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Musique
Title:Musique
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  • The Parasite

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  • The Troubadour of Knowledge

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Hermes: Literature, Science, Philosophy, The Natural Contract, The Birth of Physics, Malfeasance: Appropriation Through Pollution?, The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies, Genesis, The Troubadour of Knowledge, Petite Poucette, The Parasite, Conversations on Science, Culture, and Time: Michel Serres with Bruno Latour
Influential philosopher Michel Serres s foundational work uses fable to explore how human relations are identical to that of the parasite to the host body Among Serres s arguments is that by being pests minor groups can become major players in public dialogue creating diversity and complexity vital to human life and thought br br br br Michel Serres is professor in history of science at the Sorbonne professor of Romance languages at Stanford University and author of several books including i Genesis i br br br br Lawrence R Schehr is professor of French at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign br br br br Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University His books include i Zoontologies The Question of the Animal i Minnesota, What do we do when we raise a child teach a student or educate a person as a member of society For the French philosopher Michel Serres all of these forms of pedagogy require painful yet exhilarating departures from home and encounters with Otherness Like a swimmer who plunges into the river s current to reach the opposite bank the person who wishes to learn must risk a voyage from the familiar to the strange True education Serres writes takes place in the fluid middle of this crossing To be educated is to become a harlequin a crossbreed a hybrid of our origins like a newborn child complexly produced as a mixture of maternal and paternal genes yet an independent existence separated from the familiar and determined br br In this wide ranging meditation on learning and difference Serres the scientist turned epistemologist philosopher turned moralist reveler of being a half breed from every point of view explores numerous pathways in philosophy science and literature to argue that the best contemporary education requires knowledge of both science s general truths and literature s singular stories He heralds a new pedagogy which claims that from the crossbreeding of the humanities and the sciences a new educational ideal can be born the troubadour of knowledge br br With his agile and poetic voice Serres has created a meditation of precisely this pluralistic creation deftly recognizing it as a third party bred not of orderly dialectics but of the destabilizing multiplicity of the present age Those who know the enormous range and clarity of this thinker will welcome this latest volume translated into English by Sheila Glaser with the assistance of William Paulson br br Michel Serres has taught at Clermont Ferrand the University of Paris VIII Vincennes the Sorbonne and Stanford University and has served as visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University Other works of his available in English translation include i Conversations on Science Culture and Time i with Bruno Latour i Genesis i and i The Natural Contract i also published by The University of Michigan Press br br Sheila Glaser is Reviews Editor of i Artforum i magazine William Paulson is Professor of French and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan br, This English translation of Michel Serres book Gen se captures in lucid prose the startling breadth and depth of his thinking as he probes the relations between order disorder knowledge anxiety and violence Written in a unique blend of scientific discourse and lyrical outburst classical philosophical idiom and conversational intimacy by turns angry playful refined or discordant i Genesis i is an attempt to think outside of metaphysical categories of unity or rational order and to make us hear through both its content and form the noise the sound and the fury that are the background of life and thought br br Serres draws on a vast knowledge of such diverse disciplines as anthropology classical history music theology art history information theory physics biology dance and athletics and Western metaphysics and a range of cultural material that includes the writings of Plato Kant August Comte Balzac and Shakespeare to name a few He argues that although philosophy has been instrumental in the past in establishing laws of logic and rationality that have been crucial to our understanding of ourselves and our universe one of the most pressing tasks of thought today is to recognize that such pockets of unity are islands of order in a sea of multiplicity a sea which cannot really be i conceived i but which perhaps can still be sensed felt and i heard i raging in chaos beneath the momentary crests of order imposed by human civilization br br Philosophy of science or prose poetry a classical meditation on metaphysics or a stream of consciousness polemic and veiled invective Serres mounts a quirky at times rhapsodical but above all a noisy critique of traditional and current models in social theory historiography and aesthetics The result is a work that is at once provocative poetic deeply personal and ultimately religious an apocalyptic call for the rebirth of philosophy as the art of thinking the unthinkable br b About the Book b br br An intensely beautiful and rigourous meditation on the birth of forms amid chaos and multiplicity from a major philosopher who is also an exquisite craftsman of the written word William Paulson University of Michigan br br Serres exhibits a rare raw tendentiousness refreshing in its vitriol it s the sort of light hearted perverse and basically liberal tirade one hears too infrequently of late i Word i br, In this highly original and provocative book Michel Serres reflects on the relation between nature and culture and analyzes the origins of the world s contemporary environmental problems He does so through the surprising proposition that our cleanliness is our dirt While all living beings pollute to lay claim to their habitat humans have multiplied pollution s effects catastrophically since the Industrial Revolution through the economic system s mode of appropriation and its emphasis on mindless growth He warns that while we can measure what he calls hard pollution the poisoning of the Earth we ignore at our peril the disastrous impact of the soft pollution created by sound and images on our psyches Sounding the alarm that the planet is heading for disaster Serres proposes that humanity should stop trying to own the world and become renters Building on his earlier work especially that on hominization he urges us to establish a natural contract with nature br br Published with the assistance of the Edgar M Kahn Memorial Fund