Ernesto Laclau’s theory of hegemony interprets in a peculiar way two central concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis: the signifier and the real. Laclau maintains that signifiers are per se tendentially empty and that there is some constituting impossibility in every social system, that is, some real in the Lacanian sense. This paper levels two criticisms at this interpretation. Firstly, Lacan never employs the concept “empty signifier”: His definition of the signifier as that which represents a subject—and his enjoyment—for another signifier (...) contradicts this emptiness. Secondly, in the place of the impossible, Lacan puts enjoyment. The main political consequence of these two considerations is that the theory of hegemony is mistaken when focusing on the rhetorical debate and forgets that individual political inclinations are based mainly on their enjoyment. (shrink)
Ernesto Neto's installation at the Panthéon in Paris, Leviathan Toth (2006), brings us into a semiotics of intensities that does not belong to the ‘aesthetic regime’ as described by Jacques Rancière but rather to a Diagrammatic Agency of Contemporary Art. In this case study, the latter is constructed after Deleuze and Guattari – from a politics of the Body without Organs critically and clinically identified to a Body without Image.
Ernesto Laclau’s Marxist and post-Marxist works are best understood when they are embedded in the history of Argentina’s National Left. This socialist-populist current underpinned his strategic horizons onward of at least 1963. While purely theoretical interpretations of Laclau can sometimes be enlightening, they tend to lose sight of the historical density of the Argentine’s thought. Over the course of his working life, Laclau’s theories presented the Argentinean Left with a challenge concerning how to engage with Peronism: specifically, how to (...) develop a leftist hegemonic project in an era when the working class remained stubbornly linked to a Peronist political identity. Laclau’s political trajectory and his understanding of Marxism are analysed here in order to explain the nature of his post-Marxism. (shrink)
This article discusses the character of hegemonic subjectification as it is seen by Ernesto Laclau. By explaining the concepts of the constitutive features and form of a hegemonically acquired political identity, such as antagonism, undecidability, overdetermination and decision, I define the social fields and dynamics of subjectification. At the same time, I adopt that such subjectification occurs within the boundaries of the particular –universal, i.e., the ideologically assigned view of identity as totality. Besides, in contrast to Laclau, I juxtapose (...) the dialectically conceived form of the particular–universal relation with its poststructuralist Laclau’s version, and I try to prove that—contrary to Laclau—the idea of hegemony enjoys its vitality thanks to Theodor W. Adorno’s concept of negative dialectics. To determine the points of similarity of the two methods of constructing and deconstructing identity and subjectivity, I reject Elmar Flatschart’s incomparability argument. Lastly, I point out the earlier mentioned points of convergence: on Adorno’s part—the concept of proper names and the concept of constellation; on Laclau’s part—the concept of undecidability and decision which keep discourse ontologically and epistemologically open. (shrink)
Según Oliver Marchart, autores como Badiou, Lefort, Rancière o Laclau son parte de una misma corriente: el pensamiento político posfundacionalista. Su caracte-rística central no es el rechazo de todo fundamento del orden político, sino de todo fundamento que pretenda ser necesario. En oposición a esta postura y, a partir de un análisis del concepto de hegemonía, se busca mostrar cómo el pensamiento de Laclau no se libra de la metafísica, sino que, por el contrario, desarrolla políticamente la que es -según (...) Heidegger, el padre espiritual del posfundacionalismo- su forma consumada: la metafísica nietzscheana de la voluntad de poder. According to Oliver Marchart, authors such as Badiou, Lefort, Rancière or Laclau are representatives of postfoundationalist political thought, which does not reject all foundations of the political order, but rather those that claim to be necessary. In opposition to this viewpoint and on the basis of an analysis of the concept of hegemony, the paper seeks to show how Laclau's thought fails to free itself of metaphysics. Rather, it develops politically that which according to Heidegger, the "spiritual father" of postfoundationalism, is its consummated form: Nietzsche's metaphysics of the will to power. (shrink)
Using matrix iterations of ccc posets, we prove the consistency with ZFC of some cases where the cardinals on the right hand side of Cichon’s diagram take two or three arbitrary values (two regular values, the third one with uncountable cofinality). Also, mixing this with the techniques in J Symb Log 56(3):795–810, 1991, we can prove that it is consistent with ZFC to assign, at the same time, several arbitrary regular values on the left hand side of Cichon’s diagram.
