Philosophy & Critical Theory

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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...

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...

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...

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 ...