Critique, Norm, and Utopia

A Study of the Foundations of Critical Theory
Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231061650
Category: Philosophy
Page: 455
View: 1190

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Displaying an impressive command of complex materials, Seyla Benhabib reconstructs the history of theories from a systematic point of view and examines the origins and transformations of the concept of critique from the works of Hegel to Habermas. Through investigating the model of the philosophy of the subject, she pursues the question of how Hegel�s critiques might be useful for reforumulating the foundations of critical social theory.

Democracy and Difference

Contesting the Boundaries of the Political
Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691044781
Category: Political Science
Page: 373
View: 3455

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The global trend toward democratization of the last two decades has been accompanied by the resurgence of various politics of "identity/difference." From nationalist and ethnic revivals in the countries of east and central Europe to the former Soviet Union, to the politics of cultural separatism in Canada, and to social movement politics in liberal western-democracies, the negotiation of identity/difference has become a challenge to democracies everywhere. This volume brings together a group of distinguished thinkers who rearticulate and reconsider the foundations of democratic theory and practice in the light of the politics of identity/difference. In Part One Jürgen Habermas, Sheldon S. Wolin, Jane Mansbridge, Seyla Benhabib, Joshua Cohen, and Iris Marion Young write on democratic theory. Part Two--on equality, difference, and public representation--contains essays by Anne Phillips, Will Kymlicka, Carol C. Gould, Jean L. Cohen, and Nancy Fraser; and Part Three--on culture, identity, and democracy--by Chantal Mouffe, Bonnie Honig, Fred Dallmayr, Joan B. Landes, and Carlos A. Forment. In the last section Richard Rorty, Robert A. Dahl, Amy Gutmann, and Benjamin R. Barber write on whether democracy needs philosophical foundations.

The End of Progress

Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory
Author: Amy Allen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231540639
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
View: 5767

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While post- and decolonial theorists have thoroughly debunked the idea of historical progress as a Eurocentric, imperialist, and neocolonialist fallacy, many of the most prominent contemporary thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School—Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst—have defended ideas of progress, development, and modernity and have even made such ideas central to their normative claims. Can the Frankfurt School's goal of radical social change survive this critique? And what would a decolonized critical theory look like? Amy Allen fractures critical theory from within by dispensing with its progressive reading of history while retaining its notion of progress as a political imperative, so eloquently defended by Adorno. Critical theory, according to Allen, is the best resource we have for achieving emancipatory social goals. In reimagining a decolonized critical theory after the end of progress, she rescues it from oblivion and gives it a future.

The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt


Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780742521513
Category: Political Science
Page: 261
View: 8606

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The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt rereads Arendt's political philosophy in light of newly gained insights into the historico-cultural background of her work. Visit our website for sample chapters!

Black Mass

How Religion Led the World into Crisis
Author: John Gray
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307374939
Category: Political Science
Page: 256
View: 5565

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Fascinating, enlightening, and epic in scope, Black Mass looks at the historic and modern faces of Utopian ideology: Society’s Holy Grail, but at what price? During the last century global politics was shaped by Utopian projects. Pursuing a dream of a world without evil, powerful states waged war and practised terror on an unprecedented scale. From Germany to Russia to China to Afghanistan, entire societies were destroyed. Utopian ideologies rejected traditional faiths and claimed to be based in science. They were actually secular versions of the myth of Apocalypse–the belief in a world-changing event that brings history, with all its conflicts, to an end. The war in Iraq was the last of these attempts at creating a secular Utopia, promising a new era of democracy and producing blood-soaked anarchy and an emerging theocracy instead. John Gray’s powerful and frightening new book argues that the death of Utopia does not mean peace. Instead it portends the resurgence of ancient myths, now in openly fundamentalist forms. Obscurely mixed with geo-political struggles for the control of natural resources, apocalyptic religion has returned as a major force in global conflict. From the Hardcover edition.

