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In this provocative and original work, Slavoj _i_ek takes a look at the question of human agency in a postmodern world. From the sinking of the Titanic to Hitchcock’s Rear Window, from the operas of Wagner to science fiction, from Alien to the Jewish Joke, the author’s acute analyses explore the ideological fantasies of wholeness and exclusion which make up human society. _i_ek takes issue with analysts of the postmodern condition from Habermas to Sloterdijk, showing that the idea of a ‘post-ideological’ world ignores the fact that ‘even if we do not take things seriously, we are still doing them’. Rejecting postmodernism’s unified world of surfaces, he traces a line of thought from Hegel to Althusser and Lacan, in which the human subject is split, divided by a deep antagonism which determines social reality and through which ideology operates. Linking key psychoanalytical and philosophical concepts to social phenomena such as totalitarianism and racism, the book explores the political significance of these fantasies of control. In so doing, The Sublime Object of Ideology represents a powerful contribution to a psychoanalytical theory of ideology, as well as offering persuasive interpretations of a number of contemporary cultural formations.
From Nietzsche to the present, the Western philosophical tradition has been dominated by a secular thinking that has dismissed discussion of God as largely irrelevant. In recent years however, the issue of theology has returned to spark some of the most controversial debates within contemporary philosophy. Discussions of theology by key contemporary philosophers such as Derrida and Levinas have placed religion at centre stage. Post-Secular Philosophy is one of the first volumes to consider how God has been approached by modern philosophers and consider the links between theology and postmodern thought. Fifteen accessible essays present a clear and compelling picture of how key thinkers including Descartes, Nietzsche, Freud, Wittgenstein, Heidegger and Derrida have made God a central part of their thinking. Each philosopher and how they have approached and criticised theology is placed in a clear historical context. Placing the collection in context with Phillip Blond's outstanding introduction, Post-Secular Philosophy presents a fascinating discussion of the alternatives to the relativism and nihilism that dominate Western thinking.
Set against the collapse of social theory into a theory of ideological discourse, Geoff Boucher sets to work a rigorous mapping of the contemporary field, targeting the relativist implications of this new form of philosophical idealism. Offering a detailed and immanent critique, Boucher concentrates his critical attention on the 'postmarxism' of Laclau and Mouffe, Butler and Žižek. In response Boucher points to 'intersubjectivity' as an exit from postmarxist theory's charmed circle of ideology.
Often labelled as 'indescribable', the sublime is a term that has been debated for centuries amongst writers, artists, philosophers and theorists. Usually related to ideas of the great, the awe-inspiring and the overpowering, the sublime has become a complex yet crucial concept in many disciplines. Offering historical overviews and explanations, Philip Shaw looks at: the legacy of the earliest, classical theories of the sublime through the romantic to the postmodern and avant-garde sublimity the major theorists of the sublime such as Kant, Burke, Lyotard, Derrida, Lacan and Zizek, offering critical introductions to each the significance of the concept through a range of literary readings including the Old and New testaments, Homer, Milton and writing from the romantic era how the concept of the sublime has affected other art forms such as painting and film, from abstract expressionism to David Lynch's neo-noir. This remarkably clear study of what is, in essence, a term which evades definition, is essential reading for students of literature, critical and cultural theory.
One of the most widely-read thinkers writing today, Slavoj Žižek's work can be both thrilling and perplexing in equal measure. Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed is the most up-to-date guide available for readers struggling to master the ideas of this hugely influential thinker. Unpacking the philosophical references that fill Žižek's writings, the book explores his influences, including Lacan, Kant, Hegel and Marx. From there, a chapter on 'Reading Žižek' guides the reader through the ways that he applies these core theoretical concepts in key texts like Tarrying With the Negative, The Ticklish Subject and The Parrallax View and in his books about popular culture like Looking Awry and Enjoy Your Symptom! Major secondary writings and films featuring Žižek are also covered.
Technoromanticism pits itself against a hard-headed rationalism, but its most potent antagonists are contemporary pragmatism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, surrealism, and deconstruction--all of which subvert the romantic legacy and provoke new narratives of computing. This book explores the spectrum of romantic narrative that pervades the digital age, from McLuhan's utopian vision of social reintegration by electronic communication to claims that cyberspace creates new realities. Technoromanticism pits itself against a hard-headed rationalism, but its most potent antagonists are contemporary pragmatism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, surrealism, and deconstruction--all of which subvert the romantic legacy and provoke new narratives of computing. Thus the book also serves as an introduction to the application of contemporary theory to information technology, raising issues of representation, space, time, interpretation, identity, and the real. As such, it is a companion to Coyne's Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age: From Method to Metaphor (MIT Press, 1995).
Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction looks at the development of the tradition, tracing it back from Kant to the present day.

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