Between subject and citizen

‘All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.’ Spinoza’s maxim, the last sentence of The Ethics, serves as a fitting observation with which to begin a discussion of Étienne Balibar’s Citizen Subject: Foundations for Philosophical Anthropology, given the difficulty proper to the excellence of his text. Its difficulty is not, or not only, […]

From Abstraction to Wunsch

From Abstraction to Wunsch The Vocabulaire Européen des Philosophies Howard caygill DICTIONARY Say of it: ʻItʼs only for ignoramuses!ʼ . . ʻIʼd rather die than use one!ʼ Gustave Flaubert, Dictionary of Received IdeasThe Vocabulaire Européen des Philosophies* deserves a warm welcome from everyone interested in philosophy and its history. While connoisseurs of philosophical lexicography will […]

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon

Figures of interpellation in Althusser and Fanon Pierre macherey The text that Althusser published in 1970 under the title ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’, where he puts forward the thesis of the individual’s interpellation as subject, is no doubt one of his most innovative, but it is also particularly disconcerting: its exposition, in exploiting a […]

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 […]

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, […]

Nietzsche: The Subject of Morality

Nietzsche: The Subject of Morality Ross Poole It is to be inferred that there exist countless dark bodies close to the sun – such as we shall never see. This is, between ourselves, a parable; and a moral psychologist reads the whole starry script only as a parable and signlanguage by means of which many […]

Socialism, Feminism and Men

Socialism, Feminism and Men Peter Middleton Feminism has been both welcomed and resisted by socialist men in the past twenty years. As a critique of exploitation and inequality, feminism has been easily recognisable to socialism. Women can be added on to its emancipatory project as another oppressed class to be liberated. In practice this has […]

Nietzsche, Ethics & Sexual Difference

Nietzsche, Ethics & Sexual Difference Rosa/yn Diprose There are many women in Nietzsche’s texts. There is the old woman, the sceptic and the enigmatic love object, or woman as masquerade. There is The Woman, thejouissance of which is Lacan’ s God – the Truth behind the veil. There is the other as object of evaluation […]

The Politics of Fulfilment and Transfiguration

The Politics of Fulfilment and Transfiguration J. M. Bernstein- SeylaBenhabib’ s Critique, Norm, and Utopia* is, without doubt, the most philosophically acute and learned history of the critical theory of society yet to be written. Because the intentions of Benhabib’s work are systematic rather than historical, her history is equally a major contribution to critical […]

Socialism and Democracy

Socialism and Democracy: Beyond State and Civil Society Roger Harris Introduction This article started life as a review of John Keane’s Public Life and Late Capitalism ..:. Towards ~ Socialist Thaor y of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1984), an Lt begins with a brief account of this important book. In the sections which follow I […]

Marxist Modes

MARXIST MODIS lonathan Rea 1 Here is a tempting book* – a kind of teach-yourself the new semiotics, a simple primer about Barthes, Lacan and post-Althusserian Marxis m. I came across it by accident, when I saw it peeping out of a friend’s luggage. ‘It’s very good, ‘ I was told: ‘inspiring and clear ‘. […]

Birth of the Subject

Birth of the Subject Colin Gordon Since 1970 Michel Foucault has published three books, L ‘Ordre du Discours (The Order of Discourse), Surveiller et Punir (Surveillance and Punishment) and La volonte de savoir (The Will to Knowledge), none of which has yet appeared in English in this country. 1 This body of untranslated work, which […]

Writing as a man

In the philosophical works of Emmanuel Levinasʼs early career, it is in a phenomenology of Eros that he claims to have uncovered the site of what he calls ʻtranscendenceʼ. This is no small claim. According to the argument of the later Totality and Infinity (1961),1 the history of Western philosophy is to be thought as […]

Primordial Being

Primordial Being Enlightenment, Schopenhauer and the Indian subject of postcolonial theory Chetan bhatt century Enlightenment philosophers – others could have been chosen – considered the place of ʻIndiaʼ and some of its religions and philosophies in their grand civilizational, cultural and philosophical chronographies. This is a difficult area whose complexities can be elided by the […]

Feminism against ‘the feminine’

Whilst the distinction between French and AngloAmerican feminism was always rather dubious (failing to be accurate, consistent or inclusive at the level of either national origin, language of choice or theoretical commitment; seeming to parcel feminist theory – or at least the feminist theory that mattered – out into two Western blocks from which the […]

Kant’s ‘raw man’ and the miming of primitivism

…we read [in Herderʼs text]: ʻIt would be an easy principle, but an evil one, to maintain in the philosophy of human history than man is an animal who needs a master, and who expects from this master, or from his association with him, the happiness of his ultimate destiny.ʼ … [We read further that] […]

Bodies and power, revisited

Foucaultʼs early approach to the question of bodies and power is perhaps best known in his analysis of the body of the prisoner in Discipline and Punish. [1] Many of us have read and reread this analysis, and tried to understand how power acts upon a body, but also how power comes to craft and […]

‘The history of truth’

The twenty-first meditation in Alain Badiouʼs LʼEtre et lʼévénement, which is devoted to Pascal, opens with the following quotation from the Pensées: ʻThe history of the Church should properly be called the history of truth.ʼ [1] The pensée in question is numbered 858 by Brunschwicg, and 776 by Lafuma. Although it is not my intention […]