Sunday, 24 September 2017

Woman Gazes at Cat

by Teresita Pumará

I tell him that I’m hurting too, ever since I started talking.

Joann Sfar, The Rabbi’s Cat


Some time ago I invited to my house a friend who loves cats. Let’s call this friend F. and let’s refer to F. as “he” because, as my German teacher says, “masculine always stronger is”. F. does not have a cat in the moment, although he did as a child. So, when F. got home, he was happy and excited to meet my cat. Let’s call my cat Mishkin, because that is the name we gave him. F.’s anxiety was so intense, that he was all over Mishkin. He caressed him roughly, he poked him to force him to play with his hand, he chased him around the house and he did not coward when Mishkin showed him his ferocious teeth -Mishkin is a big cat who used to hunt weasels. I must say that Mishkin behaved like a civilized gentleman. He put up with F. with patience and despise. He is the hero in this story. I am the coward. I was always polite to F. and tried unsuccessfully to moderate his anxiety with warnings and fake concern about his safety. I felt pulled between my love and distress for my cat and my wish not to make my guest feel uncomfortable. When F. finally went home, I felt ashamed and sad. I had wronged Mishkin and failed his trust.


I am probably exaggerating. I am a cat person. But feeling pulled between human customs and the wellbeing of a cat left me wondering. Why did F. felt he could disturb Mishkin without minding his own disposition to play or to be caressed? F. obviously felt the cat was at his disposal. Some men feel that way about women. Although F. loves cats, he did not think a cat’s wishes and humour should be respected, and he ignored the signs of annoyance Mishkin repeatedly sent him.
I, on the contrary, have an almost religious respect for cats. I feel honoured when a cat likes me and seeks my hand to be petted. In fact, we do not say Mishkin is our pet, but that we are his humans. I must say, nevertheless, this pagan feeling of mine does not extend to all living things. I like plugging green leaves off trees and break them into a million pieces. I enjoy watching spiders eat their preys. I hate pigeons. Plants always die in my hands. But after sharing five years with a cat I slowly came to understand non-human beings live in a world of their own, a world radically different from ours but superposed to ours.
In the afternoons, I often take Mishkin out to the building’s courtyard so that he takes some fresh air and watches birds flying over his head. I take a book with me, but it is always more fun to watch Mishkin lift his head and sniff as if the wind brought some far away message, and then lie down majestically in his Tischbein’s Goethe position, “All is well in my kingdom”. No matter how used I am to the cat and his ways, I always go through the childlike philosophical experience of wonder. Mishkin presents me the mysterious in the familiar. Nature has a life of its own, he shows me, a way unknown to us, the all-knowers. We are not indispensable to nature.


When I was in the university I assisted to a couple of meetings of a reading group dedicated to French post-war gloomy philosophers. In one of the meetings I went to we discussed a Blanchot text where Blanchot claimed that a human being (most probably a Dasein) could only approach death and experience his finitude when faced with the death of the Other, the death of the fellow… Dasein. I remember everyone talking about the Otherness and the great Abyss and I feeling intimidated and never finding anything clever to say, because I was not sure what where we actually talking about. I also recall I was left thinking about the deaths I had faced and how they left me dumb, as if I was suddenly turned into stone or other inanimate material. The death of the other did not make me feel more human, if anything it made me feel less human and revealed me how much earth, fire, water and air we are. Maybe when faced to death we become aware of the thread we walk on. But only when spying life can we perceive its fragility and power, its self-sufficient virtuality.


In Ursula Le Guin’s Tales of Earthsea magicians exert their power by using the ancient language, which holds the true names of entities. Dragons, ancient, highly intelligent creatures, speak this language, and so by using the true speech magicians can communicate with them. Le Guin’s dragons usually have towards humans the attitude of a Nietzschean god: cruel and condescending, but generous. Something like Mishkin with F., Dragons in Le Guin’s book evoke for me ancient wisdom belonging to non-human beings. They are the perfect stoics. Some twentieth century philosophies taught us that through the awareness of death we become human, and that is what separates us from animals, not reason. I still believe that to be true. But I do not believe in the hierarchy it presupposes. This s because, when I gaze at my cat I feel he learned the lesson, embraced it and jumped to the other side while I stand petrified by death with my eyes fixed in the deepness of the abyss. An abyss I fill with words.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Beyond Realism: In Search of the Divine Other


