Sunday, 28 July 2019

Part the Third. Mirror Images: Philosophy, Feuerbach, and the Dialectics of Consciousness

by Simon Smith
Feuerbach’s Radical Critique: Unpacking the Dialectic

Thus far, we have seen the development of consciousness as religious consciousness: a dialectic reflecting on the co-constitution of itself, its own essential sociality. We have also seen how that reflection reveals a fundamental disharmony between the self and the other inside, a disunion between who I am and who I ought to be. This is the creative insecurity, Kierkegaard’s five thousand fathoms of doubt, which drives the dialectic of religious consciousness onward and upward, transforming religion into onto-theology, speculative philosophy, before delivering consciousness into the hands of modern materialism and all its abstract metaphysical constructs.

Atheism, ho!

Step 2: Theology & Philosophy
Theology sees religious consciousness cast out of the Garden of Eden. The self no longer recognises itself as a participant, still less a constituent, of the primal dialogue, I and Thou. The dialogue is still the ground of my Being, but it’s no longer who I am. It is only who ought to be and consequently who I am not. By objectifying the dialogue, theology alienates the self from its natural context, transforming it into a separate, subjective, limited, and contingent being: the object of a real, which is to say, necessary, Being.[1]
Re-framing the divine Other as Objective Subject, forces religious consciousness to acknowledge the anthropic implications of its projection: the personal predicates at work in our thought and talk about God no longer represent objective truths about personal being. If they did, they would belong to the self, necessarily; but a self that ought to possess such qualities obviously can’t possess them necessarily. The personal God, therefore, appears as an anthropomorphism; its qualities: expressions of subjectivity, nothing but reflections of finitude and contingency.

The predicates will have to go. 

So begins an act of intellectual purification: in Feuerbach’s words, the “abstraction from all that is sensuous and material”[2] about the believer’s conception of God, the purging of all religion’s “subjective” content, the better to isolate the “true” or “objective” grounds of conscious existence.
It seems possible, if not probable, that the classical doctrine Contemptus Mundi is at work in all this. Exorcising the temptations and contaminations of finitude, in the words of the Book of Common Prayer: “the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.”
Theologically, that may be so; Feuerbach, however, walks a more strictly philosophical path. By purging the project of anthropomorphism, he sees religious consciousness as striving to meet the realist conditions of its own objectification. The move is a tentative one at first: the divine predicates are not rejected absolutely but merely distinguished from the divine subject. In this way, the consciousness that negates itself may still reclaim itself as a reflection of Necessary Being, relocate its own contingent being within the charter of an Objective Subject. That way, theology resists the fullest implications of its necessitarian demands. Apparently, theology wants to have its ontological cake and eat it.

Under the austere gaze of speculative philosophy, however, theology will find that there is no cake.

Mere distinction is not enough: the personal predicates from which God-talk is arises must be stripped away completely.  No vestige of subjectivity must remain if we are to encounter the Real Being of God.
This acid rejection of personal predicates – and cake – forces consciousness into an ontological crisis. Apart from some predicable possibility, Being remains logically underdetermined. Entity is a presupposition of recognisable, describable identity. Sans identity, the presupposition is cast adrift without the logical anchor of that which it’s supposed to presuppose. In abstraction from any recognisable mode of existence, being-just-being-itself – the ground of being – lacks particular instantiation: it – whatever it is – is not this, that, or any other thing. Necessary Being is nothing but an empty construct.
Logically dubious and descriptively threadbare, the Objective Subject is pragmatically disastrous. Since it offers no distinguishable existence, there can be no real relation. Being isolated from particular effect means Necessary Being is isolated from the particular “effect” that is the finite self. But a God who’s isolated from us, “who does not trouble himself about us, who does not hear our prayers, who does not see us and love us, is no God.”[3]
In the end, Necessary Being has neither moral nor psychological purchase to offer. Breaking the ontological tension here leaves consciousness with a deceptively simple dichotomy. Take refuge in the illusions of Necessary Being; or confine itself to the narrowing limits of self-separating, contingent “being,” the isolation of consciousness: being as a limited, finite individual.

And this is where the story really starts!

