On mediated unity and overarching legal-political form
also enough metaphorical distance so that knowledge is not superfluous.
More will be said in what follows in order to explain why this point about the
dynamics between identity-separation and proximity-distance is very relevant
to understanding what are still prevalent approaches to the relation between
reason, representation, foundational dialectics, and notions of political community. Kant and others adduce good arguments in support of the claim that
the question as to whether knowledge is to be sought in the human mind
(internal) or in nature (external
The emerging supranational union of nation-states in Europe is one of the most important and theoretically stimulating political innovations of the twentieth century. The book argues that shared memories of war and suffering have been crucial to the development of the Union. The introduction outlines how the passage of time has undermined these cognitive, motivational, and justificatory foundations, as the generations that can directly remember Europe’s bloody history have passed from public life. It also introduces the Frankfurt School of critical theory as an engaged form of social research that proceeds in two operational stages: a crisis diagnosis followed by reflections on paths for future emancipation. Individual memories play a key role in this process by providing the theorist with the distance and the resources needed to diagnose problems in the present and envisage possible solutions.
Democratic state, capitalist society, or dysfunctional
degree of autonomy from the University of Frankfurt
and from the trade unions and the political parties of the Weimar Left. The
desideratum of political-epistemological distance from prevailing patterns of
institutional mediation was as important to critical theory then as it is today.
The distance in question can be likened to the spaces needed to supplement
the divisions between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the
state with additional public resources designed to promote the sharing and
control of power. In terms of taking critical theory
Your Life: Volume 1, which argues
that only by training the unconscious mind can we overcome addiction
Nevertheless, elements of the Existential drinker do linger, as with
Patrick deWitt’s Ablutions (2009). The title, coupled with a discussion
of ‘ablutions’ which occurs towards the opening, has overtones of religious cleansing. But the bartender narrator is unable to connect with
his own emotions and life, and drink-walks through a marital breakdown and numerous sexual encounters with customers, episodes which
are graphically recorded. The distancing
against Fortis to argue that the Morlachs could still be enlightened once lifted out of Turkish rule, he did so by refuting Fortis's rumour that Morlach women had the Hottentots' pendulous breasts (Bracewell 2011 ) – meaning Lovrich's reader still had to share the racialised stereotype of Hottentot women (a key trope in Europeans' construction of ‘Europeanness’ against racialised and sexualised imaginaries of African bodies) to understand what Lovrich was distancing the Morlachs from.
Moreover, when anthropologists
social validity, he appears to be closer to Habermasian territory. Bourdieu
diverges from Habermas in two main respects: first, he does not acknowledge, as Habermas does, a pre-scientific formation of knowledge interests in
the realm of ‘the communicative self-understanding of the subjects involved
in a research process as an unavoidable presupposition of the sciences’;4 second, Bourdieu distances his epistemological argument from a subject-centred
research process. He interprets the scientific structure as ontologically valid
and devoid of cognitive interests of
with a small t is not about building pyramids of ineluctable connections, or even about putting forward concepts designed to seize upon great parts of the world and connect them all up. Rather, it is preferable to think of theory as having a deflationary function. Theory is just those sets of means by which we seek to detach ourselves from an object. That is why the idea of reflection is invoked in relation to it. This sort of theory is a means of disaggregating things, of gaining a distance from them. When we do close empirical research we can become involved with
two perspectives are clearly dissimilar in fundamental ways.
Anderson’s colonialist perspective on immediate post-slavery St
Vincent society takes for granted his own racial and cultural
superiority to its inhabitants, and his own belonging to a regime of
domination. His writing is therefore distinguished by distance, the
engrained othering of the colonised ‘savage’ who
represents the antithesis of
dispersed and fragmented.
The quotation with which I introduced these concluding remarks is one
such moment from Cixous’ notebooks and it is found in a discussion between
Calle-Gruber and Cixous where Calle-Gruber alludes to the presence of the author
in her texts. Calle-Gruber describes this presence as ‘catching a glimpse of you
in a certain present of writing, “sticking out your neck” ’ (1997: 90). Cixous distances herself immediately from the symbolism of heads that is implied in the
metaphor of sticking her neck out, and she reclaims for herself what I take to be
western Europe categorised Bosnia alongside Rwanda and Somalia, imagining all three complex conflicts as primarily driven by ethnic hatred (Pieterse 1997 ) – though conditionally white, conditionally European Bosnian refugees could still come closer to western European collective selves than black African refugees in hierarchies of foreignness based on ‘cultural distance’ (Eastmond 1998 : 176). 1 This heavily racialised identification of the Yugoslav region and Africa from outside inverted the discourses of modernisation, anti-colonialism and solidarity through which