By Lisa Atwood Wilkinson
This e-book explores the prospect that Plato’s philosophia is stimulated via non-agonal practices and values that traditionally and philosophically antedate the agonal practices of the Athenian ekklesia. the writer surveys literature about the predominance of agonal in historical Greek tradition, the values linked to oral poetic functionality as a non secular perform, and the ever present personality of the gift perform often called xenia within the old global. the writer compares the constitution of the agon to the constitution of different historic practices, and purposes that whereas agonistic practices are oppositional and binary, poetic and social practices are narrative and plural and exemplify, replacement to the agonal, the worth of charis—grace. studying Socratic speech and Socratic inquiry when it comes to charis illuminates the narrative constitution of Plato’s portrayal of Socrates and precludes one-dimensional analyses of Plato’s writings as philosophically agonistic and demonstrative. really the worth of Socratic charis illustrates the worth of actual discussion, and the writer indicates how revaluing Socratic discussion in gentle of charis might be proper to present brooding about philosophy, politics, and the agon.
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Additional info for Socratic Charis: Philosophy without the Agon
As Benjamin suggests in passages such as the following, children and slum-dwellers share the same potentiality (surplusjouissance) lost to those immersed in realm of value: ‘I never slept on the street in Berlin. Only those for whom poverty and vice turn the city into a landscape in which they stray from dark till sunrise know it in a way denied to me’ (Benjamin 1968: 27). Destroying experience, capitalism turns the “nothing” of truth – the objective entropic waste, indivisible remainder of all signifying operations – into a commodity, an anodyne form of otherness to be profited from.
That is what makes it the greatest promoter of liberalism and of all kinds of liberties and rights (especially the right to be different), and the greatest deactivator of any real liberating or subversive potential of these differences. (Zupancˇicˇ 2006: 174) In this respect, we should unashamedly introduce a hiatus between true and false otherness. To use Alain Badiou’s terms, the objective status of truths – of truths which therefore appear in the world – depends on the fact that 46 On Žižek’s Dialectics ‘a truth is an exception to what there is’ (Badiou 2009a: 6).
Here is an emblematic passage from Michael Hardt: What is perhaps most attractive about these Italian theorists and the movements they grow out of is their joyful character. [. ] Here [. ] the collective pursuit of pleasures is always in the forefront – revolution is a desiring-machine. Perhaps this is why, although these authors follow many aspects of Marx’s work, they seldom develop either the critique of the commodity or the critique of ideology as a major theme. Although certainly important projects, both of these analyses run the risk of falling into a kind of asceticism that would predicate revolutionary struggle on a denial of the pleasures offered by capitalist society.
Socratic Charis: Philosophy without the Agon by Lisa Atwood Wilkinson