[1] See Essence of Christianity, 29-30.
[2] Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, 13.
[3] Essence of Christianity, 213.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Part the Second. Mirror Images: Philosophy, Feuerbach, and the Dialectics of Consciousness

by Simon Smith
Feuerbach’s Radical Critique: Unpacking the Dialectic

In the previous instalment, we set out to consider the point and purpose of philosophy. In truth, this is a question that has troubled me for some time. I have come to suspect that there isn’t one – at least as far as academic philosophy is concerned. What, one might fairly wonder, do (academic) philosophers actually do, apart from talk a load of old toot to other academic philosophers?
From this, of course, it does not follow that philosophy, per se, has neither point nor purpose, although that is also a distinct possibility. However, the unexamined life, as Socrates reminds us, is hardly worth the candle. Likewise, Feuerbach saw, in philosophy the most truly and profoundly human of all human acts. No, not eating seventy-five hotdogs in a minute. And it’s not taking pictures of other humans sans vests either. No, what Feuerbach saw in philosophy was an act of self-discovery, of self-transformation, of becoming human. Indeed, it’s not only philosophy but every attempt to understand ourselves and our universe that embodies, better, manifests the dialectic of consciousness.

Let’s take this one step at a time.

Step 1: Religion
The dialectic works like this: in the first stage, we see the “objectification,” the projecting outwards, of our true nature; what Feuerbach’s calls our “species being”.
“Species being” represents the primal determination of the self, the essence of our humanity. And that determination or essence marks the self as a social reality; consciousness, to borrow Austin Farrer’s phrase, is a “social product.”[1]
The roots of who and what we are, of all the various modalities in which personal identity is embodied, lie in the arms of those who cradled us and cared for us and taught us how to be conscious human beings in the first place. We’re made to be cared for, as John Macmurray rightly said – the psychological evidence is undeniable; the biological evidence, irrefutable (though probably a lot more fun). Simply put, selfhood does not spontaneously burst forth, like a pluke on the end of one’s nose. It is invested in us.
In particular, we’re taught to think, or more precisely to speak. Talked into talking, we learn, as Farrer put it, to “talk silently to the images of the absent, or… pretend to be our own twin, and talk to ourself.” And so we learn to think, for “[t]hought is the interiorisation of dialogue.”

From which it follows, of course, that people who do not talk to others cannot think for themselves.

In teaching us to think, those who have and hold us stake their claim to the structure of those primal transactions: they too are internalised, instilling the self with what Feuerbach called “the inner life of man.” The developing self, its needs, activities, and perspectives are refracted by, passed through, the image of the other. Being “filtered”, the self learns to evaluate and re-evaluate itself, to construct and re-construct itself, in relation to others. And so, in other words, I learn to double myself, to put myself in the place of others and re-enact that otherness. To become I, that is, the self must learn to be Thou unto others.
That, in sum, is what Feuerbach sees at the heart of religious mythology: the anthropomorphic personification of “species being,” the “inner life of man” writ large in illuminated text and reflected in the life of faith: “[t]he image of God [he said] is…the ‘mirror of man’.”[2] In that mirror, consciousness reflects back upon itself, not directly, but refracted through the idealised image of itself, the essential sociality of its nature. This image, however, destabilises the self; for, as Feuerbach put it, it “proclaims to me what I ought to be, it also tells me to my face, without any flattery, what I am not.”[3]

And who wouldn’t love that?

Thus am I thrown “into strife, into disunion with myself;” thus am I compelled to confront and indeed participate in the dialectics of my own self-construction.
Philosophically speaking, consciousness conceives, i.e. enacts, itself in relation to a transcending archetype, an idealised otherness.
To the religious believer, of course, that means putting oneself in the way of God’s will, of enacting that will in the world.
Nota bene, the reduction here, insofar as there is one, is epistemological, not ontological. Contrary to popular opinion, Feuerbach’s claim is not “What God is to me, is all God is,” but simply, “[w]hat God is to me is to me all he is.”[4]  The repetition is crucial.  God can only be (for me) what God is (to me).  That means no ontological reduction, but instead a demand for psychological purchase, a recognisable predication-principle. The point of application (of truth) is the point of appropriation of the self. That is to say, in order to instantiate human being, consciousness appeals for “a being with attributes analogous to the human.” Analogous because cosmological instantiation cannot be literally predicated of God.  In short, although ostensibly “about” God, the analogate of the analogy is for us.

And this is where the story really starts!

