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Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-marxism and Radical Democracy

Breckman, Warren

Verlag: Columbia University Press, 2013
ISBN 10: 023114394X / ISBN 13: 9780231143943
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Titel: Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-marxism and...

Verlag: Columbia University Press

Erscheinungsdatum: 2013

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Adventures of the Symbolic is a trailblazing journey into forbidding terrain. It addresses one of the most controversial and fascinating trends in postwar European social thought -- the dismantling of the Marxian paradigm and the emergence of a new species of theory that casts light on the radically open and post-foundational character of democracy. Castoriadis, Lefort, Laclau, Mouffe, Gauchet, Zizek -- these are names to conjure with. But to understand their contributions is another thing entirely. Warren Breckman has the rare combination of theoretical lucidity and political acumen to guide us on this adventure. His achievement is simply stunning, a genuine milestone in the history of twentieth century political thought. Buchnummer des Verkäufers ABE_book_new_023114394X

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Marxism's collapse in the twentieth century profoundly altered the style and substance of Western European radical thought. To build a more robust form of democratic theory and action, prominent theorists moved to reject revolution, abandon class for more fragmented models of social action, and elevate the political over the social. Acknowledging the constructedness of society and politics, they chose the "symbolic" as a concept powerful enough to reinvent leftist thought outside a Marxist framework. Following Maurice Merleau-Ponty's Adventures of the Dialectic, which reassessed philosophical Marxism at mid century, Warren Breckman critically revisits these thrilling experiments in the aftermath of Marxism.

The post-Marxist idea of the symbolic is dynamic and complex, uncannily echoing the early German Romantics, who first advanced a modern conception of symbolism and the symbolic. Hegel and Marx denounced the Romantics for their otherworldly and nebulous posture, yet post-Marxist thinkers appreciated the rich potential of the ambiguities and paradoxes the Romantics first recognized. Mapping different ideas of the symbolic among contemporary thinkers, Breckman traces a fascinating reflection of Romantic themes and resonances, and he explores in depth the effort to reconcile a radical and democratic political agenda with a politics that does not privilege materialist understandings of the social. Engaging with the work of Claude Lévi-Strauss, Cornelius Castoriadis, Claude Lefort, Marcel Gauchet, Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, and Slavoj Žižek, Breckman uniquely situates these important theorists within two hundred years of European thought and extends their profound relevance to today's political activism.

Über den Autor:

Warren Breckman is professor of modern European intellectual history at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (2001--2002) and a visiting scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (1998) and he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, the Mellon Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is the author of Marx, the Young Hegelians, and the Origins of Radical Social Theory: Dethroning the Self and European Romanticism: A Brief History with Documents. He is also executive coeditor of the Journal of the History of Ideas.

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