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Beyond Potentialities?

Politics between the Possible and the Impossible

Nearly the whole history of political thought is spanned between two poles: one of founding, establishing, and justifying a stable and just order on one side and of justified transformation and necessary break with that same order on the other side. Between institution and emancipation, reform and revolution, the question of possibility is always arising for politics. Are there possibilities to change the order of society? Are there possibilities for a different justice? Where to find them and how to define them? Are they already present in the situation, or do they have to be actively created? Or does one have to rethink collective emancipation in a way that it does not rely upon given possibilities?

The question of possibility is raised in philosophy itself in different terms: as a question of potentiality and potentials but also as a question of the impossibilities of changing political order. In recent political discussions this question is more present than ever and is newly posed in fundamental ways by thinkers such as Agamben, Badiou, and Deleuze, or Lacan and Žižek. The present volume assembles articles that investigate this question and the new guise it took from different perspectives and highlight its relevance for contemporary political thought.

216 pages | 5 1/4 x 8 1/4 | © 2011

Philosophy: General Philosophy


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Table of Contents

Mark Potocnik, Frank Ruda, Jan Völker: Introduction

Alain Badiou: Politics: A Non-Expressive Dialectics

Lorenzo Chiesa: Notes Towards a Manifesto for Metacritical Realism

Frank Ruda: Back to the Factory. A Plea for a Renewal of Concrete Analysis of Concrete Situations

Jelica Šumic: Another World is Possible. or the Task of Philosophy in Worldless Times

Bruno Bosteels: Logics of Change. From Potentiality to Inexistence

Jan Völker: Proletarian Ideology. Or How to Turn Politics Against Aesthetics

Felix Ensslin: Potentiality in Agamben

Friedrich Balke: Endless Expropriations of the Body. On the Relation between Politics and Potentialities in the Story of Lucretia

Mark Potocnik: People/Population. The Problem of Site in Foucault

Jason E. Smith: Strategy and the Passions. Guy Debord’s Ruses

Peter Hallward: The Will of the People. Notes Towards a Dialectical Voluntarism


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