Judith Butler's recent work expands the Foucaultian notion of subjection to encompass an analysis of the ways in which subordinated individuals becomes passionately attached to, and thus come to be psychically invested in, their own subordination. I argue that Butler's psychoanalytically grounded account of subjection offers a compelling diagnosis of how and why an attachment to oppressive norms – of femininity, for example – can persist in the face of rational critique of those norms. However, I also argue that her account of individual and collective resistance to subjection is plagued by familiar problems concerning the normative criteria and motivation for resistance that emerge in her recent work in new and arguably more intractable forms, and by new concerns about her conceptions of dependency, subordination and recognition.
The paper discusses Heidegger's early notion of the “movedness of life” (Lebensbewegtheit) and its intimate connection with Aristotle's concept of movement (kinēsis). Heidegger's aim in the period of Being and Time was to “overcome” the Greek ideal of being as ousia – constant and complete presence and availability – by showing that the background for all meaningful presence is Dasein, the ecstatically temporal context of human being. Life as the event of finitude is characterized by an essential lack and incompleteness, and the living present therefore gains meaning only in relation to a horizon of un-presence and un-availability. Whereas the “theological” culmination of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics finds the supreme fulfillment of human life in the semi-divine self-immanence and self-sufficiency of the bios theōrētikos, a radical Heideggerian interpretation of kinēsis may permit us to find in Aristotle the fundamental structures of mortal living as self-transcendent movement.
This survey seeks to delineate the present situation and climate for translating Heidegger into English after the disastrous translation in 1999 of the Beiträge, Heidegger's second magnum opus after Sein und Zeit. The 13 translations that have appeared since then tend to handle Heidegger's neologisms in less ludicrous and more lucid ways and continue to find ways to bend the highly restrictive rules imposed on translations by Heidegger's literary executor. There are still errors of omission and commission in the German originals that carry over into the translations. A few of the English translators add to the errors of omission and commission but the majority tends to be competent and conscientious, generally producing good results. Yet even the best translators slack off in their production of the permitted glossaries, which are indispensable for demarcating Heidegger's terminology in the time period involved and provide the reader with a starting basis for an index, which is prohibited.
Judith Butler's recent work expands the Foucaultian notion of subjection to encompass an analysis of the ways in which subordinated individuals becomes passionately attached to, and thus come to be psychically invested in, their own subordination. I argue that Butler's psychoanalytically grounded account of subjection offers a compelling diagnosis of how and why an attachment to oppressive norms of femininity, for example can persist in the face of rational critique of those norms. However, I also argue that her account of individual and collective resistance to subjection is plagued by familiar problems concerning the normative criteria and motivation for resistance that emerge in her recent work in new and arguably more intractable forms, and by new concerns about her conceptions of dependency, subordination and recognition.
It has long been taken for granted in modern psychology that access to the unconscious is indirectly gained through the interpretation of a trained psychoanalyst, evident in theories of Freud, Jung and others. However, my essay problematizes this very indirectness of access by bringing in a Yogācāra Buddhist formulation of the subliminal mind that offers a direct access. By probing into the philosophical significance of the subliminal mind along the bias of its access, I will argue that the different views of the subliminal consciousness correspond to different models of “transcendence” and “immanence.” We will see that the involvement of the transcendence principle in Freud’s and Jung’s conceptualizations of the unconscious results in the denial of direct access to the unconscious; only the Buddhist immanence-based formulation provides direct access. This East-West comparative approach is an attempt to examine how different models of reasoning, vis-à-vis transcendence and immanence, can lead to drastically different theories as well as the practices they instruct.
One prominent interpretation of Heidegger's thought on issues that are traditionally called “ethical” is that it gives us a formal description of how to reach authenticity (the early Heidegger) or how to gain a free relationship to technology (the late Heidegger) without stating any positive prescriptions. However, as Hubert L. Dreyfus (1995), (2000) has argued, there is more than pure formalism to Heidegger's thought: he points again and again to how important rootedness, Boden and Heimat, are in trying to overcome the technological understanding of being. Notoriously, Heidegger sees a special role to the Greek-German linguistic axis in internally challenging the tradition of Western metaphysics. This putative special status is in an unsettling way connected to Heidegger's antidemocratic ideas and to the “closedness” of the tradition that according to him is able to challenge the technological world. We will claim here that there is a way of opening up and thus, in a sense, democratizing the role of tradition and rootedness. However, this democatization has to be done without losing sight of the importance of positive content (as opposed to formal description) in overcoming technology. This opening up is connected to the idea of local gods in later Heidegger as interpreted by Dreyfus; however, the democratization comes at the price of making ethics local as opposed to universal.
