The Unpolitical: On the Radical Critique of Political Reason / Edition 4

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Massimo Cacciari is one of the leading public intellectuals in today's Italy, both as an outstanding philosopher and political thinker and as now three times (and currently) the mayor of Venice. This collection of essays on political topics provides the best introduction in English to his thought to date. The political focus does not, however, prevent these essays from being an introduction to the full range of Cacciari's thought.The present collection includes chapters on Hofmannstahl, Luk\~cs, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Weber, Derrida, Schmitt, Canetti, and Aeschylus. Written between 1978 and 2006, these essays engagingly address the most hidden tradition in European political thought: the Unpolitical. Far from being a refusal of politics, the Unpolitical represents a merciless critique of political reason and a way out of the now impracticable consolations of utopia and harmonious community. Drawing freely from philosophy and literature, The Unpolitical represents a powerful contribution to contemporary political theory.A lucid and engaging Introdcution by Alessandro Carrera sets these essays in the context of Cacciari's work generally and in the broadest context of its historical and geographical backdrop.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

With this publication of Massimo Cacciari's The Unpolitical: On the RadicalCritique of Politcal Reason, the non-Italian speaking reader is introducedto an integral part of Massimo Cacciari's socio-political thought processand, especially, how it developed over the years. We see how Cacciari, inhis readings and analysis of the various philosophers and political thinkershe tackles over the years, is able to anticipate to a certain degree thecurrent state of political affairs in Italy and, perhaps, as well aselsewhere. Alessandro Carrera provides an exhaustively substantialintroduction, and Massimo Verdicchio offers the English reader a lucid andsmooth translation.-Anthony Julian Tamburri

Massimo Cacciari offers a paradoxical new alternative to our view of governamentality: neither the classical politics of Grand Narratives, Great Reforms and Ultimate Utopias, nor the post-modern anti-politics of cynical self-interest and petty calculations, __The unpolitical__ is a critical look at the very limits of politics. The unpolitical is not, like the anti-political, opposed to politics: it re-thinks, in fact, its myths and utopias, but now from the perspective of daily praxis and techniques of governance.In this elegant and precise translation, supplemented by an original and informative introduction, Alessandro Carrera puts forward a coherent genealogy of the unpolitical in the writings of one of today's most important philosophers. This is a book to be treasured by all those who care about the future of politics.-Roberto M. Dainotto

In a time like ours, when disaffection with politics is widespread among the younger generation, the idea of the 'unpolitical' pursued by Cacciari-as a way not to neglect the value of political discourse but to set and control its limits-may become an important tool to counteract the growing indifference to politics and detachment from the public sphere.-Massimo Lollini

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823230037
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Edition description: 4
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MASSIMO CACCIARI has been Dean of Philosophy at the Universit San Raffaele in Milan and is currently the mayor of Venice. His previous books in English include Posthumous People and The Necessary Angel.

ALESSANDRO CARRERA is Director of Italian Studies at the University of Houston.

MASSIMO VERDICCHIO teaches Italian and comparative literature at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Naming Things: Aesthetics, Philosophy, and History in Benedetto Croce and of Reading Dante Reading.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: On Massimo Cacciari's Disenchanted Activism Alessandro Carrera 1

1 Impracticable Utopias: Hofmannsthal, Lukacs, Benjamin 45

2 Nietzsche and the Unpolitical 92

3 Weber and the Critique of Socialist Reason 104

4 Project 122

5 Catastrophes 146

6 The Language of Power in Canetti: A Scrutiny 159

7 Law and Justice: On the Theological and Mystical Dimensions of the Modern Political 173

8 The Geophilosophy of Europe 197

9 Weber and the Politician as Tragic Hero 206

Notes 239

Bibliography 269

Index of Names 291

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