Philosophy of Exaggeration (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)
Alexander García Düttmann
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'Thought always exaggerates' Hannah Arendt writes. The question of exaggeration becomes a philosophical question when thought endeavours to clarify the ways in which it relates to limits. If its disclosing force depends on exaggeration, so does the confusion to which it can fall prey. This book analyses concepts such as truth and trust, practices such as politics and art, experiences such as the formation of a life line and its erasure, from the viewpoint of exaggeration.
Ibid., p. 110. Ibid., p. 106. Ibid., p. 279. Ibid., p. 276. Ibid., p. 270. Ibid., p. 160. Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy*, p. 99. According to Giorgio Agamben's reading of Adorno's remark, the politics of change in permanence must be considered to be a nihilistic aesthetization, an almost resentful surrender of philosophy's practical interest to the 'as if, no matter whether a revolutionary or a conservative account of this interest is given: 'Aesthetic beauty is, so to speak, the
is regularly an intervention, an Trust Me 29 incision that creates a relation to the present, a relation to a here and now. The exaggeration of enlightenment, enlightenment's surpassing of enlightenment by means of which it illuminates itself, exposes it to counter-enlightenment, to superstition and prejudice, to the ideological manipulation of its means, to its self-destructive limitation, to mystical rapture. Yet because such surpassing has a share in enlightenment and accordingly maintains
impressed by psychoanalysis and postmodernism. Explanations are fended off as defence mechanisms. They are deferred. Their postponement is at the orders of the professor who modestly complies with the collective destiny: 'All totalizing narratives (like "America is arrogant'") are defensive manoeuvres. It marks the failure of understanding at the first level to say: "this means that".' The professor must ensure that she does not surrender the privilege on which her power to dictate rests.
to names. The name is the privilege of poetry, but relations with names are the privilege of life. Through the fiction of poetry, which sees to it that the name as name is preserved and conveyed, the living secure themselves against that which is definitive, unalterable, inextinguishable and irreversible. They retain the freedom to relate to names without succumbing to their radiance. The danger of the luminosity of the name consists in the threat it poses to dealings with the name, confining the
stay away, despite the fact that we find ourselves in a situation where the media never cease to exploit names!'9 Whoever knows how to capitalize on contingencies proves to be a winner. He specializes in cultural and media studies, applying the insights of discourse analysis and psychoanalysis; he focuses on the theory and politics of minorities; he concentrates on philosophically revamped studies of architecture; he looks into the socio-historically classified abysses of sexual difference. In