[1] This is from Faith and Speculation, although I can't find the exact page just at the moment. If anyone is interested, drop me a line and I’ll dig it out.
[2] Volume VI, 78, Feuerbach’s Collected Works; quoted Wartofsky, 292.
[3] Essence of Christianity, 47. Cf. Iris Murdoch, Sartre, Romantic Rationalist (London: Fontana, 1967), 65-66: ‘A sense of value then is as sense of lack, the lack of a certain completeness; and the reflective consciousness which reveals to us this lack (under the eye of which what we are shrivels, as it were, to nothing) is properly called a moral consciousness.’
[4] Essence of Christianity, 16; my emphasis.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

CFP: Inscriptions

Outsourced! Mediatisation and rivalry

To raise oneself above the fray, to situate oneself at distance, to let someone else act in our stead – these are ways that enable us to take up an analytical, reflective position. When the mind is released from the immediacy of the biological drive, we can enter into a mediate relation to our world, and it is this indirect, contemplative relation that lays the ground for reflection and insight.

The psychoanalyst and philosopher Slavoj Žižek has used the term “outsourcing” to explain this effect: when we allow others to act and react in our place, we let them be active for us. This kind of interpassivity – some agent is active so that we can be passive – allows the observer to take up a mediate relation to his or her world by letting the interpassive relationship articulate the immediacy of the drive. Indeed, in the psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan we observe a necessary movement of mediatisation as we become beings of desire: it is through the intervention of language that we can rise above the immediacy of the drive and begin to articulate what it is that we want. Language, in this view, is a vehicle to mediatise desire.

In the philosophy of Wolfgang Schirmacher the active agent of interpassivity takes the shape of a mediated figure, theHomo generator. This is an inaugurator of human reality in the media, and as such it is a stand-in for the observer and consumer. It is in this sense that the mediate figure serves as a clone of our inner desires: in the media we can see generations of new life, and we can begin to determine our biological and spirital future. The interpassive encounter in Schirmacher is decidedly more artful, more social, than Žižek's psychoanalytic approach. The key distinction lies in the medium where our desires are transposed: is it restricted to a psychic and linguistic realm, or does mediatisation take place in a social, and potentially empirical domain?

It was as an amalgamation of these two senses of mediatisation that Rene Girard's theory of mimetic rivalry emerged as a profound and comprehensive explanation of violence half a century ago. The figure of a mediator – or model – of desire enabled Girard to study how it is that what we believe is most intimately ours, our desire, continues to be shaped by our mediators, which, in turn, become our rivals in our quest to satisfy our desires. To Girard it was characteristic of desire itself that it was shaped by mimesis, governed by attempts to upend our rivals, and culminating in mass-mediated spectacles that stage the elimination of the mediator and model.

Our forthcoming issue of Inscriptions (vol. 3, no. 1) seeks to investigate questions of desire, mediatisation, and rivalry in ways that encompass both psychic and social approaches, and that engage several senses of terms such as medium, model, and rivalry. Key questions include:
In what sense is our desire mediated in traditional and contemporary media, and to what effect?
What is the relation between media consumption and reflection, and how can philosophy intervene in the debate over social media?
How does the process of mediatisation generate social effects such as scapegoating, and in what sense should we take a normative stand on such effects?

Submission instructions
Academic essays should be 3,000 to 4,500 words. We also seek scholarship in the form of interviews, reviews, short interventions, opinion pieces, etc., and in these cases we also seek shorter texts. Inscriptions adheres to the Chicago Manual of Style (footnotes and bibliography). For other instructions, please see our website. We encourage potential authors to submit proposals for review prior to their writing/submitting entire full-length manuscripts. Include title, proposal (150 words), short biography, and institutional affiliation in your preliminary submission. All academic essays undergo double-blind peer review.

Submit proposals, essays and literary fiction on or before September 15 through our online platform at

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Mirror Images: Philosophy, Feuerbach, and the Dialectics of Consciousness

by Simon Smith

Ladieees and gentlemen, or vice versa. I present, for your edification and enjoyment a paper presented by me, or someone very similar, at last year’s 2018 Estonian Annual Conference of Philosophy. Thus far, it remains the only, 2018 Estonian Annual Conference of Philosophy that I have attended; although, in truth, I was impersonating myself at the time. Entitled The Utility and Futility of Philosophy, the conference was held at Tallinn University, Estonia. Everyone was perfectly charming and I had a thoroughly splendid time. So here, in revenge and approximately three parts is what I told them about Feuerbach and purpose or point of philosophy.