Ernesto Laclau's theory of antagonism and political identity has been widely celebrated as one of the most promising attempts to apply the lessons of poststructuralism to political theory. This essay argues, however, that this initial promise is not fulfilled. Laclau's attempt to define and analyse the political as such operates at such an abstract level that Laclau is forced to make sweeping claims about the nature of politics and identity that he simply cannot support; and his analysis of the (...) decision that he claims defines politics is an unrealistic one that celebrates violence, and could have the wide appeal it has had only in a political culture that understood freedom as the absence of all constraint, rather than the achievement of autonomy. Key Words: antagonism autonomy decision freedom hegemony identity Laclau the political rule-following Wittgenstein. (shrink)
This paper focusses on the experiences of Indian lesbians and gays who are subjected to unethical acts of workplace bullying which get manifested through constant guesswork, comments and questioning about their sexual identity in the hostile Indian context. Given this, LG participants usually opt for secrecy and lead a double life, using ‘passing’ and ‘covering’ strategies to manage economic, social and psychological risks. Nonetheless, this paper rewrites the negative tenor of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transexuals research by underscoring how LG (...) participants move from fear to courage in their endeavour to live authentic lives while considering the broader organizational and social context. We argue that their courage is manifested mainly through deliberate micro-disclosures and a sense of defiance which can be enhanced if organizations are designed to be more inclusive and ethical. Consequently, participants defined inclusive ethical organizations as having conducive environments with trustworthy, supportive, secure, fair, unbiased and safe non-discriminatory policies open to the idea of diverse sexual orientations. Our findings point to the fact that, first and foremost, organizations must be crafted and sustained to be courageous within a hostile social climate, for employees to overcome their fears. (shrink)
Adorno’s philosophy has enjoyed a resurgence of attention in political theory over the past decade. In this paper, I challenge contemporary efforts to adopt his critical theory by arguing that his conceptions of mimesis and negative dialectics, which are central to his thought, are ultimately unsatisfactory. I begin by critiquing the normative content of the negative dialectic, and then move on to explore its problematic relation with mimesis. In the following sections I argue that mimesis cannot do the normative work (...) that Adorno requires of it. Rather, his idea of mimesis fails to inform critique (understood as ‘negative’ thought), relies on a problematic pre-modern idea of authenticity, and is incompatible with theoretical analyses of modern complex societies. (shrink)
Exposición crítica de la evolución de la trayectoria viquiana de E. Grassi al hilo del problema fundamental de la metáfora, cuyo valor ontológico reivindicó. Grassi se interesó por este problema desde su juventud cuando, como discípulo heideggeriano que busca alternativas a la Seinsvergessenheit, estudió la epistemología tópica del De nostri. Pero sólo en la madurez extendió su interés metafórico a la entera obra viquiana, justo al concebir plenamente la filosofía como retórica.Critical exposition of E. Grassi’s Vichian trajectory through the fundamental (...) problem of metaphor whose ontological value he vindicated. In his youth Grassi was already interested in such a problem. Indeed, just from the perspective of a Heideggerian scholar looking for an alternative to the Seinsvergessenheit, he studied the topical epistemology of De nostri. But it was only in his mature age that he spread his metaphorical interest to Vico’s whole work, just when he conceived plainly Philosophy as Rhetoric. (shrink)
In the Timaeus, Plato says that the hypothesis of there being five worlds casts a reasonable doubt. Neither ancient commentators of Plato nor modern scholars have succeeded in unveiling the meaning of this hypothesis. I propose that five is the number of combinations with which the five platonic solids can be arranged in sets of four, each set making up a world. I discuss the question of whether Plato's mathematical skills made him equal to the task of calculating the correct (...) number of combinations, as well as the possible reasons why he rejected the hypothesis of there being five worlds. (shrink)
In order to make headway on the debate about whether Kant was a constructivist, nonconstructivist, or instead defends a hybrid view that somehow entirely sidesteps these categories, I attempt to clarify the terms of the debate more carefully than is usually done. First, I discuss the overall relationship between realism and constructivism. Second, I identify four main features of Kantian constructivism in general. Third, I examine three rival versions of metanormative Kantian constructivism, what I’ll call axiological, constitutivist, and rationalist constructivist. (...) I argue that Kant is best seen as a rationalist constructivist. I conclude by arguing that although it’s a constructivist view, this reading avoids the main pitfalls of traditional Kantian constructivism. In doing so, it helps us to achieve a satisfying rapprochement between constructivist and non-constructivist readings of Kant. (shrink)
