No philosopher has held a higher opinion of art than Hegel, yet nor was any so profoundly pessimistic about its prospects – despite living in the German golden age of Goethe, Mozart and Schiller. For if the artists of classical Greece could find the perfect fusion of content and form, modernity faced complicating – and ultimately disabling – questions. Christianity, with its code of unworldliness, had compromised the immediacy of man’s relationship with reality, and ironic detachment had alienated him from his deepest feelings. Hegel’s Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics were delivered in Berlin in the 1820s and stand today as a passionately argued work that challenged the ability of art to respond to the modern world.
Theodor W. Adorno - Max Horkheimer - Dialectic of Enlightenment
Dialectic of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the most influential publication of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Written during the Second World War and circulated privately, it appeared in a printed edition in Amsterdam in 1947. "What we had set out to do," the authors write in the Preface, "was nothing less than to explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism." Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present. The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization. Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book. This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory.
Max Horkheimer - Critique of instrumental reason
These essays, written between 1949 and 1967, focus on a single theme: the triumph in the twentieth century of the state-bureaucratic apparatus and 'instrumental reason' and the concomitant liquidation of the individual and the basic social institutions and relationships associated with the individual.
Max Horkheimer - Eclipse of Reason
2013 Reprint of 1947 Edition. Exact facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. "Eclipse of Reason" discusses how the Nazis were able to project their agenda as "reasonable". It is broken into five sections: 1] Means and Ends, 2] Conflicting Panaceas, 3]The Revolt of Nature, 4] The Rise and Decline of the Individual and 5] On the Concept of Philosophy. It also treats the concept of reason within the history of western philosophy.
Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth
Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" will be a cornerstone for personal spirituality and self-improvement for years to come, leading readers to a new levels of consciousness and inner peace. Taking off from the introspective work "The Power of Now", which is a number one bestseller and has sold millions of copies worldwide, Tolle provides the spiritual framework for people to move beyond themselves in order to make this world a better, more spiritually evolved place to live. Shattering modern ideas of ego and entitlement, self and society, Tolle lifts the veil of fear that has hung over humanity during this new millennium, and shines an illuminating light that leads to happiness and health that every reader can follow.
Carl Schmitt - Dictatorship
Now available in English for the first time, Dictatorship is Carl Schmitt’s most scholarly book and arguably a paradigm for his entire work. Written shortly after the Russian Revolution and the First World War, Schmitt analyses the problem of the state of emergency and the power of the Reichspräsident in declaring it. Dictatorship, Schmitt argues, is a necessary legal institution in constitutional law and has been wrongly portrayed as just the arbitrary rule of a so-called dictator. Dictatorship is an essential book for understanding the work of Carl Schmitt and a major contribution to the modern theory of a democratic, constitutional state. And despite being written in the early part of the twentieth century, it speaks with remarkable prescience to our contemporary political concerns.
Friedrich Nietzsche - The Twilight of the Idols / The Anti-Christ
In 1888, the last sane year of his life Nietsche produced these two brief but devastating books. Twilight of the Idols, 'a grand declaration of war' on all the prevalent ideas of his time, offers a lightning tour of his whole philosophy. It also prepares the way for The Anti-Christ, a final assault on institutional Christianity. Yet although Nietzsche makes a compelling case for the 'Dionysian' artist and celebrates magnificently two of his great heroes, Goethe and Cesare Borgia, he also gives a moving, almost ecstatic portrait of his only worthy opponent: Christ. Both works show Nietsche lashing out at self-deception, astounded at how often morality is based on vengefulness and resentment. Both combine utterly unfair attacks on individuals with amazingly acute surveys of the whole contemporary cultural scene. Both reveal a profound understanding of human mean-spiritedness which still cannot destroy the underlying optimism of Nietzsche, the supreme affirmer among the great philosophers.
Friedrich Nietzsche - Ecce homo (angol)
In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome - Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ - and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his 'forthcoming revelation of all values'. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche's main beliefs and is in every way his last testament.
Robert Paul Wolff - Barrington Moore, Jr. - Herbert Marcuse - A Critique of Pure Tolerance
Essays by three authors: Beyond Tolerance by Robert Paul Wolff, Tolerance and the Scientific Outlook by Barrington Moore, Jr., Repressive Tolerance by Herbert Marcuse.
Giorgio Agamben - What Is Philosophy?
