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Political Readings of Descartes in Continental Thought

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 22 Aug 2019
Descartes' philosophy plays a special role in the works of both renowned and marginal writers in the Continental Tradition, particularly in their views on society and politics. This is the first book length study to consider political responses to Descartes in 19th and 20th century European thinkers. Alon Segev shows how on the one hand Continental authors utilize Descartes' philosophy to advance the core ideas of Enlightenment and to combat the movements and systems of Capitalism, Materialism, Absolutism, Fascism, Nazism, and Neo-Paganism; however on the other hand, Segev also demonstrates that Continental authors have also discerned in Descartes' philosophy the main source of all these maladies of modernity. These opposing views are examined as they are unfolded in known and forgotten texts by authors such as Vico, Sorel, Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger and by lesser known figures such as Baader, Borkenau and Böhm. By exploring celebrated and overlooked texts and authors, Alon Segev both details the Cartesian influence on the touchstone thinkers of political modernity, and also fills a wide historical gap in the research, providing a significant contribution to the discussion about the crises of the contemporary social and political world. In short, this book enables us, through Descartes, to assess the advantages and shortcomings of modern society.
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ISBN-13: 9781350069718
ISBN-10: 135006971X
Pagini: 184
Dimensiuni: 156 x 234 mm
Greutate: 0.44 kg
Editura: Bloomsbury Publishing
Colecția Bloomsbury Academic
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


Ties philosophical traditions to developments in 19th and 20th-century political history, such as industrialization, or the Nazi rise to power

Notă biografică

Alon Segev is Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Springfield, USA.


Table of Contents: Introduction: Home and Exile 1. Progress: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Georges Sorel and Martin Heidegger 2. Franz Baader: Cogitor Ergo Sum 3. Edmund Husserl: The Crisis of the European Man 4. Martin Heidegger: homo est brutum bestiale 5. Franz Borkenau: Cartesianism and the Exploitation of Man and Nature 6. Franz Böhm: German Philosophy at War with Cartesianism Bibliography Index


Particularly valuable are Segev's discussions of Husserl and Heidegger. In his judicious appraisal of Heidegger's infamous Black Notebooks, Segev shows that the philosopher's relation to Nazism was more nuanced and distant than some critics claim . Segev's exceptionally lucid and attractive prose style renders the discussion accessible. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
Descartes was a giant, and every philosopher since has had to come to terms with him. In this fascinating collection of essays, Alon Segev looks at an array of major and minor figures in light of their reading of Descartes, with special reference to their political views.
Segev's book breaks new ground in elucidating the political reception of Cartesian rationalism and Enlightenment thinking among German theologians and philosophers over the last 250 years. The intellectual history it narrates will surprise and enlighten even the most seasoned historian of ideas, and makes for some very compelling reading. I highly recommend it.