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Ontogenetic machinery

Dossier: What is German Media Philosophy?
by / RP 169 (Sep/Oct 2011) / Article, Dossier, What is German Media Philosophy?

Media, as considered by media philosophy, are not what you expect them to be. In the first place, they have almost nothing to do with information, or transmission, or communication, or storage. They do not as such produce sense or distribute meanings. If they do so, it is as a side effect or …


Subjectivity as medium of the media

Dossier: What is German Media Philosophy?
by / RP 169 (Sep/Oct 2011) / Article, Dossier, What is German Media Philosophy?

Contemporary, let us say ‘post-modern’, discourses on media, communication, information and so on are functioning in our society in at least two different – if interconnected – ways.* First, they describe scientifically the functioning of contemporary media and their growing role in our society. But the development of media theory during recent decades was, in …


The gender apparatus

Torture and national manhood in the US ‘war on terror’
by / RP 168 (Jul/Aug 2011) / Article

Feminist protest against US torture practices, including outcries over the use of sex, sexuality and sexual identity in the torture of prisoners at US detention sites from Guantánamo to Abu Ghraib, have understandably tended to focus on what the abuse destroys – the victim and his or her community. Here, though, I ask …


Architectural Deleuzism

Neoliberal space, control and the ‘univer-city’
by / RP 168 (Jul/Aug 2011) / Article

For many thinkers of the spatiality of contemporary capitalism, the production of all social space tends now to converge upon a single organizational paradigm designed to generate and service mobility, connectivity and flexibility. Networked, landscaped, borderless and reprogrammable, this is a space that functions, within the built environments of business, shopping, education or …


Demonomics

Leibniz and the antinomy of modern power
by / RP 168 (Jul/Aug 2011) / Article

The critical ethos that stands behind much of the most impressive and important work on modern forms of power seems to have constructed its own prison. A free and open concept of power – the concept that has guided so many enlightening histories of the present – has revealed itself as yet another technology of …


Rhizome (With no return)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

In the invitation to speakers for the conference From Structure to Rhizome, we suggested that talks might set out by re-examining (and hence ‘re-founding’) texts that we qualified – in far too rapid and expeditious a fashion – as ‘founding’. But we did notmake this suggestion without being conscious of the difficulty involved …


History (Problem with)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

If the philosopher’s role is to forge concepts, the historian’s function is to provide proof of their pertinence. However, this presupposes that the historian uses the concept correctly, taking into consideration the conditions that formed it. A truly transdisciplinary approach makes this possible, thanks to its rigorous method, whereas an interdisciplinary approach is merely …


Subject (Re-/decentred)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

1

Modern French thought, ‘structuralism’, ‘poststructuralism’, ‘postmodernism’, Marxism as well, are currently associated with the so-called ‘death of the subject’. Foucault’s ‘anti-humanism’, the celebrated ‘death of Man’, the declining popularity of the rational, Kantian, transcendantal subject, reigning over what Lyotard called ‘metanarratives’,1 are all parts of the process. Foucault’s rejection of the subject …


Theory (Madness of)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)
by / RP 167 (May/Jun 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

Forty years or so after it initially rose as a rather new name for a rather new thing, theory is still an obtruse signifier, troubling and floating, requiring we go back to basics. Theory as we most often understand it today is the name given by the English-speaking intellectual community to a certain …


Between sharing and antagonism

The invention of communism in the early Marx
by / RP 166 (Mar/Apr 2011) / Article

London calling

Why talk about communism today?* A first point everybody will be agreed upon: the spectre of communism is not haunting Europe, nor for that matter any other region of the world. The only place where ‘communism’ is a positive name for anything is China, where it designates the ruling party of one of …


Risked democracy

Foucault, Castoriadis and the Greeks
by / RP 166 (Mar/Apr 2011) / Article

The delay involved in the publication of lectures or seminars has strange effects: what comes late and in a different time to its own is research and words which were caught up – more so than the books – in the historical circumstances of their elaboration; and the text that is finally published, with the …


Science: The invisible transdisciplinarity of French culture

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1)
by / RP 165 (Jan/Feb 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

Let me start with an apology: this conference obviously is concerned mainly with philosophy, literature, the social and human sciences, much more than with those sciences that are known as exact, natural or whatever – but which could probably, more to the point, be called ‘inhuman’ and ‘asocial’. It is thus for me, as a …


Networks

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1)
by / RP 165 (Jan/Feb 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

In an article first published in July 1968 in New Left Review, Perry Anderson gave an analysis of a critical weakness of British intellectual culture. His diagnosis is remarkable and surprising. One of the key problems, Anderson argued, was that Britain has failed to make any contribution to the classical sociological …


Sex: a transdisciplinary concept

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1)
by / RP 165 (Jan/Feb 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

What is sex? Some feminists have harboured suspicions about this form of question, given its philosophical (or ‘metaphysical’1) pedigree. But philosophy no longer has the disciplinary monopoly on it. Indeed, with regard to sex, the more interesting task today is to pose and to attempt to answer the question from within …


Structure: method or subversion of the social sciences?

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (1)
by / RP 165 (Jan/Feb 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

It seems there’s no longer any real doubt as to the answer to this question, and that it is doubly negative. ‘Structuralism’, or what was designated as such mainly in France in the 1960s and 1970s (setting aside the question of other uses), is no longer regarded as a truly fertile method in the domains …


From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

Introduction to the dossier 'From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought' (RP 165/167)
by / RP 165 (Jan/Feb 2011) / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

The concept of transdisciplinarity is not part of the explicit discourse or self-consciousness of ‘French thought’. Rather, it is used here, imported from the outside as a kind of operator or problematizing device, to begin a process of rethinking one of that body of thought’s most distinctive but infrequently remarked upon characteristics – its tendency …


Who needs postcoloniality?

A reply to Lindner
by / RP 164 (Nov/Dec 2010) / Article

In Marx’s articles for the New York Tribune on British colonialism in India and the events leading to the Second Anglo-Chinese War (Opium War), critics have caught sight of a double mission attributed by him to British imperialism and colonialism to tear down the structure of archaic societies and lay the …


The African intellectual

Hountondji and after
by / RP 164 (Nov/Dec 2010) / Article

Every thought, however original it may be, is to some extent shaped by the questions that it is asked.

– Paulin J. Hountondji, The Struggle for Meaning

One of the characteristic features of African philosophy is that it tends to pose epistemological questions in terms that preserve their dialectical entanglement …


Forensic architecture

Only the criminal can solve the crime
by / RP 164 (Nov/Dec 2010) / Article

A strange story unfolded in the shadows of the legal and diplomatic furore that accompanied the release, on 15 September 2009, of Richard Goldstone’s Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which alleged that the Israeli army (and Hamas) committed war crimes, and indeed that Israel …


Andeanizing philosophy

Rodolfo Kusch and indigenous thought
by / RP 163 (Sep/Oct 2010) / Article

The belated English translation of Rodolfo Kusch’s Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América (originally published in Spanish in 1970)* introduces this Argentine author to an English-speaking audience for the first time. What makes his work interesting is that it takes indigenous thinking seriously as philosophy – that is, as a contribution …