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Petite Poucette

Petite Poucette

Le monde a tellement chang que les jeunes doivent tout r inventer br Nos soci t s occidentales ont d j v cu deux r volutions le passage de l oral l crit puis de l crit l imprim Comme chacune des pr c dentes la troisi me tout aussi d cisive s accompagne de mutations politiques sociales et cognitives Ce sont des p riodes de crises br De l essor des nouvelles technologies un nouvel humain est n Michel Serres le baptise Petite Poucette clin d oeil la maestria avec laquelle les messages fusent de ses pouces Petite Poucette va devoir r inventer une mani re de vivre ensemble des institutions une mani re d tre et de conna tre D bute une nouvelle re qui verra la victoire de la multitude anonyme sur les lites dirigeantes bien identifi es du savoir discut sur les doctrines enseign es d une soci t immat rielle librement connect e sur la soci t du spectacle sens unique br br Ce livre propose Petite Poucette une collaboration entre g n rations pour mettre en oeuvre cette utopie seule r alit possible br br A l origine de ce livre un discours prononc l Acad mie fran aise en qui a t tr s largement diffus tout d abord par la publication d un extrait le lendemain dans Le Monde repris par un article dans Le Figaro puis d un grand mouvement sur Internet br br Professeur Stanford University membre de l Acad mie fran aise Michel Serres est l auteur de nombreux essais philosophiques et d histoire des sciences dont les derniers Temps des crises et Musique ont t largement salu s par la presse Il est l un des rares philosophes contemporains proposer une vision du monde qui associe les sciences et la culture


The Parasite

The Parasite

Influential philosopher Michel Serres s foundational work uses fable to explore how human relations are identical to that of the parasite to the host body Among Serres s arguments is that by being pests minor groups can become major players in public dialogue creating diversity and complexity vital to human life and thought br br Michel Serres is professor in history of science at the Sorbonne professor of Romance languages at Stanford University and author of several books including i Genesis i br br Lawrence R Schehr is professor of French at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign br br Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University His books include i Zoontologies The Question of the Animal i Minnesota


Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time: Michel Serres with Bruno Latour

Conversations on Science Culture and Time Michel Serres with Bruno Latour

Although elected to the prestigious French Academy in Michel Serres has long been considered a maverick a provocative thinker whose prolific writings on culture science and philosophy have often baffled more than they have enlightened In these five lively interviews with sociologist Bruno Latour this increasingly important cultural figure sheds light on the ideas that inspire his highly original challenging and transdisciplinary essays br br Serres begins by discussing the intellectual context and historical events including the impact of World War II and Hiroshima which for him marked the beginning of science s ascendancy over the humanities that shaped his own philosophical outlook and led him to his lifelong mission of bringing together the texts of the humanities and the conceptual revolutions of modern science He then confronts the major difficulties encountered by his readers his methodology his mathematician s fondness for shortcuts in argument and his criteria for juxtaposing disparate elements from different epochs and cultures in extraordinary combinations Finally he discusses his ethic for the modern age a time when scientific advances have replaced the natural necessities of disease and disaster with humankind s frightening new responsibility for vital things formerly beyond its control br br In the course of these conversations Serres revisits and illuminates many of his themes the chaotic nature of knowledge the need for connections between science and the humanities the futility of traditional criticism and what he calls his philosophy of prepositions an argument for considering prepositions rather than the conventionally emphasized verbs and substantives as the linguistic keys to understanding human interactions For readers familiar with Serres s works as well as for the uninitiated i Conversations on a Life in Philosophy i provides fascinating insights into the mind of this appealing innovative and ardent thinker br br Michel Serres has taught at Clermont Ferrand at the University of Paris VIII Vincennes and at the Sorbonne He has served as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and has been on the faculty of Stanford University since Bruno Latour a philosopher and anthropologist is Professor of Sociology L Ecole Nationale Sup rieure des Mines in Paris He has written several books and numerous articles on the ties between the sciences and the rest of culture and society br br Roxanne Lapidus is Managing Editor of i SubStance A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism i i Conversations on a Life in Philosophy i was originally published in France as i Eclaircissements i br


The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies

The Five Senses A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies

b Available for the first time in English b br b Winner of the Prix M dicis Essai b br b b br b Marginalized by the scientific age with its metaphysical and philosophical systems the lessons of the senses have been overtaken by the dominance of language and the information revolution b br b Exploring the deleterious effects of the systematic downgrading of the senses in Western philosophy Michel Serres a member of the Acad mie Fran aise and one of France s leading philosophers traces a topology of human perception Writing against the Cartesian tradition and in praise of empiricism he demonstrates repeatedly and lyrically the sterility of systems of knowledge divorced from bodily experience b br b b br b The fragile empirical world long resistant to our attempts to contain and catalog it is disappearing beneath the relentless accumulations of late capitalist society and information technology Data has replaced sensory pleasure we are less interested in the taste of a fine wine than in the description on the bottle s label What are we and what do we really know when we have forgotten that our senses can describe a taste more accurately than language ever could b


