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Philosophy Lives! Abstraction and Affect in Recent French Thought

Talk by Dr. Knox Peden

Wed, February 8, 2012 | Garrison 4th Floor

4:30 PM

Philosophy Lives! Abstraction and Affect in Recent French Thought

This talk will assess historically the return to 'philosophy' in contemporary French thought, with a special focus on the unlikely connections between what has been deemed the 'theological turn' of French phenomenology and the renewed concern for 'Life' in various strands of French materialism. Indeed, recent decades have witnessed calls for an end to 'the end of philosophy' alongside a bold resurgence of metaphysical speculation that exceeds the most extravagant pronouncements of 'French Theory'.  By investigating the commitment to abstraction that marks much of this speculative philosophy, the talk will attempt to arrive at some conclusions regarding the force of conceptual commitments and the consequences that follow from the valorization of the non-representational that attends much contemporary thinking about 'affect'.

Knox Peden is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for the History of European Discourses at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. He holds a PhD in European intellectual history from UC Berkeley (2009), and his writings have appeared in Modern Intellectual History, History & Theory, Continental Philosophy Review, and Radical Philosophy.  He is currently working on several projects, including a monograph titled Spinoza contra Phenomenology: The Persistence of Rationalism in Twentieth-Century French Thought and a survey titled French Philosophy Today: A Historical Introduction. Later this year, Verso will publish two volumes he has co-edited with Peter Hallward devoted to the contents and legacy of the French journal, the Cahiers pour l'Analyse (1966-1969).



Sponsored by: Department of French and Italian and the Center for European Studies

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