Part philosophical meditation, part cultural critique, The Body in Pain is a profoundly original study that has already stirred excitement in a wide range of intellectual circles. The book is an analysis of physical suffering and its relation to the numerous vocabularies and cultural forces--literary, political, philosophical, medical, religious--that confront it.Elaine Scarry bases her study on a wide range of sources: literature and art, medical case histories, documents on torture compiled by Amnesty International, legal transcripts of personal injury trials, and military and strategic writings by such figures as Clausewitz, Churchill, Liddell Hart, and Kissinger, She weaves these into her discussion with an eloquence, humanity, and insight that recall the writings of Hannah Arendt and Jean-Paul Sartre. Scarry begins with the fact of pain's inexpressibility. Not only is physical pain enormously difficult to describe in words--confronted with it, Virginia Woolf once noted, language runs dry--it also actively destroys language, reducing sufferers in the most extreme instances to an inarticulate state of cries and moans. Scarry analyzes the political ramifications of deliberately inflicted pain, specifically in the cases of torture and warfare, and shows how to be fictive. From these actions of unmaking Scarry turns finally to the actions of making--the examples of artistic and cultural creation that work against pain and the debased uses that are made of it. Challenging and inventive, The Body in Pain is landmark work that promises to spark widespread debate.
In this classic work, Herbert Marcuse takes as his starting point Freud's statement that civilization is based on the permanent subjugation of the human instincts, his reconstruction of the prehistory of mankind - to an interpretation of the basic trends of western civilization, stressing the philosophical and sociological implications.
A companion piece to The Concept of Anxiety, this work continues S ren Kierkegaard's radical and comprehensive analysis of human nature in a spectrum of possibilities of existence. Present here is a remarkable combination of the insight of the poet and the contemplation of the philosopher.
In The Sickness unto Death, Kierkegaard moves beyond anxiety on the mental-emotional level to the spiritual level, where--in contact with the eternal--anxiety becomes despair. Both anxiety and despair reflect the misrelation that arises in the self when the elements of the synthesis--the infinite and the finite--do not come into proper relation to each other. Despair is a deeper expression for anxiety and is a mark of the eternal, which is intended to penetrate temporal existence.
In his stunning essay Coldness and Cruelty Gilles Deleuze provides a rigorous and informed philosophical examination of the work of late nineteenth-century German novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Deleuze's essay, certainly the most profound study yet produced on the relations between sadism and masochism, seeks to develop and explain Masoch's "peculiar way of 'desexualizing' love while at the same time sexualizing the entire history of humanity." He shows that masochism is something far more subtle and complex than the enjoyment of pain, that masochism has nothing to do with sadism: their worlds do not communicate, just as the genius of those who created them -- Masoch and Sade -- lie stylistically, philosophically, and politically poles apart.Venus in Furs, the most famous of Masoch's novels, belongs to an unfinished cycle of works that Masoch entitled The Heritage of Cain. The cycle was to treat a series of themes, including love, war, and death. The present work is about love. Although the entire constellation of symbols that has come to characterize the masochistic syndrome can be found here -- fetishes, whips, disguises, fur-clad women, contracts, humiliations, punishment, and always the volatile presence of a terrible coldness -- these received associations do not eclipse the truly singular and surprising power of Masoch's eroticism.
In Either/Or, using the voices of two characters--the aesthetic young man of part one, called simply A, and the ethical Judge Vilhelm of the second section--Kierkegaard reflects upon the search for a meaningful existence, contemplating subjects as diverse as Mozart, drama, boredom, and, in the famous Seducer's Diary, the cynical seduction and ultimate rejection of a young, beautiful woman. A masterpiece of duality, Either/Or is a brilliant exploration of the conflict between the aesthetic and the ethical - both meditating ironically and seductively upon Epicurean pleasures, and eloquently expounding the noble virtues of a morally upstanding life.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
By one of the most profoundly influential thinkers of our century, The Rebel is a classic essay on revolution. For Albert Camus, the urge to revolt is one of the "essential dimensions" of human nature, manifested in man's timeless Promethean struggle against the conditions of his existence, as well as the popular uprisings against established orders throughout history. And yet, with an eye toward the French Revolution and its regicides and deicides, he shows how inevitably the course of revolution leads to tyranny. As old regimes throughout the world collapse, The Rebel resonates as an ardent, eloquent, and supremely rational voice of conscience for our tumultuous times.Translated from the French by Anthony Bower.
IDEAS AND OPINIONS contains essays by eminent scientist Albert Einstein on subjects ranging from atomic energy, relativity, and religion to human rights, government, and economics. Previously published articles, speeches, and letters are gathered here to create a fascinating collection of meditations by one of the world's greatest minds.
This book comprises material on colour which was written by Wittgenstein in the last eighteen months of his life. It is one of the few documents which shows him concentratedly at work on a single philosophical issue. The principal theme is the features of different colours, of different kinds of colour (metallic colour, the colours of flames, etc.) and of luminosity--a theme which Wittgenstein treats in such a way as to destroy the traditional idea that colour is a simple and logically uniform kind of thing.This edition consists of Wittgenstein's basic German text, together with an English translation.
Michel Foucault was one of the most influential philosophical thinkers in the contemporary world, someone whose work has affected the teaching of half a dozen disciplines ranging from literary criticism to the history of criminology. But of his many books, not one offers a satisfactory introduction to the entire complex body of his work. The Foucault Reader was commissioned precisely to serve that purpose.The Reader contains selections from each area of Foucault's work as well as a wealth of previously unpublished writings, including important material written especially for this volume, the preface to the long-awaited second volume of The History of Sexuality, and interviews with Foucault himself, in the course of which he discussed his philosophy at first hand and with unprecedented candor. This philosophy comprises an astonishing intellectual enterprise: a minute and ongoing investigation of the nature of power in society. Foucault's analyses of this power as it manifests itself in society, schools, hospitals, factories, homes, families, and other forms of organized society are brought together in The Foucault Reader to create an overview of this theme and of the broad social and political vision that underlies it.