ASCP Members' Books 2013

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 2013.


Steven Churchill and Jack Reynolds, Jean-Paul Sartre: Key Concepts (Acumen: 2013)

Most readers of Sartre focus only on the works written at the peak of his influence as a public intellectual in the 1940s, notably Being and Nothingness. Jean-Paul Sartre: Key Concepts aims to reassess Sartre and to introduce readers to the full breadth of his philosophy. Bringing together leading international scholars, the book examines concepts from across Sartre’s career, from his initial views on the “inner life” of conscious experience, to his later conceptions of hope as the binding agent for a common humanity. The book will be invaluable to readers looking for a comprehensive assessment of Sartre’s thinking – from his early influences to the development of his key concepts, to his legacy.

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Justin Clemens, Psychoanalysis is an Antiphilosophy (EUP: 2013)

Psychoanalysis was the most important intellectual development of the twentieth century, which left no practice from psychiatry to philosophy to politics untouched. Yet it was also in many ways an untouchable project, caught between science and poetry, medicine and hermeneutics. This unsettled, unsettling status has recently induced the philosopher Alain Badiou to characterise psychoanalysis as an ‘antiphilosophy’, that is, as a practice that issues the strongest possible challenges to thought. Justin Clemens takes up the challenge of this denomination here, by re-examining a series of crucial psychoanalytic themes: addiction, fanaticism, love, slavery and torture.


Max Deutscher, In Sensible Judgement (Ashgate: 2013)

Opening with the landmark Mabo High Court Case in Australia and with detailed references to other significant debates of judgment in the twentieth century Max Deutscher seeks to explore approaches to what is good, right and legal. Describing a connection between reason and grounds intrinsic to judgement he analyses and explores the tendency towards absolutism that displaces proper judgement.

‘The notion of judgment – though central to current political and legal debates – has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy. In Sensible Judgement is an interesting and engagingly written book on this important and timely topic.  Drawing accessibly on a wide range of philosophical sources, it offers illuminating and challenging reflections on conceptual aspects of the Mabo judgement, and more generally on themes of responsibility and memory.’
Genevieve Lloyd, University of New South Wales, Australia

‘Deutscher’s reflections on the nature of ‘judgment’ lead him into a searching and comprehensive review of perennial philosophical problems such as the relation between reason and passion. Reflecting in particular on the Australia Mabo decision, he argues convincingly that judgment engages our senses and sensibilities as well as our reason, and that ‘reflective’ judgment must involve more than ‘logical deduction’.
Tony Blackshield, Macquarie University, Australia


Frances Gray, Cartesian Philosophy and the Flesh: Reflections on Incarnation in Analytical Psychology (Routledge: 2013)

Cartesian Philosophy and the Flesh is an analysis and critique of interpretations of Cartesian philosophy in analytical psychology. It focuses on readings of Descartes that have important implications for understanding Jung, and analytical and existential psychology generally. Frances Gray's book raises questions about the 'place' of the body in a theory of the human psyche and about what kind of psyche, if any, is essential to concepts of human being. Gray claims that the debates around Descartes and metaphysical dualism have been oversimplified and that this has had a profound effect on conceptualizing an on-going relation between psyche and body. The book also explores the relationship between Jung's conception of the phenomenological standpoint and that of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.


Hainge, Greg, Noise Matters: Towards an Ontology of Noise (Bloomsbury: 2013)

In Noise Matters, Hainge proposes a radical and controversial rethink of the concept of noise. Distancing himself from the critical orthodoxies forming in the burgeoning field of noise studies, Hainge argues that noise is not merely unpleasant or loud sound but, rather, indicative of the way in which being is expressed in a relational ontology. This approach takes noise far outside of the realm of the sonic and accordingly Hainge proposes new readings of the films of David Lynch, the photography of Thomas Ruff and the music of Merzbow, whilst drawing on the work of Deleuze and Guattari, Michel Serres, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pierre Schaeffer and many more besides.

