The ASCP community is prolific in producing work that encompasses a variety of areas of scholarship in Continental Philosophy. The following book descriptions provide some recent examples of this work published in 2010. Further details about each book can be found by clicking on the links to Amazon Books. If you purchase any books from Amazon after linking from this site, Amazon will track your trajectory and part profits will be returned to the ASCP. Thank you for supporting the ASCP community!
Alex Ling, Badiou and Cinema (EUP:2010)
Alex Ling employs the philosophy of Alain Badiou to answer the question central to all serious film scholarship: 'can cinema be thought?' Treating this question on three levels, the author first asks if we can really think what cinema is, at an ontological level. Secondly, he investigates whether cinema can actually think for itself; that is, whether or not it is truly 'artistic'. Finally, he explores in what ways we can rethink the consequences of the fact that cinema thinks.
In answering these questions, the author uses well-known films ranging to illustrate Badiou's philosophy and to consider the ways in which his work can be extended, critiqued and reframed with respect to the medium of cinema.
Andrew Benjamin, Place, Commonality and Judgment: Continental Philosophy and the Ancient Greeks (Continuum, 2010)
This title presents a highly original examination of topics in ancient philosophy through the lens of modern European thought. In this important and highly original book, place, commonality and judgment provide the framework within which works central to the Greek philosophical and literary tradition are usefully located and reinterpreted. Greek life, it can be argued, was defined by the interconnection of place, commonality and judgment. Similarly within the Continental philosophical tradition topics such as place, judgment, law and commonality have had a pervasive centrality. Works by Ed Casey, Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben amongst others attest to the current exigency of these topics. Yet the ways in which they are interrelated has been barely discussed within the context of Ancient Philosophy. The conjecture of this book is that not only are these terms of genuine philosophical importance in their own right, but they are also central to Ancient Philosophy. Andrew Benjamin ultimately therefore aims to underscore the relevance of Ancient Philosophy for contemporary debates in Continental Philosophy.
Andrew Benjamin, Of Jews and Animals (Edinburgh University Press)
"Andrew Benjamin has written an original and provocative meditation on the place of the 'figure' of the animal in modern philosophy and culture. The book is remarkable for its sensitivity to the issue of visibility and the use of visual material. The engagement with the philosophical history of art is beautifully sustained and serves not only to work through the theme of figuration but also to make the philosophical narrative available to a wider range of readers". -- Howard Caygill, Goldsmith's College
"A stimulating book which will help those readers who, interested in the work of Agamben and the late Derrida, wish to reflect more on the image of the animal in classical continental philosophy". -- Peter Fenves, NorthWestern University
Simone Bignall, Postcolonial Agency: Critique and Constructivism (Edinburgh University Press)
This book complements and balances the attention given by postcolonial theory to the revitalisation and recognition of the agency of colonised peoples. It offers new conceptual scaffolding to those who have inherited the legacy of colonial privilege, and who now seek to responsibly transform this historical injustice. Simone Bignall attends to a minor tradition within Western philosophy including Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bergson and Deleuze, to argue that a non-imperial concept of social and political agency and a postcolonial philosophy of material transformation are embedded within aspects of poststructuralist social philosophy. Contributing to contemporary philosophical inquiry about desire, power and transformative agency, Postcolonial Agency constitutes a timely intervention to debates in poststructuralist, postcolonial and postmodern studies. The resulting rapprochement between poststructuralism and postcolonialism coincidentally provides a fresh perspective on the political potential of Deleuzian thought. It is of interest to students in political and postcolonial studies, cultural studies, critical theory and Continental philosophy.
"Theoretically sophisticated and meticuously situated at the fraught scene of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples in contemporary Australia, Postcolonial Agency is an inspiring manifesto for non-imperial mutuality. Bignall's advocacy of an ethics of joy opens up a new direction for postcolonial studies " - Leela Gandhi, Professor of English, University of Chicago
Simone Bignall and Paul Patton (eds), Deleuze and the Postcolonial (Edinburgh UP)
This is the first anthology to unite Deleuzian philosophy and postcolonial theory. Paul Patton and Simone Bignall assemble leading figures, including Reda Bensmaïa, Timothy Bewes, Rey Chow, Philip Leonard, Nick Nesbitt, John K. Noyes, Patricia Pisters, Marcelo Svirsky and Simon Tormey. They deal with colonial and postcolonial social, cultural, and political issues in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia and Palestine. Topics include colonial government, nation building, and ethics in the contemporary context of globalization and decolonization; issues relating to resistance, transformation and agency; and questions of "representation" and discursive power as practiced through postcolonial art, cinema, and literature.
