The irony of anatomy

The irony of anatomy Basquiat’s poetics of black positionality Nathan brown for Tanzeen DohaIsabelle Graw Should I come to New York before I write the article on you?Jean-Michel Basquiat What would you do if the artist you were writing about were dead?Graw I would do as much research as possible, get together all the available information…Basquiat […]

Helen Macfarlane

Helen macfarlane Independent object David black and ben watson Talking of the destructive nature of egoistic desire, its satisfaction that the other is nothing, Hegel made room for further development, an empirical moment which might surprise those who think German Idealism only ever allowed for abstraction: ‘In this satisfaction, however, experience makes it [the simple […]

Translatorial hexis

Translatorial hexis The politics of Pinkard’s translation of Hegel’s Phenomenology David charlston Most branches of philosophy and many other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences studied in the anglophone academy draw on texts written in languages other than English and therefore rely on the products of translation, especially translations of historical, European philosophy. However, […]

Politics in a Tragic Key

Politics in a tragic key Alberto toscano In memory of Joel Olson (1967–2012)In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; […]

Truly Liberating

Yotam feldman Dialectics of liberationKevin B. Anderson and Russell Rockwell, eds, The Dunayevskaya–Marcuse–Fromm Correspondence, 1954–1978: Dialogues on Hegel, Marx and Critical Theory, Lexington Books, Lanham MD and Plymouth, 2012, 269 pp., £49.95 hb., £21.95 pb., 978 0 73916 835 6 hb., 978 0 73916 836 3 pb. Raya Dunayevskaya died in 1987 aged 77, but […]

Voyage au bout de l’ennui

After History: Alexandre Kojève as a Photographer, BAK, Utrecht, 20 May–15 July 2012; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, 21 September–16 November 2012; Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 17 October 2012–7 January 2013. In a darkened room stand seven podiums, like black treadmills at a standstill. Each faces a digitized photo­graph projected onto a bare wall. The […]

More than everything

More than everything Žižek’s Badiouian Hegel Peter osborne There are philosophical books, minor classics even, which are widely known and referred to, although no one has actually read them page by page… a nice example of interpassivity, where some figure of the Other is supposed to do the reading for us. Slavoj Žižek1 Allow me […]

Disguised as a dog

Disguised as a dog Cynical Occupy? Peter osborne I take my title and my philosophical cue from a passage in Marx’s 1839 ‘Notebooks on Epicurean Philosophy’. I take my artistic cue from the early work of Valie Export. The passage from Marx reads as follows: As in the history of philosophy there are nodal points […]

Subjectivity as medium of the media

Dossier What is German media philosophy? Subjectivity as medium of the media Boris groys 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 […]

Naming, myth and history

Naming, myth and history Berlin after the Wall Gordon Finlayson Whoever believe that certain things are of no concern to them frequently deceive themselves, e.g. philosophers about history. Immanuel Kant, Reflections on Logic What has happened to history since the Berlin Wall fell? If Susan Buck-Morss is to be believed, fashion parades in its ruins; […]

The tremor of reflection

The tremor of reflection Slavoj Ziiek’s Lacanian dialectics Peter Dews In memory of Hinrich Fink-Eitel (1946-1995) At first glance, the work of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek seems to offer an irresistible range of attractions for theorists wishing to engage with contemporary culture, without accepting the flimsy postmodernist doxa which is often the only available […]

Humanism and Nature

Humanism and Nature John O’Neill Those who aim to construct links between Marxism and the green movement often look to Marx’ s early work on alienation as a source for a green Marxism. I There is an immediate apparent problem with any such attempt to marry the early Marx and the greens, viz. that Marx’s […]

The Early Marx on Needs

The Early Marx on Needs Andrew Chitty Following the first widespread dissemination of Marx’ s early writings, his treatment of human needs was often taken as the basis for a critique of the ‘false needs’ created by capitalism and its consumer culture. 1 ‘True needs’ for meaningful social interaction were counterposed to the ‘false needs’ […]

Internationality

Internationality Jonathan Ree With the unification of Gennany and the fragmentation of the Soviet Union and its satellites, nationhood has suddenly become a topical issue. * And, by good fortune, scholars are well prepared to debate it: in the past decade several historians and social scientists have revived and perhaps transfonned the whole question of […]

Levels of Analysis in Marxian Political Economy

Levels of Analysis in Marxian Political Economy: An Unoist Approach Robert Albritton Nearly every major thinker and school of thought within contemporary Marxian political economy has made some reference to levels of analysis or levels of abstraction, and has shown some sensitivity to the difficulties in mediating more abstract levels of analysis with more concrete. […]

The Spirit of Modernity and its Fate: Jürgen Habermas

The Spirit of Modernity and its Fate: JOrgen Habermas Nick Smith Jurgen Habennas’s ongoing opus is organised around distinctive conceptualisations of ‘modernity’, ‘crisis’, and critique’. * The Theory of Communicative Action (2 volumes, Boston, 1984 & 1987), in which these internally related concepts are articulated into a theory of rationality, was written by Habennas to […]

F. H. Bradley and the Concept of Relative Truth

F. H. Bradley and the Concept of RelativeTruth Sean Sayers Few people now read F. H. Bradley and the British Idealists.! This is not because they are not important philosophers. On the contrary. It is generally agreed that Bradley, in particular, is a major philosopher, as well as a great, if demanding, writer. 2 It […]

Freedom’s Devices

Freedom’s Devices The Place of the Individual in Hegel’s Philosophy of Right John Rosentha/ The ordinary man thinks he is free if it is open to him to act as he pleases but his very arbitrariness implies that he is not free. When I will the rational, then I am acting not as a particular […]

Why Should a Dialectician Learn to Count to Four?

Why Should a Dialectician Learn to Count to Four? Slavoj Zizek The triad and its excess How far must a Hegelian dialectician learn to count? Most of the interpreters of Hegel, not to mention his critics, are trying to convince us in unison that the right answer reads: to three (the dialectical triad, etc.). Moreover, […]