Praise for First Edition: `This book is highly recommended to a wide range of people as a clear and systematic introduction to phenomenological psychology... the book has set the stage for possible new colloquia between the phenomenological and other approaches in psychology' - Changes `As a trainee interested in matters existential, I have been put off in the past by the long-winded and confusing texts usually available in academic libraries. Thankfully, here is a text that remedies that situation... [it] provides (...) a readable and insightful account' - Clinical Psychology Forum 'Spinelli’s classic introduction to phenomenology should be essential reading on all person-centred, existential and humanistic trainings, and any other counselling or psychotherapy course which aims to help students develop an in-depth understanding of human lived-experience. This book is sure to remain a key text for many years to come' - Mick Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Counselling, University of Strathclyde 'This is by far the most monumental, erudite, comprehensive, authoritative case that Existentialism and Phenomenology (a) have a rightful place in the academy; (b) are tough-minded bodies of thought; (c) have rigorous scientific foundations; (d) bequeath a distinctive school of psychotherapy and counselling; and (e) are just as good as the more established systems of psychology' - Alvin R. Mahrer, Ph.D. University of Ottawa, Canada, Author of The Complete Guide To Experiential Psychotherapy 'This book’s rich insight into the lacunae of modern psychological thinking illustrates the contribution that existential phenomenology can make to founding a coherently mature Psychology that is both fully human(e) and responsibly ‘scientific’ in the best sense of that term' - Richard House, Ph.D., Magdalen Medical Practice, Norwich; Steiner Waldorf teacher. The Interpreted World, Second Edition, is a welcome introduction to phenomenological psychology, an area of psychology which has its roots in notoriously difficult philosophical literature. Writing in a highly accessible, jargon-free style, Ernesto Spinelli traces the philosophical origins of phenomenological theory and presents phenomenological perspectives on central topics in psychology - perception, social cognition and the self. He compares the phenomenological approach with other major contemporary psychological approaches, pointing up areas of divergence and convergence with these systems. He also examines implications of phenomenology for the precepts and process of psychotherapy. For the Second Edition, a new chapter on phenomenological research has been added in which the author focuses on the contribution of phenomenology in relation to contemporary scientific enquiry. He describes the methodology used in phenomenological research and illustrates the approach through an actual research study. The Interpreted World, Second Edition demystifies an exciting branch of psychology, making its insights available to all students of psychology, psychotherapy and counselling. (shrink)
The informed consent process is the legal embodiment of the fundamental right of the individual to make decisions affecting his or her health., and the patient’s permission is a crucial form of respect of freedom and dignity, it becomes extremely important to enhance the patient’s understanding and recall of the information given by the physician. This statement acquires additional weight when the medical treatment proposed can potentially be detrimental or even fatal. This is the case of thalassemia patients pertaining to (...) class 3 of the Pesaro classification where Allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation remains the only potentially curative treatment. Unfortunately, this kind of intervention is burdened by an elevated transplantation-related mortality risk , equal to 30% according to published reports. In thalassemia, the role of the patient in the informed consent process leading up to HSCT has not been fully investigated. This study investigated the hypothesis that information provided by physicians in the medical scenario of HSCT is not fully understood by patients and that misunderstanding and communication biases may affect the clinical decision-making process. (shrink)
