The Political Vocation of Philosophy

The Political Vocation of Philosophy

David Broder, Donatella Di Cesare
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It is time for philosophy to return to the city. In today' s crisis-ridden world of globalised capitalism, increasingly closed in on itself, it may seem harder than ever to think of ways out. Philosophy runs the risk of becoming the handmaiden of science and of a hollowed-out democracy. Donatella Di Cesare calls on philosophy instead to return to the political fray and to the city, the global polis, from which it was banished after the death of Socrates. Suggesting a radical existentialism and a new anarchism, Di Cesare shows that Western philosophy has been characterised by a political vocation ever since its origins in ancient Greece, and argues that the separation of philosophy from its political roots robs it of its most valuable and enlightening potential. But critique and dissent are no longer enough. Mindful of a defeated exile and an inner emigration, philosophers should return to politics and forge an alliance with the poor and the downtrodden. This passionate defence of the political relevance of philosophy and its radical potential in our globalised world will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy and to a wide general readership.
' Di Cesare' s limpid meditations on the tormented relations between thought and power make a passionate case for philosophy as a liminal practice looking both ways across the limits of the political. Her figure of the philosopher as the foreigner, refugee and outsider attentive to the calls of the other and speaking in the name of an anarchic justice proposes no less than a renewal of the political vocation of philosophy for the twenty-first century. ' Howard Caygill, Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London
Donatella Di Cesare is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Sapienza University of Rome.