In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time. Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation. It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling. Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness.
In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time. Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation. It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling. Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness.
In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time. Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation. It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling. Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness.
"The translation of this work was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut which is funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs."--Title page verso.
A prominent German thinker argues that -- contrary to "Twitter Revolution" cheerleading -- digital communication is destroying political discourse and political action.
Shanzhai is a Chinese neologism that means "fake," originally coined to describe knock-off cell phones marketed under such names as Nokir and Samsing. These cell phones were not crude forgeries but multifunctional, stylish, and as good as or better than the originals. Shanzhai has since spread into other parts of Chinese life, with shanzhai books, shanzhai politicians, shanzhai stars. There is a shanzhai Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll, in which Harry takes on his nemesis Yandomort. In the West, this would be seen as piracy, or even desecration, but in Chinese culture, originals are continually transformed -- deconstructed. In this volume in the Untimely Meditations series, Byung-Chul Han traces the thread of deconstruction, or "decreation," in Chinese thought, from ancient masterpieces that invite inscription and transcription to Maoism -- "a kind a shanzhai Marxism," Han writes. Han discusses the Chinese concepts of quan, or law, which literally means the weight that slides back and forth on a scale, radically different from Western notions of absoluteness; zhen ji, or original, determined not by an act of creation but by unending process; xian zhan, or seals of leisure, affixed by collectors and part of the picture's composition; fuzhi, or copy, a replica of equal value to the original; and shanzhai. The Far East, Han writes, is not familiar with such "pre-deconstructive" factors as original or identity. Far Eastern thought begins with deconstruction.
Beauty today is a paradox. The cult of beauty is ubiquitous but it has lost its transcendence and become little more than an aspect of consumerism, the aesthetic dimension of capitalism. The sublime and unsettling aspects of beauty have given way to corporeal pleasures and 'likes', resulting in a kind of 'pornography' of beauty. In this book, cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han reinvigorates aesthetic theory for our digital age. He interrogates our preoccupation with all things slick and smooth, from Jeff Koon's sculptures and the iPhone to Brazilian waxing. Reaching far deeper than our superficial reactions to viral videos and memes, Han reclaims beauty, showing how it manifests itself as truth, temptation and even disaster. This wide-ranging and profound exploration of beauty, encompassing ethical and political considerations as well as aesthetic, will appeal to all those interested in cultural and aesthetic theory, philosophy and digital media.
Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.
Power is a pervasive phenomenon yet there is little consensus on what it is and how it should be understood. In this book the cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han develops a fresh and original perspective on the nature of power, shedding new light on this key feature of social and political life. Power is commonly defined as a causal relation: an individual’s power is the cause that produces a change of behaviour in someone else against the latter’s will. Han rejects this view, arguing that power is better understood as a mediation between ego and alter which creates a complex array of reciprocal interdependencies. Power can also be exercised not only against the other but also within and through the other, and this involves a much higher degree of mediation. This perspective enables us to see that power and freedom are not opposed to one another but are manifestations of the same power, differing only in the degree of mediation. This highly original account of power will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy and of social, political and cultural theory, as well as to anyone seeking to understand the many ways in which power shapes our lives today.
Ethical Practice in Social Work' provides social work students and practitioners with the tools to develop ethical decision-making and problem-solving skills for the changing world of welfare practice. Through case studies in each chapter, the authors demonstrate how social work principles and values can be used to transform practice into an active, effective, inclusive and empowering process for both professionals and their clients. Exercises and discussion questions assist students in developing their ethical understanding.
Kissing Architecture explores the mutual attraction between architecture and other forms of contemporary art. In this fresh, insightful, and beautifully illustrated book, renowned architectural critic and scholar Sylvia Lavin develops the concept of "kissing" to describe the growing intimacy between architecture and new types of art--particularly multimedia installations that take place in and on the surfaces of buildings--and to capture the sensual charge that is being designed and built into architectural surfaces and interior spaces today. Initiating readers into the guilty pleasures of architecture that abandons the narrow focus on function, Lavin looks at recent work by Pipilotti Rist, Doug Aitken, the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and others who choose instead to embrace the viewer in powerful affects and visual and sensory atmospheres. Kissing Architecture is the first book in a cutting-edge new series of short, focused arguments written by leading critics, historians, theorists, and practitioners from the world of urban development and contemporary architecture and design. These books are intended to spark vigorous debate. They stake out the positions that will help shape the architecture and urbanism of tomorrow. Addressing one of the most spectacular and significant developments in the current cultural scene, Kissing Architecture is an entertainingly irreverent and disarmingly incisive book that offers an entirely new way of seeing--and experiencing--architecture in the age after representation.
In the beginning was the Zero, and the Zero was with God, and God was the One. -- All and Nothing In 1854, the British mathematician George Boole presented the idea of a universe the elements of which could be understood in terms of the logic of absence and presence: 0 and 1, all and nothing -- the foundation of binary code. The Boolean digits 0 and 1 do not designate a quantity. In the Boolean world, x times x always equals x; all and nothing meet in the formula x = xn. As everything becomes digitized, God the clockmaker is replaced by God the programmer. This book--described by its authors as "a theology for the digital world" -- explores meaning in a digital age of infinite replication, in a world that has dissolved into information and achieved immortality by turning into a pure sign. All and Nothing compares information that spreads without restraint to a hydra -- the mythological monster that grew two heads for every one that was cut off. Information is thousand-headed and thousand-eyed because Hydra's tracks cannot be deleted. It shows that when we sit in front of a screen, we are actually on the other side, looking at the world as an uncanny reminder of the nondigitized. It compares our personal data to our shadows and our souls, envisioning the subconscious laid out on a digital bier like a corpse. The digital world, the authors explain, summons forth fantasies of a chiliastic or apocalyptic nature. The goal of removing the representative from mathematics has now been achieved on a greater scale than Boole could have imagined.