Another Cosmopolitanism


Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199884765
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 9882

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In these two important lectures, distinguished political philosopher Seyla Benhabib argues that since the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, we have entered a phase of global civil society which is governed by cosmopolitan norms of universal justice -- norms which are difficult for some to accept as legitimate since they are in conflict with democratic ideals. In her first lecture, Benhabib argues that this tension can never be fully resolved, but it can be mitigated through the renegotiation of the dual commitments to human rights and sovereign self-determination. Her second lecture develops this idea in detail, with special reference to recent developments in Europe (for example, the banning of Muslim head scarves in France). The EU has seen the replacement of the traditional unitary model of citizenship with a new model that disaggregates the components of traditional citizenship, making it possible to be a citizen of multiple entities at the same time. The volume also contains a substantive introduction by Robert Post, the volume editor, and contributions by Bonnie Honig (Northwestern University), Will Kymlicka (Queens University), and Jeremy Waldron (Columbia School of Law).

Politics in Dark Times

Encounters with Hannah Arendt
Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139491059
Category: Political Science
Page: N.A
View: 6643

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This outstanding collection of essays explores Hannah Arendt's thought against the background of recent world-political events unfolding since September 11, 2001, and engages in a contentious dialogue with one of the greatest political thinkers of the past century, with the conviction that she remains one of our contemporaries. Themes such as moral and political equality, action, judgment and freedom are re-evaluated with fresh insights by a group of thinkers who are themselves well known for their original contributions to political thought. Other essays focus on novel and little-discussed themes in the literature by highlighting Arendt's views of sovereignty, international law and genocide, nuclear weapons and revolutions, imperialism and Eurocentrism, and her contrasting images of Europe and America. Each essay displays not only superb Arendt scholarship but also stylistic flair and analytical tenacity.

Perversion and Utopia

A Study in Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory
Author: Joel Whitebook
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262731171
Category: Philosophy
Page: 350
View: 9765

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In this sweeping challenge to the postmodern critiques of psychoanalysis, Joel Whitebook argues for a reintegration of Freud's uncompromising investigation of the unconscious with the political and philosophical insights of critical theory. Perversion and Utopia follows in the tradition of Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization and Paul Ricoeur's Freud and Philosophy. It expands on these books, however, because of the author's remarkable grasp not only of psychoanalytic studies but also of the contemporary critical climate; Whitebook, a philosopher and a psychoanalyst, writes with equal facility on both Habermas and Freud.A central thesis of Perversion and Utopia is that there is an essential affinity between the utopian impulse and the perverse impulse, in that both reflect a desire to bypass the reality principle that Freud claimed to define the human condition. The book explores the positive and negative aspects of the relationship between these impulses, which are ubiquitous features of human life, and the requirements of civilized social existence.Whitebook steers a course between orthodox psychoanalytic conservatism, which seeks simply to repress the perverse-utopian impulse in the name of social continuity and cohesion, and those forms of Freudo-Marxism, postmodernism, and psychoanalytic feminism that advocate its direct and full expression in the name of emancipation. While he demonstrates the limitations of the current textual approaches to Freud, especially those influenced by Lacan, Whitebook also enlists the lessons of psychoanalysis to counteract the excessive rationalism of the Habermasian brand of critical theory, thus making a substantial contribution to current discussions within critical theory itself. His analysis and interpretation of perversion, narcissism, sublimation, and ego bring new insight to these central and thorny issues in Freud, and his discussions of Adorno, Marcuse, Castoriadis, Habermas, Ricoeur, Lacan, and others are equally penetrating.

Situating the Self

Gender, Community and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics
Author: Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745672620
Category: Philosophy
Page: 280
View: 2788

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Focusing on contemporary debates in moral and political theory, Situating the Self argues that a non-relative ethics, binding on us in virtue of out humanity, is still a philosophically viable project. This intersting new book should be read by all those concerned with the problems of critical theory, the analysis of modernity, and contemporary ethics, as well as students and professionals in philosophy, sociology and political science.

Democracy and Difference


Author: Anne Phillips
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745668267
Category: Philosophy
Page: 192
View: 1584

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A new emphasis on diversity and difference is displacing older myths of nation or community. A new attention to gender, race, language or religion is disrupting earlier preoccupations with class. But the welcome extended to heterogeneity can bring with it a disturbing fragmentation and closure. Can we develop a vision of democracy through difference: a politics that neither denies group identities nor capitulates to them? In this volume, Anne Phillips develops the feminist challenge to exclusionary versions of democracy, citizenship and equality. Relating this to the crisis in socialist theory, the growing unease with the pretensions of Enlightenment rationality, and the recent recuperation of liberal democracy as the only viable politics, she builds on debates within feminism to address general questions of difference. When democracies try to wish away group difference and inequality, they fail to meet their egalitarian promise. When yearnings towards an undifferentiated unity become the basis for radical politics and change, too many groups drop out of the picture. Through her critical discussions of recent feminist and socialist theory Anne Phillips rejects this democracy of denial. She also warns, however, of the dangers on the other side. The simpler celebrations of diversity risk freezing group differences as they are, encouraging a patchwork of local identities from which people can speak only to themselves. Her arguments then combine in a powerful restatement of the case for a more active and participatory democracy. It is only through enhanced communication and discussion that people can respect and learn from their differences.

