Review by Choice Review
This is a difficult volume for those trained in the Anglo-American academic tradition. However, the potential insights to be gained from this dense, wide-ranging discussion may well be worth the challenge. According to Sloterdijk (Karlsruhe School of Design, Germany), "our enterprise is no less than the introduction of an alternative language, and with the language an altered perspective, for a group of phenomena that tradition tended to refer to with such words as 'spirituality,' 'piety,' 'morality,' 'ethics,' and 'asceticism.'" Additionally, Sloterdijk warns, "we must confront one of the most massive pseudo-evidences in recent intellectual history: the belief, rampant in Europe since only two or three centuries ago, in the existence of 'religions'--and more than that, against the unverifiable faith in the existence of faith." In place of a more traditional epistemology, Sloterdijk develops the idea of practicing an "autoplastic constitution of the essential human facts." Borrowing from the writings of Rilke, Nietzsche, Kafka, Foucault, Lacan, and Heidegger, he suggests that the doer-deed distinction is not absolute. Rather, being human means "existing in an operatively curved space in which actions return to affect the actor, works the worker, communications the communicator." Extensive notes and index. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and above. H. Storl Augustana College (IL)
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