Read through the lens of a single key concept in twentieth-century French philosophy, that of the "problem", this book relates the concept to specific thinkers and situates it in relation both to the wider history of philosophy and contemporary concerns.
How exactly should the notion of problems be understood? What must a problem be in order to play an inaugurating role in thought? Does the word "problem" have a univocal sense? What is at stake – theoretically, ethically, politically, and institutionally – when philosophers use the word? This book addresses these and other questions, and is devoted to making historical and philosophical sense of the various uses and conceptualisations of notions of problems, problematics, and problematisations in twentieth-century French thought. In the process, it augments our understanding of the philosophical programs of a number of recent French thinkers, reconfigures our perception of the history and wider stakes of twentieth-century French philosophy, and reveals the ongoing theoretical richness and critical potential of the notion of the problem and its cognates.
Working through the twentieth-century, and focussing on specific thinkers including Foucault and Deleuze, this book will be of interest to all scholars of French philosophy.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Problems in Twentieth-Century French Philosophy Introduction: Problematizing Problems 1. The Misadventures of the "Problem" in "Philosophy": From Kant to Deleuze 2. Bergson’s Method of Problematisation and the Pursuit of Metaphysical Precision 3. An Anti-Positivist Conception of Problems: Deleuze, Bergson and the French Epistemological Tradition 4. Cavaillès, Mathematical Problems and Questions 5. Lautman on Problems as the Conditions of Existence of Solutions 6. Simondon on the Notion of the Problem: A Genetic Schema of Individuation 7. On the Problem and Mystery of Evil: Marcel’s Existential Dissolution of an Antinomy 8. Towards A Phenomenology of Sagesse: Uncovering the Unique Philosophical Problematic of Pierre Hadot 9. The Errors of History: Knowledge and Epistemology in Bachelard, Canguilhem and Foucault 10. Problematizing the Problematic: Foucault and Althusser 11. Foucault, Psychoanalysis, and Critique: Two Aspects of Problematization 12. Problematization in Foucault’s Genealogy and Deleuze’s Symptomatology: Or, How to Study Sexuality Without Invoking Oppositions
Sean Bowden is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of The Priority of Events: Deleuze’s Logic of Sense (2011).
Mark G.E. Kelly is Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia. His most recent book is For Foucault: Against Normative Political Theory (2018).