•  195
    Camus and Nihilism
    Sophia 50 (4): 543-559. 2011.
    Camus published an essay entitled ‘Nietzsche and Nihilism,’ which was later incorporated into The Rebel . Camus' aim was to assess Nietzsche's response to the problem of nihilism. My aim is to do the same with Camus. The paper explores Camus' engagement with nihilism through its two major modalities: with respect to the individual and the question of suicide in The Myth of Sisyphus , and with respect to the collective and the question of murder in The Rebel . While a Nietzschean influence thorou…Read more
  •  158
    Deleuze, Nietzsche, and the overcoming of nihilism
    Continental Philosophy Review 46 (1): 115-147. 2013.
    This paper critically examines Deleuze’s treatment of the Nietzschean problem of nihilism. Of all the major figures in contemporary continental thought, Deleuze is at once one of the most luminous, and practically a lone voice in suggesting that nihilism may successfully be overcome. Whether or not he is correct on this point is thus a commanding question in relation to our understanding of the issue. Many commentators on Nietzsche have argued that his project of overcoming nihilism is destined …Read more
  •  111
    Continuum Companion to Existentialism (edited book)
    with Felicity Joseph and Jack Reynolds
    Continuum. 2011.
    The Continuum Companion to Existentialism offers the definitive guide to a key area of modern European philosophy. The book covers the fundamental questions asked by existentialism, providing valuable guidance for students and researchers to some of the many important and enduring contributions of existentialist thinkers. Eighteen specially commissioned essays from an international team of experts explore existentialism’s relationship to philosophical method; ontology; politics; psychoanalysis; …Read more
  •  102
    Nihilism in Postmodernity
    The Davies Group. 2006.
    Nihilism in Postmodernity is an exploration of the nature of the problem of meaninglessness in the contemporary world through the philosophical traditions of nihilism and postmodernism. The author traces the advent of modern nihilism in the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, and Heidegger, before detailing the postmodern transformation of nihilism in the works of three major postmodern thinkers: Lyotard, Baudrillard, and Vattimo. He presents a qualified defense of their positions, arguing that while th…Read more
  •  62
    The Verwindung of Capital: On the Philosophy and Politics of Gianni Vattimo
    Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 13 (1): 73-99. 2009.
    Gianni Vattimo occupies the relatively rare position of being both a prominent philosopher and an engaged politician. This article outlines Vattimo’s philosophy of “weak thought” and his democratic socialist politics, and argues that there is a “gap” between them: his stated political positions seem at odds with aspects of his philosophy. This gap between the phi- losophical and the political is examined with reference to the topic of globalised capitalism. I then apply Vattimo’s own strategy in…Read more
  •  51
    Nihilism and the Sublime in Lyotard
    Angelaki 16 (2). 2011.
    This paper seeks to demonstrate that in Lyotard?s later works the sublime is posited as a response to nihilism. This demonstration is significantly complicated by the fact that while Lyotard frequently gave the sublime a positive valuation, he also identified it with nihilism. The paper charts Lyotard?s confrontation with nihilism throughout his career, showing how the themes with which he characterizes nihilism in his earlier works are repeated as characteristics of the sublime in his later wor…Read more
  •  36
    Jean-françois Lyotard
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2002.
  •  34
    Nihilism and the Postmodern in Vattimo's Nietzsche
    Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 6 (1): 51-67. 2002.
    A connection is often made between postmodernism and nihilism, but the full meaning of such a connection is rarely explored. The contemporary Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo is one of the few philosophers to have devoted much work to explaining this connection. Vattimo extrapolates the relevance of Nietzsche’s theory of nihilism for the postmodern condition, arguing that the concept of the postmodern can only be thought rigorously in relation to the nihilistic destiny of the West. This articl…Read more
  •  25
    Was Baudrillard a Nihilist?
    International Journal of Baudrillard Studies 5 (1). 2008.
  •  22
    Lesson of Darkness: Phenomenology and Lyotard’s Late Aesthetics
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (2): 104-119. 2019.
    ABSTRACTThis paper examines the relationship of Jean-François Lyotard’s aesthetics to phenomenology, especially the works of Mikel Dufrenne and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It argues that this comparison allows a greater understanding of Lyotard’s late aesthetic writings, which can appear gnomic and which have received relatively little critical attention. Lyotard credits Merleau-Ponty with opening the theme of difference in the aesthetic field, yet believes that the phenomenological approach can neve…Read more
  •  22
    Becoming-animal in Shaffer's Equus
    Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 9 (2): 231-256. 2015.
    This paper mounts a philosophical defence of Peter Shaffer's 1973 play Equus by interpreting it from three perspectives: that of Freud, Jung, and Deleuze and Guattari. The latter's concept of becoming-animal is offered as a leading perspective which reveals the deep philosophical significance of the drama, belying the claims of those critics who have dismissed it as bogus or banal. This interpretation also allows Equus to be seen as an exemplary illustration of what Deleuze and Guattari mean by …Read more
  •  22
    Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life (edited book)
    Cambridge Scholars Press. 2007.