Introduction: is Philosophy Just Bullshit?
From a Feuerbachian perspective, searching among philosophy’s objects for a purpose is a fruitless exercise. Not because there are so few objects left – thanks to the sciences – but because it’s the wrong place to look. Those objects that do remain, present us, as Ludwig Feuerbach said, with a mere “show of philosophy” that is “no philosophy at all.”[1] Abstract essences and egos abound; yet such “self-sufficing speculation” is suitable only for the most “dull and pedantic minds.”
If you’re feeling antagonised, you’re meant to. To be understood or accepted by his peers would, I think, have been Feuerbach’s greatest failure. His “highest triumph,” by contrast, lies in the fact that, to many, his philosophy “appears to be no philosophy at all.”[2] Not surprising; his aim was a radical critique leading ultimately to “the negation of philosophy.” A laudable ambition indeed. For only that negation, insisted Feuerbach, is “the true philosophy”
The course of that critique, that negation, is generally well known. It exposed religion and theology as nothing but anthropomorphic projection. The personal character of the divine as a function or manifestation of the divine character of persons: such, Marx Wartofsky tells us, is the “fundamental human content…behind the metaphysical façade.” For neo-reformationist Karl Barth it marked the “transformation and dissolution of theology into anthropology.”[3]
And if that’s all there was to it, then Barth’s dismissal of Feuerbach’s critique, not as false, but as “extraordinarily, almost nauseatingly, trivial” might well be justified.

A Dialectical Negation
Fortunately, there’s considerably more to the Feuerbachian programme than that. As Charles Conti argues, Feuerbach doesn’t just reveal “the ‘mistaken’ nature of psychological inducements to use ‘gods’… based on false ‘objectifications’.”[4] What, after all, would be the point of that? The analogicality of the projection is hardly hidden from religious minds; one would need to inordinately dense to imagine that God is literally a person just like any other. Rather, Feuerbach guides us through the transliterations of religion as subconscious desire and death-anxiety.[5] Put simply, he destabilises theology, not by replacing it with a psychology of fear and desire (a la Freud and Barth) but by demythologising ordinary ego-needs, thereby revealing theology as the mirror image of a developing self-consciousness. In other words, Feuerbach’s “negation” is not reductive, but dialectical.

Consciousness Embodied
Incidentally, all this talk about consciousness and self-consciousness isn’t intended to raise the ghost of Descartes ego-isolationism. Feuerbach was utterly and vehemently opposed to all such abstract constructs. In sharp contrast to the empty idealisations of classical rationalism-cum-realism, his philosophical anthropology took its cue from the actual requirements of exploring agents, so places the emphasis on the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Touch in particular, perhaps, because, as Austin Farrer and Stuart Hampshire both argued, touch “works through contact,” bodily resistance, thereby providing the “natural criterion of physical reality.”[6] For Feuerbach, too, the senses provide an empirical mandate: “That of which I think without sensation [he insisted] I think without and apart from all connection.”[7]  Without connection, there is no perception; and, as Wittgensteinians would doubtless remind us, sans percepts, no concepts. Reflecting back upon consciousness – in proper Feuerbachian style – means that, apart from sensory, bodily activity, consciousness remains logically and causally under-determined. In a nutshell, we are sensuous creatures, physically embodied in a physical world.
Lest our physical determination of consciousness fails to mitigate the risks of abstraction entirely, as the empirical tradition indicates it might, Wartofsky unlocks Feuerbach’s emphasis on sense and sensibility with a “much-inflated yet workaday German expression.”[8] The key, he argues, lies in understanding sensibility “not on the ‘observer’ or… ‘spectator’ model of empiricist epistemology, but in terms of a model of a being that is already involved in the world by its very nature. The context of sensation is therefore this primary involvement, this Dasein.” No neutral substrate awaiting independent designation, Dasein or “being there” denotes a mode of physicality, of activity. It is (Wartofsky tells us) “the original locus of being itself, as a spatio-temporal here and now, a concrete being here and now.”[9]

The Radical Critique
Given this, perhaps we can see why the purpose of philosophy will not be found among its objects, but among its subjects: those who seek and find. The object of a thing, as Feuerbach says, is its essence or truth. After all, actions are reflexive; in pursuing ends, they reveal agents and, crucially, the nature of agents. The pursuit of this dialectic, this negation of philosophy, is the most typically human act there is, self-revelatory par excellence. A “self-transformative critical activity,” “a process of self-discovery.”[10] According to Wartofsky, then, Feuerbach’s famous ‘nothing but’ actually represents, or better still, enacts “the ‘raising up’ of a confused and inverted consciousness to enlightenment and self-knowledge.”[11] In short, philosophy is about becoming human; and becoming human is, for Feuerbach, what it means to be human.[12]

And this is where the story really starts!

