New Radical Enlightenment

New Radical Enlightenment:Philosophy for a Common World

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A new philosophy of emancipation that escapes from the false binaries imposed on us

This book calls for a new radical enlightenment, a combative attitude against the credulities and oppressions of our time. Today, when historical time has broken down and the present is a succession of catastrophes, who is still in a position to think critically? There seem to be only two alternatives: condemnation or salvation. This dilemma hides a renunciation of freedom, of improving our living conditions. What fears and opportunism feed these apocalyptic discourses? Why do we believe in them? Disobeying is today the fundamental critical attitude in order to make a common world thinkable.

Philosophy was born out of discussion, out of the rivalry between worldviews. The modern enlightenment projected an idea of progress, imposing it as a universal value and model. This book lays out the need for critical dissent as a new beginning for the Humanities that are in transition, dissent built on the inclusion of multiple voices attending the common problems that affect us. Humanities based on trust in the power of thought to recompose a liveable time, based on a common commitment to dignity. It is no longer a question of stretching the past of a dying history but of opening up to the present of an unfinished philosophy. Leaping out of historicism, an unfinished, living thought that updates the main problems of contemporary philosophy and places them in a planetary, post-colonial and feminist framework. A philosophy for a common world.

Reviews

  • What is redeemable from the Enlightenment? Garcés argues that is a question that remains unanswered: she puts forward the idea of composition between knowledge and emancipation. So, radicalizing the enlightenment (in dialogue with those who tried to do the same with modernity) implies the confrontation of the colonial project, which bound knowledge with domination and exploitation.

    Verónica Gago
  • Marina Garcés is a leading voice of the current debates on the shapes of a New Enlightenment. Her radical investigation focuses on the human not so much as a given ground for claims to universal validity, but rather as an open process, historically situated and accessible only from multiple points of view. Her contribution to the New Enlightenment discourse is one of multiperspectivity, including the temporal dimension of social change. The book is a must read for anybody interested in how one cannot only defend the Enlightenment project against the usual charges, but carry it forward in light of recent moral and epistemic progresses in the fields of thinkers of humans as gendered, temporally located animals who are nevertheless capable of achieving progress under fragile circumstances. In this context, Garcés also opens new avenues for understanding the contribution of the humanities and social sciences in their interdisciplinary effort to ground value judgment, not to merely relativize it.

    Markus Gabriel, University of Bonn
  • On the basis of an inventive reading of the history and conceptuality of enlightenment, Marina Garcés arrives at new concepts of knowledge, intelligence and philosophy. Against what she describes as today's "posthumous condition", an age of anti-enlightenment between apocalypse and solutionism, the Catalan philosopher calls for a "radical enlightenment". This concept does not only acutalize Kantian ideas from 250 years ago, but radically multiplies enlightenment thought both in space and in time. As there is a chain of enlightenments in different phases of history, radical enlightenment does not originate only in Europe, but comes from many places, as a work of rebellious weavers from all over the world, with a guerilla philosophy spreading and appearing wherever we least expect it. Listening to the silenced voices of distant places and minor histories, Marina Garcés creates a starting point for future philosophy, a philosophy without a specific territory or origin, a philosophy without dominion.

    Gerald Raunig, author of Art and Revolution: Transversal Activism in the Long Twentieth Century