    This book presents a timely reconfiguration of the relations between art, philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. Through connection with a range of contemporary social and philosophical issues and movements, this collection of essays highlights the imperative of sensorial aesthetics. The book focuses on the radical philosophical approach to aesthetics enabled by the works of Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze. From these philosophers an older meaning of aesthetic has been recalled. Before it …Read more
  •  19
    A sacrificial economy of the image: Lyotard on cinema
    Angelaki 19 (4): 141-154. 2014.
    :The theme of sacrifice appears in Jean-François Lyotard's writings on cinema not in terms of any representational content but in terms of the economy of the images from which a film is formally constructed. Sacrifice is here understood in a sense derived from Bataille, and related to his notions of general economy, and of sovereignty. Lyotard's writings on cinema have received some attention in English-language scholarship, but so far this attention has been focused almost exclusively on two es…Read more
  •  13
    Being and Information
    Philosophy Today 60 (3): 723-741. 2016.
  •  10
    Jean-François Lyotard's work remains a largely untapped resource for film-philosophy. This article surveys four fundamental concepts which indicate the fecundity of this work for current studies and debates. While Lyotard was generally associated with the “theory” of the 1980s which privileged language, signs, and cultural representations, much of his work in fact resonates more strongly with the new materialisms and realisms currently taking centre stage. The concepts examined here indicate the…Read more
  •  8
    Being and Information in advance
    Philosophy Today. forthcoming.
  •  4
    Gianni Vattimo, Dialogue with Nietzsche Reviewed by
    Philosophy in Review 26 (4): 303-305. 2006.
  •  4
    “White Skin”: Lyotard’s Sketch of a Postcolonial Libidinal Economy
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 51 (4): 337-351. 2020.
    In 1975 Jean-François Lyotard published a short text entitled Pacific Wall. A mash-up of philosophy, fiction, biography, and art criticism, it is highly gnomic if read in isolation. Studied alongsi...
  •  4
    The End of Time
    Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy 15 87-105. 2012.
    Approximately one trillion, trillion, trillion (101728) years from now, the universe will suffer a “heat death.” What are the existential implications of this fact for us, today? This chapter explores this question through Lyotard’s fable of the explosion of the sun, and its uptake and extension in the works of Keith Ansell Pearson and Ray Brassier. Lyotard proposes the fable as a kind of “post-metanarrative” sometimes told to justify research and development, and indeed the meaning of our indiv…Read more
  •  4
    Aesthetics in Continental Philosophy
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016.
    Aesthetics in Continental Philosophy Although aesthetics is a significant area of research in its own right in the analytic philosophical tradition, aesthetics frequently seems to be accorded less value than philosophy of language, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and other areas of value theory such as ethics and political philosophy. Many of the most prominent analytic philosophers … Continue reading Aesthetics in Continental Philosophy →
  •  3
    The Lyotard Reader and Guide (review)
    Philosophy in Review 28 (2): 105-107. 2008.
  •  2
    Eyes
    Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology 3 (1): 77-79. 2016.
  •  2
    Answering the Question, ‘What is an Event?
    antiTHESIS 16 12-25. 2006.
    This article surveys the notion of the event as it is treated in Lyotard’s works, and examines the implications of this treatment for his method, and for critical theory in general. While the event is of importance to many influential French philosophers, it is arguably Lyotard who has positioned his philosophy most central around the problem of accounting for events. For Lyotard, an event is an occurence which cannot be predicted in advance, and cannot be fully determined in retrospect. An even…Read more
  •  2
    Deleuze and suicide
    In Anna Hickey-Moody & Peta Malins (eds.), Deleuzian Encounters: Studies in Contemporary Social Issues, Palgrave-macmillan. 2008.
  •  1
    Immaterial Matter
    In Barbara Bolt, Felicity Colman, Graham Jones & Ashley Woodward (eds.), Sensorium: Aesthetics, Art, Life, Cambridge Scholars Press. 2007.
    This chapter explores Lyotard’s aesthetics in relation to the artist Yves Klein. Through the different activities of philosophy and art, Lyotard and Klein both explore the nature of sensibilité through an investigation of matter. Both paradoxically conclude that matter is in a sense immaterial. Lyotard understands matter as that part of an artwork which is diverse, unstable, and evanescent: in music, this corresponds to nuance and timbre, and in painting, to colour. Following Kant’s aesthetics, …Read more
  • A connection is often made between postmodernism and nihilism, but the full meaning of such a connection is rarelyexplored. The contemporary Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo is one of the few philosophers to have devotedmuch work to explaining this connection. Vattimo extrapolates the relevance of Nietzsche’s theory of nihilism forthe postmodern condition, arguing that the concept of the postmodern can only be thought rigorously in relation tothe nihilistic destiny of the West. This article ex…Read more
  • Nihilism, Neonihilism, Hypernihilism: ‘Nietzsche aujourd’hui’ Today?
    Nietzsche Studien Gesamtregister Bände 1-20 48 (1): 244-264. 2019.
    The ‘French reading’ of Nietzsche crystallized almost 50 years ago at the 1972 conference at Cerisy-la-Salle, Nietzsche aujourd’hui. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society, with the theme of ‘The Politics of Difference’, Newcastle University, 20–21 September 2018. Nietzsche’s fortunes have since undergone some dramatic shifts in France, but there are signs that he is once again on the ascendency, in particular the 2016 edited co…Read more