Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics

Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics

by Steven Shaviro
     
 

In Without Criteria, Steven Shaviro proposes and explores a philosophical fantasy: imagine a world in which Alfred North Whitehead takes the place of Martin Heidegger. What if Whitehead, instead of Heidegger, had set the agenda for postmodern thought? Heidegger asks, "Why is there something,rather than nothing?" Whitehead asks, "How is it that there is

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Overview

In Without Criteria, Steven Shaviro proposes and explores a philosophical fantasy: imagine a world in which Alfred North Whitehead takes the place of Martin Heidegger. What if Whitehead, instead of Heidegger, had set the agenda for postmodern thought? Heidegger asks, "Why is there something,rather than nothing?" Whitehead asks, "How is it that there is always something new?" In a world where everything from popular music to DNA is being sampled and recombined, argues Shaviro, Whitehead's question is the truly urgent one. Without Criteria is Shaviro's experiment in rethinking postmodern theory, especially the theory of aesthetics, from a point of view that hearkens back to Whitehead rather than Heidegger. In working through the ideas of Whitehead and Deleuze, Shaviro also appeals to Kant, arguing that certain aspects of Kant's thought pave the way for the philosophical "constructivism" embraced by both Whitehead and Deleuze. Kant, Whitehead, and Deleuze are not commonly grouped together, but the juxtaposition of them in Without Criteria helps to shed light on a variety of issues that are of concern to contemporary art and media practices.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262195768
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
05/29/2009
Series:
Technologies of Lived Abstraction
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

James Williams
In this work of great poise and deep insight Steven Shaviro draws a new and important diagram of the relations between the philosophies of Kant, Whitehead,and Deleuze. In so doing, he opens up novel and productive lines of enquiry for each thinker, most notably in the field of aesthetics. This is a book of mature and yet quick-witted philosophical critique with ramifications through many contemporary problems and debates (in philosophy, critical theory, theology and aesthetics — to name but some). Very few readers will fail to be touched and excited by the ideas he develops with free-ranging boldness tempered by an appropriate aesthetic feel and tact. Shaviro achieves the extraordinarily difficult task of combining thoughtful rigour, intellectual generosity free of resentments and compartments, and carefully argued textual interpretation.

From the Publisher
"In this work of great poise and deep insight Steven Shaviro draws a new and important diagram of the relations between the philosophies of Kant,Whitehead, and Deleuze. In so doing, he opens up novel and productive lines of enquiry for each thinker, most notably in the field of aesthetics. This is a book of mature and yet quick-witted philosophical critique with ramifications through many contemporary problems and debates (in philosophy, critical theory, theology and aesthetics — to name but some). Very few readers will fail to be touched and excited by the ideas he develops with free-ranging boldness tempered by an appropriate aesthetic feel and tact. Shaviro achieves the extraordinarily difficult task of combining thoughtful rigour, intellectual generosity free of resentments and compartments, and carefully argued textual interpretation." —James Williams,University of Dundee

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Meet the Author

James X. Dempsey is Executive Director of theCenter for Democracy and Technology, Washington,DC, www.cdt.org, and Policy Director for the GlobalInternet Policy Initiative, www.internetpolicy.net.

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