Étienne Balibar – Anti-Humanism, and the Question of Philosophical Anthropology

Audio recording of a lecture with response and discussion, here. (Thanks to Sam Kinsley for the link)

The controversy opposing “humanism” and “anti-humanism” was especially virulent in the 1960s and 70s in France, involving different tendencies of Phenomenology, Marxism, Structuralism and Hegelianism, around such issues as the meaning of history and the agency (or praxis) of the individual and collective subject. In order to trace its genealogy, the lecture will begin with a presentation of the “two scenes” on which the “dispute of humanism” (Althusser) was fought in the 20th century as a debate involving the redefinition of philosophy as “anthropology”, which were dominated by the works of Heidegger and Lévi-Strauss, respectively. It will then focus on Michel Foucault’s “intervention” in The Order of Things (Les mots et les choses, 1966), where the two debates are merged into a single attempt at divorcing the “quasi-transcendental” objects of anthropology from their humanist prerequisite, from the point of view of the “analytic of the finitude” itself. In conclusion, it will propose some hypotheses on the dividing lines ‘or “points of heresy” that characterize the subsequent debate on epistemology, ethics and politics “after the death of Man”.

This entry was posted in Etienne Balibar, Louis Althusser, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Étienne Balibar – Anti-Humanism, and the Question of Philosophical Anthropology

  1. Pingback: Balibar on anti-humanism and the question of philosophical anthropology | being-in-exodus

  2. Clare O'Farrell says:

    Reblogged this on Foucault News.

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