Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice: Time and Tyranny in the Works of Alexandre Kojeve (Hardback)Gary M. Kelly (author)
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Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice maintains that political philosopher Alexandre Kojeve (1901-68) has been both famously misunderstood and famous for being misunderstood. Kojeve was famously understood by interpreters for seeing an "end of history" (an end that would display universal free democracies and even freer markets) as critical to his thought. He became famously misunderstood when interpreters, at the end of the twentieth century, placed such an end at the center of his thought. This book reads Kojeve again - as a thinker of time, not its end. It presents Kojeve as a philosopher and precisely as a time phenomenologist, rather than as a New Age guru. The book shows how Kojeve's time is inherently political, and indeed tyrannical, for being about his understanding of human relation. However, Kojeve's views on time and tyranny prove his undoing for making rule impossible because of what the book terms the "time-tyrant problem." Kojeve's entire political corpus is best understood as an attempt to rectify this problem.
So understood, Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice provides fresh perspective on the true nature of Kojevian irony, Kojeve's aims in the Strauss-Kojeve exchange, and how Kojeve at his best captures a philosophical, phenomenological time, one that marks some of the most dynamic and unique events of the twentieth century.
Headlines have largely erased the notion that history has ended. Philosophy and Politics at the Precipice, on the other hand, provides the philosophical justification for arguing that the end of the last millennium was not an end and that, for his view of time, Kojeve remains a thinker for the times ahead.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Inc
Number of pages: 218
Weight: 590 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"Kelly's study of Kojeve aims to correct two generations of misinterpretation. It is unique because: (1) he provides the first comprehensive analysis of Kojeve's writings that includes material published after the famous lectures on Hegel delivered during the 1930s, and (2) it proceeds from the inside, from Kojeve's phenomenology of time, to the outside, to history as a concluded sequence. The theorists of modern tyranny, of which exemplars from Karimov to Chavez, from Atlantic to Pacific across many time zones, will have to come to grips, even if they cannot come to terms, with Kelly's controversial Kojeve. For those few capable of enjoying Kojeve's Glasperlenspiel, this book is something no one could anticipate: a new interpretation!"
--Barry Cooper, University of Calgary
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