Rhizome (philosophy) "As a model for culture, the rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system which charts causality along chronological lines and looks for the original source of 'things' and looks towards the pinnacle or conclusion of those 'things.' A rhizome, on the other hand, is characterized by 'ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.' Rather than narrativize history and culture, the rhizome presents history and culture as a map or wide array of attractions and influences with no specific origin or genesis, for a 'rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, interbeing, intermezzo.' "In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1980.
Baruch Spinoza Biography Family and community origins Spinoza's ancestors were of Sephardic Jewish descent, and were a part of the community of Portuguese Jews that had settled in the city of Amsterdam in the wake of the Alhambra Decree in Spain (1492) and the Portuguese Inquisition (1536), which had resulted in forced conversions and expulsions from the Iberian peninsula. Attracted by the Decree of Toleration issued in 1579 by the Union of Utrecht, Portuguese "conversos" first sailed to Amsterdam in 1593 and promptly reconverted to Judaism. In 1598 permission was granted to build a synagogue, and in 1615 an ordinance for the admission and government of the Jews was passed. As a community of exiles, the Portuguese Jews of Amsterdam were highly proud of their identity. Spinoza's father, Miguel (Michael), and his uncle, Manuel, then moved to Amsterdam where they resumed the practice of Judaism. 17th-century Holland Early life Expulsion from the Jewish community
Graham Harman Graham Harman (born May 9, 1968) is a professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He is a contemporary philosopher of metaphysics, who attempts to reverse the linguistic turn of Western philosophy. Harman is associated with Speculative Realism in philosophy, which was the name of a workshop that also included the philosophers Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, and Quentin Meillassoux. Biography Thought Central to Harman's philosophy is the idea that real objects are inexhaustible: "A police officer eating a banana reduces this fruit to a present-at-hand profile of its elusive depth, as do a monkey eating the same banana, a parasite infecting it, or a gust of wind blowing it from a tree. Harman defines real objects as inaccessible and infinitely withdrawn from all relations and then puzzles over how such objects can be accessed or enter into relations: "by definition, there is no direct access to real objects. Bibliography See also References
Michel Foucault Born in Poitiers, France to an upper-middle-class family, Foucault was educated at the Lycée Henri-IV and then the École Normale Supérieure, where he developed an interest in philosophy and came under the influence of his tutors Jean Hyppolite and Louis Althusser. After several years as a cultural diplomat abroad, he returned to France and published his first major book, The History of Madness. After obtaining work between 1960 and 1966 at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, he produced two more significant publications, The Birth of the Clinic and The Order of Things, which displayed his increasing involvement with structuralism, a theoretical movement in social anthropology from which he later distanced himself. These first three histories were examples of a historiographical technique Foucault was developing which he called "archaeology". Early life Youth: 1926–1946 "I wasn't always smart, I was actually very stupid in school... École Normale Supérieure: 1946–1951
Postmodern Theory - Chapter 3: Deleuze and Guatari Chapter 3: Deleuze and Guattari: Schizos, Nomads, Rhizomes We live today in the age of partial objects, bricks that have been shattered to bits, and leftovers... We no longer believe in a primordial totality that once existed, or in a final totality that awaits us at some future date (Deleuze and Guattari 1983: p.42) A theory does not totalize; it is an instrument for multiplication and it also multiplies itself... Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari have embarked on postmodern adventures that attempt to create new forms of thought, writing, subjectivity, and politics. Their most influential book to date, Anti-Oedipus (1983; orig. 1972) is a provocative critique of modernity's discourses and institutions which repress desire and proliferate fascists subjectivities that haunt even revolutionary movements. Deleuze is a professor of philosophy who in the 1950s and 1960s gained attention for his studies of Spinoza, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Bergson, Proust and others.
Jacques Ellul Jacques Ellul (French: [ɛlyl]; January 6, 1912 – May 19, 1994) was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. A prolific writer, he authored 58 books and more than a thousand articles over his lifetime, many of which discussed propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics. The dominant theme of his work proved to be the threat to human freedom and religion created by modern technology. Among his most influential books are The Technological Society and Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. Considered by many a philosopher, Ellul was by training a sociologist who approached the question of technology and human action from a dialectical viewpoint. Life and influences Ellul was educated at the universities of Bordeaux and Paris.
Actor–network theory Broadly speaking, ANT is a constructivist approach in that it avoids essentialist explanations of events or innovations (e.g. explaining a successful theory by understanding the combinations and interactions of elements that make it successful, rather than saying it is “true” and the others are “false”). However, it is distinguished from many other STS and sociological network theories for its distinct material-semiotic approach. Background and context ANT appears to reflect many of the preoccupations of French post-structuralism, and in particular a concern with non-foundational and multiple material-semiotic relations. Many of the characteristic ANT tools (including the notions of translation, generalized symmetry and the “heterogeneous network”), together with a scientometric tool for mapping innovations in science and technology (“co-word analysis”) were initially developed during the 1980s, predominantly in and around the CSI. A material-semiotic method Translation
Luc Boltanski Luc Boltanski (born 1940) is a French sociologist, Professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and founder of the Groupe de Sociologie Politique et Morale, known as the leading figure in the new "pragmatic" school of French sociology. His work has significantly influenced sociology, political economy and social and economic history. He is the brother of artist Christian Boltanski. Work He contributed to the start of the "political and moral sociology" framework. His most recent work deals with the links between detective novels and the emergence of the nation state. On Justification A book co-authored with Laurent Thévenot, On Justification: The Economies of Worth, 2006 (French original: 1991), argues that modern societies are not a single social order but an interweaving of multiple orders. Central to On Justification is the notion of "test" to indicate forms of conflict among the actors, with a variable degree of legitimacy (chap. 5). T.
