Posts Tagged ‘Peter Sloterdijk’

Rage and Time

4 October 2010

I thought it was interesting how one of the reporters on BBC News 24 observed today that the British Conservative Party Conference delegates are such a jolly crowd, especially compared to those at last week’s Labour conference who generally seemed angry, despite the fact that the Tories are the ones presiding over doom and gloom and implementing draconian spending cuts, so displays of jouissance might seem inappropriate.

Indeed, there are plenty of things to be angry about these days, so I was cheered up to discover that Peter Sloterdijk’s psychopolitical investigation into Rage and Time [Zorn und Zeit] was published in English earlier this year. Might it help explain the rage of Labour?

In any case, here are a couple of nice quotes from Zorn und Zeit, which seems to be a deliberate pun on Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit.

As much as the affinities with the basic claims of Being and Time are obvious, the Master from Messkirch only approached the temporal structure of revolutionary resentment in a formalist way before, for a time, evading it for the black heaven of the “national revolution.” Heidegger never fully understood the logical and systematic implications of the concept of revolution. He understood it just as little as he understood the connection between our historicity and Dasein’s ability to be resentful. His investigation of the temporal structures of the caring, projecting, and dying Dasein does not provide us with an appropriate conception of the deep nexus of rage and time. The birth of history out of the project form of rage and, even more, the totality of processes leading to the capitalization of resentment remain obscure in his work. (p. 66)


The concept of companionship, it could be argued, is the political form of what Heidegger referred to from the perspective of fundamental ontology as “errance” (die Irre). Whenever people “err” they move within an intermediary zone situated in between wilderness and route. Heidegger himself was an eminent witness of this, as a matter of fact, because of his periodic preference for the Nazis. Because errance signals a middle course between passage and drift, the travelers will inevitably get to a place that is different from where they wanted to go at the beginning of their journey. “Wayfaring” (das Gehen) with communism turned into an odyssey of comrades because it presupposed what should have never been assumed: that the communist actors were pursuing a more or less civilized road to destinations that could be reached. In reality, they supported a developing dictatorship that used excessive, idealistic, and exaggerated violence to bring about what a liberal state could have achieved in less time in a more spontaneous, more effective, and, to a large extent, bloodless manner. (pp. 154-155)

Middlesex letter

6 May 2010

Letter in Times Higher Education, signed by Alain Badiou, Etienne Balibar, Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot, Jacques Ranciere, Gayatri Spivak, Slavoj Zizek and 24 others:

“We the undersigned deplore Middlesex University’s recent decision to close its philosophy programmes, including its prestigious and successful MAs. This is a matter of national and indeed international concern. Not only does it contradict Middlesex’s stated commitment to promote ‘research excellence’, it also represents a startling stage in the impoverishment of philosophy provision in the UK.” Read the rest here.

Add your voice by leaving your comment at the Times Higher Education articles, signing the petition and joining the Facebook group.

Times Higher Education articles:

Update: Times Higher Education have now published the full list of signatories. A very impressive list indeed, featuring leading philosophers of our time. If Dean Edward Esche at Middlesex is not familiar with these names, perhaps the Vice-Chancellor, members of the University Executive, and its Board of Governors should do a little Google search for these names just to get an idea of the damage they are causing to the Middlesex brand.

Here is the full list (from Times Higher Education):

Keith Ansell-Pearson, professor of philosophy, University of Warwick

Alain Badiou, emeritus professor of philosophy, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Etienne Balibar, emeritus professor of philosophy, Université de Paris-Nanterre, and distinguished professor of humanities, University of California, Irvine

Miguel Beistegui, professor of philosophy, University of Warwick

Andrew Benjamin, professor of critical theory and philosophical aesthetics, Monash University, Australia

Andrew Bowie, professor of philosophy and German, Royal Holloway, University of London

Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot professor of rhetoric and comparative literature, University of California, Berkeley

Susan Buck-Morss, Jan Rock Zubrow professor of government, Cornell University, New York

Barbara Cassin, directeur de recherches, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris

Simon Critchley, professor of philosophy and chair of the philosophy department, New School for Social Research, New York

Christopher Fynsk, professor of comparative literature and modern thought, and director of the Centre for Modern Thought, University of Aberdeen

Simon Glendinning, reader in European philosophy, London School of Economics, and director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Boris Groys, professor of Slavic and Russian studies, New York University

Michael Hardt, professor of literature, Duke University, NC

Harry Harootunian, emeritus professor of history, Chicago and New York universities

Joanna Hodge, professor of philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Claude Imbert, emeritus professor of philosophy, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

