This article examines the possibility of political change through the examination of ontological concepts pertaining to the social as drawn from the thought of Lacan and Deleuze. Distinguishing between the virtual and the actual, I argue that a politics of the actual, which is premised on conflicts between social groups, fails to produce real social change by leaving the virtual social structure organizing relationships between these groups intact. By contrast, a politics of the virtual makes these structures the direct object of its struggle, and seeks to determine the void underlying social relations as the place where real change is possible. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society (2004) 9, 333–348. doi:10.1057/palgrave.pcs.2100024
Learn about Deleuze the right way, not the easy way, July 15, 2008
By Justin Evans (Chicago, USA) - See all my reviews Many, many silly things have been written by and about Gilles Deleuze; by comparison Bryant's book stands out as a beacon of sense, clarity, youth truth beauty and all the other great things there are. Just buy it.
If you need to be further convinced: he reads Deleuze in the light of Kant, rather than as a Nietzschean 'everything-is-power-and-we-must- fight-the-forces-of-ressentiment' type. He takes the philosophy of difference given in 'Difference and Repetition' and 'The Logic of Sense' to be an answer to the problem of the Kantian passivity of reception. For Deleuze, Kant gives up on the critical project by not asking what makes the given of receptivity possible. Although Kant shows the transcendental conditions for the possibility of experience (being the conceptual determination of intuitions) he doesn't show the transcendental conditions for *real* experience: to do so would be to give the conditions for intuitions, or receptivity. Deleuze's answer to this question, what allows the given to be given, is Difference, which is located in a constellation of terms: Idea, structure, problems and so on. Difference and Givenness: Deleuze's Transcendental Empiricism and the Ontology of Immanence (Topics in Historical Philosophy) 8:53 AM
Revising Foucault: The History and Critique of Modernity from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Colin Koopman University of California, Santa Cruz
PHILOSOPHY AND SOCIAL CRITICISM, Forthcoming Abstract:
I propose a major reassessment of Foucault’s philosophico-historical account of the basic problems of modernity. I revise our understanding of Foucault by countering the misinterpretations proffered by influential European critics such as Habermas and Derrida. Central to Foucault’s account of modern was his work on two crucial concept pairs: freedom/power and reason/madness. I argue against the view of Habermas and Derrida that Foucault understood modern power and reason as straightforwardly opposed to modern freedom and madness. I show that Foucault held a much more complex view of these pairs, a view encapsulated in his term “reciprocal incompatibility.” By revising our interpretation of Foucault’s work on modernity in this way, we open the way to much more effective deployments of his critical apparatus. Keywords: Foucault, Habermas, Derrida, Modernity, Discipline Link
Berlin was a genius– many of his most insightful and penetrating writings are taken from unscripted lectures. Not only did Berlin refuse to build a system, he refused to be an unsystematic logic-chopper. Berlin did not believe in dissolving the eternal questions man must always confront. If anything, the eternal dilemmas of human condition constitute who we are; they have no resolution. Being educated means knowing the questions for all of the answers; only then can we act wisely with integrity. Berlin’s thought isn’t a stand-alone readymade of Marcel Duchamp; his philosophy reveals itself in his discussion of others.