•  719
    The present essay argues that Bergson’s account of the comic can only be fully appreciated when read in conjunction with his later metaphysical exposition of the élan vital in Creative Evolution and then by the account of fabulation that Bergson only elaborates fully three decades later in The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. The more substantive account of the élan vital ultimately shows that, in Laughter, Bergson misses his own point: laughter does not simply serve as a means for correcti…Read more
  •  175
    The Problem of Forgiveness: Jankélévitch, Deleuze, and Spinoza
    Journal of Speculative Philosophy 31 (3): 409-421. 2017.
    The problem of forgiveness may rightly be regarded as a perennial philosophical problem. But of what sort? Introducing his 1973 contribution to the discussion, entitled simply "Forgiveness"—an essay that remains the standard reference for contemporary discussions of the problem, especially in the Anglo-American philosophical community—Aurel Kolnai writes that while the ethical nature of the problem is indisputable, he intends his argument "to be chiefly logical in nature: the central question I …Read more
  •  159
    Against Negativity
    Symposium 20 (1): 107-128. 2016.
    Attentive readings of Deleuze’s works alongside the projects of his teachers show that they often share a common problem or set of problems. One of the most innovative and influential of these projects is the work of Jean Wahl. Wahl’s analysis of French existential phenomenology, here analyzed through a representative essay published in 1950, focuses on the problem of the pre-personal, pre-subjective elements of thinking and worldly existence. Deleuze’s philosophical project, already visible in …Read more
  •  89
    Ian James, the fragmentary demand: An introduction to the philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy (review)
    Continental Philosophy Review 40 (1): 107-111. 2007.
  •  78
    Critique and Rescue: Adorno’s Dialectical Diagnosis of Aristotle’s Metaphysics
    In John Finamore & Robert Berchman (eds.), Metaphysical Patterns in Platonism, University Press of the South. pp. 209-224. 2007.
    The notes for Theodor Adorno’s courses in the 1960’s are important resources not only for an understanding of his magnum opus, Negative Dialectics, but also for developing critical responses to this problematic philosophical heir of idealism. Particularly noteworthy among the volumes that have appeared so far is from Adorno’s 1965 course on metaphysics where he engages in a sustained reading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics and explicitly connects it with the project of Negative Dialectics. Adorno’s c…Read more
  •  74
    Klossowski’s Polytheism: An Introduction to Klossowski’s “Nietzsche, Polytheism, and Parody”
    Bulletin de la Société Américaine de Philosophie de Langue Française 14 (2): 75-81. 2004.
    Long recognized as an important and abiding influence in the European artistic and intellectual circles of the last century, the work of Pierre Klossowski is slowly gaining recognition in the Anglo-American scholarly community. The older brother of the painter Balthus, a friend of Rilke and Gide among others, and a celebrated artist in his own right, Klossowski is a difficult if not impossible thinker to categorize. From quite early in his career, Nietzsche was an important influence on Kloss…Read more
  •  71
    The Threshold of The Invisible: Said, Conrad, and Imperialism
    Philosophy Today 50 (4): 463-476. 2006.
    Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a frequent point of reference for Edward Said’s investigations into the various forces that structure and define the encounter of imperial societies with others. In Culture and Imperialism, Said explains the importance of Conrad’s novella by linking it to his concept of culture as the aesthetic acme of a society that simultaneously marks it and divides it from others. In Heart of Darkness, Said claims, we have a narrative that challenges its own imperial so…Read more
  •  69
    Dead Letters
    LIT: Literature Interpretation Theory 24 (4): 299-317. 2013.
    This essay considers Richard Calder’s Dead trilogy as an important contribution to the argument concerning how pornography’s pernicious effects might be mitigated or disrupted. Paying close attention to the way that Calder uses the rhetoric of fiction to challenge pornographic stereotypes that have achieved hegemonic status, the essay argues that Calder’s trilogy provides an important link between debates about pornography and contemporary philosophical discussions of alterity and community. Fin…Read more
  •  49
    Deleuze's Dick
    Philosophy and Rhetoric 38 (1): 41-71. 2005.
    Introduction: Another Diction The hack. The salesman. The fired cop. The drifter. The betrayed criminal. Each of these constitutes a novel literary invention; each gives a new sense to the investigative character. They are not modifications of the classical model, stamped with the rational imprimatur of Sherlock Holmes, C. Auguste Dupin, or Joseph Rouletabille – there is no line of filiation from these to Vachss’s Burke, Pelecanos’s Nick Stefanos, or Himes’s Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digg…Read more
  •  40
    Immanence and Method Bergson's Early Reading of Spinoza
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (2): 171-192. 2004.
    With the publication of the notes from Bergson’s early courses it has become possible to investigate the tradition of thinking that Bergson understood himself to be working within. A historical investigation of this understanding is valuable for at least two reasons: first, it allows us to appreciate the decisive interventions that Bergson’s thought makes within the post-Kantian tradition. Part of Bergson’s popularity was due to his insistence upon ‘beginning anew’ in thinking. However, whil…Read more
  •  39
    WHY SO SERIOUS?: on philosophy and comedy
    Angelaki 21 (3): 1-11. 2016.
    The Western philosophical tradition shows a marked fondness for tragedy. From Plato and Aristotle, through German idealism, to contemporary reflections on the murderous violence of the twentieth century, philosophy has often looked to tragedy for resources to make suffering, grief, and death thinkable. But what if, in showing this preference, philosophical thought has unwittingly and unknowingly aligned itself with a form of thinking that accepts injustice without protest? What if tragedy, and t…Read more
  •  38
    Tragedy, Comedy, Parody: From Hegel to Klossowski
    Diacritics 35 (1): 22-46. 2005.
