The New French Philosophy

The New French Philosophy


By (author) Ian James

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  • Publisher: Polity Press
  • Format: Hardback | 228 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 230mm x 24mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 19 June 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0745648053
  • ISBN 13: 9780745648057
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

This book gives a critical assessment of key developments incontemporary French philosophy, highlighting the diverse ways inwhich recent French thought has moved beyond the philosophicalpositions and arguments which have been widely associated with theterms 'post-structuralism' and 'postmodernism'. These developmentsare assessed through a close comparative reading of the work ofseven contemporary thinkers: Jean-Luc Marion, Jean-Luc Nancy,Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Ranciere, AlainBadiou and Francois Laruelle. The book situates the writing of each philosopher in relation toearlier traditions of French thought. In differing ways, thesephilosophers decisively distance themselves from the linguisticparadigm which dominated so much twentieth-century thought in orderto rethink philosophical conceptions of materiality, worldliness,shared embodied existence and human agency or subjectivity. Theythereby open the way for a radical renewal of the claims,possibilities and transformative power of philosophical thinkingitself. This book will be an indispensable text for students ofphilosophy and for anyone interested in current developments inphilosophy and social thought.

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Author information

Ian James is university lecturer in the Department of French at the University of Cambridge.

Review quote

"It is difficult to imagine a better introduction to contemporaryFrench thought than this one." French Studies "Definitely a welcome contribution to the task of invigorating andrenewing scholarship on French philosophy, that will hopefullyraise new interest in texts whose theoretical and interpretativematrix is still ongoing." Review 31 "An all-encompassing view provided by this concise and insightfulbook allows us to comprehend the pressing issues of fundamentalism,evil and death, of madness and reason, of the 'questions of howsomething new might enter the world'." Spectrum "Ian James's impressive new work carves out, with precision andclarity, a distinctive new domain within recent French philosophy,revealing a varied spectrum of thinkers who share a common desireto go beyond dominant theories of signification to engage with boththe materiality of the real and the question of subjectivity in thewake of structuralism. A real contribution to French intellectualhistory." Christina Howells, University of Oxford "Concise, insightful, lucidly argued, The New FrenchPhilosophy discerns how seven thinkers turn away from thelinguistic and writerly paradigms of the heyday of structuralismand post-structuralism. By invigorating French thought throughemphasis on materiality and the concrete, James addresses pressingpolitical, social and aesthetic dilemmas. His highly originaldiscussions inform, delight and energize." Verena Andermatt Conley, Harvard University "Ian James' The New French Philosophy provides anintelligent and accessible overview of the current state of playcontemporary French philosophy. Students will welcome James'clear-minded thinking, but will also benefit from an originalcontribution to the developments he outlines. The book is an idealintroduction to the post-linguistic orientation of Frenchthought." Steven Groarke, Roehampton University"The vibrancy of French philosophy continues. Rather than succumbto the presentation of the development of thought within merechronology, Ian James, by focusing on the centrality of materialityand the capacity of thought to enact modes of transformation, hasrecast the philosophical. Positing a set of relations betweenthinkers, James has provided a deeper and more complex version ofcontemporary French philosophy than has been aviablehitherto." Andrew Benjamin, Monash University

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: The Demands of Thought 1 Jean-Luc Marion: Appearing and Givenness 2 Jean-Luc Nancy: The Infinity of Sense 3 Bernard Stiegler: The Time of Technics 4 Catherine Malabou: The Destiny of Form 5 Jacques Ranciere: The Space of Equality 6 Alain Badiou: The Science of the Real 7 Francois Laruelle: Beginning with the One Conclusion: The Technique of Thought Notes Bibliography