Monday, December 01, 2008

Time and desire; sovereignty and democracy

On difficulty: psychoanalysis and deconstruction
from The Joyful Knowing by I'm Mike Johnduff,
In Troubling Confessions and elsewhere, Peter Brooks explains psychoanalysis as a method or technology for producing "difficult" truth. That is, it is a technique for producing confessional statements of truth but which gain their status of truth by way of the technique's placing a stamp of difficulty or complexity on them: what emerges from the analysand in psychoanalysis is not simple, is not...


Badiou and Materialism Again from Larval Subjects. by larvalsubjects
The brilliant new blog, Splintering Bone Ashes, has a very nice response to my brief post critizing Badiou (someday I hope to return to it and develop the other three criticisms!)... I think SPA is right on the mark in emphasizing that Badiou is referring to the discourse of being qua being rather than being in itself (a point repeated by Nate in his own response to my post). I do think, however, that there is a common shift in Badiou from statements about being qua being in maths to statements about existence that remains problematic in terms of my distinction between being and existence or the “whatness” and the “thatness” of being. This is not unlike a move sometimes found among Lacanians regarding sexuation, where it is constantly emphasized that persons of either biological gender can fall on either side of the graph of sexuation, while constantly nonetheless assimilating biological women to the feminine side and biological men to the masculine side (cf. Žižek’s recent remarks about homosexuality).


New Book: Radical Atheism from Continental Philosophy by Farhang Erfani
Radical Atheism: Derrida and the Time of Life (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)
Description from the publisher’s website:
Radical Atheism presents a profound new reading of the influential French philosopher Jacques Derrida. Against the prevalent notion that there was an ethical or religious “turn” in Derrida’s thinking, Hägglund argues that a radical atheism informs Derrida’s work from beginning to end. Proceeding from Derrida’s insight into the constitution of time, Hägglund demonstrates how Derrida rethinks the condition of identity, ethics, religion, and political emancipation in accordance with the logic of radical atheism. Hägglund challenges other major interpreters of Derrida’s work and offers a compelling account of Derrida’s thinking on life and death, good and evil, self and other. Furthermore, Hägglund does not only explicate Derrida’s position but also develops his arguments, fortifies his logic, and pursues its implications. The result is a groundbreaking deconstruction of the perennial philosophical themes of time and desire as well as pressing contemporary issues of sovereignty and democracy.

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