Uniform TitleInheriting the legacy of critique: dreams of freedom and nightmares of despair
NamePanfilio, Kenneth Michael (author), Cornell, Drucilla (chair), Schochet, Gordon (internal member), Bathory, Dennis (internal member), Gordon, Lewis (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
DescriptionThis dissertation takes as its challenge the attempt to vivify the practice of affirmative political philosophy as we try to take up the redemptive work commanded upon us when we inherit the legacy of critique, which is articulated in this project to suggest that human beings are the source of all valuation in the larger world. Accepting such a position recognizes that despite the deep abyss of absurdity that painfully emaciates our subjectivity in the world we must also remember, in the words of Albert Camus, that someone “must give the void its colors.᾿
Subsequent chapters juxtapose various thinkers whose work is animated to present a dialectical engagement between antonymous forces of progressive dreams for the fulfillment of our shared human freedom (Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx) simultaneously threatened by corresponding nightmares of despair providing ample warning to the pathological catastrophes rampant throughout our modern age (Martin Heidegger and Theodor Adorno).
While each philosophical pairing plays out different mediations between dreams of freedom and nightmares of despair, each engagement is appended by a small reprisal, or return to the original theme, discussing what is philosophically at stake in such an exploration between two thinkers against a pressing issue of great social, economic, and political importance.
Concluding this dissertation is a meditation on the work of Walter Benjamin and his view of life as a passageway in the circuitous labyrinths of advanced capitalism simultaneously caught between both nightmares of despair and dreams of freedom where we might indeed simply blow away the sands of sleep and rightfully awaken from the slumber of phantasmagoria.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 218-220).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.