In attempting to answer the question posed by this book's title, Giorgio Agamben does not address the idea of philosophy itself. Rather, he turns to the apparently most insignificant of its components: the phonemes, letters, syllables, and words that come together to make up the phrases and ideas of philosophical discourse. A summa, of sorts, of Agamben's thought, the book consists of five essays on five emblematic topics: the Voice, the Sayable, the Demand, the Proem, and the Muse. In keeping with the author's trademark methodology, each essay weaves together archaeological and theoretical investigations: to a patient reconstruction of how the concept of language was invented there corresponds an attempt to restore thought to its place within the voice; to an unusual interpretation of the Platonic Idea corresponds a lucid analysis of the relationship between philosophy and science, and of the crisis that both are undergoing today. In the end, there is no universal answer to what is an impossible or inexhaustible question, and philosophical writing -- a problem Agamben has never ceased to grapple with -- assumes the form of a prelude to a work that must remain unwritten.
Hannah Arendt - The Human Condition
The past year has seen a resurgence of interest in the political thinker Hannah Arendt, “the theorist of beginnings,” whose work probes the logics underlying unexpected transformations—from totalitarianism to revolution. A work of striking originality, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the sixtieth anniversary of its original publication, contains Margaret Canovan’s 1998 introduction and a new foreword by Danielle Allen. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.
Hannah Arendt - The Jewish Writings
Although Hannah Arendt is not primarily known as a Jewish thinker, she probably wrote more about Jewish issues than any other topic. As a young adult in Germany, she wrote about German Jewish history. After moving to France in 1933, she helped Jewish youth immigrate to Palestine. During her years in Paris, her principle concern was the transformation of antinomianism from prejudice to policy, which would culminate in the Nazi "final solution." After France fell, Arendt escaped from an internment camp and made her way to America. There she wrote articles calling for a Jewish army to fight the Nazis. After the war, she supported the creation of a Jewish homeland in a binational (Arab-Jewish) state of Israel.
Hannah Arendt - On Violence
An analysis of the nature, causes, and significance of violence in the second half of the twentieth century. Arendt also reexamines the relationship between war, politics, violence, and power. "Incisive, deeply probing, written with clarity and grace, it provides an ideal framework for understanding the turbulence of our times"(Nation). Index.
Byung-Chul Han - The Agony of Eros
An argument that love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. Byung-Chul Han is one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, a member of the new generation of German thinkers that includes Markus Gabriel and Armen Avanessian. In The Agony of Eros, a bestseller in Germany, Han considers the threat to love and desire in today's society. For Han, love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. In a world of fetishized individualism and technologically mediated social interaction, it is the Other that is eradicated, not the self. In today's increasingly narcissistic society, we have come to look for love and desire within the “inferno of the same.” Han offers a survey of the threats to Eros, drawing on a wide range of sources―Lars von Trier's film Melancholia, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde,Fifty Shades of Grey, Michel Foucault (providing a scathing critique of Foucault's valorization of power), Martin Buber, Hegel, Baudrillard, Flaubert, Barthes, Plato, and others. Han considers the “pornographication” of society, and shows how pornography profanes eros; addresses capitalism's leveling of essential differences; and discusses the politics of eros in today's “burnout society.” To be dead to love, Han argues, is to be dead to thought itself. Concise in its expression but unsparing in its insight, The Agony of Eros is an important and provocative entry in Han's ongoing analysis of contemporary society. This remarkable essay, an intellectual experience of the first order, affords one of the best ways to gain full awareness of and join in one of the most pressing struggles of the day: the defense, that is to say―as Rimbaud desired it―the “reinvention” of love. ―from the foreword by Alain Badiou
Byung-Chul Han - Psychopolitics
Exploring how neoliberalism has discovered the productive force of the psyche Byung-Chul Han, a star of German philosophy, continues his passionate critique of neoliberalism, trenchantly describing a regime of technological domination that, in contrast to Foucault’s biopower, has discovered the productive force of the psyche. In the course of discussing all the facets of neoliberal psychopolitics fuelling our contemporary crisis of freedom, Han elaborates an analytical framework that provides an original theory of Big Data and a lucid phenomenology of emotion. But this provocative essay proposes counter-models too, presenting a wealth of ideas and surprising alternatives at every turn.