The meaning of ‘talk about God’ remains the first and most fundamental issue facing philosophers and theologians in the modern age. This study concerns the analogies needed to make sense of that talk: images, ripe with poetic intensity, borrowed from the language and practice of faith; from the splicing together of lives, human and divine. It concerns, moreover, the reinvestment of those images in the structures of human personality, their role in the development of a renewed metaphysic of the human spirit, aspirationally divine or ‘upwardly’ oriented.
Such concerns have, in recent years, gained still greater urgency as a popular and aggressive ‘evangelical atheism’ has come to dominate religious discourse, threatening to obscure the human truth of religious language. The challenge is a familiar one; its polemic deeply indebted to British Empiricism and, perhaps, especially the Logical Positivism of the last century. It seems that those who put their faith in post-modern theories of language to silence the likes of Ayer and Russell spoke too soon.
In response, theism has retreated from empiricist attack into a new-found realism. Championed by the likes of Peter Byrne, William Alston, and of course, Richard Swinburne, neo-realist metaphysics has, ostensibly, steeped itself in classical philosophy. Amid the search for reason and necessity, the God of grace and providence, of ordinary belief, has been forced to yield to ‘Perfect Being’ thinking, Absolute Being ontology, and other forms of untenable metaphysics, with few alternatives on the margins of relevance. The God of the philosophers may have the virtue of necessity, but this Being’s temperament remains essentially anti-social. With God successfully held in logical quarantine, we may well wonder whether ‘God-talk’ means anything at all.
To close the breach and realign finite with Infinite, philosophical faith with practical piety, has become the most pressing problem in contemporary philosophical theology. Undoubtedly, Whitehead and his neo-classical followers have been quick to learn the lessons of British Empiricism. If anything, however, they learned them too well, placing the religious emphasis almost exclusively on natural, physical forces. So seamless an alignment of God with Creation can be of little comfort to the ordinary believer.
Caught between inflationary transcendence and reductive empiricism, the ‘gap’ between theological speculation and religious belief has widened until neither side seems very concerned with the other. Cleaving to ‘first principles’ and other metaphysical abstractions, both classical and neo-classical theologians have disenfranchised the faithful, putting faith on a trajectory for atheism.
To steer a course between such extremes, I want to return to an earlier tradition; to a metaphysic of persons exemplified in the practice of faith. Doing so draws upon the logic of personal identity: what it means to be, or rather, to become, a person.
This is the practical application of a cutting-edge theology, progeny of one of the twentieth century’s last great metaphysical minds. Almost fifty years after his death, Austin Farrer remains in the vanguard of modern theology, his vital grasp of faith and philosophy unequalled and unrivalled. Farrer first defended theology against the excesses of positivist and then process reduction but he used them to drive his own retreat from the scholastic tradition. This was analysed at great length by Charles Conti in Metaphysical Personalism.
Locating the means and motive for revision in the experience and expressions of lived faith, Farrer supplied the vital corrective; there is nothing more one can say about such an overweening impersonalism which describes God as Ens per se, so cuts its own throat by depersonalising the cosmological connection.
It is my supposition, on Farrer’s behalf, that person-concepts meet the pragmatic demands of both metaphysical theism and realistic belief. So doing, they open up a more fertile route between orthodox and ‘process’ mythologies. Following that route, I begin with the incoherence of philosophical realism and its ruinous application to theism. From there, we journey backwards into neo-classical and neo-Thomist thinkers who themselves attempted to overcome realist abstractions. Our destination lies in a Feuerbachian anthropology of theology or ‘anthropotheism’. Like Farrer, Ludwig Feuerbach used the language of the believer to relocate theology and philosophy within a framework which makes fertile use of anthropomorphic personifications to ‘think’ God.
Ultimately, revisiting the personalist presuppositions of metaphysics in this way throws light on questions of personal identity, which is to describe the nature of an ‘overview’ existence directly related to or experienced in ourselves. This is to ‘draw’ reality on a grand-scale and, most importantly, locate our place within that image. Doing theology dynamically, or psychologically informed – as both Farrer and Feuerbach insisted we must – means recognising the constitutive role projections play in self-construction. Without conscious, active, or intentional participation in our projects, we cannot become persons at all. This returns us to the practice of faith wherein Feuerbach’s anthropology is reconstructed as applied theology, thus completing the personalist metaphysics perpetuated by Farrer as initially developed by the Biblical faith in a Godly person. And what greater challenge can religious philosophy respond to today?

