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Saul Newman

radical politics. This will include: the ethics of postmodern irony – Richard Rorty; the ethics of psychoanalysis – Lacan and Zˇizˇek; and the ethics of the Other – Levinas and Derrida. Ethics and radical politics The conditions of postmodernity are marked, as I have argued, not only by the death of God, but also the breakdown of the Enlightenment moral metanarratives that were developed to fill His place. Kant formulated ethics as duty to a universaliseable moral law which was suprasensible, and beyond empirical observation and pathological considerations. Thus we had

in Unstable universalities
Open Access (free)
Terrell Carver

formulation of predictions and a search for causal factors of explanation. As with the industrial technologies that developed in conjunction with the progress of the natural sciences, so there were policy-orientated and therapeutic practices that developed from the social sciences. These ranged from bureaucratised teacher training and mass education to social work and psychoanalysis, as new ‘knowledges’ were conceptualised and

in Political concepts
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Saul Newman

broad range of theoretical perspectives: [ 11 ] Unstable universalities poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, post-Marxism, autonomism – while others would not come under any of these categories. So it has to be emphasised, firstly, that these thinkers are very different, despite a certain theoretical heritage that some might share. They engage with different political questions in very different ways, some more obliquely than others. Moreover, their differences are just as important, for the purposes of this study, as their similarities. Indeed, it is

in Unstable universalities
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Violence, alterity, community
Editor: Stella Gaon

This book explores the political implications of violence and alterity (radical difference) for the practice of democracy, and reformulates the possibility of community that democracy is said to entail. Most significantly, contributors intervene in traditional democratic theory by contesting the widely held assumption that increased inclusion, tolerance and cultural recognition are democracy's sufficient conditions. Rather than simply inquiring how best to expand the ‘demos’, they investigate how claims to self-determination, identity and sovereignty are a problem for democracy, and how, paradoxically, alterity may be its greatest strength. Contributions include an appeal to the tension between fear and love in the face of anti-Semitism in Poland, injunctions to rethink the identity-difference binary and the ideal of ‘mutual recognition’ that dominate liberal-democratic thought, critiques of the canonical ‘we’ which constitutes the democratic community, and a call for an ethics and a politics of ‘dissensus’ in democratic struggles against racist and sexist oppression. The contributors mobilise some of the most powerful critical insights emerging across the social sciences and humanities—from anthropology, sociology, critical legal studies, Marxism, psychoanalysis, critical race theory and post-colonial studies—to reconsider the meaning and the possibility of ‘democracy’ in the face of its contemporary crisis.

Jenny Edkins

The chapter juxtaposes quantum cosmology and Lacanian psychoanalysis in a reading of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen, and discusses its staging and the controversies it provoked. The play explores the visit of Werner Heisenberg to Neils Bohr in Copenhagen during the Second World War and their discussions about the feasibility of developing nuclear weapons. Did either of them attempt, as experts, to stall the development of nuclear weapons? It enacts three divergent scenarios of the meeting and shows how it is not possible to determine which is the more accurate. Memory is unreliable, and, more importantly, we cannot even know our own thoughts and motivations, let alone those of others. The chapter points to the impossibility of either physical security or intellectual certainty in a world of entanglements.

in Change and the politics of certainty
Abstract only
Saul Newman

to the question of subjectivity within poststructuralist theory. These can be roughly divided into two contrasting strategies. The first is the dispersal of the subject into relations of power and desire, typified by thinkers such as Foucault and, to a much greater extent, Deleuze, who, in his early collaborations with Felix Guattari, sought to liberate desire from the centricity of the subject – particularly the subject described by psychoanalysis – thus dispersing the subject amongst a multitude of ‘assemblages’ and ‘desiring machines’. The second approach is one

in Unstable universalities
Peter Triantafillou and Naja Vucina

London, claims to be inspired by William Tuke (Roberts and Wolfson, 2006, p. 19). A more contemporary source of inspiration for recovery, though no less ambiguous than Tuke’s moral treatment, is psychoanalysis. While psychoanalysis originated as a therapy with strictly biomedical aspirations that aimed to cure the patient of neurotic and psychotic disorders, it came increasingly to foster ideas of self-​determination. By insisting on the active role of the patient in her care of going through traumas and inducing transference, psychoanalysis has always relied on the

in The politics of health promotion
Orla McDonnell

the same time, critiquing the relevance of such a service or challenging the concept of ‘illness’ as a necessary precondition to making political demands. Historical context The Myth of Mental Illness was published against the background of the dawning of the era of antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, which saw mental illness redefined in terms of neurochemical imbalances of the brain. At the same time, psychoanalysis had already gained a strong foothold in North American psychiatric training. The cleavage between psychoanalysis and the so-called ‘organicists

in Mobilising classics
Who, we?
Catherine Kellogg

danger insofar as it demonstrates – more than a term like ‘deconstruction’ (which might require a ‘deconstructor’) – the automaticity of democracy’s self-destructiveness. Explaining why he turned to this biological metaphor, Derrida says that it allowed him not only to take into consideration the distinction between life and death, but also to take ‘into account within politics what psychoanalysis once called the unconscious’ (Derrida, 2005: 109–10). Yet, if psychoanalysis provides indispensable conceptual resources for rethinking the political, it is also a symptom of

in Democracy in crisis
Peter Triantafillou and Naja Vucina

be based on purely objective judgments, and accordingly, inferiority was to be applied to someone who, in the view of normal members of society, was of lower worth or socially inadequate 117 Promoting recovery in Denmark     117 (Brüel, 1930b, 1930c, 1930d). Dr Lis Jacobsen supported Brüel and Rubow’s point. She blamed psychoanalysis for the inappropriate use of inferiority as an emotional condition (Jacobsen, 1930, p.  1183) and advocated for the term to express a medical diagnosis of the absence of a particular quality (Jacobsen, 1930, p. 1184). The

in The politics of health promotion