the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London; Distinguished Scholar at the Kyung Hee University, Seoul; and Visiting Professor at the German Department, New York University. His field of work comprises psychoanalytic theory, dialectical-materialist interpretations of German Idealism and Marxist critique of ideology. His more than thirty books in English have been widely translated. His latest publications include Like a Thief in Broad Daylight (Penguin/Allen 2018), Reading Marx (with Agon Hamza and Frank Ruda, Polity 2018), Incontinence of the Void (MIT Press 2017), and Lenin: Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through (Verso 2017).

‘The Suspension of Reason in Hegel and Schelling’

Published March 11th 2010 by Continuum

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In this rigorous historical analysis, Lauer challenges traditional readings that have reduced two of German idealism’s most important thinkers to opposing caricatures: Hegel the uncompromising systematist blind to the novelty and contingency of human life and Schelling the protean thinker drawn to all manner of pseudoscientific charlatanry. Bringing together recent scholarship that is just beginning to realise Schelling’s centrality in the overthrow of metaphysics and Hegel’s openness to diversity and innovation, this book shows that both thinkers can be read as contributing to the Kantian project of showing both the utter necessity and the limitations of reason.

In readings of texts spanning each thinker’s career, Lauer shows that animating much of Hegel and Schellings’ most passionate work is their recognition of the need neither for a canonization of reason nor for its overthrow, but for its ‘suspension’. Their lifelong willingness to revisit both their definitions of reason and their accounts of its role in philosophy give these discussions a vitality and depth that few in the history of philosophy can match.

‘Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism: Studies in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’

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Beyond Liberalism and Communitarianism is the first collection of essays treating Hegel’s social and political philosophy to appear since 1984. Several new books have since been published transcribing Hegel’s lectures on the Philosophy of Right. This book reflects these advances in Hegel scholarship and debunks the widely held notion of the totalitarian Hegel. Rather, Hegel’s thought is revealed to be an alternative to both liberal individualism and communitarianism. The essays here treat Hegel’s critique of morality (Kant), social contract theory, capitalism, poverty, as well as Hegel’s views on punishment, freedom, and the ethical character and unity of the idea of the state.

‘Violence: Six Sideways Reflections’

First published January 1st 2007

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Does the advent of capitalism and, indeed, civilisation cause more violence than it prevents? Is there violence in the simple idea of ‘the neighbour’? And could the appropriate form of action against violence simply be to contemplate, to think?

In this passionate plea for awareness, Žižek turns his unflinching gaze on the capitalist democracies we live in. He explores the bloody totalitarian regimes of the last century and that violence which is named ‘divine’.

Drawing on high and low culture, Kant, Lacan, jokes and contemporary cinema, this celebrated academic turned philosophical icon discusses the inherent violence of globalisation, fundamentalism and language in a work that will confirm his standing as one of our most erudite and incendiary modern thinkers.

This is a book poised to set a new agenda for our thinking about violence.

Lacan: Anti-Philosophy 3 (The Seminars of Alain Badiou)

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Alain Badiou is one the mosts significant philosophers in Europe today. Badiou’s seminars, given annually on major conceptual and historical topics, constitute an enormously important part of his work. They served as laboratories for his thought and public illuminations of his complex ideas yet remain little known. This book, the transcript of Badiou’s year-long seminar on the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan, is the first volume of his seminars to be published in English, opening up a new and vital aspect of his thinking.

In a highly original and compelling account of Lacan’s theory and therapeutic practice, Badiou considers the challenge that Lacan poses to fundamental philosophical topics such as being, the subject, and truth. Badiou argues that Lacan is a singular figure of the “anti-philosopher,” a series of thinkers stretching back to Saint Paul and including Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, with Lacan as the last great anti-philosopher of modernity. The book offers a forceful reading of an enigmatic yet foundational thinker and sheds light on the crucial role that Lacan plays in Badiou’s own thought. This seminar, more accessible than some of Badiou’s more difficult works, will be profoundly valuable for the many readers across academic disciplines, art and literature, and political activism who find his thought essential.

‘Frankenstein’

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Almost two centuries after its publication, Frankenstein remains an indisputably classic text and Mary Shelley’s finest work.

This extensively revised Norton Critical Edition includes new texts and illustrative materials that convey the enduring global conversation about Frankenstein and its author. The text is that of the 1818 first edition, published in three volumes by Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones. It is accompanied by an expansive new preface, explanatory annotations, a map of Geneva and its environs, and seven illustrations, five of them new to the Second Edition.

Context is provided in three supporting sections: “Circumstance, Influence, Composition, Revision,” “Reception, Impact, Adaptation,” and “Sources, Influences, Analogues.” Among the Second Edition’s new inclusions are historical-cultural studies by Susan Tyler Hitchcock, William St. Clair, and Elizabeth Young; Chris Baldrick on the novel’s reception; and David Pirie on the novel’s many film adaptations. Related excerpts from the Bible and from John Milton’s Paradise Lost are now included, as is Charles Lamb’s poem “The Old Familiar Faces.”

“Criticism” collects sixteen major interpretations of Frankenstein, nine of them new to the Second Edition. The new contributors are Peter Brooks, Bette London, Garrett Stewart, James. A. W. Heffernan, Patrick Brantlinger, Jonathan Bate, Anne Mellor, Jane Goodall, and Christa Knellwolf.