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Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment,…

Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance… (edition 2013)

by Simon Critchley (Author)

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1392135,755 (4.25)None
"This book is the clearest, boldest and most systematic statement of Simon Critchley's influential views on philosophy, ethics and politics. Part diagnosis of the times, part theoretical analysis of the impasses and possibilities of ethics and politics, part manifesto, Infinitely Demanding identifies a massive political disappointment at the heart of liberal democracy and argues that what is called for is an ethics of commitment that can inform a radical politics. Infinitely Demanding culminates in an argument for anarchism as an ethical practice and a remotivating means of political organization."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
Title:Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance (Radical Thinkers)
Authors:Simon Critchley (Author)
Info:Verso (2013), Edition: 1, Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:Your library, EBooks
Tags:Ebooks, Philosophy, Ethics

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Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance by Simon Critchley



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Kind of interesting and problematic. Žižek wrote this interesting and problematic response: "The lesson here is that the truly subversive thing is not to insist on ‘infinite’ demands we know those in power cannot fulfil. Since they know that we know it, such an ‘infinitely demanding’ attitude presents no problem for those in power: ‘So wonderful that, with your critical demands, you remind us what kind of world we would all like to live in. Unfortunately, we live in the real world, where we have to make do with what is possible.’ The thing to do is, on the contrary, to bombard those in power with strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands, which can’t be met with the same excuse." ( )
  LizaHa | Mar 30, 2013 |
Overall a good book, but suffers from a lack of actual argument--too often Critchley seems to think he can persuade the reader and avoid an explicit argument simply by stating that "in my view" or "in my opinion..." etc.

And more to the point, if the purpose of the book is to help overcome the motivational deficit at the heart of democracy by, presumably, providing a compelling model of ethical subjectivity, I would venture that it doesn't really achieve its prime goal. For reasons that I think Isaiah Berlin made clear, there is no answer to the question "why be ethical?" That said, Critchley doesn't go far enough in advocating his preferred conception of ethical subjectivity, and I found myself too often resisting the characterization of ethics as the acknowledgement of the infinite demand of the other.

Despite these shortcomings, the book does a good job of bringing together a variety of threads in current left-wing political theory. ( )
  lukeasrodgers | Dec 9, 2008 |
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