Philosophy & Critical Theory

RECENT REVIEWS

The State of Surveillance

The State of Surveillance

THE INSPECTION HOUSE: An Impertinent Field Guide to Modern Surveillance is the latest in the “Exploded Views” series from the innovative Toronto-based publisher Coach House Books. In a prefatory n...

Say That Again? Making Sense of Noise

Say That Again? Making Sense of Noise

NOISE IS A BALL of untied pieces of string, cut at various lengths, which we can only perceive holistically. It is a complex interweaving of fabrics, fibrous at the edges, caressing and combining alon...

The Symbol Is Dead, Long Live the Symbolic

The Symbol Is Dead, Long Live the Symbolic

WHEN MAURICE MERLEAU-PONTY published Adventures of the Dialectic in 1955, he was firmly disenchanted with Marxism. The USSR’s show trials and camp system had for some time contributed to a change in...

How the Humanities Will Save the World

How the Humanities Will Save the World

AT A DINNER GATHERING not long ago, some friends and colleagues were discussing ways to tackle intractable social problems: entrenched inequality, persistant discrimination, nihilistic extremists, cul...

The Human in University Education

The Human in University Education

LET ME BEGIN by explaining the aim of my title. I assume that two of the most important and closely tied purposes of a research university are the production and reproduction of knowledge, which goes ...

Every Which Way but Loose

Every Which Way but Loose

MY FIRST JOB after graduating from college was at a chain bookstore in a shopping mall. There were many silly regulations that employees there only followed when the boss was around. One in particular...

Casaubon’s Humanities

Casaubon’s Humanities

IF YOU ASK READERS to picture a philologist, they are apt to think of a blank space or a question mark. If they think of anything at all, they might tend to think of someone like Edward Casaubon, the...

Facing the Intolerable

Facing the Intolerable

JACQUES RANCIÈRE’S Figures of History is the latest installment from a serious thinker, whose pioneering work engages with the politics of aesthetics in an attempt to reimagine the political as an ...

Solar Wisdom

Solar Wisdom

IT IS NOT very common that a work of philosophy that deals with beauty is itself beautifully written. David E. Cooper’s Sunlight on the Sea: Reflecting on Reflections is one such work. The author’...

Plato at the Multiplex

Plato at the Multiplex

PLATO’S WELL-KNOWN ALLEGORY of the cave serves, in The Republic, mostly as a cautionary tale. A society that confuses mere shadows for substance, myth for reality, is, Plato seems to say, a society ...