Andy Blunden, An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity (Brill)
Andy Blunden presents an immanent critique of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory, the current of psychology originating from Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934). Tracing the roots of this theory from Goethe, Hegel and Marx, the author draws out the principles with which Vygotsky developed a theory of the mind in which the individual and their social situation form a single Gestalt, transcending the problems of mind-body dualism. Blunden follows the efforts of later members of the School to resolve outstanding problems in Vygotsky’s work. This includes a critical appropriation of Leontyev’s Activity Theory and Michael Cole’s cross-cultural research on the role of context in learning. The outcome is a concept of activity which transcends the division between individual and social domains in human sciences.
Jean-Philippe Deranty (ed), Jacques Rancière: Key Concepts (Acumen, 2010)
Although relatively unknown a decade ago, the work of Jacques Rancière is fast becoming a central reference in the humanities and social sciences. His thinking brings a fresh, innovative approach to many fields, notably the study of work, education, politics, literature, film, art, as well as philosophy. This is the first, full-length introduction to Rancière’s work and covers the full range of his contribution to contemporary thought, presenting in clear, succinct chapters the key concepts Rancière has developed in his writings over the last forty years.
Michael Fagenblat, A Covenant of Creatures: Levinas' Philosophy of Judaism (Stanford)
"I am not a particularly Jewish thinker," said Emmanuel Levinas, "I am just a thinker." This book argues against the idea, affirmed by Levinas himself, that Totality and Infinity and Otherwise Than Being separate philosophy from Judaism. By reading Levinas's philosophical works through the prism of Judaic texts and ideas, Michael Fagenblat argues that what Levinas called "ethics" is as much a hermeneutical product wrought from the Judaic heritage as a series of phenomenological observations. Decoding the Levinas's philosophy of Judaism within a Heideggerian and Pauline framework, Fagenblat uses biblical, rabbinic, and Maimonidean texts to provide sustained interpretations of the philosopher's work. Ultimately he calls for a reconsideration of the relation between tradition and philosophy, and of the meaning of faith after the death of epistemology.
"This is a rich and sophisticated study of one of the most vital and influential thinkers of the twentieth century. Exploring Levinas's philosophy of Judaism from his philosophical rather than his confessional writings, Michael Fagenblat provides a fresh model that breaks down simplistic distinctions and opens the in-between space wherein the claim of the individual is held accountable through the response to the other and the challenge of the other is redeemed by the demand of the individual."—Elliot R. Wolfson, New York University
Joanne Faulkner, Dead Letters to Nietzsche: Or the Necromantic Art of Reading Philosophy (Ohio UP)
Dead Letters to Nietzsche examines how writing shapes subjectivity through the example of Nietzsche’s reception by his readers, including Stanley Rosen, David Farrell Krell, Georges Bataille, Laurence Lampert, Pierre Klossowski, and Sarah Kofman. More precisely, Joanne Faulkner finds that the personal identification that these readers form with Nietzsche’s texts is an enactment of the kind of identity-formation described in Lacanian and Kleinian psychoanalysis. This investment of their subjectivity guides their understanding of Nietzsche’s project, the revaluation of values. Not only does this work make a provocative contribution to Nietzsche scholarship, but it also opens in an original way broader philosophical questions about how readers come to be invested in a philosophical project and how such investment alters their subjectivity.
Timothy O'Leary and Chris Falzon (eds.), Foucault and Philosophy (Blackwell)
Foucault and Philosophy presents a collection of essays from leading international philosophers and Foucault scholars that explore Foucault’s work as a philosopher in relation to philosophers who were important to him and in the context of important themes and problems in contemporary philosophy.
