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Against Ethics: Contributions to a Poetics of Obligation with Constant Reference to Deconstruction (Studies in Continental Thought) [Paperback]

By John D. Caputo (Author)
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Item description for Against Ethics: Contributions to a Poetics of Obligation with Constant Reference to Deconstruction (Studies in Continental Thought) by John D. Caputo...

"Against Ethics is beautifully written, clever, learned, thought-provoking, and even inspiring." --Theological Studies

"Writing in the form of his ideas, Caputo offers the reader a truly exquisite reading experience.... his iconic style mirrors a truly refreshing honesty that draws the reader in to play." --Quarterly Journal of Speech

"Against Ethics is, in my judgment, one of the most important works on philosophical ethics that has been written in recent years.... Caputo speaks with a passion and a concern that are rare in academic philosophy. His profound sense of humor deepens the passion of the viewpoints he develops." --Mark C. Taylor

"Obligation happens " declares Caputo in this brilliant and witty postmodern critique of ethics, framed as a contemporary restaging of Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Indiana University Press
Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.2" Width: 6.14" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 22, 1993
Publisher   Indiana University Press
ISBN  0253208165  
ISBN13  9780253208163  


Availability  57 units.
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More About John D. Caputo


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John D. Caputo is the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and is editor of Fordham University Press' Perspectives in Continental Philosophy Series.


John D. Caputo has an academic affiliation as follows - Villanova University.

John D. Caputo has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Church and Postmodern Culture
  2. Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion (Paperback)
  3. Perspectives in Continental Philosophy (Paperback)
  4. Studies in Continental Thought (Paperback)
  5. Thinking in Action


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General



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Reviews - What do customers think about Against Ethics: Contributions to a Poetics of Obligation with Constant Reference to Deconstruction (Studies in Continental Thought)?

Against ethics, but in support of justice?  Mar 8, 2002
I was doing fine with this book until about 1/4 of the way through. It was at this point that the author introduced the discussion of justice, and this with somewhat surprising reverence. He cites Derrida as saying, "Justice in itself, if such a thing exists, outside or beyond the law, is not deconstructable." Now Caputo, eager to line up behind his hero Derrida, runs wild with this.

His polemic for the value of justice would be somewhat more bearable if he didn't refer to the "innocent suffering" of people. Innocent entails the existence of guilt and suffering is implied to be 'evil', so that what he is really saying is for someone to suffer injustice is unethical, otherwise we could not speak of 'innocence.' He does not go so far as to write that we can speak of what justice or injustice actually is, but makes it quite clear that such injustices do exist; the implications of 'innocent suffering' demand it, for what is to say suffering is 'good' or 'bad' that we should think anything at all of it? The whole chapter seemed to me to be an underhanded attempt to encourage a tolerance for pluarity as long as there is no 'innocent suffering' . . . an obvious attempt to label such acts as murder, rape, genocide, etc., objectively undesirable because they create innocent suffering, while trying to maintain that ethics are subjective, which strikes me as being somewhat odd and ideologically/politcally motivated.

Fortunately, the idea of innocence does not creep far into the book and later chapters restore the radicalism of ethics.

 
This book changed my life  Mar 27, 2000
For those who live their philosophical problems this book is essential. It is true that some familiarity with Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida would be helpful in understanding the arguments and in appreciating the striking literary quality of this work. However, what Caputo deals with is fundamental and goes well beyond commentary on any single thinker. His fundamental thesis is that ethics is without any substantial ground beyond the simple and elusive happening of obligation which Caputo valorizes. Ethics becomes something that is dangerous. It is shown that the dangerousness of ethics is vital, that there is no greater danger to ethics than making ethics 'safe'. I think this book would be perfect if some of his criticism of Heidegger didn't occasionally verge on being just rhetoric. Heidegger is more of an ethical thinker than Caputo - a longtime Heidegger scholar - seems willing to recognize in the wake of the Nazism scandals. This is, though, a minor point compared with the overall value of the work. It is a stunning and deeply beautiful book that changed my life and way I think profoundly. I cannot recommend it more highly. Buy it.
 
This book changed my life  Mar 27, 2000
For those who live their philosophical problems this book is essential. It is true that some familiarity with Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida would be helpful in understanding the arguments and in appreciating the striking literary quality of this work. However, what Caputo deals with is fundamental and goes well beyond commentary on any single thinker. His fundamental thesis is that ethics is without any substantial ground beyond the simple and elusive happening of obligation which Caputo valorizes. Ethics becomes something that is dangerous. It is shown that the dangerousness of ethics is vital, that there is no greater danger to ethics than making ethics 'safe'. I think this book would be perfect if some of his criticism of Heidegger didn't occasionally verge on being just rhetoric. Heidegger is more of an ethical thinker than Caputo - a longtime Heidegger scholar - seems willing to recognize in the wake of the Nazism scandals. This is, though, a minor point compared with the overall value of the work. It is a stunning and deeply beautiful book that changed my life and way I think profoundly. I cannot recommend it more highly. Buy it.
 
A great deconstruction of ethics  Jun 27, 1998
This book is excellent for anyone who is involved in the study of ethics and metaphysics and wants a challenging viewpoint from a great author.Caputo makes his point and charges through the book without backing down. Challenging read, one should have a background in continental philosophy and Nietzsche, not a book for beginners.
 
rethinking ethics!!!  Jun 2, 1998
This is a great book, although it really is a bitch to read. It helps to be well-read and have a background in Nietische (which I don't) This book however really helped in through grad school. If you are stuck in an ethics debate, or in an ethics class, this book will be invaluable.
 

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