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 2015.
Joanne Faulkner & Magdalena Zolkos, eds., Critical Childhood Studies and the Practice of Interdisciplinarity: Disciplining the Child (Lexington Books: 2015)
This book analyzes different figurations of childhood in contemporary culture and politics with a particular focus on interdisciplinary methodologies of critical childhood studies. It argues that while the figure of the child has been traditionally located at the peripheries of academic disciplines, perhaps most notably in history, sociology and literature, the proposed critical discussions of the ideological, symbolic and affective roles that children play in contemporary societies suggest that they are often the locus of larger societal crises, collective psychic tensions, and unspoken prohibitions and taboos. As such, this book brings into focus the prejudices against childhood embedded in our standard approaches to organizing knowledge, and asks: is there a natural disciplinary home for the study of childhood? Or is this field fundamentally interdisciplinary, peripheral or problematic to notions of disciplinary identity? In this respect, does childhood force innovation in thinking about disciplinarity? For instance, how does the analysis of childhood affect how we think about methodology? What role do understandings of childhood play in delimiting how we conceive of our society, our future, and ourselves? How does thinking about childhood affect how we think about culture, history, and politics?
This book brings together researchers working broadly in critical child studies, but from various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences (including philosophy, literary studies, sociology, cultural studies and history), in order to stage a conversation between these diverse perspectives on the disciplinary or (interdisciplinary) character of ‘the child’ as an object of research. Such conversation builds on the assumption that childhood, far from being marginal, is a topic that is hidden in plain sight. That is to say, while the child is always a presence in culture, history, literature and philosophy—and is often even a highly charged figure within those fields—its operation and effects are rarely theoretically scrutinized, but rather are more likely drawn upon, surreptitiously, for another purpose.
Luke Fischer, The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems (Bloomsbury: 2015)
The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems opens up new perspectives on the relation between Rilke's poetry and phenomenological philosophy, illustrating the ways in which poetry can offer an exceptional response to the philosophical problem of dualism. Drawing on the work of Husserl, Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, Luke Fischer makes a new contribution to the tradition of phenomenological poetics and expands the debate among Germanists concerning the phenomenological status of Rilke's poetry, which has been severely limited to comparisons of Rilke and Husserl.
Fischer explicates an implicit phenomenology of perception in Rilke's writings from his middle period (1902-1910). He argues that Rilke cultivated an artistic perception that, in a philosophically significant manner, overcomes the opposition between the sensuous and the intelligible while simultaneously transcending the boundaries of philosophy. Fischer offers novel interpretations of central poems from Rilke's Neue Gedichte (1907) and Der neuen Gedichte anderer Teil (1908) and frames them as the ultimate articulation of Rilke's non-dualistic vision. He thus demonstrates the continuity between Rilke and phenomenology while arguing that poetry, in this case, provides the most adequate response to a philosophical problem.
Ben Golder, Foucault and the Politics of Rights, (SUP: 2015)
This book focuses on Michel Foucault's late work on rights in order to address broader questions about the politics of rights in the contemporary era. As several commentators have observed, something quite remarkable happens in this late work. In his early career, Foucault had been a great critic of the liberal discourse of rights. Suddenly, from about 1976 onward, he makes increasing appeals to rights in his philosophical writings, political statements, interviews, and journalism. He not only defends their importance; he argues for rights new and as-yet-unrecognized. Does Foucault simply revise his former positions and endorse a liberal politics of rights? Ben Golder proposes an answer to this puzzle, which is that Foucault approaches rights in a spirit of creative and critical appropriation. He uses rights strategically for a range of political purposes that cannot be reduced to a simple endorsement of political liberalism. Golder develops this interpretation of Foucault's work while analyzing its shortcomings and relating it to the approaches taken by a series of current thinkers also engaged in considering the place of rights in contemporary politics, including Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, and Jacques Rancière.
