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Philosophy in a Time of Terror – Dialogues with Jurgen Habermas & Jacques Derrida (Anglais) Relié – 13 juin 2003

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Présentation de l'éditeur

The idea for Philosophy in a Time of Terror was born hours after the attacks on 9/11 and was realized just weeks later when Giovanna Borradori sat down with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida in New York City, in separate interviews, to evaluate the significance of the most destructive terrorist act ever perpetrated. This book marks an unprecedented encounter between two of the most influential thinkers of our age as here, for the first time, Habermas and Derrida overcome their mutual antagonism and agree to appear side by side. As the two philosophers disassemble and reassemble what we think we know about terrorism, they break from the familiar social and political rhetoric increasingly polarized between good and evil. In this process, we watch two of the greatest intellects of the century at work.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Biographie de l'auteur

Giovanna Borradori is an associate professor of philosophy at Vassar College. She is the author of The American Philosopher: Conversations with Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Nozick, Danto, Rorty, Cavell, MacIntyre, Kuhn, published by the University of Chicago Press, and the editor of Recoding Metaphysics: The New Italian Philosophy.
--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5 16 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 17 mars 2017
Par Brian Caughey - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Postmodern situations, postmodern ideas 24 mai 2006
Par FrKurt Messick - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As Borradori states in his introduction, 'Both [Habermas and Derrida] hold that terrorism is an elusive concept that exposes the global political arena to imminent dangers as well as future challenges.' I think that this sums up what many people feel about the war on terrorism - unlike conflicts such as World War I and World War II, or even the more vaguely defined Cold War or Vietnam war, this is a war where there the front-line can be anywhere and nowhere, where the enemies can be anyone and no one, and where the tactics, strategies, motives and hoped-for achievables are so far removed from what traditional political and military methodology deals with that it requires a paradigm shift in our thinking. 'While the Cold War was characterized by the possibility of balance between two superpowers, it is impossible to build a balance with terrorism because the threat does not come from a state but from incalculable forces and incalculable responsibilities.'

As is typical of Derrida, he sees the relationship between terrorism and communication to be paramount. (I was first exposed to Derrida in theology classes, dealing with the postmodern predicament of looking for meaning in language and behind language in ways that make sense). It is perhaps ironic that the term that springs to mind most when contemplating Derrida is 'deconstruction', which is, in often a dramatically literal sense, what terrorism also hopes to achieve. 'The intellectual grounding of Derrida's deconstruction owes much to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century lineage constituted by Nietzsche, Heidegger and Freud. For Derrida, many of the principles to which the Western tradition has attributed universal validity do not capture what we all share or even hope for.' This becomes all the more problematic when dealing with those outside the Western tradition, such as occurred in Vietnam, Korea, and now in the war on terror.

For Derrida, communication is not simply political. 'Derrida engaged the themes of terror as a psychological and metaphysical state as well as terrorism as a political category.' This draws upon philosophical ideas that can reinterpret the events in various ways, as plays out in various media outlets even to this day. But the events of 9/11 for Derrida are not surprising. 'Was 9/11 truly unpredictable? Not for Derrida. ... The kind of attack that the terrorists launched in 2001 had already been prefigured in detail by the technocinematic culture of our days.'

Habermas also sees communication as a critical element. One issue for Habermas is the speed of modern mass communication - it 'works in the interest of those who select and distribute the information rather than those who receive it. Habermas suggests that the pressure of thinking and evaluating data quickly has a political import, because it facilitates an experience of politics based on the persona of the actors rather than the ideas that each of them defends.' Habermas' theory of communicative action, including its idea of violence as distorted communication, shows the importance of perception, understanding, critical analysis and response.

'Habermas understands modernity to be a change in belief attitude rather than a coherent body of beliefs. A belief attitude indicates the way in which we believe rather than what we believe in. Thus, fundamentalism has less to do with any specific text or religious dogma and more to do with the modality of belief.' This fits in many ways when one commentator I read recently who discussed the overall state of Muslim theology, expressing the understanding that the Muslims have never gone through a period of Reformation as Christendom did, nor have Muslims come to embrace the idea of a society and nation-state separate from religious. Indeed, we can hear echoes of this latter idea in political speech in America, often from groups that can be described as (and often embrace the term) fundamentalist. This will continue to be an issue in the war on terror.

Another issue for Habermas will be the issue of nation-state vs. international organisation power. 'Habermas is convinced that what separates the present moment from a full transition to cosmopolitanism is not only a theoretical matter but a practical one, too, for the decisions of the international community need to be respected. ... Unfortunately, the power differential between national and international authorities threatens to weaken the legitimacy of any military intervention and to retool police action as war.' This has been true not just in the twentieth century, but previously as well. The Congress of Vienna, the League of Nations, and the United Nations have all failed to have power to counter the superpowers of their times; alliances such as NATO and the Warsaw Pact relied heavily on one particular partner.