Friday, 15 September 2017

New Book by Simon Smith!

Beyond Realism: Seeking the Divine Other
A Study in Applied Metaphysics
by Simon Smith

The meaning of “God-talk” remains the fundamental issue facing religious thinkers today. This study concerns the analogies needed to make sense of that talk. Embracing those analogies signals the application of Austin Farrer’s cutting-edge theology. Almost fifty years after his death, Farrer remains one of the twentieth century’s last great metaphysical minds, his grasp of faith and philosophy unequalled. Having defended religious thought against both Positivist and Process reduction, he pursued his own revision of scholastic tradition, ultimately developing the vital corrective to an overweening impersonalism, one which depersonalises the divine so severs the cosmological connection.
Following this course returns us to an earlier tradition, to a metaphysic of persons exemplified in the expressions of lived faith. This draws upon the logic of personal identity: what it means to be, or rather, to become, a person. Hence, journey’s end lies in a Feuerbachian anthropology of theology or ‘anthropotheism’. Like Farrer, Feuerbach used the believer’s language to relocate theology and philosophy within a framework that makes fertile use of anthropomorphic personifications to ‘think’ God.
Revisiting the personalist presuppositions of metaphysics in this way throws light on the most vital questions of personal identity. To answer them is to ‘draw’ reality on a grander scale than either realism or consequentialism is capable of. Most importantly, it is to locate our place within that image.  

Beyond Realism: Seeking the Divine Other

(10% discount on checkout with code CFC1791FD3)


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Conference Report: IV IberoLatino Personalismo Conference

by Denis Larrivee

Spanish speaking personalists again advanced scholarly commitment to the most significant philosophical contribution to human anthropology of the 20th century, personalism. Held at the Universidad Popular Autonoma des Estado de Puebla in Puebla Mexico August 28 to 30 the IV IberoLatino Personalismo conference featured a reaffirmation by Spanish scholars of its centrality for normative action in human activity. Building on the work of Wojtyla, Mounier, Maritain, and Hildebrand the conference also explored the contributions of significant but lesser known figures like Carlos Llanas in economic theory and evolved personalist frameworks for education, psychological therapy, and neuroethics.
Specific contributions on the impact of personalism in economics from economic scholar Rocco Buttiglione and personalism’s geo and cultural challenges by Juan Manuel Burgos established the thematic orientation, bookending the three-day conference's inception and closing. Dominating material content were 69 panel papers given by scholars from ten Spanish language nations of Central and South America, and their European ‘patrones’ from Spain. Although a majority of papers originated in universities of the host country, the significance of personalist philosophy in the broader culture was emphasized by the inclusion of attendees from Asia (Korea), North America (United States), and Europe (Italy and Poland).
The challenge to the cultural acceptance of personalism as a metaethical principle and anthropological framework was nonetheless also evident, some 70 years after Jacques Maritain's instrumental influence in the UN adoption of the Rights of the Person as a guiding manifesto. Proposals for personalist frameworks in education and psychology were, for example, set against the backdrop of the obvious dehumanizing structures of thought and action that today remain widely distributed. Contemporary trends have radically delocalized the personalist subject in human anthropology, confounding progress in education, psychology, and neuro(bio)ethics. Yale’s 2015 conference on the person, for example, was noted for its pursuit of definitional elasticity in anthropology that can only impede normative valuation in the human personalist subject. As Juan Manuel Burgos noted much remains to do.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Mortals, Money, and Masters of Thought

