Intellectuals in Postmodernity?

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Date

1997

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Abstract

There are several points of interest, several catchwords that evoke the whole complicated heart of the matter: Martin Heidegger in 1933 and later, Paul de Man in the years of 1940-42 and later (that "later" being no less important for the current discussions), Robert Faurisson and the whole group of histo- rians-"revisionists" of the Holocaust in France and in the USA in two recent decades. I would say the following: the material for the discussions that are of interest to me today are the most traumatic events of the twentieth century and the behaviour of the philosopher, or in broader terms, the intellectual, associated with them. We can add to them Sartre’s conception of the "committed literature", Georges Bataille’s fascinations with the war, Maurice Blanchot’s fascist texts from the pre-war "Combat" journal, "maoist" involvements of the French intellectuals in the hot sixties, Michel Foucault’s enthusiasm with respect to the Iranian "spiritual revolution", Noam Chomsky’s (as well as Jean Beaufret’s) basically positive attitude to the "revisionists" who negate gassing in Auschwitz etc etc. If we add that all, we can see a certain complex of questions and issues the penetration of which may be one of today’s "tasks of thinking". (Leaving philosophers’ domain aside for a while, one can easily add to that constellation of questions, attitudes and behaviour e. g. Ezra Pound with his peculiar economy, Gottfried Benn, Knut Hamsun or Louis-Ferdinand Céline from "Bagatelles pour un massacre", not to mention our Polish fascinations, involvements, and commitments after the second world war.)

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Keywords

intellectuals, postmodernity, postmodern philosophy, Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, Heidegger affair, political engagement, postwar French philosophy

Citation

In: DISCOURSE - INTELLECTUALS - SOCIAL COMMUNICATION Emil Visñovsky, Gabriel Bianchi (editors), Bratislava: VEDA Publishing House, pp. 294-303.

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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego