Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside

Overview

Unique in its collation of major theorists rarely considered together, Critical Environments incorporates detailed discussions of the work of Richard Rorty, Walter Benn Michaels, Stanley Cavell, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Niklas Luhmann, Donna Haraway, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Fredric Jameson, and others, and ranges across fields from feminist philosophy of science to the theory of ideology. Offering American readers a comprehensive introduction to systems theory and responding to the widespread...
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Overview

Unique in its collation of major theorists rarely considered together, Critical Environments incorporates detailed discussions of the work of Richard Rorty, Walter Benn Michaels, Stanley Cavell, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Niklas Luhmann, Donna Haraway, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Fredric Jameson, and others, and ranges across fields from feminist philosophy of science to the theory of ideology. Offering American readers a comprehensive introduction to systems theory and responding to the widespread charge of relativism leveled against it, Wolfe's work will enhance and inspire new kinds of critical thought.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816630196
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Series: Theory out of Bounds Series
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Nothing Fails like Success: The Postmodern Moment and the Problem of the "Outside"
Pragmatism: Rorty, Cavell, and Others 1
The Island of Belief: Walter Benn Michaels and the Uses of William James 2
Making Contingency Safe for Liberalism: Richard Rorty's Evasion of Philosophy 12
Coming to Terms: Stanley Cavell and the Ethics of Skepticism 22
Systems Theory: Maturana and Varela with Luhmann 41
Feminist Philosophy of Science and the Detour of "Objectivity" 45
When Loops Turn Strange: From First- to Second-Order Cybernetics 52
Between the Scylla of Realism and the Charybdis of Idealism: Autopoiesis and Beyond 59
Necessary Blind Spots: Niklas Luhmann and the Observation of Observation 65
Politics, Ethics, and Systems Theory 71
Poststructuralism: Foucault with Deleuze 87
Rorty and Foucault 88
A Pragmatics of the Multiple: Foucault with Deleuze 101
Folded but Not Twisted: Deleuze and Systems Theory 117
Conclusion: Post-Marxism, Critical Politics, and the Environment of Theory 129
Notes 155
Index 173
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