Bruno Latour Bruno Latour (/ləˈtʊər/; French: [latuʁ]; born 22 June 1947) is a French philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist. He is especially known for his work in the field of science and technology studies (STS). After teaching at the École des Mines de Paris (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation) from 1982 to 2006, he became Professor at Sciences Po Paris (2006–2017), where he was the scientific director of the Sciences Po Medialab. He retired from several university activities in 2017. He was also a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics. Latour's monographs earned him a 10th place among most-cited book authors in the humanities and social sciences for the year 2007. Biography As a student, Latour originally focused on philosophy and was deeply influenced by Michel Serres. Awards and honors Holberg Prize A 2013 article in Aftenposten by Jon Elster criticised the conferment to Latour, by saying "The question is, does he deserve the prize
Jacques Rancière : la haine de la démocratie « Nous avons été habitués à entendre que la démocratie était le pire des gouvernements à l’exception de tous les autres. Mais le nouveau sentiment anti-démocratique donne de la formule une version plus troublante. Le gouvernement démocratique, nous dit-il, est mauvais quand il se laisse corrompre par la société démocratique qui veut que tous soient égaux et toutes les différences respectées. » Jacques Rancière. Présentation de l’éditeur Hier encore, le discours officiel opposait les vertus de la démocratie à l’horreur totalitaire, tandis que les révolutionnaires récusaient ses apparences au nom d’une démocratie réelle à venir. Ces temps sont révolus. Pour comprendre cette mutation idéologique, il ne suffit pas de l’inscrire dans le présent du gouvernement mondial de la richesse. Introduction par Jacques Rancière (extrait) Nous avons été habitués à entendre que la démocratie était le pire des gouvernements à l’exception de tous les autres. Qu’est-ce pour vous la démocratie ?
Manuel Castells Manuel Castells (Spanish: Manuel Castells Oliván; born 1942) is a Spanish sociologist especially associated with research on the information society, communication and globalization. The 2000–09 research survey of the Social Sciences Citation Index ranks him as the world’s fifth most-cited social science scholar, and the foremost-cited communication scholar. He was awarded the 2012 Holberg Prize, for having "shaped our understanding of the political dynamics of urban and global economies in the network society. Life Manuel Castells was raised primarily in La Mancha but he moved to Barcelona, where he studied Law and Economics. "My parents were very good parents. Castells was politically active in the student anti-Franco movement, an adolescent political activism that forced him to flee Spain for France. In 1979, the University of California, Berkeley appointed him as Professor of Sociology, and Professor of City and Regional Planning. Work Publications Susser, Ida.
Jacques Rancière Jacques Rancière (born 1940) is a French philosopher, Professor of Philosophy at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris (St. Denis) who came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with the structural Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. Life and work Rancière contributed to the influential volume Reading Capital (though his contribution is not contained in the partial English translation) before publicly breaking with Althusser over his attitude toward the May 1968 student uprising in Paris; Rancière felt Althusser's theoretical stance didn't leave enough room for spontaneous popular uprising. Since then, Rancière has departed from the path set by his teacher and published a series of works probing the concepts that make up our understanding of political discourse, such as ideology and proletariat. Influence Selected bibliography Rancière's work in English translation Further reading
Network society The term network society describes several different phenomena related to the social, political, economic and cultural changes caused by the spread of networked, digital information and communications technologies. A number of academics (see below) are credited with coining the term since the 1980s and several competing definitions exist. The intellectual origins of the idea can be traced back to the work of early social theorists such as Georg Simmel who analyzed the effect of modernization and industrial capitalism on complex patterns of affiliation, organization, production and experience. Origins The term network society, nettsamfunn, was coined in Norwegian by Stein Braten in his book Modeller av menneske og samfunn (1981). Van Dijk defines the network society as a society in which a combination of social and media networks shapes its prime mode of organization and most important structures at all levels (individual, organizational and societal). Manuel Castells
Slavoj Žižek "Žižek" and "Zizek" redirect here. For the biographical documentary film, see Zizek!. Slavoj Žižek (Slovene pronunciation: [ˈslavoj ˈʒiʒɛk] ( ); born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian Marxist philosopher, and cultural critic, a senior researcher at the Institute for Sociology and Philosophy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Global Distinguished Professor of German at New York University, and international director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities. Žižek achieved international recognition as a social theorist after the 1989 publication of his first book in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology, which disputed a Marxist interpretation of ideology as false consciousness and argued for ideology as an unconscious fantasy that structures reality. His unorthodox style, frequent newspaper op-eds, and popular academic books have gained Žižek a wide following and international influence. Thought Ontology, ideology, and the Real Criticism Plagiarism incident