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philosophy

On the relationship between poetry and philosophy

PHILOSOPHY: In the book The Poetics of Reason, Stefán Snævarr goes against a too strict concept of rationality: To live rationally is not only to find the best means to realize one's goals, but also to make life meaningful and coherent. Parts of this work should enter all disciplines concerned with models, metaphors and narratives.

The Greatness and Fall of French Philosophy

ESSAY: The Golden Age of French philosophy (1945–1989) created something great. An atmosphere, a new way of thinking, a new way of being. A freedom-hungry life experiment. So what then went wrong?

The primary opening to the world

MUSICAL LIFE: With The Use of the Bodies and What is Philosophy?, Giorgio Agamben returns to his early main interest before the first homo sacer book – namely to being, to language, to thought and the blissful life. It is also about where you are – where you simultaneously discover life (ontology) and how life could be (politics, the happy life).

To lose all hope?

HOPE: The good or reasonable hope is to hope for something that lies within the limits of possibility.

A seasick pirate on spaceship Earth

ECOLOGY: In this story, life on the sailboat becomes a microcosm. Tourists' life in the south disturbs the wildlife – while underwater life has been lost due to overfishing, erosion is increasing due to lost kelp forests. Is it possible to understand that the world that supports the body and consciousness is nature itself?

Political biology

DESIRE: About the intersex subject and revolutionary impatience. A resistance made possible by the 'potentia gaudendi', the reserve of unrestrained 'pleasure potency' which constitutes the basic assumption of the philosophy of desire from Reich to Deleuze and Guattari. 'Polemical non-fiction'? Paul B. Preciado takes up Engels' confrontation with the norms of "the family, the state and private property".

Politically correct decolonization ideology?

MODERNIZATION: The Nigerian professor Olùfèmi Táíwò looks at power relations between the formerly colonized and colonialists. All states strive to adapt modern institutions to their own history, cultural context and ideological climate. But can the demand to decolonize the language become absurd?

The permanence and possibility of the crisis

PHILOSOPHY: Agamben's sketches for a theory of civil war are thus perhaps also a contribution to a new theory of revolution. Revolution beyond politics. Where the revolution is finally thought beyond any notion of a state and standing upright like a soldier who salutes. MODERN TIMES has chosen to print the afterword to Agamben's book about the civil war.

We lack faith, not faith in God, but faith in the world

PHILOSOPHY: The immune democracy. According to the Italian philosopher Donatella Di Cwesare, there exists today a political culture ruled by the fear of the foreigner and the future, a sham democracy in favor of security, control and short-term competitive considerations. And those who consider themselves "liberal" today have suffered greatly in standing up to the irrational impulses and decisions that govern the market and the pursuit of short-term profit.

The impossible place

Normality: Mark GE Kelly examines how norms affect important parts of life and our understanding of normality – with regard to sexuality, orientation, body image, identity, illness, death, individualism, hedonism, racism and white privilege.

The vitality of all things

MATERIALISM: It's about nature, ethics and influence – stem cell research, power outages, obesity epidemics and food policy.

To care about future generations

PHILOSOPHY: Having your head full of thoughts is not the same as thinking. To think means to concentrate the power of thought in special directions – as the long-term consequences of one's own actions…

Just a feminist?

FREEDOM: Mary Wollstonecraft wanted a whole new society. Her demands for women's rights were only a consistent part of this. She put her trust in the French Revolution, and went on a red-hot attack on Edmund Burke, a former comrade-in-arms.

As a thinker, one must be "the bad example" faithful and grateful

PHILOSOPHY: Perhaps the example is better for innovation than the question. Like Michel Foucault, Slavoj Žižek likes to bypass more traditional academic sources.

"The people will be led"

PHILOSOPHY: Is freedom of speech a matter for scholars? Are Trump and QAnon entitled to free speech? There is much to suggest that Kant would answer no to this question.

When is it okay to lie, and why?

LIE: There are no limits to how many lies leaders can tell the people as long as the lies are useful to the state, and other lie perspectives from the philosophy of the new book.