Mathematical explanations are poorly understood. Although mathematicians seem to regularly suggest that some proofs are explanatory whereas others are not, none of the philosophical accounts of what such claims mean has become widely accepted. In this paper we explore Wilkenfeld’s suggestion that explanations are those sorts of things that generate understanding. By considering a basic model of human cognitive architecture, we suggest that existing accounts of mathematical explanation are all derivable consequences of Wilkenfeld’s ‘functional explanation’ proposal. We therefore argue that (...) the explanatory criteria offered by earlier accounts can all be thought of as features that make it more likely that a mathematical proof will generate understanding. On the functional account, features such as characterising properties, unification, and salience correlate with explanatoriness, but they do not define explanatoriness. (shrink)
Originally published in English in 1980, Rhetoric as Philosophy has been out of print for some time. The reviews of that English edition attest to the importance of Ernesto Grassi’s work. By going back to the Italian humanist tradition and aspects of earlier Greek and Latin thought, Ernesto Grassi develops a conception of rhetoric as the basis of philosophy. Grassi explores the sense in which the first principles of rational thought come from the metaphorical power of the word. (...) He finds the basis for his conception in the last great thinker of the Italian humanist tradition, Giambattista Vico (1668–1744). He concentrates on Vico’s understanding of imagination and the sense of human ingenuity contained in metaphor. For Grassi, rhetorical activity is the essence and inner life of thought when connected to the metaphorical power of the word. (shrink)
On the traditional view, Butler maintains that forgiveness involves a kind of “conversion experience” in which we must forswear or let go of our resentment against wrongdoers. Against this reading, I argue that Butler never demands that we forswear resentment but only that we be resentful in the right kind of way. That is, he insists that we should be virtuously resentful, avoiding both too much resentment exhibited by the vices of malice and revenge and too little resentment where we (...) merely condone the wrongdoer and leave ourselves open to future injury. I argue that this Butlerian approach offers us a more attractive account of forgiveness as a “virtue” than many recent discussions. In the final section, I address Butler’s challenging thesis that forgiveness is an unconditional moral duty. I argue against those who claim that forgiveness is supererogatory (Kolnai/Calhoun) or else merely morally conditional and even morally blameworthy in some cases (Murphy/Hampton/Novitz/Richards). By contrast, I defend a context-sensitive account of forgiveness which recognizes that it takes place on many different levels. I conclude by taking up the difficult issue of whether anybody can be ultimately “unforgivable”, offering some Butlerian and Strawsonian reflections that might help mitigate our judgments about such matters. (shrink)
In diesem Aufsatz versucht der Autor, die Differenz der romantischen Auffassung der Metapher von der traditionellen und hegelschen Auffassungen uber die Prioritat des Logischen gegenuber der Kunst, festzustellen. Dabei wird eine besondere Aufmerksamkeit der Wichtigkeit der Holderlinschen Schrift "Uber Werden als Vergehen" gewidmet.
Klara and the Sun, the latest novel by Nobel-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, forces one to reckon with one's own anxieties about the future of emerging technologies and confront deep questions about the nature of dignity, existence, and humanity. The novel also provides one with complex characters and a speculative future through which to live new lives, experience novel worlds, and see through different eyes. At the same time, the novel’s world offers us an uncanny distance from our own, making us (...) prone to pass judgments on the characters’ moral faults that we later come to recognize are also our own. (shrink)
Increasing global competition has intensified the use of informal sector workforce worldwide. This phenomenon is true with regard to India, where 92% of the workers hold precarious jobs. Our study examines the dynamics of workplace dignity in the context of Indian security guards deployed as contract labour by private suppliers, recognising that security guards’ jobs were marked by easy access, low status, disrespect and precariousness. The experiences of guards serving bank ATMs were compared with those working in large reputed organisations. (...) The former reported loss of dignity though their inherent self-worth remained partially intact, whereas the latter reclaimed dignity despite the precarious working conditions and the absence of unions. Guards from large reputed organisations evolved strategies by which they took advantage of the client’s vulnerabilities, developed ‘thick’ relationships at work and immersed themselves in 'doing dignity work' to ensure that they are not disposable. ‘Doing dignity work’ was a visible device which involved actions that met or went beyond the norms laid down by the client and was used by security guards to limit the extent of their precariousness. Since the opportunity to reclaim dignity was facilitated by large reputed clients’ adherence to legal regulations, we see implications of the study for the moral economy. (shrink)