Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida

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9780823270538: Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida
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What if political rhetoric is unavoidable, an irreducible part of politics itself? In contrast to the familiar denunciations of political horse-trading, grandstanding, and corporate manipulation from those lamenting the crisis in liberal democracy, this book argues that the “politics of politics,” usually associated with rhetoric and sophistry, is, like it or not, part of politics from the start.

Denunciations of the sorry state of current politics draw on a dogmatism and moralism that share an essentially metaphysical and Platonic ground. Failure to deconstruct that ground generates a philosophically and politically debilitating selfrighteousness that this book attempts to understand and undermine.

After a detailed analysis of Foucault’s influential late concept of parrhesia, which is shown to be both philosophically and politically insufficient, close readings of Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and Derrida trace complex relations between sophistry, rhetoric, and philosophy; truth and untruth; decision; madness and stupidity in an exploration of the possibility of developing an affirmative thinking of politics that is not mortgaged to the metaphysics of presence.

It is suggested that Heidegger’s complex accounts of truth and decision must indeed be read in close conjunction with his notorious Nazi commitments but nevertheless contain essential insights that many strident responses to those commitments ignore or repress. Those insights are here developed―via an ambitious account of Derrida’s often misunderstood interruption of teleology―into a deconstructive retrieval of the concept of dignity.

This lucid and often witty account of a crucial set of developments in twentieth-century thought prepares the way for a more general re-reading of the possibilities of political philosophy that will be undertaken in Volume 2 of this work, under the sign of an essential scatter that defines the political as such.

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About the Author:

Geoffrey Bennington is Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University.

Review:

Bennington's Scatter 1 is certainly an intense reenactment and reinvention of deconstruction. (Diacritics)

“Bennington’s Scatter 1 is a sophisticated, detailed, and strikingly original demonstration of the political efficacy of deconstruction. As always with Bennington to read him is to undergo an education in reading.” (―Robert Bernasconi Pennsylvania State University)

In these troubled political times, helping us to think about how to respond to violence and to violation without succumbing to the metaphysical dream of the end of politics in and through the end of rhetoric―as if we will ever
be done with rhetoric, with deception, with violence―may well be Scatter 1’s most important achievement.

(Comparative Literature Studies)

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9780823270521: Scatter 1: The Politics of Politics in Foucault, Heidegger, and Derrida

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Frontier: the border between two countries; the limits of civilization; the bounds of established knowledge; a new field of activity. At a time when all frontiers (borders, boundaries, margins, limits) are being-often violently-challenged, crossed, erased or on the contrary reinforced, fenced and walled, perhaps it is urgent to rethink the very concept of frontier itself. But is there even such a concept to be found or constructed? Through an original and imaginative reading of Kant, Geoffrey Bennington casts doubt upon the conceptual coherence of frontiers of all sorts. The frontier turns out to be both the very element of Kant s thought and the permanent frustration of his conceptuality. Following what Kant himself would call this guiding thread first in the political writings and then in the still little-read Critique of teleological judgment, Bennington brings out a complex, abyssal, fractal structure. This structure leaves a residue of nature-violence-in every frontier (including conceptual frontiers), and complicates Kant s most explicit, most rational arguments in the direction of cosmopolitanism and perpetual peace by adding to them an element of reticence or interruption. If, as Kant suspects a little in spite of himself, there can be perpetual peace only in death, we must interrupt the teleological movement that might take us there. We must maintain frontiers (and therefore a certain violence) in the very place where everything led us to believe we should hope for their peaceful disappearance, in the perspective of the Idea of Reason. Neither a critique of Kant nor a return to Kant, this book also proposes a new reflection on philosophical reading, for which thinking the frontier is both an essential resource and a recurrent, fruitful, interruption. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780823270538

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