A wide, accessible representation of the interests, problems, and philosophic issues that preoccupied the great 17th-century scientist, this collection is grouped according to methods, principles, and theological considerations. 1953 edition.
"EMOTION" -- "CRITICAL" -- "SELF-LOSS" -- "HEGEL WITH KIERKEGAARD" -- "GLUE" -- "CREATIO EX NIHILO" -- "NATURALLY?" -- "CONSISTENCY" -- "IDEOLOGY" -- "IMMANENCE IDIOTS" -- "DESIRE" -- "CONTEMPORARIES" -- "GROUND" -- "NOTHINGNESS" -- "DEFINITION OF ART" -- "ABSTRACTION" -- "HETEROLOGY" -- "GADAMER AND DERRIDA WITH HEGEL" -- "CONTINUING TO THINK" -- "DESERT" -- "DOING NOTHING
There is a beyond of reason and unreason. It is the human psyche. -- Positive Nihilism Like many German intellectuals, Hartmut Lange has long grappled with Heidegger. Positive Nihilism is the result of a lifetime of reading Being and Time and offers a series of reflections that are aphoristic, poetic, and (appropriately, considering his object of study) difficult. Lange begins with an abyss ("There is an abyss of the finite. It is temporality") and proceeds almost immediately to extremity: "The twentieth century was governed by psychopaths. They collapsed the boundaries of moral reason and refuted Kant's analysis of consciousness." He reflects further: "But who shall punish whom? One man's virtue is another man's crime. Thus Hitler could feel unwaveringly, as he wiped out entire populations, the starry sky above him and the moral law within him, as stipulated by Kant." He considers the concept of civilization ("misleading"; "how should one oppose the remedies of civilization to the egomania, the murderous appetites of such outright psychopaths as Stalin or Pol Pot?"), the act of thinking (a fata morgana), the psyche, and Heidegger's Dasein. Positive Nihilism can be considered a pocket companion to Being and Time. "Heidegger's understanding of Being is nihilistic," Lange writes, and then explains his assertion. He draws on Kant, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Shakespeare's Othello for supporting arguments and illustrations. "Everyone is possessed of the courage to have angst about death. The question is whether this courage necessarily secures those vital advantages Heidegger alleges"--that "self-understanding [is] the mental anticipation of death." Lange wrestles with Heidegger's position, calling on Tolstoy, Georg Trakl, Herman Bang, and Heinrich von Kleist to argue against it.
Now a major film starring Academy Award nominees Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011 Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.
Subtitle in pre-publication: Following the dog's nose into a world of smell.
Nietzsche and the Clinic reimagines what a sustained engagement with Nietzsche’s thinking has to offer psychoanalysis today. Beyond the headlines that continue to misrepresent Nietzsche’s project, this book portrays Nietzsche as a thinker of tremendous practical import for those treating the emergent pathologies of the twenty-first century with an interpretive approach. The more pressing wager of the book is that, by introducing Nietzsche’s thinking into contemporary debates about the nature and function of the psychoanalytic clinic, the future of that clinic can be better secured against attempts to discredit its claims to therapeutic efficacy and to scientific legitimacy. Combining a close textual reading with examples drawn from concrete clinical practice, Nietzsche and the Clinic integrates philosophy and psychoanalysis in ways that move past a merely theoretical attitude, demonstrating how the relationship between philosophy and psychoanalysis can be expanded in ways that are both clinically specific and post-Freudian in orientation. Chapters include extended meditations on Nietzsche’s relation to key themes in the work of Helene Deutsch, Wilfred Bion, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, and Jacques Lacan.
Marcus Steinweg's capacity to implicate the other is beautiful, bright, precise, and logical, grounded in everyday questions, which to him are always big questions. -- from the foreword by Thomas HirschhornThe houses of philosophy need not be palaces. -- Marcus Steinweg, "House," The Terror of EvidenceThis is the first book by the prolific German philosopher Marcus Steinweg to be available in English translation. The Terror of Evidence offers meditations, maxims, aphorisms, notes, and comments -- 191 texts ranging in length from three words to three pages -- the deceptive simplicity of which challenges the reader to think. "Thinking means getting lost again and again," Steinweg observes. Reality is the ever-broken promise of consistency; "the terror of evidence" arises from the inconsistency before our eyes. Thinking is a means of coping with that inconsistency. Steinweg is known for his collaborations with Thomas Hirschhorn and the lectures and texts he has provided for many of Hirschhorn's projects. This translation of The Terror of Evidence includes a foreword by Hirschhorn written especially for the MIT Press edition. The subjects of these short texts vary widely. ("The table of contents is in itself excessive and ambitious," writes Hirschhorn.) They include pathos, passivity, genius, resentment, love, horror, catastrophe, and racism. And club sandwiches (specifically, Foucault's love for this American specialty), blow jobs, and dance. Also: "Two Kinds of Obscurantism," "Putting Words in Spinoza's Mouth," "Note on Rorty," and "Doubting Doubt." The Terror of Evidence can be considered a guidebook to thinking: the daily journey of exploration, the incessant questioning of reality that Steinweg sees as the task of philosophy.

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