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A Rushed Quality

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ISBN: 9780692426562 Year: Pages: 326 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0103.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:39
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These fragments collected here (in 2 books, “A Rushed Quality” and “Bodying Forth”) belong neither to philosophy nor to poetry — and yet they are for the most part focused on a substantial area of overlap between these two venerable disciplines, vis-à-vis the question, “What is it like to be X?” Philosophers like to fill in the X with something exotic like a bat or a dolphin, or even an Artificial Intelligence, while poets tend to fill it with something else, equally exotic, namely themselves. For the diffident and introspective author of A Rushed Quality and Bodying Forth, the X, while definitely human, is perhaps someone in general, equally distant from and equally intimate with both the writer and the reader in the very moment of their eponymous activity. The start of it all was the perception of what was called the “rushed quality,” as something persistent and bothersome and of which there was no question of its ever being shed. Rather than evaded or denied, it was welcomed because it seemed for the first time since childhood to mark a structural occurrence presenting a new metaphysical datum. As it happened, this quality proved very elusive in its mature bothersomeness and the inquiry into it soon turned into a sort of quasi-theoretical fascination, which took as its main theme the fate of pure subjectivity — the utterly unfunctional, utterly useless, utterly dispensible feeling of being. The rushed quality is perhaps merely the sense of it draining away, or its long-sustained decrescendo.

Escargotesque, or, What Is Experience

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ISBN: 9780692373880 Year: Pages: 116 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0089.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:40
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“Experience” is a concept paradoxically deployed to accentuate the aconceptual. Although thinking, knowing, reflecting, and analyzing are kinds of experiences, invocations of “experience” typically direct our attention to what is immediate, embodied, unrepresented, unthought, even unthinkable. And yet, whether by learning experience, traumatic experience, life experience, mystical experience, or all of these, we hope most fervently that our experience will teach us, transform us, become part of us. Why do we strive to find, profit from, and possess experience while insisting upon experience’s intellectual elusiveness? What do we intend when we petition (and re-petition) experience for truth, for growth, for strength? To whom or to what do we sing when we sing experience’s song? Escargotesque, or, What is Experience? asks why both our lived experiences and our mythologies of experience so often fold inward, repeat, return. Departing from his unusual experience of working as a garbage-collector in the West African country of Benin, M.H. Bowker converses with several champions of experience (from Michel de Montaigne to John Dewey, from Søren Kierkegaard to Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Simone Weil to R.D. Laing) to pose radical questions about the intentions and dynamics that guide our quest for experience, intentions and dynamics that are more destructive and more melancholy than celebrants of experience would care to admit. Across Escargotesque’s six loosely linear parts, fragments of prose memoir intersect with poetry, sketch art, philosophical reflection, cultural criticism, and psychological examination in ways that both evoke and unsettle the thinking person’s experience. Escargotesque both testifies to an experience and reveals surprising fantasies driving the modern and postmodern turn to experience as a source of truth and hope. Such fantasies include the sacredness of even the most violent ‘pure experience,’ the necessity of supplicating experience’s objects, and the ultimate demise of the one who experiences.

Deleuze and the Passions

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ISBN: 9780998237541 Year: Pages: 182 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0161.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:34
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In recent years the humanities, social sciences and neuroscience have witnessed an ‘affective turn,’ especially in discourses around post-Fordist labor, economic and ecological crises, populism and identity politics, mental health, and political struggle. This new awareness would be unthinkable without the pioneering work of Gilles Deleuze, who replaced judgment with affect as the very material movement of thought: every concept is an affective experience, a becoming. Besides entirely active affects, the highest practice of thought, there is no thought without passive affects or passions. Instead of a calm and rational philosophy of passions, Deleuzian thought is therefore inseparable from “isolated and passionate cries” that deny what everybody knows and what nobody can deny: “every true thought is an aggression.” This inseparability of reason and passion is by no means an anti-intellectualist or irrationalist stance. Rather, it is critical, since it protects reason from its self-imposed stupidity (bêtise) by relating it to the unthought forces that condition it. And it is clinical, because thought becomes possessed by a power of selection. The purely active, i.e. free-floating, unrecorded desire, is never enough to produce a consistent relation to the future, which is why we need the passions to give us an initial orientation, to force and enable us to think. Passions are the beliefs, perceptions, representations, and opinions that attach us to the world; they make up the very material of which our lives and thoughts are composed.

Debating Otherness with Richard Kearney

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ISBN: 9781928396635 Year: Pages: 410 DOI: 10.4102/aosis.2018.BK94 Language: English
Publisher: AOSIS
Subject: Religion --- Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-04-05 11:21:03
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Richard Kearney is one of the leading global thinkers in both Continental philosophy and post-metaphysical philosophy of religion, as well as an esteemed Irish professor in philosophy, currently teaching at Boston College, Massachusetts, USA. Professor Kearney first visited South Africa in May as joint visiting academic of the Universities of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and North-West. The visit prompted the publication of this scholarly collected work, authored by South African and international scholars. These specialists in philosophy and religious studies analysed Kearney’s influential work and brought his scholarly perspectives into dialogue with other leading thinkers in the field, both from Africa and abroad. This publication will be the first collective attempt to engage his work from the perspective of the African continent. This collected work contributes significantly in an interdisciplinary way to Ricoeurdian studies. The target audience of the book is peers and specialists in the field of Continental philosophy and philosophy of religion.

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