by Giorgio Baruchello

Thanks to the interest of Northwest Passage Books, I combine together in this volume my past articles and book chapters on the subjects of mortality and death.
The first part of the book, “Mortals”, offers a broad set of reflections on death and mortality as experiences functioning qua potential intellectual cum emotional means, by which we can better grasp the fundamental structures of value and meaning of human life. Specifically, I offer a synoptic account of positive appraisals of death and mortality in the history of Western philosophy, plus some references to Eastern thought too, as well as of representative cases of philosophical pessimism in general, and highlight how a more fundamental philosophy of life can emerge thereof (chapter 1). A related study of the original split in ancient philosophy between the world of everyday experience and a seemingly deeper, truer world revealed by reason alone is then offered, in order to cast further light on some of the most influential forms of just such positive appraisals, i.e. Socrates’ and Plato’s (chapter 2). Additionally, I tackle the philosophical assumptions of the modern scientific worldview, born with Descartes and Galileo in the 17th century, and flesh out their bearings upon the notions of death, mortality and, once more, life (chapter 3).
The second part, “Money”, comprises reflections on the most powerful and widespread cause of avoidable death in the world today, namely the misconceived and misdirected structure of value operating at the very heart of the global economy. In this connection, much of the text expounded in the second part is based upon prolonged exchanges that I had with Valerio Lintner, professor of economics at London’s American Business School, leading to co-authored contributions to the 2009 and 2010 volumes of the Death and Anti-Death book series of Ria University Press. Precisely, I begin by continuing the reflections on modern science’s fundamentally lifeless worldview begun in chapter 3 and apply them to the modern social science of economics (chapter 4). An imaginary dialogue follows between Athena B., a philosopher, and Hermes L., an economist, in order to highlight, in a lighter tone, the core problems with contemporary economics and, above all, with the world’s economies, so as to make the lifelessness discussed in the previous chapter more tangible in its everyday, but nonetheless deadly character (chapter 5). Additional reflections on contemporary economic woes and their lethal aspects ensue, suggesting remedies and showing implicitly how philosophy can function as a lifeline of fundamental criteria (e.g. good and bad) for other disciplines’ self-assessment and amelioration (chapter 6). In essence, philosophy is the unique and uniquely valuable discipline that can allow the specialists of all the other disciplines to pause and ponder upon why they are doing whatever they may be doing, and whether it may be wise to keep doing it or, instead, refrain from it and redirect their efforts. After all, while the focus of the other disciplines is firmly and valiantly set upon knowledge as such, philosophy’s traditional and peculiar focus is wisdom. Being knowledgeable is not the same thing as being wise. This non-identity has been amply and frequently exemplified in human affairs. There have been talented physicists and hardworking engineers designing newer and deadlier weapons of mass destruction. Top-notch psychologists and gifted marketing experts concocting effective new ways to sell more fat- and sugar-laden addictive junk food to children and teenagers. Committed managers and capable software programmers who have been replacing human beings with machines that accrue to shareholder value and yet make high unemployment rates unswerving. Not to mention high finance’s ‘best and brightest’ bringing about yet another economic collapse by means of mathematically complex tokens of highly paid technical wizardry and wildly celebrated financial genius, adding then, on top of it all, the wrong expert advice for recovery, as tragically and cruelly exemplified by the recent case of Greek austerity (chapter 7).
The third and last part, “Masters of Thought”, contains explorations of past reflections on mortality and death by five great minds in the philosophical canon of the West: Michel de Montaigne (1533–1592), Giambattista Vico (1668–1744), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), Michael Polanyi (1891–1976) and Cornelius Castoriadis (1922–1997). They are five masters of philosophical thought from five different European countries of origin (i.e. France, Italy, Germany, Greece and Hungary), who wrote in remarkably different styles (e.g. first-person memoires and essays, lengthy treatises, collected aphorisms, scholarly articles, books and interviews) in different historical periods (i.e. the Renaissance, the early Enlightenment, the peak of European imperialism, the two World Wars and the Cold War) and personal contexts. For example, Vico led a private existence as a minor Neapolitan academic and a provincial tutor for patrician youngsters, fighting against severe bouts of depression throughout his life. Conversely, Castoriadis was an energetic and self-confident man, who fought as a Trotskyist partisan in the 1940s, worked until 1970 as an economist for the OECD, and then started practicing as a psychoanalyst in 1973. Yet, jointly, these five thinkers show how philosophy can be the place where our questions about mortality and death are verily taken seriously and pursued most thoroughly, whatever the results may be, and whether we agree or disagree upon such results. In particular, Montaigne and Nietzsche are compared and contrasted in their deeply personal, self-centered, this-worldly philosophical understanding of human mortality (chapter 8). Then, in chronological order, further insights on the same subject are retrieved and discussed vis-à-vis the philosophies of Vico (chapter 9), Castoriadis (chapter 10) and Polanyi (chapter 11). All three of them cast light on the existentially pivotal given of mortality, yet via conspicuously different areas of emphasis and cultural entry points, which are, respectively, literature and anthropology for Vico, politics and psychoanalysis for Castoriadis, and epistemology and religion for Polanyi.
Taken together with the other thinkers cited and discussed in the preceding chapters of this volume, albeit to inevitably uneven degrees of depth and breadth, the concluding four chapters allow this book to offer itself as a fairly comprehensive account of the many philosophies of death and mortality available in the history of, primarily, Western thought. As such, this book should be of interest to any reader who wishes to explore this history and/or the topics of death and mortality under the perspective of intellectual history. Above all, this book should extend an opportunity for meditating upon such topics, in the hope of helping the reader to cope with our quintessential finitude.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