Richard Shusterman - Performing Live
Current philosophies of art remain sadly dominated by visions of its end and lamentations of decline. Defining the very notions of art and the aesthetic as special products of Western modernity, they suggest that postmodern challenges to traditional high culture pose a devastating danger to art's future. Richard Shusterman's new book cuts through the seductive confusions of these views by tracing the earthy roots of aesthetic experience and showing how the recent flourishing of aesthetic forms outside modernity's sacralized realm of fine art evince the persistent presence of an artistic impulse far deeper and more durable than the modernist moment. Performing Live defends the abiding power of aesthetic experience by exploring its diverse roles, methods, and meanings, especially in fields marginal to traditional aesthetics but now most vibrantly alive in today's culture and new media. Ranging from rap, techno, and country music to cinema, cyberspace and urban design, Shusterman develops his radical theory of "somaesthetics," charting the complex network of bodily arts so prominent in contemporary life and self-styling. By blending concrete aesthetic analysis with insightful social critique, Shusterman, a well-known pragmatist philosopher, provides a rich menu and critical guide for today's pursuit of the art of living.
Arthur C. Danto - The Abuse of Beauty
Danto simply and entertainingly traces the evolution of the concept of beauty over the past century and explores how it was removed from the definition of art. Beauty then came to be regarded as a serious aesthetic crime, whereas a hundred years ago it was almost unanimously considered the supreme purpose of art. Beauty is not, and should not be, the be-all and end-all of art, but it has an important place, and is not something to be avoided. Danto draws eruditely upon the thoughts of artists and critics such as Rimbaud, Fry, Matisse, the Dadaists, Duchamp, and Greenberg, as well as on that of philosophers like Hume, Kant, and Hegel. Danto agrees with the dethroning of beauty as the essence of art, and maintains with telling examples that most art is not, in fact, beautiful. He argues, however, for the partial rehabilitation of beauty and the removal of any critical taboo against beauty. Beauty is one among the many modes through which thoughts are presented to human sensibility in art: disgust, horror, sublimity, and sexuality being among other such modes.
Eckhart Tolle - Guardians of Being
This wonderfully unique collaboration brings together two masters of their fields, joining original words by spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle with delightful illustrations by Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the acclaimed comic strip MUTTS. Every heartwarming page provokes thought, insight, and smiling reverence for all beings and each moment. More than a collection of witty and charming drawings, the marriage of Patrick McDonnell's art and Eckhart Tolle's words conveys a profound love of nature, of animals, of humans, of all life-forms. Guardians of Being celebrates and reminds us of not only the oneness of all life but also the wonder and joy to be found in the present moment, amid the beauty we sometimes forget to notice all around us.
Erich Fromm - On Disobedience
"Human history began with an act of disobedience, and it is not unlikely that it will be terminated by an act of obedience." One of the great psychological and social philosophers of the twentieth century, Erich Fromm expounded on the importance of disobedience and the authentic voice of the individual in modern culture. As relevant now as when it was first published, On Disobedience is a collection of provocative essays, including the title entry, which suggests the very act of dissent—the choice to refuse to conform, to speak "no" to those in power—is essential to a humane society, both to ensure humankind's preservation and to allow for one person to reclaim a genuine sense of self.
Erich Fromm - To Have or to Be?
To Have Or to Be? is one of the seminal books of the second half of the 20th century. Nothing less than a manifesto for a new social and psychological revolution to save our threatened planet, this book is a summary of the penetrating thought of Eric Fromm. His thesis is that two modes of existence struggle for the spirit of humankind: the having mode, which concentrates on material possessions, power, and aggression, and is the basis of the universal evils of greed, envy, and violence; and the being mode, which is based on love, the pleasure of sharing, and in productive activity. To Have Or to Be? is a brilliant program for socioeconomic change.
Giorgio Agamben - Nymphs
In 1900, art historians André Jolles and Aby Warburg constructed an experimental dialogue in which Jolles supposed he had fallen in love with the figure of a young woman in a painting: “A fantastic figure—shall I call her a servant girl, or rather a classical nymph?…what is the meaning of it all?…Who is the nymph? Where does she come from?” Warburg’s response: “in essence she is an elemental spirit, a pagan goddess in exile,” serves as the touchstone for this wide-ranging and theoretical exploration of female representation in iconography. In Nymphs, the newest translation of Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s work, the author notes that academic research has lingered on the “pagan goddess,” while the concept of “elemental spirit,” ignored by scholars, is vital to the history of iconography. Tracing the genealogy of this idea, Agamben goes on to examine subjects as diverse as the aesthetic theories of choreographer Domineco da Piacenza, Friedrich Theodor Vischer’s essay on the “symbol,” Walter Benjamin’s concept of the dialectic image, and the bizarre discoveries of photographer Nathan Lerner in 1972. From these investigations, there emerges a startlingly original exploration of the ideas of time and the image.