This paper offers a close analysis of Heidegger’s interpretation of the demigod in his 1934/35 lecture course, Hölderlins Hymnen “Germanien}” und} “Der Rhein}” (Gesamtausgabe 39). Focusing on Hölderlin’s two different versions of Strophe VIII of “The Rhine” hymn, it traces through Heidegger’s inaugural insights into the structure of need (Brauch}) articulated in the “The Rhine” hymn as the gods’ need and use of the demigods to “feel something of themselves.” Contrasting this with Plato’s analysis of the demigod in the Symposium, the paper argues that for Heidegger the between is original in first founding the limit between gods and human beings through the creation of a new kind of otherness. It then goes on to follow out this insight through Heidegger’s interpretation of the counterturning course of the Rhine river in relationship to its origin, asserting that what is at stake in that analysis is Heidegger’s working out of a new conception of creativity realized through the river’s dwelling poetically.
This article examines Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the simulacrum, which Deleuze formulated in the context of his reading of Nietzsche’s project of “overturning Platonism.” The essential Platonic distinction, Deleuze argues, is more profound than the speculative distinction between model and copy, original and image. The deeper, practical distinction moves between two kinds of images or eidolon, for which the Platonic Idea is meant to provide a concrete criterion of selection “Copies” or icons (eikones) are well-grounded claimants to the transcendent Idea, authenticated by their internal resemblance to the Idea, whereas “simulacra” (phantasmata) are like false claimants, built on a dissimilarity and implying an essential perversion or deviation from the Idea. If the goal of Platonism is the triumph of icons over simulacra, the inversion of Platonism would entail an affirmation of the simulacrum as such, which must thus be given its own concept. Deleuze consequently defines the simulacrum in terms of an internal dissimilitude or “disparateness,” which in turn implies a new conception of Ideas, no longer as self-identical qualities (the auto kath’hauto), but rather as constituting a pure concept of difference. An inverted Platonism would necessarily be based on a purely immanent and differential conception of Ideas. Starting from this new conception of the Idea, Deleuze proposes to take up the Platonic project anew, rethinking the fundamental figures of Platonism (selection, repetition, ungrounding, the question-problem complex) on a purely differential basis. In this sense, Deleuze’s inverted Platonism can at the same time be seen as a rejuvenated Platonism and even a completed Platonism.
This paper begins by reflecting on the concept of habit and discussing its significance in various philosophical and non-philosophical contexts – for this helps to clarify the connections between habit and selfhood. I then attempt to sketch an account of the self as ”nothing but habit,“ and to address the questions this raises about how such a self must be constituted. Finally, I focus on the issue of freedom, or liberation, and consider the possibility of moving beyond habit. I emphasize the body since it is through the body that the un-doing of habit must take place. Deleuze and Merleau-Ponty are distinguished from the many philosophers who have recognized the importance of habit by their more radical claim that we not only have habits, but are habits – and for this reason I draw on their work in the first two sections of this paper.
Most contemporary readings of Derrida’s work situate it within a transcendental tradition of philosophical enquiry explicitly critical of naturalistic accounts of knowledge and mind. I argue that Derrida provides the naturalist with some of the philosophical resources needed to rebut transcendental critiques of naturalism, in particular the phenomenological critiques which derive from Husserl’s philosophy. I do this by showing: a) that Derrida’s account of temporality as differance undermines phenomenological accounts of the meaning of naturalistic theories and assumptions; and b) that it is itself both usable and interpretable within the naturalistic framework of current cognitive science.
This paper offers a close analysis of Heidegger's interpretation of the demigod in his 1934/35 lecture course, Holderlins Hymnen "Germanien}" und} "Der Rhein}" (Gesamtausgabe 39). Focusing on Holderlin's two different versions of Strophe VIII of "The Rhine" hymn, it traces through Heidegger's inaugural insights into the structure of need (Brauch}) articulated in the "The Rhine" hymn as the gods' need and use of the demigods to "feel something of themselves." Contrasting this with Plato's analysis of the demigod in the Symposium, the paper argues that for Heidegger the between is original in first founding the limit between gods and human beings through the creation of a new kind of otherness. It then goes on to follow out this insight through Heidegger's interpretation of the counterturning course of the Rhine river in relationship to its origin, asserting that what is at stake in that analysis is Heidegger's working out of a new conception of creativity realized through the river's dwelling poetically.
Against the Newtonian view of color, according to which the world is colorless and colors are subjective sensations, phenomenologists keep insisting that colors are in the world. In order to defend this view of the “being in the world” of colors, this paper tries to elucidate the essential spatiality of colors on the basis of James’s thesis of the intrinsic spatiality of sensation, Katz’s phenomenological description of various spatial characters of color, and Gibson’s ecological optics. The noticeable correspondence between Katz’s phenomenology and Gibson’s ecological optics indicates to us a possible way to an ecological phenomenology of colors.