Derrida wrote extensively on "the question of the animal." In particular, he challenged Heidegger's, Husserl's, and other philosophers' work on the subject, questioning their phenomenological criteria for distinguishing humans from animals. Examining a range of Derrida's writings, including his most recent L'animal que donc je suis, as well as Aporias, Of Spirit, Rams, and Rogues, Leonard Lawlor reconstructs a portrait of Derrida's views on animality and their intimate connection to his thinking on ethics, names and singularity, sovereignty, and the notion of a common world. Derrida believed that humans and animals cannot be substantially separated, yet neither do they form a continuous species. Instead, in his "staggered analogy," Derrida asserts that all living beings are weak and therefore capable of suffering. This controversial claim both refuted the notion that humans and animals possess autonomy and contradicted the assumption that they possess the trait of machinery. However, it does offer the foundation for an argument-which Lawlor brilliantly and passionately defines in his book-in which humans are able to will this weakness into a kind of unconditional hospitality. Humans are not strong enough to keep themselves separate from animals. In other words, we are too weak to keep animals from entering into our sphere. Lawlor's argument is a bold approach to remedying "the problem of the worst," or the complete extermination of life, which is fast becoming a reality.
Sense, Nonsense, and the American Political Imaginary
Author: Diane Rubenstein
Pubpsher: NYU Press
Read The Chronicle of Higher Ed Author Interview In This Is Not a President, Diane Rubenstein looks at the postmodern presidency — from Reagan and George H. W. Bush, through the current administration, and including Hillary. Focusing on those seemingly inexplicable gaps or blind spots in recent American presidential politics, Rubenstein interrogates symptomatic moments in political rhetoric, popular culture, and presidential behavior to elucidate profound and disturbing changes in the American presidency and the way it embodies a national imaginary. In a series of essays written in real time over the past four presidential administrations, Rubenstein traces the vernacular use of the American presidency (as currency, as grist for popular biography, as fictional TV material) to explore the ways in which the American presidency functions as a “transitional object” that allows the American citizen to meet or discover the president while going about her everyday life. The book argues that it is French theory — primarily Lacanian psychoanalysis and the radical semiotic theories of Jean Baudrillard — that best accounts for American political life today. Through episodes as diverse as Iran Contra, George H. W. Bush vomiting in Japan, the 1992 Republican convention, the failed nomination of Lani Guinier, and the Iraq War, This Is Not a President brilliantly situates our collective investment in American political culture.
Quantum Physics and Reality, a Western Perspective
Author: Shimon Malin
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press, USA
In Nature Loves to Hide, physicist Shimon Malin takes readers on a fascinating tour of quantum theory--one that turns to Western philosophical thought to clarify this strange yet inescapable description of the nature of reality. Malin translates quantum mechanics into plain English, explaining its origins and workings against the backdrop of the famous debate between Niels Bohr and the skeptical Albert Einstein. Then he moves on to build a philosophical framework that can account for the quantum nature of reality. He draws out the linkage between the concepts of Neoplatonism and the more recent process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. Writing with broad humanistic insight and deep knowledge of science, and using delightful conversation with fictional astronauts Peter and Julie to explain more difficult concepts, Shimon Malin offers a profound new understanding of the nature of reality--one that shows a deep continuity with aspects of our Western philosophical tradition going back 2,500 years, and that feels more deeply satisfying, and truer, than the clockwork universe of Newton.
A thoroughly updated introduction to the concepts, methods, and standards of critical thinking, A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking: Deciding What to Do and Believe, Second Edition is a unique presentation of the formal strategies used when thinking through reasons and arguments in many areas of expertise. Pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to critical thinking, the book offers a broad conception of critical thinking and explores the practical relevance to conducting research across fields such as, business, education, and the biological sciences. Applying rigor when necessary, the Second Edition maintains an informal approach to the fundamental core concepts of critical thinking. With practical strategies for defining, analyzing, and evaluating reasons and arguments, the book illustrates how the concept of an argument extends beyond philosophical roots into experimentation, testing, measurement, and policy development and assessment. Featuring plenty of updated exercises for a wide range of subject areas, A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking Deciding What to Do and Believe, Second Edition also includes: Numerous real-world examples from many fields of research, which reflect the applicability of critical thinking in everyday life New topical coverage, including the nature of reasons, assertion and supposing, narrow and broad definitions, circumstantial reasons, and reasoning about causal claims Selected answers to various exercises to provide readers with instantaneous feedback to support and extend the lessons A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking Deciding What to Do and Believe, Second Edition is an excellent textbook for courses on critical thinking and logic at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as an appropriate reference for anyone with a general interest in critical thinking skills.