Thinking the Twentieth Century

Thinking the Twentieth Century

Two explorers set out on a journey from which only one of them will return. Their unknown land is that often fearsome continent we call the 20th Century. Their route is through their own minds and memories. Both travellers are professional historians still tormented by their own unanswered questions. They needed to talk to one another, and the time was short. This is a book about the past, but it is also an argument for the kind of future we should strive for. Thinking the Twentieth Century is about the life of the mind - and the mindful life.

Thinking the Unconscious

Nineteenth-Century German Thought

Thinking the Unconscious

Since Freud's earliest psychoanalytic theorization around the beginning of the twentieth century, the concept of the unconscious has exerted an enormous influence upon psychoanalysis and psychology, and literary, critical and social theory. Yet, prior to Freud, the concept of the unconscious already possessed a complex genealogy in nineteenth-century German philosophy and literature, beginning with the aftermath of Kant's critical philosophy and the origins of German idealism, and extending into the discourses of romanticism and beyond. Despite the many key thinkers who contributed to the Germanic discourses on the unconscious, the English-speaking world remains comparatively unaware of this heritage and its influence upon the origins of psychoanalysis. Bringing together a collection of experts in the fields of German Studies, Continental Philosophy, the History and Philosophy of Science, and the History of Psychoanalysis, this volume examines the various theorizations, representations, and transformations undergone by the concept of the unconscious in nineteenth-century German thought.

Reappraisals

Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

Reappraisals

We have entered an age of forgetting. Our world, we insist, is unprecedented, wholly new. The past has nothing to teach us. Drawing provocative connections between a dazzling range of subjects, from Jewish intellectuals and the challenge of evil in the recent European past to the interpretation of the Cold War and the displacement of history by heritage, the late historian Tony Judt takes us beyond what we think we know of the past to explain how we came to know it, showing how much of our history has been sacrificed in the triumph of myth-making over understanding and denial over memory. Reappraisals offers a much-needed road map back to the historical sense we urgently need.

Mythic Thinking in Twentieth-Century Britain

Meaning for Modernity

Mythic Thinking in Twentieth-Century Britain

Mythic Thinking in Twentieth-Century Britain is the first cultural and intellectual history of myth as a mode of thought in modern Britain. Focusing on the period 1900-1980, it examines how a variety of thinkers and cultural groups used the concept of myth to articulate their anxieties about modernity and seek meaning within it. Mythic thinking was thus a profoundly modern response to what W.H. Auden called 'the modern problem' - the erosion of traditional meaning-creating structures and institutions. This book tells the story of mythic thinking in Britain from its origins in late-Victorian social anthropology to its cultural mainstreaming in the postwar period. It is a story that reveals the persistence of yearning for transcendent meaning in age that has often been assumed by historians to be 'disenchanted' and thoroughly secularized.

Politics Without Vision

Thinking Without a Banister in the Twentieth Century

Politics Without Vision

Politics without Vision takes up the thought of seven influential thinkers, each of whom attempted to construct a political solution to this problem: Nietzsche, Weber, Freud, Lenin, Schmitt, Heidegger, and Arendt. None of these theorists were liberals nor, excepting possibly Arendt, were they democrats—and some might even be said to have served as handmaidens to totalitarianism. And all to a greater or lesser extent shared the common conviction that the institutions and practices of liberalism are inadequate to the demands and stresses of the present times. In examining their thought, Strong acknowledges the political evil that some of their ideas served to foster but argues that these were not necessarily the only paths their explorations could have taken. By uncovering the turning points in their thought—and the paths not taken—Strong strives to develop a political theory that can avoid, and perhaps help explain, the mistakes of the past while furthering the democratic impulse.

Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century

Islamic Thought in the Twentieth Century

This book explores key themes in modern Islamic thinking, including the social origins and ideological underpinnings of the late nineteenth- early twentieth-century Islamic reformist project, nationalism in the Muslim world, Islamist attitudes towards democracy, the science of Islamic economics, Islamist notions of family and the role of women, and aspects of Muslim thinking on Christians and Jews. It examines these themes in terms of the historical, political and social conditions of the Muslim world, and its ongoing interactions with the West.

The Columbia History of Twentieth-century French Thought

The Columbia History of Twentieth-century French Thought

Unrivaled in its scope and depth, The Columbia History of Twentieth-Century French Thought assesses the intellectual figures, movements, and publications that helped shape and define fields as diverse as history and historiography, psychoanalysis, film, literary theory, cognitive and life sciences, literary criticism, philosophy, and economics. More than two hundred entries by leading intellectuals discuss developments in French thought on such subjects as pacifism, fashion, gastronomy, technology, and urbanism. Contributors include prominent French thinkers, many of whom have played an integral role in the development of French thought, and American, British, and Canadian scholars who have been vital in the dissemination of French ideas.

Re-thinking the Political Economy of Punishment

Perspectives on Post-Fordism and Penal Politics

Re-thinking the Political Economy of Punishment

Examining the political economy of punishment, this book debates the view that the evolution of punitive systems should be connected to the transformations of capitalist economies. The author investigates the emergence of a new flexible labour force in co

Thinking the Impossible

French Philosophy Since 1960

Thinking the Impossible

The late 20th century saw a remarkable flourishing of philosophy in France. The work of French philosophers is wide ranging, historically informed, often reaching out beyond the boundaries of philosophy; they are public intellectuals, taken seriously as contributors to debates outside the academy. Gary Gutting tells the story of the development of a distinctively French philosophy in the last four decades of the 20th century. His aim is to arrive at an account of what it was to 'do philosophy' in France, what this sort of philosophizing was able to achieve, and how it differs from the analytic philosophy dominant in Anglophone countries. His initial focus is on the three most important philosophers who came to prominence in the 1960s: Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida. He sets out the educational and cultural context of their work, as a basis for a detailed treatment of how they formulated and began to carry out their philosophical projects in the 1960s and 1970s. He gives a fresh assessment of their responses to the key influences of Hegel and Heidegger, and the fraught relationship of the new generation to their father-figure Sartre. He concludes that Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze can all be seen as developing their fundamental philosophical stances out of distinctive readings of Nietzsche. The second part of the book considers topics and philosophers that became prominent in the 1980s and 1990s, such as the revival of ethics in Levinas, Derrida, and Foucault, the return to phenomenology and its use to revive religious experience as a philosophical topic, and Alain Badiou's new ontology of the event. Finally Gutting brings to the fore the meta-philosophical theme of the book, that French philosophy since the 1960s has been primarily concerned with thinking the impossible.