New Book by Giorgio Baruchello

Mortals, Money, and Masters of Thought
Collected Philosophical Essays
by Giorgio Baruchello

Paperback, $19.95 USD.
Purchase from Amazon

“Mortals, Money, and Masters of Thought is a thoroughly enjoyable medley of philosophical meditations. Covering a very wide variety of topics, from metaphysical matters like the nature of history and art, to practical and ethically serious matters like global economic injustice, this collection nevertheless offers a remarkably coherent reading experience, where all topics are joined together by the common theme of death. This is the work of an enquiring mind, investigating the most serious matters with logical clarity and also with imaginative playfulness.”
-- Brendan Myers, 
author of The Other Side of Virtue and Reclaiming Civilization.

Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio Baruchello is an Icelandic citizen and works as Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Akureyri, Iceland. He read philosophy in Genoa and Reykjavík, Iceland, and holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Guelph, Canada. His publications encompass several different areas, especially social philosophy, theory of value, and intellectual history. Since 2005 he edits Nordicum-Mediterraneum: The Icelandic E-Journal of Nordic and Mediterranean Studies.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Micropolitics: from Subjects to Folds

by Christian Gilliam

Whether individual or collective, the subject has been a central component of the ‘dogmatic image of thought’ of political theory and practice, specifically insofar as it is treated as the indispensable precondition of thought, meaning, action and ethics. Even where the subject is radically displaced, as is increasingly the default position of contemporary radical thought and those writing within a broadly postmodern milieu, it is still retained in some form. Displacement, after all, is not the same as eradication. Such positions have, in effect, become the last and perhaps final bastion of the subject – an attempt to concede as much ground as possible to the postmodern delight of killing off modern metanarratives without for all that giving up the form of what has been perhaps the grand narrative of modernism. Political theories of ‘lack’ are the most prominent in this respect, holding that despite the fallibility of the subject, inasmuch as it ultimately fails to secure itself, there is still a need for some form of a temporarily centred subject with a sense of its identity and capacity to act. Here, I am referring to thinkers such as Slajov Žižek and Ernesto Laclau.
There are countless other examples of theories that retain some version of this kind of subject, but only one real exception: political philosophies of immanence, whose two main figureheads can be said to be Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. What is immanence? At its most basic, immanence refers to a state of being internal or remaining within, in which the condition is in the conditioned, the cause in the effect. Rooted in the thought of Spinoza and the ancient Stoics on the nature of divinity, when applied to the formal structure of subjectivity, immanence completely eschews the subject as a constitutive foundation. The subject – its ego and the identities by which it coordinates itself – is a semblance of a prior pre-individual and pre-personal (unconscious) transcendental process.
    The transcendental must not be confused with transcendence. Whereas transcendence refers to that which conditions from without, or to that which is external to the conditioned, transcendentalism refers to the conditions of subjective experience, i.e. that which allows us to build coherent and cogent representations and meanings of the world and our self. The transcendental has long been attached to transcendence, in the sense that it has often been posited that the conditions of experience are external to experience itself. We find such a conceptualisation in the transcendental idealism of Kant, for instance. But with immanence, we have what Deleuze termed ‘transcendental empiricism’. For though immanence eschews the transcendental idealism of both Kant on the basis of presenting positions of transcendence, it is nevertheless still transcendental insofar as it concerns itself with the conditions of experience, and yet still empirical insofar it concerns itself with the real to which it is immanent. The unconscious transcendental conditions of experience/ thought/ political transformation are derived from and actualised through experience itself. The cause remains within the effect, denoting a relation of ‘double-conditioning’, as Michel Foucault put it.
The question of political subjectivity, then, is one that must be posited at the level transcendental level itself, and not as a Kantian redoubling of the empirical that still precludes the transcendental from being posited as an object of experience. This duality does not amount to an ontological dualism. Rather, it establishes a philosophy of Univocity, an ontology of the One.