For both Derrida and Habermas, the war on terror is not as simple as Arab vs. West, Muslim against Christian/post-Christian society, or particular nations against one another. Perhaps had this been written after the recent situation with the Dubai acquisition of American ports being stopped, they would have pointed out that once again, our definitions and communicative premises fail - how does one balance the idea that foreign ownership of ports is unwise with the fact that few are concerned when British, Canadian, Australian or Norwegian firms do the same? There is a lack of definition about it all, even when all the words we use, to bring about clarity. The war on terror might be the quintessential post-modern situation.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 the responsibility to philosophize 23 février 2013
Par Rosalyn Deutsche - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
To read someone like Derrida, for whom "9/11" was a provocation to think rather than to regress, is a relief and a pleasure. It is also urgent if humanity is to have a future. Derrida's thoughts about terror are prescient . They courageously demonstrate what he calls the responsibility to philosophize. Borradori's framing texts are clear and extremely helpful in contextualizing the philosopher's remarks within his larger body of work.
31 internautes sur 64 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Lack of Critical Distinction 14 janvier 2004
Par Inn Book Store - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Let's begin with the following from Derrida:
"And does terrorism have to work only through death? Can't one terrorize without killing? And does killing necessarily mean putting to death? Isn't it also "letting die"? Can't "letting die," "not wanting to know that one is letting others die"-hundreds of millions of human beings, from hunger, AIDS, lack of medical treatment, and so on-also be part of a "more or less" conscious and deliberate terrorist strategy? We are perhaps wrong to assume so quickly that all terrorism is voluntary, conscious, organized, deliberate, intentionally calculated: there are historical and political "situation" where terror operates, so to speak, as if by itself, as the simple result of some apparatus, because of the relations of force in place, without anyone, any conscious subject, any person, any "I," being really conscious of it or feeling itself responsible for it."
If we took this statement seriously (and I understand that he edited his own comments after the interview so this is not accidental) this would make everyone on earth either a terrorist or a victim - or both. And thus renders the notion meaningless, as it allows no distinction between those few who deliberately take innocent human life and the vast majority that do not. The fact is, terrorism is exactly "voluntary, conscious, organized, deliberate, intentionally calculated". That's what makes it terrorism, and not something else.
Aside from the political rant that rumbles beneath the surface of this statement, saying such a thing completely discredits the author as a thinker, let alone a philosopher, by comparing in the same breath the completely innocent activity (or lack of activity) with the purposeful and senseless destruction of innocent life and property in a manner that supports the evil by saying in a sense "it's okay - nothing really different from what these vile Western Christians do day in and day out in their blissfully unaware state that deliberately (although they don't know it) causes such pain and suffering throughout the rest of the world."
Now, if the Vietnamese had succeeded in destroying the twin towers 1969 through the use of commercial aircraft, we would be hard pressed to characterize such an act as "terrorism" given the state of war that existed between Vietnam and the US at the time, and given the arguably criminal bombing of Hanoi, and the general conduct of the war by the US.
Now I have made a distinction, one that I would assert is meaningful in the context of this discussion. On the one hand, the terrorist act that targets innocent victims and can do nothing but lead to further destruction, and on the other, an act of war, of national self-defense, one that could conceivably be justified within those boundaries. (Now whether it would have suited the North Vietnamese to perform such an act is anyone's guess - it may have simply led to their extermination - or perhaps liberation, depending on how the US responded.)
The confusion continues in the following statement by Derrida:
" democratic citizenship in providing protection against certain kinds of international violence (market, the concentration of world capital, as well as "terrorist" violence and the proliferation of weapons)..."
Again, failing to make critical distinctions results in critical failure to communicate anything meaningful, let alone significant. In point of fact, "market" and "the concentration of world capital" is something, but under no circumstances can it be considered "violence" without again rendering the word "violence" meaningless.
Habermas contributes to the dialogue with the following:
"Without the political taming of an unbounded capitalism, the devastating stratification of world society will remain intractable. The disparities in the dynamic of world economic development would have to at least be balanced out regarding their most destructive consequences-the deprivation and misery of complete regions and continents comes to mind."
What is so sad is that the "destructive consequences" he speaks of are directly related to the lack of rule of law, the lack of societal and/or political respect for individuals (particularly women), and the devastation wrought by political regimes that have violently (yes, violently, that is, with the destructive use of force against largely helpless humans) ruled these lands and decimated the peoples and the economies without limit. The Saddams and Somozas and Amin's are just examples from representative corners of the globe from recent decades, and if governments without principle have supported these regimes than they are rightly criticized for doing so, regardless of the particular expediency that seduced those statesmen into such support. Corporations, capital and markets have no intrinsic way to wield the necessary force or threat of force to prop these guys up - only the likes of the US, France and Britain are capable of it. To the extent that governments with armies, navies and air forces allow themselves to be influenced by such commercial interests, they are doing so only by casting aside their principle responsibility, and that is the immediate physical defense of their citizens.
And finally, this from Habermas:
"...attempts at understanding have a chance only under symmetrical conditions of mutual perspective-taking. Good intentions and the absence of manifest violence are of course helpful, but not sufficient."
I would half agree: we could do without the good intentions as long as we eliminated "manifest violence". And I would add, the threat of manifest violence. On this foundation we could build something worthwhile.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A good overview of two great minds at work... 17 janvier 2004
Par Giovanni Mantilla - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This book succeeds in two respects. First, both interviews are significant in that they address the subject matter in an analytically rigorous manner, enticing the reader to think-which is by no means a disposable end, in an era of CNN-inspired "analysis"-. The interview with Derrida is particularly enlightening, actually *forcing* you to think "otherwise", to quote another brilliant mind, Foucault. Second, Borradori accomplishes the difficult task of putting in place the reflexions of both philosophers in the context of their own philosophical work, tackling the most important issues relevant to their "way of problematizing", their views on reason, modernity, history, the international context, war & conflict, violence, etc.
This book, of course, does not suffice as a Habermas/Derrida "reader", but it certainly works as a practical exercise in trying to think about the present in ways and words that are not commonplace. Whether you actually agree with Habermas or Derrida is unimportant, what's important is that you have at least given the issue some thought.
I think this book is a small, yet thoroughly enjoyable and worthwile addition to anyone's collection, be it an intellectual or a regular person.
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