"Was it important that Michel Foucault thought philosophically? That among his major partners in reflection were Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Habermas? That Foucault's experiments in thought intersected with analyses of subjectivity, theories of knowledge, philosophies of experience? The outstanding contributions to this volume respond to these questions by leading its readers into an excavation of Foucault's philosophical curiosity and his unfinished road map to the good life" James Bernauer
Paul Patton, Deleuzian Concepts: Philosophy, Colonization, Politics (Stanford UP)
These essays provide important interpretations and analyze critical developments of the political philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. They situate his thought in the contemporary intellectual landscape by comparing him with contemporaries such as Derrida, Rorty, and Rawls and show how elements of his philosophy may be usefully applied to key contemporary issues including colonization and decolonization, the nature of liberal democracy, and the concepts and critical utopian aspirations of political philosophy. Patton discusses Deleuze's notion of philosophy as the creation of concepts and shows how this may be helpful in understanding the nature of political concepts such as rights, justice, and democracy. Rather than merely commenting on or explaining Deleuze's thought, Patton offers a series of attempts to think with Deleuzian concepts in relation to other philosophers and other problems. His book represents a significant contribution to debates in contemporary political theory, continental philosophy, and Deleuzian studies.
Jack Reynolds & James Chase, Analytic Versus Continental: Arguments on the Methods and Value of Philosophy (Acumen)
Throughout much of the twentieth century, the relationship between analytic and continental philosophy has been one of disinterest, caution or hostility. Recent debates in philosophy have highlighted some of the similarities between the two approaches and even envisaged a post-continental and post-analytic philosophy. Opening with a history of key encounters between philosophers of opposing camps since the late-nineteenth century - from Frege and Husserl to Derrida and Searle - the book goes on to explore in detail the main methodological differences between the two approaches. This covers a very wide range of topics, from issues of style and clarity of exposition to formal methods arising from logic and probability theory. The final section presents a balanced critique of the two schools' approaches to key issues such as time, truth, subjectivity, mind and body, language and meaning, and ethics. "Analytic versus Continental" is the first sustained analysis of both approaches to philosophy, examining the limits and possibilities of each. It provides a clear overview of a much-disputed history and, in highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of both traditions, also offers future directions for both continental and analytic philosophy.
Andrew Schaap, Danielle Celermajer and Vrasidas Karalis, eds. Power, Judgment and Political Evil (Ashgate)
"Power, Judgment and Political Evil" examines Hannah Arendt's ideas about thinking, acting and political responsibility. In an interview with Gunther Gaus for German television in 1964, Hannah Arendt insisted that she was not a philosopher but a political theorist. Disillusioned by the cooperation of German intellectuals with the Nazis, she said farewell to philosophy when she fled the country. This book investigates the relationship between the life of the mind and the life of action that preoccupied Arendt throughout her life. By joining in the conversation between Arendt and Gaus, each contributor probes her ideas about thinking and judging and their relation to responsibility, power and violence. An insightful and intelligent treatment of the work of Hannah Arendt, this book will appeal to a wide number of fields beyond political theory and philosophy, including law, literary studies, social anthropology and cultural history.
Matthew Sharpe and Geoff Boucher, Zizek and Politics: A Critical Introduction (Edinburgh University Press)
Slavoj Zizek was born in 1949 and is a Slovenian political philosopher, sociologist, and cultural critic best known for work with French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Zizek writes on many topics, including the Iraq War, political correctness, globalization, human rights, and multiculturalism. His thought has received mixed receptions, from celebratory to deeply critical, but his politics are the element that most needs critical reassessment. This book introduces Zizek's primary areas of interest and the fields in which he has made his most influential contributions: ideology and political subjectivity; political totalitarianism; and contemporary culture. It explores political topics about which Zizek's interventions have been called partial or flawed, including liberalism, capitalism, the politics of religion, and political decisionism. A final section assesses Zizek and politics today. Each chapter considers the debates in which Zizek has intervened, his position, his positive contribution, and the limits of his position.
