Saturday, April 19, 2014

Theme: Daniel Tutt

  • Wittgenstein certainly regarded himself a philosopher, and certainly believed in the fundamental truth of what he was saying. So it would be a misleading oversimplification to maintain that he was “against philosophy” or against “the possibility of philosophical truth”. More accurately, what he criticized was a certain kind of philosophy – perhaps the dominant kind in the West.Read more
  • Rarely do scholars of Žižek speak of themselves or their work as “Žižekian.” Most scholars of Žižek write about particular facets of his work, and the “Žižekian,” as a mark of one’s own approach to philosophy, is rarely cited in scholarly work on philosophy or critical theory more generally.Read more
  • I understand why Freud at the end of Civilization and Its Discontents said that he couldn’t preach an alternative to the social order as it was, even as he saw it heading for total disaster. Once he jettisons the idea of the good, it becomes almost impossible to envisage political struggle. The political thinker smuggles it back in, even when she or he accepts its explicit rejection, because some idea of the good seems to be a necessary condition for the possibility of politics. But I wrote the book believing that the abandonment of the good still left a small opening for thinking politics. And I don’t see any other way of doing it than focusing on the opposition between the good and enjoyment. Once we accept that the good is antithetical to our enjoyment, is a barrier to our enjoyment, it becomes possible to think politics beyond the good.Read more
  • The political philosopher Charles Taylor made an excellent observation recently when he pointed out that Islam is usually the culture that multiculturalism fails to adequately encompass in its pretensions towards universalism. By excluding Islam on the basis of the very values that multiculturalism stands for, Islam presents to liberal multiculturalism, especially in Europe, the hidden Orwellian side of its so called "neutral" values: tolerance, pluralism and equality.Read more
  • In what Alain Badiou calls his "hyper-translation" of Plato's Republic, we are taken into the world of Plato's classic dialogue on politics and justice, sped up to the pace of a 21st century New York street corner. Socrates and his sophist interlocutors speak a gritty street talk that is both accessible and familiar, despite the fact they invoke intellectual figures from St. Paul to Jacques Lacan to the mathematician Paul Cohen.Read more
  • Declaring oneself an "atheist" just isn’t what it used to be. Growing numbers of Generation Y prefer to remain agnostic, which is why so many of them go by the "nones", or state no religious preference. My wife used to work at a large university, and she told me that on standardized tests, many of the students put "human" in the ethnic and racial identity box.Read more
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