    While it has perhaps always accompanied philosophical thought – one immediately thinks of Plato’s Dialogues – the problem of the communication of that thought, and therefore of its capacity to be taught, has acquired a new insistence in the work of post-Kantian thinkers. As evidence of this one could cite Fichte’s repeated efforts to formulate a definitive version of his Wissenschaftslehre, the model of the Bildungsroman that Hegel adopts for his Phenomenology of Spirit, Kierkegaard’s pseudony…Read more
  •  33
    Dramatization and comedy are recurring themes in Deleuze's work in the 1960′s and, from his book on Nietzsche in 1962 through The Logic of Sense in 1969, remarks on humor and comedy are closely bound to ethical and political concerns. In Nietzsche and Philosophy, he speaks of the “true” and “false” senses of the tragic in order to frame his interpretation of Nietzsche as a whole, but the distinction acquires its immediate importance from its bearing on the question, “what is justice?” In 1967, i…Read more
  •  28
    Why So Serious: On Philosophy and Comedy (edited book)
    Routledge. 2017.
    The Western philosophical tradition has shown a marked and perennial fondness for tragedy. From Plato and Aristotle, through the development of Christianity, to German idealism, and even to contemporary reflections on the murderous violence of the twentieth century, philosophy has repeatedly looked to tragedy for resources to make suffering, grief, and death thinkable. But what if by showing such a preference for tragedy, philosophical thought has unwittingly and unknowingly aligned itself with …Read more
  •  22
    Tran Duc Thao: Politics and truth
    Philosophy Compass 15 (2). 2020.
    The Vietnamese philosopher Tran Duc Thao exerted an important influence over the development of 20th century French philosophy. In articles that stretched across the 1940s, Thao sought to employ the concrete insights of Marxism and dialectical materialism in order to correct and critique the dominant philosophical programs of phenomenology and existentialism. Thao’s pervasive concern was the determination of a basis for truthful action. In two essays – one taken from the beginning of his profess…Read more
  •  20
    A Fabulous Interruption: Towards a Mythic Politics
    Dialogue and Universalism 15 (3-4): 87-98. 2005.
    The aim of this essay is to specify the chief concern for post-Marxist political strategy as the discovery or invention of a new political logic. Beginning with Laclau and Mouffe’s influential Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics, this essay extends Lyotard’s well-known diagnosis of the status of metanarratives to a consideration of the conditions for political resistance and dissent. Using concepts drawn from the work of Althusser, Nealon, and others, it rework…Read more
  •  14
    On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Comedy for Life
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 35 (1): 89-105. 2004.
    Freud had read Bergson’s 1900 book Laughter when he composed his own book on jokes, and, even prior to his development of the concept of the super-ego, Freud had criticized Bergson for not following up his insights into the linkage between comedy and childhood experiences. Freud thus chides Bergson for failing to pursue a line of inquiry that would confirm the ultimately tragic underpinnings of comedy. Wise to this clever and even mischievous little suggestion, Bergson’s book can be read as a…Read more
  •  1
    Migratory Rhetorics: Conrad, Salih and the Limits of Culture
    In Amar Acheraiou & Nursel Icoz (eds.), Conrad and the Orient, Eastern European Monographs / Columbia Up. pp. 211-237. 2012.
    Of the critical eyes that have focused upon Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, perhaps none is as insightful as Edward Said. Said repeatedly turned to Conrad’s tale as a privileged point of access to the tensions of colonialism. What is most remarkable about Said’s reading is the hesitancy and uncertainty that surrounds it – qualities that mirror Marlow’s troubles about his own story. Said’s reading is concerned with the form of the story, with its position as a cultural artifact, a tribute to the s…Read more
  • Pierre Klossowski: Such a Deathly Desire (translation)
    State University of New York Press. 2007.
    Shocking, brilliant, and eccentric, the French author, translator, and artist Pierre Klossowski (1905-2001) exerted a profound effect on French intellectual culture throughout the twentieth century. The older brother of the painter Balthus, secretary to the novelist Andre Gide, friend to Geroges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, and heralded as one of the most important voices in the French "return to Nietzsche" by Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, Klossowski pursued his singular vision of mortal…Read more
  • The Persistence of Expression: Deleuze and the Problem of Consciousness
    Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University. 2001.
    Deleuze's philosophy of difference, characterized by a style of thinking without image, offers both a powerful critique and an important contribution to philosophical conceptions of consciousness. At stake in such a philosophy is the very life of thought---its force---that philosophy must encounter as always underway. The thoughtful movement of consciousness is always already coming to expression, and this constitutes the first challenge to a thinking of consciousness. Traditionally, philosophy …Read more
  • Of Dice and Men: Rethinking Business as a Game
    In Patricia Werhane & Mollie Painter-Morland (eds.), Cutting-Edge Issues in Business Ethics, . pp. 109-120. 2008.
    Albert Carr’s contention that business and individual behavior within business can be understood through an analogy with a game of poker suffers from two central deficiencies. The first is conceptual: in his account, Carr slips between a discussion of games and a discussion of poker as thought they were interchangeable. However, “bluffing,” which is the only concept that Carr is interested in, is actually a mode of play, particular to a subset of games. The second deficiency is one of scale: …Read more