Disfigurations: Discourse/Critique/Ethics

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There has been, over the last decades, a deep crisis in the models which, for a long time, have been central metaphors governing thought and research in the social sciences. The main symptom in this paradigmatic shift has been the increasing centrality of the ‘discourse’ approach in social theory.

It is Ian Angus’s aim here to explore thoroughly the philosophical implications of this shift. He does so by combining serious philosophical reflection with an analysis of the media, which draws on both the phenomenological tradition and the political concerns of the Frankfurt School, post-Marxism and radical democracy. Ranging over the work of Heidegger, Gramsci, Husserl, Levinas, McLuhan and many others, (Dis)figurations is not merely an analytic enterprise however; it is a comprehensive attempt at rethinking the whole project of a critical philosophy.

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About the Author:

Ian Angus teaches humanities and sociology at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He is the author of A Border Within: National Identity, Cultural Plurality and Wilderness; Primal Scenes of Communication; Technique and Enlightenment: Limits of Instrumental Reason; and George Grant’s Platonic Rejoinder to Heidegger.

Ernesto Laclau is Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Government, University of Essex, and Distinguished Professor for Humanities and Rhetorical Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of, amongst other works, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Chantal Mouffe), New Reflections of the Revolution of Our Time, The Populist Reason, Contingency, Hegemony, Universality (with Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek), and Emancipation(s).

Chantal Mouffe is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at the University of Westminster. Her books include The Return of the Political; Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (with Ernesto Laclau); The Dimensions of Radical Democracy; Gramsci and Marxist Theory; Deconstruction and Pragmatism; The Democratic Paradox; and The Challenge of Carl Schmitt, all from Verso.

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