“We all know noise is there, but Hainge finds it everywhere. Love it, hate it, damp it, make it, even tame it into art-but escape it? Never. For noise, as Hainge shows, is not mere sound; rather, it names the ontological impedance and affordance of all relations in our emergent cosmos. Read this remarkably stimulating, wide-ranging, original book and you’ll never hear or think of noise the same again.” Ronald Bogue, Distinguished Research Professor, Comparative Literature Department, University Of Georgia


Campbell Jones, Can the Market Speak? (Zero: 2013)

It is said the market has moods and desires. It is said that we must listen to it and must anticipate how it will respond to our actions. What is the significance of these peculiar forms of speech? This book investigates the conceptual underpinnings of the idea that the market has intentions, consciousness and speech, and identifies the social and political consequences of this attribution to the market of capacities generally thought to be uniquely human. At once a work of philosophy, a cultural and social archaeology and a diagnosis of one of the central ideologies of our times, this book cuts to the heart of the linguistic forms through which our collective futures are decided.

‘This remarkable little book teases apart modern market language, and offers a compelling critical reading of the personification of financial markets. There could have been no better time for its publication than in the midst of the current financial crisis. Through its reflections on the culture and history of the market’s personhood and personality, Campbell Jones offers new modes and avenues for dissent and resistance.’ ~ Professor Marieke de Goede, University of Amsterdam, author of Virtue, Fortune and Faith: A Genealogy of Finance.


Mark Kelly, Foucault's History of Sexuality Volume 1, The Will to Knowledge (EUP: 2013)

In the first volume of his History of Sexuality, The Will to Knowledge, Foucault weaves together the most influential theoretical account of sexuality since Freud. Mark Kelly systematically unpacks the intricacies of Foucault’s dense and sometimes confusing exposition, in a straightforward way, putting it in its historical and theoretical context.


Marguerite La Caze, Wonder and Generosity: Their Role in Ethics and Politics (SUNY: 2013)

Wonder and Generosity provides a fresh account of how the passions of wonder—based on accepting others’ differences—and generosity—based on self-respect and mutual respect—can supplement each other to establish an ethics and politics of respect for sexual and cultural differences. Drawing on the work of both historical and contemporary thinkers, such as Descartes, Kant, Beauvoir, Arendt, Irigaray, and Derrida, Marguerite La Caze applies her theoretical framework to a range of contemporary political challenges, including asylum-seeker policies, justice for indigenous and other oppressed groups, debates over official apologies, gender equality, and responses to radical evil. La Caze’s book contributes to understanding the relationship between equality and difference in public life, the extent to which we must regard others as similar in the name of equality, and the extent to which we must acknowledge significant differences.


John Quay, Education, Experience and Existence: Engaging Dewey, Peirce and Heidegger (Routledge: 2013)

Education, Experience and Existence proposes a new way of understanding education that delves beneath the conflict, confusion and compromise that characterize its long history. At the heart of this new understanding is what John Dewey strove to expound: a coherent theory of experience. Dewey’s reputation as a pragmatist is well known, but where experience is concerned pragmatism is only half the story. The other half is phenomenological, as crafted by Martin Heidegger. Encompassing both is Charles Sanders Peirce, whose philosophy draws pragmatism and phenomenology together in an embrace which enables a truly experiential philosophy to emerge.


Jessica Whyte, Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (SUNY: 2013)

Challenging the prevalent account of Agamben as a pessimistic thinker, Catastrophe and Redemption proposes a reading of his political thought in which the redemptive element of his work is not a curious aside but instead is fundamental to his project. Jessica Whyte considers his critical account of contemporary politics—his argument that Western politics has been “biopolitics” since its inception, his critique of human rights, his argument that the state of exception is now the norm, and the paradigmatic significance he attributes to the concentration camp—and shows that it is in the midst of these catastrophes of the present that Agamben sees the possibility of a form of profane redemption. Whyte outlines the importance of potentiality in his attempt to formulate a new politics, examines his relation to Jewish and Christian strands of messianism, and interrogates the new forms of praxis that he situates within contemporary commodity culture, taking Agamben’s thought as a call for the creation of new political forms.