do, no one else is so
capable of it or so ready for it. He could .
It’s a free country. But it will take a change of
consciousness. So phenomenology becomes politics. 15
When reading Cavell – on
anything and also on film – I come away with the strong sense
Using a range of social science methods and drawing on the sociology of the body, biomedicine and technology, Haddow invites readers of ‘Embodiment and everyday cyborgs’ to consider whether they might prefer organs from other humans or non-human animals (known as xenotransplantation), or implantable ‘cybernetic’ technologies to replace their own? In discovering that individuals have a very clear preference for human organs but not for the non-human, Haddow suggests that the inside of our bodies may be more important to our sense of identity than may have previously been thought. Whereas organs from other (once) living bodies can contaminate the body of the recipient (simultaneously altering subjectivity so they inherit traits e.g. gender), cybernetic technology is acclimatised to and becomes part of the body and subjectivity. In organ transplantation the organ has the potential to alter subjectivity – whereas with cybernetic technology it does not alter identity but is incorporated into existing subjectivity. Technologies are clean from previous organic fleshy associations and although they may malfunction or cause infection, they do not alter identity in the way that an organ might. Yet, we are arguably creating a 21st-century identity crisis through an increasing reliance on cybernetic technologies such as implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) creating new forms of ‘un-health’ and a new category of patient called ‘everyday cyborgs’ who have to develop strategies to incorporate device alienation as well as reinserting human agency over ICD activation.
Sustainability, subject and necessity in Yann Martel’s Life of
and the speculative real. I then turn to considering Life of Pi’s emphasis
on a human-centred stance, alongside its apparent recalibrating of the
subject horizon as a sustainable world is engendered.
Sustainability and the human project
A number of sustainability’s tensions and paradoxes and their nuances
have been teased out across the essays in this collection. This final essay
considers sustainability from the perspective of opacity itself. That is, it
addresses the issue that sustainability is premised upon projected notions
that are variously indistinct or
The beginning of aesthetic theory and the end of art
individuality. In the view which argues for
the limits of the reﬂection model it is precisely the ontological gap between
myself and the other inherent in the fact of immediate self-consciousness which
gives rise to the need for new forms of articulation and expression. While these
forms are intersubjectively constituted – Beethoven uses many of the musical
conventions of his time – they can yet be employed in unique, individual ways.
Let us see, then, how Hegel arrives at his position. The Phenomenology of
Spirit (PG) (1807) is an account of the stages of this process of
This book engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life. In much of Cavell's writing on film he seeks to show us that the protagonists of the films he terms "remarriage comedies" live a form of perfectionism that he upholds as desirable for contemporary democratic society: moral perfectionism. Films are often viewed on television, and television shows can have "filmlike" qualities. The book addresses the nature of viewing cinematic film as a mode of experience, arguing against Cavell that it is akin to dreaming rather than lived consciousness and, crucially, cannot be shared. It mirrors the celebrated dialogue between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Jean D'Alembert on theatre. The book articulates the implications of philosophical pessimism for addressing contemporary culture in its relationship to political life. It clarifies how The Americans resembles the remarriage films and can illuminate the issues they raise. The tragedy of remarriage, would be a better instructor of a democratic community, if such a community were prepared to listen. The book suggests that dreaming, both with and without films, is not merely a pleasurable distraction but a valuable pastime for democratic citizens. Finally, it concludes with a robust response from Dienstag to his critics.
be transferred. I will return to the idea of social contamination and fully develop it in Chapter 2 .
Sociology and phenomenology
In contrast to Descartes and his body-as-machine legacy, a more complex picture emerges of the relationship between persons (inside their bodies) and their organs when exploring the recipient’s experiences of subjectivity alteration post-transplantation. An alternative philosophical theory to Cartesian Dualism emphasises bodily experience as the person being their body that is involved in a perceptive relationship with the external
reconstruction. To put it rather tersely, MerleauPonty’s phenomenology does not believe there is anything beyond
Plato’s cave and its shadowplay. He does occasionally entertain
concepts such as a ‘primordial silence’, but only so as to set up a
notional final backdrop against which the apparent silence of ‘pure
thought’ may be revealed as a thoroughly linguistic hubbub (‘bruissant de paroles’) of ready-made phrases that form the ‘fond obscur’
Read with a certain bias of attention, then, phenomenology’s
account of our relation to this factitious nothing, which
My purpose in this book has been to show that Feenberg’s intervention constitutes an important and much needed development of Marxian and critical theory in relation to technology. I have also argued that his work is a vital counterweight to other, non-critical tendencies in contemporary philosophy and sociology of technology, especially constructivism, ANT and post-phenomenology. In concluding, I will summarise the sense in which his work constitutes an advance and then review some of the suggestions I have made, in an effort to contribute to the further
recognition by calling attention to
the nature of self-consciousness. His great innovation is to show that
consciousness is always consciousness of something other than itself –
both inanimate objects and animate others. Hegel's phenomenology of
consciousness was popularized when it deeply informed the thinking of
leading French scholars such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
Jacques Lacan, Emmanuel
Phenomenology of Spirit ( 1977 ) prepares the student to grapple with
his system of Logic ( 1975 ) by positing
that the dialectic between consciousness and self-consciousness is a
necessary existential as well as philosophical pursuit. Does it
prepare the student to recognize the Abyssinian general?
Over a number of different sections of The
Phenomenology , Hegel replays the