Berfrois

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Daniel Tutt on Fethi Benslama

Daniel Tutt on Fethi Benslama

Sarah presenting Hagar to Abraham, Adriaen van der Werff, 1699 by Daniel Tutt 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…

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Daniel Tutt on Badiou’s Plato

Daniel Tutt on Badiou’s Plato

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Jan Saenredam, 1604 by Daniel Tutt Plato’s Republic: A Dialogue in 16 Chapters, by Alain Badiou. Translated by Susan Spitzer, Columbia University Press, 400 pp. 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…

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Daniel Tutt: Atheism

Daniel Tutt: Atheism

Warkton, Northamptonshire: Monument by Vangelder, 1775, John Piper, 1964 by Daniel Tutt Difficult Atheism: Tracing the Death of God in Contemporary Continental Thought, by Christopher Watkin, Edinburgh University Press, 224 pp. 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…

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don’t know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it’s a hystericized — and therefore neurotic — position, through and through. I’m sometimes repulsed by my own behavior; I hate theorizing because I can’t stop doing it. It’s lunacy. I question too much, I always have, and I’m often too hasty with it all.

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Et Spøgelse: Berfrois Interviews Simon Critchley

Et Spøgelse: Berfrois Interviews Simon Critchley

by Russell Bennetts and Daniel Tutt Simon Critchley is the Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He wrote The Hamlet Doctrine: Knowing Too Much, Doing Nothing with his wife, Jamieson Webster. They see Hamlet as a play about nothing. We think they may have something there. Berfrois You’re a…

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Wittgenstein’s Spade: Berfrois Interviews Paul Horwich

Wittgenstein’s Spade: Berfrois Interviews Paul Horwich

Wittgenstein certainly regarded himself as 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”.

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‘Žižek and Education’

‘Žižek and Education’

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.

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We Aren’t Being Revolutionaries (We Can Be): Berfrois Interviews Todd McGowan

We Aren’t Being Revolutionaries (We Can Be): Berfrois Interviews Todd McGowan

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.

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Bobbi Lurie With Marcel Duchamp

Bobbi Lurie With Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as “posterity, meaning art history.”

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What to do?

What to do?

Spring Breakers, A24, 2013 From The Chronicle Review: Everyone from Plato and Thomas More to H.G. Wells and Barack Obama has given thought to the question of the fair distribution of labor and fun within a society. This comes with an immediate risk: Too often, the “realist” rap against any such scheme of imagined distributive…

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