Anathemas and Admirations by E. M. Cioran

By E. M. Cioran

During this selection of essays and epigrams, E.M. Cioran provides us photos and evaluations—which he calls "admirations"—of Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the poet Paul Valery, and Mircea Eliade, between others. In alternating sections of aphorisms—his "anathemas"—he promises insights on such themes as solitude, flattery, vainness, friendship, insomnia, tune, mortality, God, and the trap of disillusion.

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I want to argue that the later Wittgenstein belongs with Dewey as much as the earlier Wittgenstein belongs with Kant-that Dewey's debunking of traditional notions of philosophy, and his attempt to break down the distinctions between art and science, philosophy and science, art and religion, morality and science, are a natural outcome of Wittgenstein's critique of the Cartesian tradition," explains Rorty. In this account, philosophy is defined as one liter­ ary genre or cultural tradition among others, one that furthermore may have outlived its usefulness or that nowadays in any case lies before us ready to wither away : 42 TR AN S LATOR ' S I N TRODUCT I O N On Dewey's view, "philosophy" a s what i s common to Plato , Kant , and the Tractatus is , indeed , a distinctive cultural tradition-but it is not a Each (though its study is) .

Were it not for the verbal j ousting matches with their rhetorical double that remind them of the emptiness of their conceptual operators , 25 Badiou, Manifestofor Philosophy, p. 98. Badiou's mention of the antiphilosopher Pascal in this passage is sy mptomatic of another constitutive aspect of his proposed triangulation of philosophy, sophistics, and antiphilosophy: for a sophist, the antiphilosopher is as excessively attached to truth as is the philosopher, albeit in the guise of a non-philosophical "truth" about the truth of philosophy.

254. 37 TR A N S LATOR ' S I N TRODUCT I O N I n this race against time , the antiphilosopher may well occupy the position of the tortoise , whom no philo ­ sophical Achilles will ever be able t o overtake. But for Badiou this does not make it any less urgent to listen to the voice of the antiphilosopher. The antiphilosophical act may not only seem to have won out in advance in this rivalry with the philosopher, it can also present itself as more radical than any of the scientific , artistic , or political events from which it appropriates the force of its radical impulse .

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Anathemas and Admirations by E. M. Cioran
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