Friday, August 24, 2012
In LARB, Joshua Mostafa reviews Peter Sloterdijk's Bubbles.
That may seem a trivial point to make: who doesn’t think context is all? But, as Sloterdijk is aware, thinking outside of the liberal-individualist paradigm at an ontological level is not without its dangers. Sloterdijk conceives of the Spheres trilogy as companion and continuation of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, and a corrective to what he sees as its faults. Heidegger’s wrong turn is precisely his insistence on essential loneliness, and his abandonment of “existential spaciousness.” Heidegger’s mistake, according to Sloterdijk, is to try to answer the question of ‘who’ before fully exploring the question of ‘where’. Sloterdijk contends that, by neglecting the spatial dimension of ‘being in the world’ in favor of questions of authenticity, Heidegger gave himself a blind spot that not only left his own philosophically project unbalanced, but himself vulnerable to the political blindness of radical nationalism. Bubbles attempts to remedy that neglect: to think through the implications of existence as ‘being-with’ — that is, as part of a containing sphere.
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