The Art of Reconciliation: Photography and the Conception of Dialectics in Benjamin, Hegel, and Derrida
Dag Petersson offers a comprehensive critique of the philosophy that has dominated 200 years of modern thought, politics, economy, and culture. The basic question is this: why does dialectical metaphysics fail to keep what it promises? What is it about dialectics, that makes it fall into irreducibly distinct variations of itself, when all it promises is to synthesize, to reconcile and make whole what is fragmented and alien to itself? An undisciplined creativity intrinsic to completing reason comes to light through analyses of how dialectical systems begin. Every dialectical philosophy must account for its own birth, and it is at this point, when it also articulates its promise of universal synthesis, that the book discovers a desire for light-writing, or photography. Only the most immediate element – light – can mediate the necessary self-determination of thought at its origin. Light must begin to write. A philosophical critique of dialectics is therefore also a point of departure for a new aesthetic ontology of photography.
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