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 a very obvious way, motivated not only by a pure scientific interest in the make-up […]
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 is unequivocally linked to his views on history, more precisely to his criticism of the role played […]
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 a juxtaposition of approaches drawn from various disciplines. In his inaugural lecture at the Collège de France […]
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 of sociology and anthropology, nor in those of linguistics and psychology, even if many of […]
In his 1968 book Difference and Repetition, Gilles Deleuze famously stresses the violent, unnatural and shocking character of thought, counterposing his own anti-representational philosophy of difference to what he depicts as a dogmatic, humanist ‘image of thought’. In his own words: ‘“Everybody” knows very well that in fact men think rarely, and more often under the impulse of a shock than in the excitement of a taste for thinking.’1 In […]
As Manuel Vázquez Montalbán’s sardonic detective Pepe Carvalho ruefully observed, in a dictionary of Argentine clichés, psychoanalysis would have a crucial place, along with ‘tango and the disappeared’.1 ‘One’ knows that along with Paris, Buenos Aires is one of the centres of psychoanalytic practice, and one of the leading training centres for Lacanians. What is less well known is how this state of affairs came to be historically, and how […]
Étienne Balibar, Barbara Cassin, Alain de Libera Introduction by Peter Osborne.