Extra, extra, read all about it!

extra, extra, read all about it! Contemporary art is postconceptual art Antonia birnbaum * Peter Osborne, Anywhere or Not At All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso, London and New York, 2013. vi + 282 pp., £60.00 hb., £19.95 pb., 978 1 78168 113 8 hb., 978 1 78168 094 0 pb. Numbers in parentheses in the […]

Walter Benjamin and surrealism

Waiter Benjamin and surrealism The story of a revolutionary spell Michael Lowy ‘Fascination’ is the only term that does justice to the intensity of the feelings Waiter Benjamin experienced when he discovered surrealism in 1926-27. His very efforts to escape the spell of the movement founded by Andre Breton and his friends are an expression […]

Romanticism and technology

Romanticism and technology Andrew Bowie Romanticism and technology are often regarded as inherently at odds with each other, one supposedly relying upon a desire to get in touch with a nature in us and outside us which the modern ‘technologized’ world risks losing sight of altogether, the other upon the domination of external nature for […]

Revealing the Truth of Art

Revealing the Truth of Art Andrew Bowie Philosophical discussion of art in English tends not to aim its sights particularly high, and some Anglo-Saxon philosophy has effectively denied art any serious philosophical significance at all. In this light a contemporary German book* which wishes to argue for the truth of art over that of the […]

Philosophy as Exile from Life

Philosophy as Exile from Life: Lukacs’ ‘Soul And Form’ Paul Browne As ethical explorations of the world of literary and philosophical works, Georg Lukacs’s essays are so many restatements of a fundamental question: what are the relationships between such works, the lives of their individual creators, and social existence in general? In giving new expression […]

Marxism, Romanticism and Utopia

Marxism, Romanticism and Utopia: Ernst Bloch and William Morris Ruth Levitas t Marxists have generally been antagonistic to anything that could be described as utopian, justifying this on the basis of Marx ‘s and Engels’ strictures on the ‘utopian socialists’. In recent years, several writers have pointed out that neither Marx nor Engels was totally […]

Karl Marx, Death and Apocalypse

Karl Marx, Death and Apocalypse Joanna Hodge Thoughts occasioned by reading Wayne Hudson, The Marxist Philosophy of Ernst Bloch (Macmillan, 1982) and Julian Roberts, Waiter Benjamin (Macmillan, 1982) There are five grand’ ‘o’ld me~ of’ twentieth-century European Marxism: Adorno , Benjamin , Bloch , Lukacs , and Marcuse . Their works loom bulky and ominous […]

Philosophizing beyond philosophy

for all its voluminousness. This is testament, no doubt, to the historical power of Benjaminʼs writings, but also to a certain more contemporary need for what they have come to represent. For if Benjamin has prospered, in part, from the notorious multiplicity of his personae – and hence from a seemingly endless capacity for reinvention […]

Revolutionary romanticism

The interview with Agnes Heller, ʻPost-Marxism and the Ethics of Modernityʼ (RP 94) touches on what should be a key debate among intellectuals on the Left today: does a perspective critical of the authoritarian legacy of modern revolutions spell the end of the project of political revolution, or does it on the contrary entail rethinking […]

The rationality of life

In ʻWhat is a Nation?ʼ (1882), Ernest Renan provides an exemplary definition of the nation as an organic community: The nation, like an individual, is the culmination of a long past of endeavours, sacrifice, and devotion.… A nation is therefore a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in […]

Oedipus as figure

Oedipus as figure Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe It is probable, or at the very least plausible, that Western humanity now models itself on two figures or types – two ʻexamplesʼ, if you like. They appear to be antagonistic (or are at least supported by antagonistic discourses), but their antagonism also binds together, and founds, their kinship, as […]

The reproach of abstraction

The reproach of abstraction Peter osborne This is a paper about abstraction, in particular, but by no means exclusively – and this ʻby no means exclusivelyʼ is a large part of its point – philosophical abstraction.* It is concerned at the outset with what might be called the reproach of abstraction: the commonly held view, […]