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From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought, Second Edition

From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought, Second Edition

by Julian Bourg


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Winner: CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Award, CHOICE Magazine (2008) Winner: Morris D. Forkosch Prize for the best book in intellectual history, Journal of the History of Ideas (2008) The French revolts of May 1968, the largest general strike in twentieth-century Europe, were among the most famous and colourful episodes of the twentieth century. Julian Bourg argues that during the subsequent decade the revolts led to a remarkable paradigm shift in French thought - the concern for revolution in the 1960s was transformed into a fascination with ethics. Challenging the prevalent view that the 1960s did not have any lasting effect, From Revolution to Ethics shows how intellectuals and activists turned to ethics as the touchstone for understanding interpersonal, institutional, and political dilemmas. In absorbing and scrupulously researched detail Bourg explores the developing ethical fascination as it emerged among student Maoists courting terrorism, anti-psychiatric celebrations of madness, feminists mobilizing against rape, and pundits and philosophers championing humanitarianism. From Revolution to Ethics provides a compelling picture of how May 1968 helped make ethics a compass for navigating contemporary global concerns. In a new preface for the second edition published to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the events, Bourg assessses the worldwide influence of the ethical turn, from human rights to the return of religion and the new populism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773550452
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 11/28/2017
Pages: 504
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Julian Bourg is associate dean for the Core and associate professor of history at Boston College. He is editor of After the Deluge: New Perspectives on the Intellectual and Cultural History of Postwar France and translator of Claude Lefort, Complications: Communism and the Dilemmas of Democracy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Abbreviations x

Preface to the Second Edition: 1968 at Fifty xi

Introduction 3

1 Cobblestone Beaches: Normative Contradictions of the May Revolt 19

Part 1 The Sabre And The Keyhole: French Maoism, Violence, And Prisoner Dignity

2 A Press Conference 45

3 Violence and the Gauche prolétarienne 51

4 The President's Man and the State's Thumb 61

5 Popular Justice and Incarcerated Leftists 68

6 The Groupe d'information sur les prisons 79

7 These Modem Bastilles 96

Part 2 Spinoza On Prozac: From Institutional Psychotherapy To The Philosophy Of Desire

8 Anti-Psychiatry and the Philosophy of Desire 105

9 Anti-Oedipus: Redux and Reception, Ethics and Origins 112

10 Institutional Psychotherapy and the La Borde Psychiatric Clinic 125

11 Félix Guattari's Devolution 138

12 Gilles Deleuze's Spinozist Ethics 144

13 Schizophrenia and Fascism 159

14 Craziness Is a Dead End 174

Part 3 "Your Sexual Revolution Is Not Ours": French Feminist "Moralism" and The Limits Of Desire

15 Gender and '68: Tensions from the Start 179

16 Guy Hocquenghem's Dark Encounter with Feminism 187

17 Feminism, Law, Rape, and Leftist Male Reaction 193

18 Boy Trouble: French Pedophiliac Discourse of the 1970s 204

19 Desire Has Its Limits 219

Part 4 When All Bets Are Off: Ethical Jansenism And The New Philosophers

20 The Main Event 227

21 Between the Union of the Left and Jansenism 247

22 Maurice Clavel 261

23 The Angel in the World 276

24 The Dialectic by the Side of the Road 289

25 John Locke Was Not French, or the Varieties of Ethical Experience 302

Conclusion 334

Notes 349

Bibliography 409

Index 449

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