Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Anatomy of Failure


The Unit for Global Justice, Goldsmiths, and the Collège International de Philosophie, Paris invite you to a book discussion on:
Oliver Feltham's Anatomy of Failure: Philosophy and Political Action (Bloomsbury, 2013)
Modern liberalism begins in the forgetting of the English Revolution. Anatomy of Failure seeks to right that wrong by exploring the concept of political action, playing its history against its philosophy. The 1640s are a period of institutional failure and political disaster: the country plunges into civil war, every agent is naked. Established procedures are thrown aside and the very grounds for action are fiercely debated and recast.
Five queries emerge in the experience of the New Model Army, five queries that outline an anatomy of failure, isolating the points at which actors disagree, conflict flares up, and alliances dissolve: Who can act? On what grounds? Who is right about what is to be done? Why do we succeed or fail? If you and I split, were we ever united, and to what end? The application of these questions to the Leveller-agitator writings, and then to Thomas Hobbes and John Locke's philosophies, generates models of political action. No mere philosophical abstractions, the Hobbesian and Lockean models of sovereign and contractual  action have dominated the very practice of politics for centuries. Today it is time to recuperate the Leveller-agitator model of joint action, a model unique in its adequacy to the threat of failure and in its vocation for building the common-wealth. 

Filippo Del Lucchese, Brunel University, London
Peter D. Thomas, Brunel University, London
Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths College, London
Oliver Feltham, American University of Paris

Saturday 22 February 2014
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ben Pimlott Building Lecture Theatre
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London SE14 6NW

The event is supported by:
Collège International de Philosophie, Paris
Unit for Global Justice, Goldsmiths College, London


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