Henk van Leeuwen, Only a God Can Save Us: Heidegger, Poetic Imagination and the Modern Malaise (Common Ground)
In the shadow of a looming global environmental catastrophe humanity is at an unprecedented crossroad where crucial and difficult decisions must be made about how we are to live. This book questions where the desire for certainty and mastery is taking us and argues that reliance on technology and information alone cannot avoid an ecological catastrophe. It attends to an existential poverty of spirit that, it suggests, is at the root of contemporary problems. It tackles the association between a metaphysical void, with its growing sense of meaninglessness, and the ecological predicament. While many find the consolations of traditional religion increasingly untenable, a hunger for a spiritual dimension in life persists. In a rare excursion, yet one which continues the uniquely human search for a transcendent ground of being, the book explores an unfamiliar kind of thinking which shelters and liberates the poetic imagination that counters the modern malaise. In a scholarly yet accessible account van Leeuwen uncovers from Martin Heidegger's middle/late philosophy an extraordinary pathway of transformative thinking where this imagination is nurtured.
"I have found [this] book very stimulating and helpful. It has set me off on something of a Heidegger quest, as a way of seeking a deeper understanding of how humanity allowed itself to generate the climate crisis that will unfold this century and beyond" - Clive Hamilton
Dimitris Vardoulakis, The Doppelgänger: Literature's Philosophy (Fordham)
The Doppelganger or Double presents literature as the "double" of philosophy. There are historical reasons for this. The genesis of the Doppelganger is literature's response to the philosophical focus on subjectivity. The Doppelganger was coined by the German author Jean Paul in 1796 as a critique of Idealism's assertion of subjective autonomy, individuality and human agency. This critique prefigures post-War extrapolations of the subject as decentred. From this perspective, the Doppelganger has a "family resemblance" to current conceptualizations of subjectivity. It becomes the emblematic subject of modernity. This is the first significant study on the Doppelganger's influence on philosophical thought. The Doppelganger emerges as a hidden and unexplored element both in conceptions of subjectivity and in philosophy's relation to literature. Vardoulakis demonstrates this by employing the Doppelganger to read literature philosophically and to read philosophy as literature. The Doppelganger then appears instrumental in the self-conception of both literature and philosophy.
David West, Continental Philosophy: An Introduction, 2nd Edition (Wiley: 2010)
This book is a fully updated and expanded new edition of An Introduction to Continental Philosophy, first published in 1996. It provides a clear, concise and readable introduction to philosophy in the continental tradition. It is a wide-ranging and reliable guide to the work of such major figures as Nietzsche, Habermas, Heidegger, Arendt, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida and Žižek. At the same time, it situates their thought within a coherent overall account of the development of continental philosophy since the Enlightenment.
Continental Philosophy: An Introduction is an invaluable introductory text for courses on continental philosophy as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences dealing with major figures or influential approaches within that tradition.
James Williams, James Chase, Ed Mares and Jack Reynolds (eds), Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing Philosophical Divides (Continuum)
This is an important and original collection of essays examining the relationship between Analytic and Continental philosophy. Analytic and Continental philosophy have become increasingly specialised and differentiated fields of endeavour. This important collection of essays details some of the more significant methodological and philosophical differences that have separated the two traditions, as well as examining the manner in which received understandings of the divide are being challenged by certain thinkers whose work might best be described as post-analytic and meta-continental. Together these essays offer a well-defined sense of the field, of its once dominant distinctions and of some of the most productive new areas generating influential ideas and controversy. In an attempt to get to the bottom of precisely what it is that separates the analytic and continental traditions, the essays in this volume compare and contrast them on certain issues, including truth, time and subjectivity. The book engages with a range of key thinkers from phenomenology, post-structuralism, analytic philosophy and post-analytic philosophy, examines the strengths and weaknesses of each tradition, and ultimately encourages enhanced understanding, dialogue and even rapprochement between these sometimes antagonistic adversaries.
Magdalena Zolkos, Reconciling Community and Subjective Life: Trauma Testimony As Political Theorizing in the Work of Jean Amery and Imre Kertesz (Continuum)
This title examines issues of transitional justice and reconciliation from a critical, political theory perspective rarely applied in this area of study. This is an examination of the difficult interplay between the collective pursuit of justice and reconciliation on one hand and the individual subjective experience of trauma on the other, proposing that it be thought as a potentially productive tension. To do so, Zolkos looks at how texts from Jean Amery and Imre Kertesz speak to the question of the politics of the past and, ultimately, to the post-foundational notions of community and justice. The text works with issues of reconciliation at a theoretical level that bring together insights from political theory, trauma studies, holocaust studies, history and literary theory. The book has the greatest relevance for the critical reconciliation theory, as well as for those working on the concept of community within the continental tradition.