To remain within? The One? Taken together, this might suggest some kind of harmonious unity or interiority. Indeed, this is the way immanence is sometimes conceived by some of the very figures that the I argue belongs together in a lineage of immanence – Sartre, for example, holds such a view when criticising the immanence conceived in phenomenology. But what is significant about a different notion of immanence that develops from Sartre and Merleau-Ponty and reaches its culmination in Deleuze and Foucault is that, despite superficial appearances, it cannot be restricted to or defined in such terms. Instead, it entails a concept of the Outside or Other, and a corresponding violence or disturbance, reconfigured in terms of non-Euclidean ‘folding’. The ‘fold’ refers to a disjunctive synthesis as a virtual/interpenetrative spatio-temporal relation of multiple existential sense or series that are derived from actual experience. The multiple senses fundamentally differ to each other, and yet continue to relate between and within the Inside/Outside of the self, forming a continuum of multiplicities. Thus the synthesis is neither of pure interiority or pure exteriority. It is a synthesis that evokes the folding of a piece of paper.
Spatial metaphors have long formed the basis of metaphysical discourse. And certainly the folded paper is a rather fruitful discursive example, if we are to understand the paper as interchangeable for Univocal immanent Being, i.e. the One of difference. Two marks on diagonally opposing corners of a piece of A4 paper may be distinguished by their negative difference, in that this primarily demarcates respective locations or identities. Unassuming as the point may seem, it is notable that the opposing marks are still of the same paper, for it is by virtue of this that if I were to fold one side of the paper over to the other, the two opposing marks would still retain their negative difference in one dimension, while gaining a closer connection in another. If this idea of folding is applied to multiple spatial dimensions, as we find in non-Euclidean n-dimensional space (and even multiple temporal dimensions), then we can image a highly complex relation of folds as a generative and constitutive process, which is always immanent unto itself. The non-Euclideanism of this process – an idea taken from the mathematician Bernhard Riemann and developed into metaphysics via Henri Bergson and Maurice Merleau-Ponty – partly signifies a subversion of the spatialised metaphors of metaphysics, e.g. in Plato, the Good is that which is ‘higher’. With a non-Euclidean fold, it follows that I can fold in multiple ways via multiple dimensions to generate new divergent relations between and within the marks on it and even the form of the paper itself. Yet the paper shall remain, with no need of extrinsic dimensions.
Although opposition and/or correspondence between two things (such as the folded marks) may still exist, neither their opposition and/or correspondence are constitutive or conceptually holistic, since such opposition and/or correspondence will never delineate the multiple/other meanings, senses or differences, that exist between and within the two things. Thus, the synthesis is one that bypasses the old dichotomy between the order of dialectical unity and chaos of complete non-relation – Apollo vs. Dionysus – delineating, instead, a ‘structural dissymmetry’ in which the constitutive differences of a being are related through their difference, establishing intersections where differences resonate and communicate with each other and out of which temporary unities of identity may arise.
    As opposed to a politics of the subject, then, immanence posits an ‘immanent life’ of prepersonal and preindividual virtual events and singularities, which are in turn actualised and politically organised in the form of subjects and objects to which it attributes itself. Indeed, as Deleuze argues, all expression requires organisation/stratified relations through formed matters in disjunction with social production or political forms (interchangeably understood as the ‘macropolitical’). ‘A life’ is therefore not marked by separate individualities and subjective qualities as much as it is defined by distinct singularities and virtuals engaged in a process of actualisation following the politicised plane that gives it its particular reality. This is precisely what the micropolitical is; that which is constitutive of our being, operating below the level of segmented forms, actualised expressions and conscious thought. We are micropolitical before we are political.
It is precisely this micropolitical domain, and its relevance to post-industrial capitalism and resistance to it, that I explore in Immanence and Micropolitics: Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucualt and Deleuze.

Christian Gilliam is a political philosopher, former UK Labour Party politician and author of Immanence and Micropolitics: Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault and Deleuze (Edinburgh University Press, 2017). His philosophical work focuses on French existentialism, political subjectivity and micropolitics. Having previously worked as Associate Lecturer in political theory at the University of Kent and Visiting Lecturer in modern philosophy at Royal Holloway, where he received his PhD., he currently works for the Doctoral College at the University of Surrey and is the lead, along with Dr Allan Johnson, of the Arts and Humanities Research Group (AHRG). Gilliam has published articles in prominent journals, including Contemporary Political Theory and Existential Analysis.