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This work is a philosophical intervention into contemporary cultural theory challenges the terms of its understanding of time and history. If Aristotle sought to understand time through change, might we not reverse the procedure and seek to understand change through time? Once we do this, argues Peter Osborne, it soon becomes clear that ideas such as...
This work is a philosophical intervention into contemporary cultural theory challenges the terms of its understanding of time and history. If Aristotle sought to understand time through change, might we not reverse the procedure and seek to understand change through time? Once we do this, argues Peter Osborne, it soon becomes clear that ideas such as avant-garde, modern, postmodern and tradition - which are usually only treated as markers for empirically discrete periods, movements or styles - are best understood as categories of historical totalization. More specifically, Osborne claims, such ideas involve distinct "temporalizations" of history, giving rise to conflicting politics of time. The book begins with a consideration of the main aspects of modernity, and develops a series of critical engagements with the major and 20th-century positions in the philosophy of history. It concludes with a history of the avant-garde intervention into the temporality of everyday life in surrealism, the situationists and the work of Henri Lefebvre. Peter Osborne is the editor of "Socialism and the Limits of Liberalism", and co-editor of "Thinking Art: Beyond Traditional Aesthetics" and "Walter Benjamin's Philosophy: Destruction and Experience".
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