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From left to right: Freud, Nietzsche and Marx

Related: aesthetics - Enlightenment - existentialism - greatness - imagination - judgement - mind - prejudice - reality - relativism - sublime - thought - truth - world view

By region: American philosophy - continental philosophy - French philosophy - German philosophy

By field: philosophy of place - embodied philosophy - philosophy of sex - postmodern philosophy - rationalism

Philosophers: Nietzsche - Gilles Deleuze - Georges Bataille - Walter Benjamin - Guy Debord - Rene Descartes - Ken Wilber - Sřren Kierkegaard - Peter Sloterdijk

“‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things’” (Lewis Carroll).

Contemporary philosophy and film:
Contemporary philosophy elevated the importance of cinema in philosophical discussions, placing it on a peer level with literature. This is both because of the blurring of distinctions between "high" and "low" cultural forms, and because of the recognition that cinema (an expensive and collaborative effort) can represent the human condition just as well as literature (cheap to produce and the effort of an individual). The most prominent example of this approach is Slavoj Žižek. In the 1992 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock)) Žižek explains Lacan through Hitchcock. [May 2006]

Poetics () - Aristotle [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
image sourced here.

The sleep of reason produces monsters (1797-98) - Goya


Philosophy literally means 'love of wisdom' (from the Greek words 'philos' and 'sofia'). It is now widely used to designate the pursuit of knowledge or wisdom about fundamental matters concerning life, death, meaning, reality, being and truth. The term may also refer to the collective works of major philosophers; it can mean the academic exploration of various questions raised by philosophers; it can also mean a certain critical, creative way of thinking. Western academic 'philosophy' has two broad traditions, 'analytic' and 'continental' philosophy. The former tradition is commonly focused on conceptual analysis. The latter tradition is distinctive for its associations with particular movements. Eastern philosophy is another, discrete discipline. Each of these can be considered individually or in how it differs from the others. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy [Jan 2005]

Ambivalence in Aristotle's Poetics

Two translations from chapter four, on why we like things which are painful to see, for example: horror:

See also: ambivalence - art horror - representation

Haecceity: in search of the what-is-ness of things

Haecceity (transliterated from the Latin haecceitas) is a term from medieval philosophy first coined by Duns Scotus which denotes the discrete qualities, properties or characteristics of a thing which make it a particular thing. Haecceity is a person or object's "thisness".

Charles Peirce later used the term as a non-descriptive reference to an individual. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haecceity [Sept 2006]

Process philosophy

Conventional Platonic metaphysics posits the 'real' world of Metaphysical Reality as being timeless. Process philosophy on the other hand, identifies 'the real' (ie metaphysical reality) with change and dynamism. Process philosophy was greatly influential on many 20th Century Modernists: for example, D.H. Lawrence, and William Faulkner.

Process Philosophers include Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process_philosophy [Sept 2005]

See also: philosophy - modernism - stream of consciousness

The Poetics of Space (1957) - Gaston Bachelard

  • The Poetics of Space (1957) - Gaston Bachelard [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This is a deep, magical, densely captivating book about space, our homes, how we live in them, and how dwellings and space affect us; it is as much a book of philosophy as a work of serious literature. It requires careful, preferably leisurely reading, with the possibility of moments to pause and digest and re-read the words. It will change the way you look at your home and your life, providing a deeper, more insightful relationship with the spaces you occupy. --Amazon.com

    See also: Gaston Bachelard

    Kant and Sade

    In the Dialectic of Enlightenment Adorno and Horkheimer give a complex account of Justine and Juliettte. They say, with Immanuel Kant in mind, that:

    " The moral teachings of the Enlightenment bear witness to a hopeless attempt to replace enfeebled religon with some reason for persistng in society when interest is absent." (p.85)

    Further on in the text Adorno and Horkheimer discuss the way the way Juliette operates. Their picture of Juliette is that she is a child of the Enlightenment. They say that:

    "...the work of the Marquis de Sade, like that of Nietzsche, constitutes the intransigent critique of practical reason, in contradistinction to which Kant's critique itself seems a revocation of his own thought. It makes the scientistic the destructive principle. Justine, the virtuous sister, is a martyr for the moral law. Juliette draws the conclusion that the bourgeosie wanted to ignore: she demonizes Catholicism as the most-up-to-date mythology, and with it civilization as a whole...In all of this Juliette is by no means fanatical....her procedures is enlightened and efficient as she goes about her work of sacrilege....Julitte embodies...the pleasures of attacking civilization with its own weapons. She favours system and consequence. She is a proficient manipulator of the organ of rational thought." (p.94) --Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944/1947) - Max Horkheimer, Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno [Amazon.com]

    As they point out Juliette believes in science and despises any form of worship whose rationality cannot be demonstrated. She is a child of the aggressive Enlightenment. via http://sauer-thompson.com/conversations/archives/002526.html [Jan 2005]

    Kant and Sade: The Ideal Couple

    Of all the couples in the history of modern thought (Freud and Lacan, Marx and Lenin…), Kant and Sade is perhaps the most problematic: the statement "Kant is Sade" is the "infinite judgement" of modern ethics, positing the sign of equation between the two radical opposites, i.e. asserting that the sublime disinterested ethical attitude is somehow identical to, or overlaps with, the unrestrained indulgence in pleasurable violence. A lot-everything, perhaps-is at stake here: is there a line from Kantian formalist ethics to the cold-blooded Auschwitz killing machine? Are concentration camps and killing as a neutral business the inherent outcome of the enlightened insistence on the autonomy of Reason? Is there at least a legitimate lineage from Sade to Fascist torturing, as is implied by Pasolini's film version of Saló, which transposes it into the dark days of Mussolini's Salo republic? Lacan developed this link first in his Seminar on The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1958-59)1, and then in the Écrits "Kant with Sade" of 1963. -- Slavoj Zizek http://www.egs.edu/faculty/zizek/zizek-kant-and-sade-the-ideal-couple.html [Sept 2004]

    Film and Philosophy

    During 2003 we will be publishing texts and specials issues on psychoanalytical film theory, experimental film, Chinese cinema, and analytical film philosophy, among others. In 2001/2 we published texts and issues on Andre Bazin, sound theory, horror films, French cinema, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Stanley Cavell, television studies, the New York Film Festival 2002, Jean Baudrillard and 'Future Cinema', Rossellini, Jean-Luc Nancy, Continental film theory, Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, documentary film, Laura Mulvey, German cinema, Gilles Deleuze, cognitive semiotics, Bela Tarr, cinematic ethics and social critique, avant-garde film, Allen and Smith's Film Theory and Philosophy, and Slavoj Zizek. The site, which receives about 5,000 unique visitors every month, also exists as a portal to the best new writings and other links from around the web. --http://www.film-philosophy.com/

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