Skip to main content

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

Philosophy en noir

Thought necessarily reflects the times. Following the tragedy of the Holocaust, this fact became ever more clear. And it may be the reason postwar philosophical texts are so difficult to understand, since they confront incomprehensibly traumatic experiences. In this first English-language translation of any of his books, Miroslav Petříček—one of the most influential and erudite Czech philosophers, and a student of Jan Patočka—argues that to exist in the second half of the twentieth century and beyond, Western philosophy has had to rewrite its tradition and its discourse, radically transforming itself. Should philosophy be capable of bearing witness to the time, Petříček contends, this metamorphosis in philosophy is necessary. Offering an original Central European perspective on postwar philosophical discourse that reflects upon the historical underpinnings of pop culture phenomena and complex philosophical schools—including Adorno, Agamben, Benjamin, Derrida, Husserl, Kracauer, and many others—Philosophy en noir is a record of this transformation.

330 pages | 6 x 8 | © 2020

Václav Havel Series

Jewish Studies

Philosophy: Philosophy of Religion


“The author’s masterful erudition across the broadest of spectrums is clear from the book’s initial juxtaposition, and the unified interpretation that follows, of Doctor Fu Manchu and Edmund Husserl’s Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. . . . I cannot question the success of his investigation.”

Karel Thein, student of Jacques Derrida and professor in the Department of Philosophy in Religion at Charles University, Prague

“Petříček is one of our most beloved intellectuals. He is, in a sense, a popular philosopher, someone who is not afraid to translate himself and his ideas for the public arena. This, however, does not mean that he trivializes philosophical issues; instead, he realizes that it is important to shift his perspective, so he can speak about them a bit differently.”

Petr Fischer | Právo

“Like many philosophers since 1945, Petricek wants reflectively to 'rethink' philosophy, so turn its very conceptual apparatus on to itself. This reflexivity means his book is hard-going and, like some challenging experimental music, perhaps really only for initiates.”


Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press