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Showing posts from October, 2012

Agamben Explained in 500 Words

I have just finished my second major study of the philosophy of Giorgio Agamben, Agamben and Indifference.  As I think Agamben has been widely mis-read and my work benefits from the most recent books by Agamben which set the record straight, I though it would be worthwhile posting the basic definition of Agamben's work that makes up the first page and a half of that book.  Here it is, in miniature, all you need to know about Agamben.  I swear to it! Introduction to Agamben's Philosophical Archaelogy I will commence with an unambiguous statement summarising Agamben’s base position as I see it across the totality of all his published works.Agamben’s philosophical project is the making apparent and then rendering indifferent all structures of differential opposition that lie at the root, he believes, of every major Western concept-signature or discursive structure.In this manner his philosophy can be termed a form of metaphysical critique that argues all abstract concepts are only …

Aesthetics versus Literary Theory

In email conversation with Joe Hughes recently, check out his two books on Deleuze they are excellent by the way, I tried to explain a long-term project I am working on regarding a new aesthetics.

It has struck me many times that in the history of aesthetics, let's say it starts with Kant's Third Critique, there are few if any works on aesthetics that do not subordinate the aesthetic to a wider philosophical system.  This is why Nietzsche is so important to aesthetics and moden theory, in that he is possibly the first to convincingly suggest a philosophy that emanates from art.  And again why Heidegger's so-called kehre (his turn to poetry) retains such a grip on us for all its limitations and questionable motivations. 

If aesthetics as works are not the application of an already established system to the arts so as to use arts to bolster up a tottering critical philosophy or found an overly ambitious narrative (Kant and Hegel respectively), then the thinker gets mired i…