Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance

Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance

by Simon Critchley


$16.16 $17.95 Save 10% Current price is $16.16, Original price is $17.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 17


The clearest, boldest and most systematic statement of Simon Critchley’s influential views on philosophy, ethics, and politics, Infinitely Demanding identifies a massive political disappointment at the heart of liberal democracy. Arguing that what is called for is an ethics of commitment that can inform a radical politics, Critchley considers the possibility of political subjectivity and action after Marx and Marxism, taking in the work of Kant, Levinas, Badiou and Lacan. Infinitely Demanding culminates in an argument for anarchism as an ethical practice and a remotivating means of political organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781781680179
Publisher: Verso Books
Publication date: 01/16/2013
Series: Radical Thinkers Series
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 767,253
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research, and a part-time professor of philosophy at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His many books include Infinitely Demanding, Ethics–Politics–Subjectivity and, most recently, The Book of Dead Philosophers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The possibility of commitment     1
Nihilism - active and passive     3
Motivational deficit     6
The argument     8
Demanding approval - a theory of ethical experience     14
Ethical experience     14
Ethical subjectivity     19
Justifying reasons and exciting reasons     23
Kant, for example - the fact of reason     26
The auto-authentification of the moral law - some contemporary Kantians     27
The autonomy orthodoxy and the question of facticity     32
Dividualism - how to build an ethical subject     38
Alain Badiou - situated universality     42
Knud Ejler Logstrup - the unfulfillable demand     49
Emmanuel Levinas - the split subject     56
Jacques Lacan -the Thingly secrecy of the neighbour     63
The problem of sublimation     69
Happiness?     70
The tragic-heroic paradigm     73
Humour     77
We still have a great deal to learn about the nature of the super-ego     82
Having conscience     85
Anarchic metapolitics - political subjectivity and political action after Marx     88
Marx's truth     94
Capitalism capitalizes     97
Dislocation     99
The names are lacking - the problem political subjectivity     103
One needs to search for the struggle     105
Politics as interstitial distance within the state     111
True democracy     114
Ethics as anarchic meta-politics     119
A new language of civil disobedience     123
Dissensus and anger     128
Conclusion     131
Crypto-Schmittianism - the Logic of the Political in Bush's America     133
Explanatory note     149
Notes     151
Index     165

What People are Saying About This

Cornel West

Simon Critchley is the most powerful and provocative philosopher now writing about the complex relations of ethical subjectivity and reinvigorated democracy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
lukeasrodgers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall a good book, but suffers from a lack of actual argument--too often Critchley seems to think he can persuade the reader and avoid an explicit argument simply by stating that "in my view" or "in my opinion..." etc. And more to the point, if the purpose of the book is to help overcome the motivational deficit at the heart of democracy by, presumably, providing a compelling model of ethical subjectivity, I would venture that it doesn't really achieve its prime goal. For reasons that I think Isaiah Berlin made clear, there is no answer to the question "why be ethical?" That said, Critchley doesn't go far enough in advocating his preferred conception of ethical subjectivity, and I found myself too often resisting the characterization of ethics as the acknowledgement of the infinite demand of the other. Despite these shortcomings, the book does a good job of bringing together a variety of threads in current left-wing political theory.