The Emergence of Norms


Author: Edna Ullmann-Margalit
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191064580
Category: Philosophy
Page: 224
View: 3734

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Edna Ullmann-Margalit provides an original account of the emergence of norms. Her main thesis is that certain types of norms are possible solutions to problems posed by certain types of social interaction situations. The problems are such that they inhere in the structure (in the game-theoretical sense of structure) of the situations concerned. Three types of paradigmatic situations are dealt with. They are referred to as Prisoners' Dilemma-type situations; co-ordination situations; and inequality (or partiality) situations. Each of them, it is claimed, poses a basic difficulty, to some or all of the individuals involved in them. Three types of norms, respectively, are offered as solutions to these situational problems. It is shown how, and in what sense, the adoption of these norms of social behaviour can indeed resolve the specified problems.

Feminist Contentions

A Philosophical Exchange
Author: Nancy Fraser
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136785264
Category: Philosophy
Page: 184
View: 1591

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This unique volume presents a debate between four of the top feminist theorists in the US today, discussing the key questions facing contemporary feminist theory, responding to each other, and distinguishing their views from others.

On Critique

A Sociology of Emancipation
Author: Luc Boltanski
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745683533
Category: Social Science
Page: 200
View: 2340

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The relationship between sociology and social critique has haunted the discipline since its origins. Does critique divert sociology from its scientific project? Or is critique the ultimate goal of sociology, without which the latter would be a futile activity disconnected from the concerns of ordinary people? This issue has underpinned two divergent theoretical orientations that can be found in the discipline today: the critical sociology that was developed in its most elaborate form by Pierre Bourdieu, and the pragmatic sociology of critique developed by Luc Boltanski and his associates. In critical sociology, description in terms of power relations underscores the potency of mechanisms of oppression, the way the oppressed passively endure them, going so far in their alienation as to adopt the values that enslave them. Pragmatic sociology, by contrast, describes the actions of human beings who rebel but who are endowed with reason. It stresses their ability, in certain historical conditions, to rise up against their domination and construct new interpretations of reality in the service of critical activity. In this major new book Boltanski develops a framework that makes it possible to reconcile these seemingly antagonistic approaches - the one determinist and assigning the leading role to the enlightening science of the sociologist, the other concerned to stick as closely as possible to what people say and do. This labour of unification leads him to rework central notions such as practice, institution, critique and, finally, ‘social reality,' all with the aim of contributing to a contemporary renewal of practices of emancipation.

Woman on the Edge of Time


Author: Marge Piercy
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307756394
Category: Fiction
Page: 448
View: 4173

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Hailed as a classic of speculative fiction, Marge Piercy’s landmark novel is a transformative vision of two futures—and what it takes to will one or the other into reality. Harrowing and prescient, Woman on the Edge of Time speaks to a new generation on whom these choices weigh more heavily than ever before. Connie Ramos is a Mexican American woman living on the streets of New York. Once ambitious and proud, she has lost her child, her husband, her dignity—and now they want to take her sanity. After being unjustly committed to a mental institution, Connie is contacted by an envoy from the year 2137, who shows her a time of sexual and racial equality, environmental purity, and unprecedented self-actualization. But Connie also bears witness to another potential outcome: a society of grotesque exploitation in which the barrier between person and commodity has finally been eroded. One will become our world. And Connie herself may strike the decisive blow. Praise for Woman on the Edge of Time “This is one of those rare novels that leave us different people at the end than we were at the beginning. Whether you are reading Marge Piercy’s great work again or for the first time, it will remind you that we are creating the future with every choice we make.”—Gloria Steinem “An ambitious, unusual novel about the possibilities for moral courage in contemporary society.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “A stunning, even astonishing novel . . . marvelous and compelling.”—Publishers Weekly “Connie Ramos’s world is cuttingly real.”—Newsweek “Absorbing and exciting.”—The New York Times Book Review From the Trade Paperback edition.