[1] Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. George Eliot, (New York: Harper & Row, 1957), xxxiv & xxxv.
[2] This and next: The Essence of Christianity, xxxv.
[3] Karl Barth ‘An Introductory Essay’ in The Essence of Christianity, xiv.
[4] Charles Conti, ‘God as Other (Feuerbach on the Psychology of Religion)’, 23, n56.
[5] Farrer referred to such reductive psychologising as the “art of talking oneself out of anxiety by the entertainment of unreal supposition”. See ‘A Starting-Point for the Philosophical Examination of Theological Belief’ in Faith and Logic, 9.
[6] Stuart Hampshire, Thought and Action (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1983), 48; Austin Farrer, Finite and Infinite (2nd Edition. Westminster: Dacre Press 1959), 232.
[7] Ludwig Feuerbach, The Principles of the Philosophy of the Future, translated by M. H. Vogel (Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co. 1986), 52.
[8] Marx Wartofsky Feuerbach (Cambridge: CUP, 1982), 18 & 377.
[9] Wartofsky, 376.
[10] Wartofsky, vii.
[11] Wartofsky, 18
[12] Wartofsky, viii.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Political Personalism, a Brief Introduction. Part 3: Political Personalism.

by David Jewson

Political Personalism is about making life better for everyone, rich and poor alike. It is about the importance of protecting the individual and individual freedoms, so that no person should be sacrificed for the sake of the community. It is about nurturing the relationships between people so that everyone becomes more ‘connected’ so that people will naturally care about others in their community and will feel obligations to that community; they can then voluntarily restrict their own freedoms so that the community can flourish, while the community can likewise help that person to flourish and be happy. Everyone works for the common good, and in doing so finds their own happiness.

Previous Personalist Politicians
There have been several notable personalist politicians, but there are two that I will mention.
The first is Martin Luther King who came across personalism during his studies at Boston University, before becoming a civil rights leader in the USA, when he played a crucial role in achieving the same rights for black as for white people. The second is Archbishop Desmond Tutu who helped to replace apartheid in South Africa with a democracy that involved all races working together.
Both believed in forging better relationships between people. Both believed in the dignity of all people, black or white, rich or poor. Both believed that violence was wrong and that reconciliation and living a good and connected life together is right.

Personalist Policies
Policies are normally enacted by governments, but governments have increasingly seemed unable to respond effectively and speedily to challenges, often hamstrung but lack of knowledge, administrative protocol and political expediency. The recent Grenfell tower fire in London was a case in point, where very active community groups were seemingly able to do far more for residents than the politicians on the local council or in the government, in the immediate aftermath of the fire.
Personalist politics start with the individual and their relationships. This is enormously empowering as it means everyone can make a personal difference to the world and change the world through their network of relationships, even if that change is relatively small. If one person can cause several others to change, who, in their turn, cause more people to change, the effect can snowball into many people wanting the same change. Everyone becomes politically important. This is even more so now that people have the opportunity to easily connect through social media.
Decisions taken closest to people, within their own network of relations are likely to be the best for them, and the ones they feel best about. For most decisions in their lives, this is exactly what happens. However, for political decisions, except in an anarchist society (an idea which has its merits!), this is not practically possible, although decisions can be devolved to the most local level possible.

The Rich and the Poor
The rich person who works hard would seem to deserve their money. If they keep it in the bank, it provides capital for banks to loan out and keeps the economy functioning. Rich people are often the innovators and thinkers in society with ideas that can make society better, for example by providing better technology for better healthcare. Their money also provides security for them and their children. Rich people often have the time to get involved in work that really does contribute to society, usually for no pay at all.
However, rich people who are wedded purely to material things and consume more than a reasonable share of the world's resources by extravagant spending cannot be ‘connected’ to the rest of his community, or else they would not behave in that way. In a world of finite resources, if they consume more, others must consume less. They will divide society, simply by not being connected, and will quite likely be unhappier because of it. But I should be clear, this is not due to their wealth, but due to their excessive consumption. Excessive and lavish personal consumption is bad, not wealth in itself, and particularly exasperating as some studies have suggested increasing consumption actually reduces happiness, rather than increasing it.
Consumption to emphasise position and power, although a natural human trait, when taken to excess would seem particularly bad. However, there are some paradoxical examples of this. This British monarchy, for example, consume lavishly, but the Queen devotes herself to her country and subjects, connects with them, is loved by most of them and in many ways, makes our country a better place.
A rich person can be a happy and integrated part of a personalist society. They can have security, have assets, pass their assets to their children, have freedom, and be connected to the rest of their society; they just need to spend their money wisely and not always on themselves.
The poor, in a personalist society, would be defined as those whose lack of money is causing unhappiness, for example, due to lack of food or shelter. In a well-connected society those people would be helped, not only by the state but by those around them. But in our society now, there are probably many more things causing unhappiness than lack of money: stress, mental health problems, loneliness, drug and alcohol addiction, and criminality, for example, and often these things are also related to a disrupted network of relations: it is easier to steal off someone to whom you are not connected and regard as an ‘it’ rather than a person. These people are also ‘poor’ but in a different sense of the word, and perhaps now represent the greatest proportion of the ‘poor’.
People in a well-connected, personalist society, be they rich or poor, want to give as well as to receive, as that is a natural part of being connected to other people. The basic things that are important to rich people are just the same as poor people, as they are all human beings, so freedom and good ‘connected’ relationships. This is why Political Personalism is a politics for both the rich and the poor.

