Philosophy & Critical Theory

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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...

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 ...

Foucault’s Risks

Foucault’s Risks

Editor’s note: On October 17–18, 2014, Yale University hosted a conference exploring the intellectual and political legacy of Michel Foucault. The Los Angeles Review of Books asked three Yale grad...

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 ...

Remembering Derrida: A Forum

Remembering Derrida: A Forum

Ten years ago, on October 9, 2004, the philosopher Jacques Derrida passed away. To mark this occasion and inquire into the legacy of Derrida’s thought today, LARB’s philosophy/critical theory gen...

Everything Burns: Derrida’s Holocaust

Everything Burns: Derrida’s Holocaust

SOMETIME AROUND 1989, Jacques Derrida must have agreed to give the opening keynote at the UCLA conference entitled “Nazism and the ‘Final Solution’: Probing the Limits of Representation.” Der...

Jacques Derrida’s Urgency, Today

Jacques Derrida’s Urgency, Today

JACQUES DERRIDA’s conceptual innovations are interventions, “inventive engagements” whose apparent playfulness operates on the level of the signifier, challenging what one could call the repress...

There Is No Thought Without Remembrance

There Is No Thought Without Remembrance

Plus de restes WITH REMARKABLE INSISTENCE and uniformity, recent commemorations of Jacques Derrida, occasioned by the 10th anniversary of his death, have shown preoccupation with the question of rem...

Remains to be Seen

Remains to be Seen

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY recently negotiated to buy Jacques Derrida’s library. In the course of these negotiations, it seems that questions were raised about the expensive acquisition of duplicates of ...

Girls of Spectacular Culture

Girls of Spectacular Culture

The following is a feature article from the new intern issue of the Los Angeles Review of Books: The Magazine. The issue, which our interns produced as part of this past summer’s LARB Publishing Co...

No Exit for Derrida

No Exit for Derrida

In 1992 Simon Critchley’s The Ethics of Deconstruction: Derrida and Levinas reoriented Derrida studies and helped spur what is sometimes known as the “ethical turn” in continental philosophy. In...

Friends of Leo

Friends of Leo

“Both of us thought you were an idiot, Sherlock. We had nothing else to go on. Until we met other children.”“Oh yes. That was a mistake.”“Ghastly. What were they thinking?”“Probably some...

To Organize Without a Preface

To Organize Without a Preface

ALAIN BADIOU’S provocative The Rebirth of History poses some interesting challenges for anyone wishing to weigh in on the revolutionary wagers taking place around the world since at least late 2010....