Mandy Merck, professor of media arts, Royal Holloway, University of London

Dermot Moran, professor of philosophy, University College Dublin

Michael Moriarty FBA, centenary professor of French literature and thought, Queen Mary, University of London

Antonio Negri, philosopher and political scientist

Jacques Rancière, emeritus professor of philosophy, Université de Paris VIII

Kristin Ross, professor of comparative literature, New York University

Lynne Segal, anniversary professor, psychosocial studies, Birkbeck, University of London

Peter Sloterdijk, rektor der Staatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe

Gayatri Spivak, university professor in the humanities, Columbia University, New York

Isabelle Stengers, professor of philosophy, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Peter Weibel, chairman and CEO, ZKM/Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe

James Williams, professor of European philosophy, University of Dundee

Slavoj Zizek, co-director of the International Centre for Humanities, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London

Sloterdijk, philosopher of design

27 February 2009

Bruno Latour’s keynote speech at the Networks of Design conference in Cornwall last September provides a good summary of Sloterdijk’s approach, illuminating a number of concepts that were also discussed in the Harvard talk. Its full title is “A Cautious Prometheus? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)” and it is available here (PDF).

Heidegger at Harvard

26 February 2009

It was interesting to observe that Heidegger was very much present in both Sloterdijk and Latour’s talk during their recent joint appearance at Harvard. For Sloterdijk, it was a matter of building on Heidegger positively, by “explicitating” Heidegger’s notion of being-in. As Latour quipped, for Sloterdijk “Dasein is design,” and explicitation means rendering the material aspects of being human visible. Thus Sloterdijk shows that being-in for humans means living in bubbles, in a world that looks like foam — marvellously refreshing metaphors for facilitating a new way of imagining sociality. A host of biological and evolutionary themes were also evoked, often resulting in startling observations, such as describing women’s bodies as “architectural units” and “apartments” for “interiorising the egg.” Sloterdijk drew parallels between evolutionary biological processes and architecture, claiming that “humans are pets,” i.e. “the effects of the space they create.” He did have a few very funny lines, aided by his deadpan delivery.


Video recording of Latour and Sloterdijk at Harvard

23 February 2009

The video recording of the “Networks and Spheres: Two Ways to Reinterpret Globalization” talk with Bruno Latour and Peter Sloterdijk at Harvard University on 17 February 2009 is available here (thanks to Archinet).

Update (12 May 2009): Photo via Object-Oriented Philosophy

Terror from the Air

17 February 2009

Apparently several translations of Peter Sloterdijk’s work into English are in the pipeline and are expected to be published over the next few years. The first one of these is going to be Terror from the Air, published by Semiotext(e), which will also be available from the MIT Press from May 2009.

Latour and Sloterdijk at Harvard University

6 February 2009

Many thanks to Trevor Patt for alerting us that there is going to be a joint Latour-Sloterdijk event after all, on 17 February 2009, at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (6:30pm – 8:00pm, Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall). It will be entitled “Networks and Spheres: Two Ways to Reinterpret Globalization.”

Latour and Sloterdijk at Columbia University

30 January 2009

OK, not actually on the same day… Besides appearing at the “The Changing Dynamics of Public Controversies” event, Bruno Latour will also give a public talk entitled “Globalization: Which Globe? Which Politics?” at the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University on Thursday, 5 February 2009,  starting at 6:15pm. Peter Sloterdijk will give a talk on how “You Must Change Your Life,” also at the Heyman Center, at 6:15pm on Thursday, 19 February 2009.

Actor-Network Theory and Speculative Realism

31 August 2008

What is the connection? Well, at least for the next week it is the town of Falmouth in Cornwall. The Networks of Design conference (3-6 September 2008) will feature Bruno Latour as keynote speaker and actor-network theory as a major theme. Falmouth is also the home of Urbanomic, the publisher of Collapse, the journal which continues to bring to us original work by members of the speculative realism group.

Update (7 September 2008): A copy of Bruno Latour’s keynote speech, “A Cautious Promethea? A Few Steps Toward a Philosophy of Design (with Special Attention to Peter Sloterdijk)” [PDF], is now available from his website.

Distinktion No 16: The Technologies of Politics

22 June 2008

Issue 16 of Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory is out and  it is packed with interesting articles on the technologies of politics, several of them engaging with actor-network theory. Authors include Kristin Asdal, Noortje Marres, Peter Sloterdijk, John Law, Richie Nimmo, Guro Ådnegard Skarstad, and Nigel Thrift.