[D-G] Reflections on Time and Politics

Nathan Widder n.e.widder at rhul.ac.uk
Sat Aug 9 05:43:30 PDT 2008

Apologies for the cross-posting - and the blatant self-promotion.


Widder, Nathan, Reflections on Time and Politics. Penn State University
Press, 2008. ISBN-10: 0271033940. ISBN-13: 978-0271033945







Recent philosophical debates have moved beyond proclamations of the "death
of philosophy" and the "death of the subject" to consider more positively
how philosophy can be practiced and the human self can be conceptualized
today.  Inspired by the writings of Nietzsche, Bergson, and Deleuze, rapid
changes related to globalization, and advances in evolutionary biology and
neuroscience, these debates have generated a renewed focus on time as an
active force of change and novelty.  Rejecting simple linear models of time,
these strands of thought have provided creative alternatives to a
traditional reliance on fixed boundaries and stable identities that has
proven unable to grapple with the intense speeds and complexities of
contemporary life.


In this book, Nathan Widder contributes to these debates, but also goes
significantly beyond them.  Holding that current writings remain too focused
on time's movement, he examines more fundamentally time's structure and its
structural ungrounding, releasing time completely from its traditional
subordination to movement and space.  Doing this enables him to reformulate
entirely the terms through which time and change are understood, leading to
a radical alteration of our understandings of power, resistance, language,
and the unconscious, and taking post-identity political philosophy and
ethics in a new direction.


Through eighteen independent but interlinked reflections, Widder engages
with ancient philosophy, mathematical theory, dialectics, psychoanalysis,
archaeology and genealogy, tying up the loose ends of this new philosophy of
time and relating it more fully to issues of difference, immanence, and the
constitution of sense.  Its broad coverage and novel re-readings of key
figures, including Aristotle, Bergson, Nietzsche, Foucault, and Deleuze,
make this work a unique rethinking of the nature of pluralism, multiplicity,
and politics.


"Reflections on Time and Politics is a highly innovative book, in both its
style and content. Each of its eighteen 'sequences of thought' focuses on an
aspect of Gilles Deleuze's theory of time, and explores its implications for
political philosophy. The text is extraordinarily wide-ranging, and will
draw its readers into an exhilarating and provocative ride through the
philosophy of time found in thinkers as diverse as Aristotle, Hegel, and
Bergson. This book will establish Widder as one of the most creative and
stimulating of contemporary political theorists."


-Daniel W. Smith, Purdue University


"Nathan Widder's book will be invaluable to those who see that classic
theories of time insufficiently speak to the terms of contemporary politics.
The style and organization of the book express the philosophy embraced. The
engagements with Aristotle, Bergson, and Deleuze are compelling. And the
intercalated explorations of sense, common sense, discontinuity,
micropolitics, and 'syntheses' of time are superb. An untimely book that is
just in time!"


-William E. Connolly, The Johns Hopkins University





Nathan Widder is Senior Lecturer in Political Theory in the Department of
Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of




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