Between Utopia and Dystopia

Erasmus, Thomas More, and the Humanist Republic of Letters
Author: Hanan Yoran
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739136492
Category: Philosophy
Page: 264
View: 7033

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Between Utopia and Dystopia offers a new interpretation of Erasmian humanism. It argues that Erasmian humanism created the identity of the universal and critical intellectual, but that this identity undermined the fundamental premises of humanist discourse. It closely reads several works of Erasmus and Thomas More, employing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of intellectual history, and adopting theoretical insights and methodological procedures from various disciplines.

Marcuse

Critical Theory & the Promise of Utopia
Author: Robert B. Pippin,Andrew Feenberg,Charles Webel
Publisher: Praeger Pub Text
ISBN: 9780897891073
Category: Philosophy
Page: 274
View: 9580

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Distinguished scholars--Jurgen Habermas, Claus Offe, Douglas Kellner, and Martin Jay, among others--draw upon historical, theoretical, and biographical information to assess Marcuse's philosophy, from its grounding in classical German idealism, through the break with Heidegger, to his role in the American counterculture of the sixties and seventies. Indispensable for anyone interested in an in-depth understanding of one of the most burning issues of our time: the relation of critical theory to social action.

Colonialism and the Emergence of Science Fiction


Author: John Rieder
Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
ISBN: 0819573809
Category: Fiction
Page: 200
View: 3898

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This is the first full-length study of emerging Anglo-American science fiction’s relation to the history, discourses, and ideologies of colonialism and imperialism. Nearly all scholars and critics of early science fiction acknowledge that colonialism is an important and relevant part of its historical context, and recent scholarship has emphasized imperialism’s impact on late Victorian Gothic and adventure fiction and on Anglo-American popular and literary culture in general. John Rieder argues that colonial history and ideology are crucial components of science fiction’s displaced references to history and its engagement in ideological production. He proposes that the profound ambivalence that pervades colonial accounts of the exotic “other” establishes the basic texture of much science fiction, in particular its vacillation between fantasies of discovery and visions of disaster. Combining original scholarship and theoretical sophistication with a clearly written presentation suitable for students as well as professional scholars, this study offers new and innovative readings of both acknowledged classics and rediscovered gems. Includes discussion of works by Edwin A. Abbott, Edward Bellamy, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John W. Campbell, George Tomkyns Chesney, Arthur Conan Doyle, H. Rider Haggard, Edmond Hamilton, W. H. Hudson, Richard Jefferies, Henry Kuttner, Alun Llewellyn, Jack London, A. Merritt, Catherine L. Moore, William Morris, Garrett P. Serviss, Mary Shelley, Olaf Stapledon, and H. G. Wells.

Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique

Dialogues
Author: Gabriel Rockhill,Alfredo Gómez-Muller,Seyla Benhabib
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231151861
Category: Philosophy
Page: 207
View: 3615

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This book of tightly woven dialogues engages prominent thinkers in a discussion about the role of culture-broadly construed-in contemporary society and politics. Faced with the conceptual inflation of the notion of 'culture,' which now imposes itself as an indispensable issue in contemporary moral and political debates, these dynamic exchanges seek to rethink culture and critique beyond the schematic models that have often predominated, such as the opposition between "mainstream multiculturalism" and the "clash of civilizations." Prefaced by an introduction relating current cultural debates to the critical theory tradition, this book examines the politics of culture and the spirit of critique from three different vantage points. To begin, Gabriel Rockhill and Alfredo Gomez-Muller provide a stage-setting dialogue, followed by discussions with two major representatives of contemporary critical theory: Seyla Benhabib and Nancy Fraser. Working at the horizons of this tradition, Judith Butler, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Cornel West then provide important critical perspectives on cultural politics. The book's concluding section engages with Michael Sandel and Will Kymlicka, who work out of the Rawlsian tradition yet are uniquely concerned with the issue of culture, broadly understood. The epilogue, an interview with Axel Honneth, returns to the core issue of critical theory in cultural politics. Ranging from recent developments and progressive interventions in critical theory to dialogues that incorporate its insights into larger discussions of social and political philosophy, this book sharpens old critical tools while developing new strategies for rethinking the role of 'culture' in contemporary society.