M. G. E. Kelly, Biopolitical Imperialism, (Zero: 2015)
Biopolitical Imperialism is a book about international politics today. The core, eponymous thesis is that our world is marked by a pattern of biopolitical parasitism, that is, the enhancement of the life of wealthy populations of First World countries on the basis of an active denigration of the lives of the poor mass of humanity. The book details how this dynamic plays out both inside wealthy countries and internationally.
Matthew Sharpe, Camus, Philosophe: To Return to Our Beginnings (Brill: 2015)
Camus, Philosophe: To Return to our Beginnings is the first book on Camus to read Camus in light of, and critical dialogue with, subsequent French and European philosophy. It argues that, while not an academic philosopher, Albert Camus was a philosophe in more profound senses looking back to classical precedents, and the engaged French lumières of the 18th century. Aiming his essays and literary writings at the wider reading public, Camus’ criticism of the forms of ‘political theology’ enshrined in fascist and Stalinist regimes singles him out markedly from more recent theological and messianic turns in French thought. His defense of classical thought, turning around the notions of natural beauty, a limit, and mesure makes him a singularly relevant figure given today’s continuing debates about climate change, as well as the way forward for the post-Marxian Left.
Robert Sinnerbrink, Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience Through Film (Routledge: 2015)
How do movies evoke and express ethical ideas? What role does our emotional involvement play in this process? What makes the aesthetic power of cinema ethically significant? Cinematic Ethics: Exploring Ethical Experience through Film addresses these questions by examining the idea of cinema as a medium of ethical experience with the power to provoke emotional understanding and philosophical thinking.
In a clear and engaging style, Robert Sinnerbrink examines the key philosophical approaches to ethics in contemporary film theory and philosophy using detailed case studies of cinematic ethics across different genres, styles, and filmic traditions. Written in a lucid and lively style that will engage both specialist and non-specialist readers, this book is ideal for use in the academic study of philosophy and film. Key features include annotated suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter and a filmography of movies useful for teaching and researching cinematic ethics.
Patrick Stokes & John Lippitt eds., Narrative, Identity, and the Kierkegaardian Self (EUP: 2015)
Is each of us the main character in a story we tell about ourselves, or is this narrative understanding of selfhood misguided and possibly harmful? Are selves and persons the same thing? And what does the possibility of sudden death mean for our ability to understand the narrative of ourselves? These questions have been much discussed both in recent philosophy and by scholars grappling with the work of the enigmatic 19th-century thinker Søren Kierkegaard. For the first time, this collection brings together figures in both contemporary philosophy and Kierkegaard studies to explore pressing issues in the philosophy of personal identity and moral psychology. It serves both to advance important ongoing discussions of selfhood and to explore the light that, 200 years after his birth, Kierkegaard is still able to shed on contemporary problems.
Patrick Stokes, The Naked Self: Kierkegaard and Personal Identity (OUP: 2015)
Across his relatively short and eccentric authorial career, Søren Kierkegaard develops a unique, and provocative, account of what it is to become, to be, and to lose a self, backed up by a rich phenomenology of self-experience. Yet Kierkegaard has been almost totally absent from the burgeoning analytic philosophical literature on self-constitution and personal identity. How, then, does Kierkegaard's work appear when viewed in light of current debates about self and identity—and what does Kierkegaard have to teach philosophers grappling with these problems today?
The Naked Self explores Kierkegaard's understanding of selfhood by situating his work in relation to central problems in contemporary philosophy of personal identity: the role of memory in selfhood, the relationship between the notional and actual subjects of memory and anticipation, the phenomenology of diachronic self-experience, affective alienation from our past and future, psychological continuity, practical and narrative approaches to identity, and the intelligibility of posthumous survival. By bringing his thought into dialogue with major living and recent philosophers of identity (such as Derek Parfit, Galen Strawson, Bernard Williams, J. David Velleman, Marya Schechtman, Mark Johnston, and others), Stokes reveals Kierkegaard as a philosopher with a significant—if challenging—contribution to make to philosophy of self and identity.