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Intersecting Philosophical Planes

Philosophical Essays

Bert Olivier

The philosophical essays collected here are predicated on the conviction that we live in a time when all-encompassing philosophical systems can no longer be seriously entertained as a true reflection of extant reality. Instead, an indefinite number of perspectives on – or discursive appropriations of – what is thought of as ‘reality’ are possible. Sometimes they diverge and sometimes they intersect in surprising ways, as these essays show. While the belief in an all-inclusive philosophical system is rejected, the author shows that every perspective displays a coherence and illuminating power of its own.
The collection is divided into two parts. The first considers philosophy, the individual and society, covering themes including the deleterious effects of capitalism on natural ecosystems, the modern conception of ‘immortality’ in Nietzsche’s thought, Lacan’s provocative interpretation of capitalist discourse, the current status of the humanities in universities, individual autonomy, the meaning of ‘identification’, global ‘terrorism’, and Plato’s philosophical self-subversion. The second part gathers together perspectives on the arts and society, with the author arguing that reflections on cinema, architecture and music never isolate these arts from social concerns, but demonstrate their interconnectedness.


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Acknowledgements xi


Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge the editorial permission to reprint the essays in this volume, which previously appeared in the journals listed below: Nature, capitalism, and the future of humankind. South African Journal of Philosophy (SAJP) 24 (2), pp. 121–135, 2005. Nietzsche, immortality, singularity and eternal recurrence. South African Journal of Philosophy, 26 (1), 2007, pp. 70–84. Lacan on the discourse of capitalism; Critical prospects. Phronimon: Journal of the South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, 10 (1), 2009, pp. 25–42. The ‘quasi-universality’ of the humanities. Phronimon: Journal of the South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, 11 (1), 2010, pp. 15–24. The humanities, technology, and universities. Phronimon: Journal of the South African Society for Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, 9 (1), 2008, pp. 5–21. That strange thing called ‘identifying’. South African Journal of Psychology, 39 (4), 2009, pp. 407–419. Foucault and individual autonomy. South African Journal of Psychology, 40 (3), September 2010, pp. 292–307. xii Acknowledgements ‘Terror(ism)’ in the context of cosmopolitanism. Alternation Journal – Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, 17 (2), 2010, pp. 333–360. The subversion of Plato’s quasi-phenomenology and mytho-poetics in the Symposium. Janus Head 11(1), (American Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology and the Arts), 2009, pp. 59–76. Women’s ‘nature’ and architectural design. South African Journal of Art History, 23 (3), 2008, pp. 66–74. Music and architecture:...

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