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Putting Politics in its Place: Philosophies and Practices of Presence in the works of Gustav Landauer, Eric Voegelin, Simone Weil and Václav Havel

Hoppen, Franziska (2017) Putting Politics in its Place: Philosophies and Practices of Presence in the works of Gustav Landauer, Eric Voegelin, Simone Weil and Václav Havel. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

This thesis presents an alternative perspective to the "discourse of crisis" that currently pervades political debate. "Post-truth politics", "post-politics" and "anti-politics" - these are only a few of the new concepts that have recently emerged to describe what is perceived as a deviation from politics proper. At the core of this crisis appears to be the phenomenon of externalisation, where self-realisation is outsourced to external markers of identification, such as race or nation. Traditional political concepts no longer seem sufficient to grasp such externalisation - hence the discourse calls for new, original ways of thinking and doing politics. This thesis discusses the limits of the discourse of crisis and introduces the philosophy of presence, traditionally excluded from the canon of modern political thought. It is concerned with the question of politics only as a derivative. Unlike contemporary mainstream and critical political thought, this philosophy argues that externalisation is not a deviation from politics, but its very essence. Its core argument is that another order, prior to and beyond the political, is already present in the world and can be experienced by human faculties, so that, instead of ordering the world politically, the task is to "become present" to the world spiritually. Hence, the philosophy of presence puts politics in its place - secondary to experience. I present this philosophy by exploring four thinkers in depth and by focusing on what I refer to as "practices of presence": means by which presence can be cultivated and made habitual. Thereby, I seek to show that the philosophy of presence does not promote withdrawal but may lead to another type of community and sociality - one that is not political. The thinkers discussed will be Gustav Landauer and his practice of Absonderung, Eric Voegelin and his practice of Anamnesis, Simone Weil and her practice of Malheur and Václav Havel and his practice of Neklid.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Rossbach, Stefan
Thesis advisor: MacKenzie, Iain
Uncontrolled keywords: Philosophy of presence, mystical philosophy, practices of presence, externalisation, revelation, truth, soul, spirit, Absonderung, Anamnesis, Malheur, Attention, Neklid, politics, the political, the unpolitical, post-politics, antipolitics, post-truth politics, Gustav Landauer, Eric Voegelin, Simone Weil, Václav Havel.
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2018 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 20:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66778 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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