- Tapa blanda: 248 páginas
- Editor: University of Massachusetts Press (28 de febrero de 1990)
- Colección: Sierra Club Adventure Travel Guides
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0870236954
- ISBN-13: 978-0870236952
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
French Philosophy of the Sixties: An Essay on Antihumanism (Sierra Club Adventure Travel Guides) (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 28 feb 1990
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Since its publication in France in 1985, this critique of the main currents in contemporary French thought has prompted debate over the character of postmodern philosophy. Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut offer sociopolitical analysis of the May 1968 student uprising in France, explore the connection between the revolt and the rise of postmodern thought, and question whether student dissent was a genuine humanist reaction to conditions in France at that time. The book begins with a description of the style and intellectual structure of French philosophy in the 1960s, noting its hyperbolic use of themes borrowed from German thinkers, particularly Nietzsche, Heidegger, Marx and Freud. The authors then trace these themes in individual chapters on the writings of Foucault, Derrida, Bourdieu and Lacan, focusing on the philosophers' antagonism to the idea of self and their assertions that philosophy has come to its end. The book raises serious questions about the meaning of the 1960s, arguing that the philosophical movements that emerged from this turbulent decade in France are politically irresponsible. Ferry and Renaut offer a basis for understanding the defence of humanism and the democratic and liberal ideals it supports.
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French philosophers of the sixties were a secondary inquisition begun by German philosophers, adopted by the French because they served a purpose to prosecute the West for what it created or could not stop in the carnage of two world wars. The advent of Enlightenment reason did not halt history's slaughter, so reason was to be thrown out, with nothing, however, to replace it.
Like ancient religious sects who were not allowed to write the name of their god in an effort to complicate and externalize god, so too for Derrida, Foucault and their gang, maintaining as the authors note, "a cult of paradox and the insistent demand for complexity... for a rejection of clarity." Complicating what would otherwise be simple, "accustoming their readers and listeners to the belief that incomprehensibility is a sign of greatness and that the thinkers silence before incongruous demands for meaning was not proof of weakness but indication of endurance in the presence of the Unsayable". Follow, don't ask questions. The reason for complexity is of course to maintain, like legalese, their power and influence as a free ride.
We find Foucault making use of Nietzsche's notion that "there are no facts, only interpretation" - leading to the modern day paradox that "the truth is there is no truth and that's truth". One assumes this applies to those who preach it. Such sweeping generalizations and mutilations of reason (which they reject as Western bias) are then extrapolated to embrace all of society - never addressing that history leaves real artifacts, and that science, for example, produces testable, verifiable facts, regardless of political agendas. Foucault also applies Nietzsche's notion that it is not what someone says or writes that matters but who says it. Hence what one does not say or write is what matters most (leading to an infinity of speculation).
Most ironically a discovery of self in the 60's transformed into a "cult of me." A hedonistic movement carrying student protestors concerned for justice and environment to narcissistic aroma therapy, acupuncture and Yuppie mass capitalistic consumption so much more materialistic than the administration they opposed with no plan for replacement, only an abandonment of old ways, as though removal would solve anything. A demand for identity, an affirmation of the right to be different and struggling against constraints on individual existence led participants to believe they were liberating individuality while they merely accelerated homogenization through mercantilism once rallied against as they now busily save for retirement. This postmodern movement, "Having exhausted the possibilities for renewing the contents [of modernism], [adopted] the principle of renewal itself, as an end in itself, of endlessly generating the absolutely new. In this way it became embedded in a contradiction that could not be overcome since in time the production of newness itself appeared to lack newness" simply "democratizing hedonist logic". A "revolution with no outcome, no program, no political framework... the first indifferent revolution".
Add to the elucidation of Foucault's abject errors and we see how even the initial premise falls flat. Which has not stopped the expansion of this "philosophy." The negative aftermath of such mental acrobatics has been profound and widely embraced by the West where now self-mastery is viewed as a threat to those who have none. Having lost the desire for self-mastery we "no longer tend to regard other people as other subjects," write the authors, "as other willed consciousness with whom relations can take the form of a reciprocal recognition of freedoms". Such are benefits of the sixties.
Ferry and Renaut basically situate Derrida and co. in reference to Heidegger, since Derrida is just platitudinized Heidegger that's reconstructed for liberal provincialism. Ferry and Renaut pursue this theme by tracing the place of 'Humanism' in both of their teachings, hinting at the complexity of Heidegger's alleged anti-humanism while revealing Derrida's for the half-measured fraud that it is.