Month: June 2016

Stiegler’s continued banality

From an excellent review at Spirit is a Bone:

Prescriptively, Stiegler thinks at the level of dialogue and community to move out of symbolic misery. Fending off the stasis that lies at our gates comes about by re-thinking the formation of community. But he present a theory of community that is apolitical, however, beyond partisan and or ideological lines aimed at bringing philia back to the heart of our civic life. His conception of philia lacks a militant edge and it is difficult to see how we might defeat the new fascism through building some common ground around our shared misery.

Stiegler’s books always manage to be a bad stew of clunky neologisms that manage to restate in philosophemes common sensical ideas such as “kids these days don’t read enough,” “we need more community building,” etc.

Source: How to Win an Aesthetic War: On Bernard Stiegler’s Symbolic Misery | Spirit is a Bone

Three Recent NDPR reviews of note

First John Russon’s excellent Infinite Phenomenology: The Lessons of Hegel’s Science of Experience is reviewed by Michael Vater, focusing on the way the text offers ways out of the Phenomenology directly into current political debates and impasses.

Next, Peter Trawny’s Freedom to Fail: Heidegger’s Anarchy, trs. Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner, reviewed by Gregory Fried,  is less insightful, given Trawny’s other work and his editing of Heidegger’s Black Notebooks. (At least it’s a short read, but the upshot is that Heidegger’s errancy arrives out of his philosophical acumen or something–I guess like Icarus reaching for the son.)

Finally, Johanna Oksala’s Feminist Experiences: Foucauldian and Phenomenological Investigations is reviewed by Ladelle McWhorter , positing that the work continues Oksala’s attempts to resuscitate phenomenological (i.e., transcendental) notions of subjectivity while taking on Foucaultian and feminist critiques.

Achille Mbembe in Libé

In French, an interesting (if not exactly new) recent discussion in Libération on French identity and all the recent hot-button issues there, led with an interview with Mbembe and then short responses from the likes of Gauchet and Roudinesco (who says he needs to say more about those French who didn’t support colonialism; I guess Mrs. Lincoln should give a good report on the play as well…)

Three Heidegger-related reviews at NDPR

Two relating to the Black Notebooks:

Richard Polt (Xavier) reviews Heidegger’s Ponderings II-VI: Black Notebooks 1931-1938, trans. by Richard Rojcewicz. As Polt notes Überlegungen can be given a less ponderous or pompous translation than “Ponderings,” though I think that better fits what is often pompous and ponderous (and highly self-regarding) prose.

A companion text to read with Ponderings is Peter Trawny’s Heidegger and the Myth of a Jewish World Conspiracy, published last year in English and translated by Andrew Mitchell. The reviewer Taylor Carman (Barnard) gets at the problems of what I felt was an underwhelming volume (especially given Trawny’s work as editor of the Black Notebooks):

Beyond reminding us of that general affinity, however, what is the precise significance of the Black Notebooks for our understanding of Heidegger’s philosophy? That is the question. Unfortunately, Trawny’s book does very little to answer it. His thesis is that anti-Semitism is present and at work in Heidegger’s account of the history of being, which is to say, the history in Western thought of successive, comprehensive understandings of what it means to be, of what and thatanything is. The anti-Semitism that figures into the history of being is what Trawny calls Heidegger’s “being-historical anti-Semitism.” To get a grip on that (in English) twice-hyphenated phrase, one would of course need to begin with a clear account of the very idea of a history of being, and about that Trawny says almost nothing….

A last review might (might!) help rinse some of the bitter taste left over from the two books, which looks at Lee Braver’s excellent edited collection, Division III of Heidegger’s Being and Time: The Unanswered Question of Being, which brings together the clearest of Heidegger scholars to answer a central question leftover in Heidegger’s early work: was there, or could there be, some project to Division III of Being and Time, which was to describe being as tempoarlity (Temporalität). I’ve read many of the essays and it’s one of those few collections I could see teaching in a course–perhaps as part of teaching Being and Time in a phenomenology course next winter.