[Paul Cézanne's Still Life with Basket of Apples] Karl Marx explores his relationship with Ludwig Feuerbach in the list of theses that he wrote about the master (the “Theses on Feuerbach”). In From Hegel to Marx, Sidney Hook generously provides the context of these theses (reading them alongside The German Ideology). (The majority of the
[Frederick II, enlightened Prussian monarch, conversing with Voltaire, French philosoph; Image from Beowulf's Tomb] In his succinct and accessible Hegel, Peter Singer explains the basics of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s philosophy. One of the key concepts discussed is the idea of the progress of history, or, better yet, of history as progress, i.e. of history
[Ideology, the strategy game] To take the term literally, a system (-logy) of ideas (ideo-). That is to say, a collection of ideas (either about different things/aspects, e.g. on the economy, on social issues, on political power, etc. or as more or less similar positions (i.e. variants) on a given issue (whose differences are not
[Rembrandt's Artist in His Studio] [Follows "Husserl's Phenomenological Reductions"] [Based on Martin Heidegger’s “On the Essence of Grounds,” as interpreted by Greg Schufreider] By virtue of the transcendental reduction, Husserl ended up elevating consciousness, the subject, into the transcendental ego, placing it over and above all other beings, constitutive (rather than a part) of the
[Bronze sculpture by Leo Wirth, Citizen of the World] John Rawls, the great Anglophone heir to the social contract tradition, makes a logical shift from A Theory of Justice to Political Liberalism. In the process, he changes the way that he designates the contract participants (i.e. the participants in a particular society with a particular
They can be divided into three. First, there’s the (strictly called) phenomenological reduction, by which we do an epoché, a suspension, a bracketing off of various considerations (most prominent of which are objective correspondence, i.e. the accuracy of thought in terms of its reference to some external reality; and conceptual confirmation, by which we already have ideas about the thing that we then impose on it as we try to understand it, as we develop our thought of it) so that we focus on the thing itself, i.e. on the thing as it is presented to consciousness. Sure, correspondence and concepts may be accurate (they’re not necessarily false), but we don’t know for sure, i.e. claims we make about them, our knowledge of the thing along with these considerations (rather than simply the thing itself), is dubitable, which Husserl, quintessential of modernity’s obsession with certainty, wants to avoid.
In his early works (as interpreted by Hardt), Deleuze proposes a (against Hegel) nondialectical, (against Kant) total, (against Plato) materialist critique. “Without first conducting a broad destructive operation” that “draws the total horizon into question and destabilizes previously existing powers” (pars destruens), Deleuze argues, “there is not the space nor the terms for [a] constructive project” (pars construens).
At the dawn of modernity (which launches it), Descartes asks, “What can I know for certain?” Doubting everything, he concludes, “Cogito, sum”: “I think, I am.” I don’t care how much I’m deceived; I must exist before I am deceived. There is no therefore: intuition (of a clear and distinct idea) is instant and immediate; no inference is needed-and that is precisely what distinguishes my certainty of myself from my certainty of other things. From the very moment that I think: I exist. That I know (and not just believe) for certain. Of myself, I have indubitable knowledge.