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A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist

A Hedonist Manifesto: The Power to Exist

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Michael Onfray passionately defends the potential of hedonism to resolve the dislocations and disconnections of our melancholy age. In a sweeping survey of history's engagement with and rejection of the body, he exposes the sterile conventions that prevent us from realizing a more immediate, ethical, and embodied life. He then lays the groundwork for both a radical and constructive politics of the body that adds to debates over morality, equality, sexual relations, and social engagement, demonstrating how philosophy, and not just modern scientism, can contribute to a humanistic ethics.

Onfray attacks Platonic idealism and its manifestation in Judaic, Christian, and Islamic belief. He warns of the lure of attachment to the purportedly eternal, immutable truths of idealism, which detracts from the immediacy of the world and our bodily existence. Insisting that philosophy is a practice that operates in a real, material space, Onfray enlists Epicurus and Democritus to undermine idealist and theological metaphysics; Nietzsche, Bentham, and Mill to dismantle idealist ethics; and Palante and Bourdieu to collapse crypto-fascist neoliberalism. In their place, he constructs a positive, hedonistic ethics that enlarges on the work of the New Atheists to promote a joyful approach to our lives in this, our only, world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231171267
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/10/2015
Series: Insurrections: Critical Studies in Religion, Politics, and Culture
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 1,026,240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Michel Onfray is a French philosopher and public intellectual who founded and teaches at the free Popular University of Caen. He has written more than sixty books, many of them best sellers, including Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and the award-winning Sculpting the Self.

Joseph McClellan earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University and has taught Asian and Western philosophy and religion at several universities.

Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction
Part I. An Alternative Method
1. A Philosophical Side Path
2. Bodily Reason
3. A Philosophical Life
Part II. An Elective Ethics
4. An Atheological Morality
5. A Rule of Immanent Play
6. A Hedonist Intersubjectivity
Part III. Solar Erotics
7. The Ascetic Ideal
8. A Libertarian Libido
9. Carnal Hospitality
Part IV. A Cynical Aesthetic
10. An Archipelagic Logic
11. A Psychopathology of Art
12. A Playful Art
Part V. A Promethean Bioethics
13. De-Christianized Flesh
14. An Art of Artifice
15. The Faustian Body
Part VI. Libertarian Politics
16. Mapping Poverty
17. Hedonist Politics
18. A Practice of Resistance

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