To put forward good policies requires a good understanding of the policy area and so not something that can realistically be a part of a summary of Political Personalism. However, an example of a policy might be helpful:

Current policies on unemployment concentrate on financially supporting the unemployed, helping them to find work, and influencing the economy so that unemployment does not occur in the first place.
It is interesting that unemployment is regarded as a time of waste and the unemployed are stigmatized. This can badly damage the ‘self-esteem’ and confidence of an unemployed person, who has also lost the relationships that are a product of working with other people. However, unemployment could be viewed differently, as a time of opportunity when you can do really useful things to help the people around you that you are connected to. So, instead of making ‘stuff’ for someone else that possibly would add little happiness to society, you can spend the time doing something really useful like looking after a sick or elderly member of your family. It is often when people retire, that paradoxically, they do more useful things in society. So, a Personalist policy would be to make the unemployed aware that they are not unwanted and useless, but this is an opportunity in their lives and to help them feel useful and connected in the time before they find another job.
In the film, ‘I Daniel Blake’, a man who is unable to work due to heart disease, deals with a faceless unemployment office (Job Centre) that treats him as a ‘customer’ or an ‘it’ rather than a person. The office does not try to understand or help him, rather it follows ridged rules forcing him to apply for work when he is clearly not capable of it. This leads to frustration, anger, feelings of injustice and a feeling of separation or ‘un-connectedness’ with the state. A Personalist policy would ensure that this connection with the state was personal. So, a ‘Daniel Blake’ would always deal with the same person in the office. That person would understand him and connect with him and acknowledge his problems and personal situation and try and help him in the best and most flexible way possible. That person would be there for him, not for the state. Daniel Blake wanted to help his community, indeed he spent a great deal of time helping a friend who he had met at the unemployment office, he felt a natural obligation to his community. A faceless state reflected by a faceless and uncaring unemployment office severs the personal connection between the state and the unemployed such that a culture can develop where the unemployed take their money as ‘a right’ and feel no obligation to work or to help their community at all. Unfortunately, methods to deal with this ‘unemployment culture’ have been based around rules compelling a person to seek and accept work rather than forging relationships that, the personalist would say, are likely to lead to a better outcome.

Political Personalism in Summary
Political personalism is not liberalism, it is not socialism, it is not some misfit merger of the two, it is a new political approach that gives importance to the things that matter most to people: their individual freedom and their relationships. It says that in a good and happy society it is healthy, connected relationships that are needed far more than ‘stuff’ to consume. Political Personalism is built around people, both rich and poor; it is the new alternative politics.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Inscriptions: Latest Issue!

Vol 2 No 2 (2019) Kierkegaard: decisionality and betrayal

When Abraham decided to set out to murder his son Issac, and in so doing obey the words of his God, he by the same token betrayed the laws of his community; conversely had he adhered to those laws, he would have betrayed his own, most deeply constituted truth and being. To Søren Kierkegaard the meaning of Abraham’s sacrificial act was key to understand faith. This issue of Inscriptions interrogates the notion of a leap of faith through essays by Jørgen Veisland, on the profound effects such a leap can have on a subjectivity characterised by relational and indeterminate differences; Siobhan Doyle; Kresten Lundsgaard-Leth; Alexander Velichkov; and Tidhar Nir. We are also thrilled to present searching poetry by Daniel Fraser and that icon of the deconstructionist movement, Christopher Norris.

Please support this open access publication by requesting that your university or local library subscribe to printed copies of this journal, or by subscribing yourself.