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The Step Back
Ethics and Politics after Deconstruction
The Step Back
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David Wood - Author
SUNY series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 248 pages
Release Date: May 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6463-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6463-2

Quantity:  
Price: $33.95 
Paperback - 248 pages
Release Date: January 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6464-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6464-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Explores the ethical and political possibilities of philosophy after deconstruction.

This original contribution to the ethical and political significance of philosophy addresses a number of major themes—identity, violence, the erotic, freedom, responsibility, religious belief, globalization—and critically engages with the work of Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Derrida, and Levinas. It promotes a unique blend of deconstructive critique and a certain English skepticism, leading to the affirmation of a negative capability—a patience and vigilance in the face of both human folly and philosophy's own homegrown pathologies. The author argues for the extension of our sense of openness and responsibility to animal life, and indeed life in general, and not just to the human.

"Tying together the roots of philosophy as they are inscribed in violence, culture, and ecology, David Wood attempts to refound our discipline and reclaim its relevance for the world. It is a tall order, but this is an exciting start to a necessary project.

"One of the finest writers in continental philosophy today, Wood is a master of analogies and examples that make us both laugh and think. We lovers of wisdom cannot ignore his insights into the nature of philosophy—the possible violence of philosophy and yet the singular salvation that philosophy offers. The work is thus one of hope, yet a sadder and wiser hope throughout." — H. Peter Steeves, editor of Animal Others: On Ethics, Ontology, and Animal Life

"Ranging over the works of many of the leading thinkers since Hegel, and treating issues that have become increasingly urgent, The Step Back proposes a mode of addressing these issues that makes a decisive step forward across the 'rough ground' on the way to a fresh understanding of the relation of the transcendental to the empirical, and of the ontological to the ontic. Driven by a passionate sense of the seriousness of what is at stake, Wood writes nonetheless with an engaging sense of humor, with wit and with grace. This is the beautiful book he once said he hoped he would one day be able to write." — John Llewelyn, editor of Magda King's A Guide to Heidegger's Being and Time

David Wood is Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. His many books include Thinking after Heidegger.


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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

INTRODUCTION: Towards a Negative Capability

PART I: Philosophy and Violence

1. Identity and Violence
2. The Philosophy of Violence: The Violence of Philosophy
3. Where Levinas Went Wrong

PART II: Singular Encounters

4. The First Kiss: Tales of Innocence and Experience
5. Thinking God in the Wake of Kierkegaard
6. Dionysus in America

PART III: Ethics and Politics after Deconstruction

7. Notes toward a Deconstructive Phenomenology
8. Responsibility Reinscribed (and How)
9. What Is Ecophenomenology?
10. Globalization and Freedom

POSTSCRIPT: Philosophy: The Antioxidant of Higher Education

NOTES

INDEX



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