Late in life, Foucault identified with “the critical tradition of Kant,” encouraging us to read both thinkers in new ways. Kant’s “Copernican” strategy of grounding knowledge in the limits of human reason proved to stabilize political, social-scientific, and medical expertise as well as philosophical discourse. These inevitable limits were made concrete in historical structures such as the asylum, the prison, and the sexual or racial human body. Such institutions built upon and shaped the aesthetic judgment of those considered “normal.” Following Kant through all of Foucault’s major works, this book shows how bodies functioned as “problematic objects” in which the limits of post-Enlightenment European power and discourse were imaginatively figured and unified. It suggests ways that readers in a neoliberal political order can detach from the imaginative schemes vested in their bodies and experiment normatively with their own security needs.
The work of Simone de Beauvoir has endured and flowered in the last two decades, thanks primarily to the lasting influence of The Second Sex on the rise of academic discussions of gender, sexuality, and old age. Now, in this new Companion dedicated to her life and writings, an international assembly of prominent scholars, essayists, and leading interpreters reflect upon the range of Beauvoir s contribution to philosophy as one of the great authors, thinkers, and public intellectuals of the twentieth century. The Companion examines Beauvoir s rich intellectual life from a variety of angles including literary, historical, and anthropological perspectives and situates her in relation to her forbears and contemporaries in the philosophical canon. Essays in each of four thematic sections reveal the breadth and acuity of her insight, from the significance of The Second Sex and her work on the metaphysics of gender to her plentiful contributions in ethics and political philosophy. Later chapters trace the relationship between Beauvoir s philosophical and literary work and open up her scholarship to global issues, questions of race, and the legacy of colonialism and sexism. The volume concludes by considering her impact on contemporary feminist thought writ large, and features pioneering work from a new generation of Beauvoir scholars. Ambitious and unprecedented in scope, A Companion to Simone de Beauvoir is an accessible and interdisciplinary resource for students, teachers, and researchers across the humanities and social sciences.
Even though many of France's former colonies became independent over fifty years ago, the concept of "colony" and who was affected by colonialism remain problematic in French culture today. Seloua Luste Boulbina, an Algerian-French philosopher and political theorist, shows how the colony's structures persist in the subjectivity, sexuality, and bodily experience of human beings who were once brought together through force. This text, which combines two works by Luste Boulbina, shows how France and its former colonies are haunted by power relations that are supposedly old history, but whose effects on knowledge, imagination, emotional habits, and public controversies have persisted vividly into the present. Luste Boulbina draws on the work of Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, and Édouard Glissant to build a challenging, original, and intercultural philosophy that responds to blind spots of inherited political and social culture. Kafka's Monkey and Other Phantoms of Africa offers unique insights into how issues of migration, religious and ethnic identity, and postcolonial history affect contemporary France and beyond.
Jean Godefroy Bidima's La Palabre examines the traditional African institution of palaver as a way to create dialogue and open exchange in an effort to resolve conflict and promote democracy. In the wake of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commissions and the gacaca courts in Rwanda, Bidima offers a compelling model of how to develop an African public space where dialogue can combat misunderstanding. This volume, which includes other essays on legal processes, cultural diversity, memory, and the internet in Africa, offers English-speaking readers the opportunity to become acquainted with a highly original and important postcolonial thinker.
Laura Hengehold presents a new, Deleuzian reading of Simone de Beauvoir's phenomenology, the place of recognition in The Second Sex, the philosophical issues in her novels and the important role of her student diaries. Most studies of Simone de Beauvoir situate her with respect to Hegel and the tradition of 20th-century phenomenology begun by Husserl and Heidegger, and often stress the importance of Hegel's struggle for recognition. Hengehold, in comparison, reads de Beauvoir through a Deleuzian lens, and looks atde Beauvoir's early interest in Bergson and Leibniz. Hengehold clarifies the elements of Deleuze's thought - alone and in collaboration with Guattari - that may be most useful to contemporary feminists who are simultaneously rethinking the becoming of gender and the becoming of philosophy.