The Natural Contract

The Natural Contract

Global environmental change argues Michel Serres has forced us to reconsider our relationship to nature In this translation of his influential book i Le Contrat Naturel i Serres calls for a natural contract to be negotiated between Earth and its inhabitants br br World history is often referred to as the story of human conflict Those struggles that are seen as our history must now include the uncontrolled violence that humanity perpetrates upon the earth and the uncontrollable menace to human life posed by the earth in reaction to this violence Just as a social contract once brought order to human relations Serres believes that we must now sign a natural contract with the earth to bring balance and reciprocity to our relations with the planet that gives us life Our survival depends on the extent to which humans join together and act globally on an earth now conceived as an entity br br Tracing the ancient beginnings of modernity Serres examines the origins and possibilities of a natural contract through an extended meditation on the contractual foundations of law and science By invoking a nonhuman physical world Serres asserts science frees us from the oppressive confines of a purely social existence but threatens to become a totalitarian order in its own right The new legislator of the natural contract must bring science and law into balance br br Serres ends his meditation by retelling the story of the natural contract as a series of parables He sees humanity as a spacecraft that with the help of science and technology has cast off from familiar moorings In place of the ties that modernity and analytic reason have severed we find a network of relations both stranger and stronger than any we once knew binding us to one another and to the world The philosopher s harrowing and joyous task Serres tells us is that of comprehending and experiencing the bonds of violence and love that unite us in our spacewalk to the spaceship Mother Earth br br Wise rich and poetic not simply a philosophical study of the Environment or an ecological questioning of Philosophy Nature is acknowledged as an inside force which breaks the philosopher s discourse and opens it up to a vigilant poetic meditation Substance A Review of Theory and Literary Criticism br


Genesis

Genesis

This English translation of Michel Serres book Gen se captures in lucid prose the startling breadth and depth of his thinking as he probes the relations between order disorder knowledge anxiety and violence Written in a unique blend of scientific discourse and lyrical outburst classical philosophical idiom and conversational intimacy by turns angry playful refined or discordant i Genesis i is an attempt to think outside of metaphysical categories of unity or rational order and to make us hear through both its content and form the noise the sound and the fury that are the background of life and thought br br Serres draws on a vast knowledge of such diverse disciplines as anthropology classical history music theology art history information theory physics biology dance and athletics and Western metaphysics and a range of cultural material that includes the writings of Plato Kant August Comte Balzac and Shakespeare to name a few He argues that although philosophy has been instrumental in the past in establishing laws of logic and rationality that have been crucial to our understanding of ourselves and our universe one of the most pressing tasks of thought today is to recognize that such pockets of unity are islands of order in a sea of multiplicity a sea which cannot really be i conceived i but which perhaps can still be sensed felt and i heard i raging in chaos beneath the momentary crests of order imposed by human civilization br br Philosophy of science or prose poetry a classical meditation on metaphysics or a stream of consciousness polemic and veiled invective Serres mounts a quirky at times rhapsodical but above all a noisy critique of traditional and current models in social theory historiography and aesthetics The result is a work that is at once provocative poetic deeply personal and ultimately religious an apocalyptic call for the rebirth of philosophy as the art of thinking the unthinkable br b About the Book b br br An intensely beautiful and rigourous meditation on the birth of forms amid chaos and multiplicity from a major philosopher who is also an exquisite craftsman of the written word William Paulson University of Michigan br br Serres exhibits a rare raw tendentiousness refreshing in its vitriol it s the sort of light hearted perverse and basically liberal tirade one hears too infrequently of late i Word i br


Malfeasance: Appropriation Through Pollution?

Malfeasance Appropriation Through Pollution

In this highly original and provocative book Michel Serres reflects on the relation between nature and culture and analyzes the origins of the world s contemporary environmental problems He does so through the surprising proposition that our cleanliness is our dirt While all living beings pollute to lay claim to their habitat humans have multiplied pollution s effects catastrophically since the Industrial Revolution through the economic system s mode of appropriation and its emphasis on mindless growth He warns that while we can measure what he calls hard pollution the poisoning of the Earth we ignore at our peril the disastrous impact of the soft pollution created by sound and images on our psyches Sounding the alarm that the planet is heading for disaster Serres proposes that humanity should stop trying to own the world and become renters Building on his earlier work especially that on hominization he urges us to establish a natural contract with nature br br Published with the assistance of the Edgar M Kahn Memorial Fund


The Troubadour of Knowledge

The Troubadour of Knowledge

What do we do when we raise a child teach a student or educate a person as a member of society For the French philosopher Michel Serres all of these forms of pedagogy require painful yet exhilarating departures from home and encounters with Otherness Like a swimmer who plunges into the river s current to reach the opposite bank the person who wishes to learn must risk a voyage from the familiar to the strange True education Serres writes takes place in the fluid middle of this crossing To be educated is to become a harlequin a crossbreed a hybrid of our origins like a newborn child complexly produced as a mixture of maternal and paternal genes yet an independent existence separated from the familiar and determined br br In this wide ranging meditation on learning and difference Serres the scientist turned epistemologist philosopher turned moralist reveler of being a half breed from every point of view explores numerous pathways in philosophy science and literature to argue that the best contemporary education requires knowledge of both science s general truths and literature s singular stories He heralds a new pedagogy which claims that from the crossbreeding of the humanities and the sciences a new educational ideal can be born the troubadour of knowledge br br With his agile and poetic voice Serres has created a meditation of precisely this pluralistic creation deftly recognizing it as a third party bred not of orderly dialectics but of the destabilizing multiplicity of the present age Those who know the enormous range and clarity of this thinker will welcome this latest volume translated into English by Sheila Glaser with the assistance of William Paulson br br Michel Serres has taught at Clermont Ferrand the University of Paris VIII Vincennes the Sorbonne and Stanford University and has served as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University Other works of his available in English translation include i Conversations on Science Culture and Time i with Bruno Latour i Genesis i and i The Natural Contract i also published by The University of Michigan Press br br Sheila Glaser is Reviews Editor of i Artforum i magazine William Paulson is Professor of French and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan br


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