What if language was an autonomous historical being? What if language’s use was not solely dependent on the intentions of the one who speaks? In this text I will test these provocative statements. Specifically, I will investigate whether language’s proclaimed historical independence can be traced in the usage of the concept of ‘secularisation’, and I will try to unveil the consequences of this operation.Contribution: Has Christianity abandoned the public stage in the ‘secularised’ and industrialised world? In this article I intend (...) to demonstrate that this is not the case. The continuous operative presence of Christianity in our socio-political language is used as the model to prove this argument. (shrink)
The past decades have seen a growing “philosophical” interest in a number of authors, but strangely enough Saramago’s oeuvre has been left somewhat aside. This volume aims at filling this gap by providing a diverse range of philosophical perspectives and expositions on Saramago’s work. The chapters explore some possible issues arising from his works: from his use of Plato’s allegory of the cave to his re-readings of Biblical stories; from his critique and “reinvention” of philosophy of history to his allegorical (...) exploration of alternative histories; from his humorous approach to our being-towards-death to the revolutionary political charge of his fiction. The essays here confront Saramago’s fiction with concepts, theories, and suggestions belonging to various philosophical traditions and philosophers including Plato, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Freud, Benjamin, Heidegger, Lacan, Foucault, Patočka, Derrida, Agamben, and Žižek. (shrink)
The observation that our world is signed by a lasting crisis is as much underwritten as it is questioned. This book offers a new and provocative thesis by taking recourse to the religious discourse of Limbo, and by investigating the temporal and spatial structures of crisis and modernity. Modernity reveals itself to be the state of perennial crisis, and we all live in an immanentized state of Limbo.
Mis-readings are not necessarily detrimental, Slavoj Žižek has interestingly argued. In this article, we investigate a mis-reading by the hand of Žižek himself. José Saramago’s intriguing novel Seeing, that tells the story of the massive casting of blank ballots by the population and its political implications, has frequently been mentioned in some of Slavoj Žižek recent work. However, not once has Žižek offered his readers the correct message present in the plot of Seeing. But how do have to interpret this (...) non-detrimental misreading? After having proposed a brief summary of Seeing’s plot and the various versions offered of it by Žižek, this article attempts to demonstrate and explain why Slavoj Žižek could not have not mis-read Saramago’s novel. Žižek’s understanding of a ‘revolution’ does not allow him to fully understand Saramago’s blank ballot vote – it being a valid non-vote, a positive negative. The article concludes with an ‘appeal’ to fully understand the revolutionary (political) power of the blank ballot in times of the democratic relic we are living in. (shrink)
What is the difference between doing philosophy and doing the history of philosophy? Where should the line be drawn between ?using? previous philosophers to make one's point and discussing what past philosophers claimed? In trying to confront these questions, this essay starts with a reflection on the difference between doing philosophy and doing the history of philosophy as proposed by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, and confronts it with a different one derived from the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The ideas (...) developed by Heidegger will then lead to a definition of ?philosophy? and to some etymology-based reflections on what a ?philosopher? is that Plato proposes in his ?Symposium?. The essay continues by arguing that, when doing philosophy, it is necessary to return to philosophy's past in order to recoup philosophical momentum. The essay concludes with some reflection on the possible similarities between Plato's characterization of Eros as the first philosopher and the difference between doing philosophy and doing the history of philosophy. (shrink)