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Political Categories Thinking Beyond Concepts

Michael Marder


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“Michael Marder’s patient and lucid work reminds us how categories and concepts are different, and that a phenomenological approach, allied with Kantian reflection, can help us think about political matters through an expanded and refined understanding of political categories. In a political world where simplistic reductions tend to reign, Marder offers a thoughtful reconsideration of categories as offering greater descriptive power and critical complexity than concepts that suppress the specificity of political phenomena. This is an important book that gives us both the example and the ideal of a political philosophy tasked with understanding the field of conflict in the service of an expansive pluralism.” JUDITH BUTLER, MAXINE ELLIOT PROFESSOR OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE AND CRITICAL THEORY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

“Michael Marder’s Political Categories is much more than a book about politics. It takes a step back and looks at the conceptual apparatus we rely on when we talk about politics and engage in it. As such, it is indispensable for everyone who is not only politically active but also wants to know what they are doing when they are politically active.” SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK, AUTHOR OF DISPARITIES AND THE INCONTINENCE OF THE VOID

“Political Categories proposes nothing less than a new way of thinking about politics and such political ideas and institutions as the state, sovereignty, power, and revolution. The question is how to define what is proper or singular to politics without isolating it from other spheres of human activity and thought. What makes politics politics? In this book, Marder finds a novel way of viewing the meaning of politics and its relation to nonpolitical realities.” DANIEL INNERARITY, AUTHOR OF GOVERNANCE IN THE NEW GLOBAL DISORDER

MICHAEL MARDER is IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain. His most recent book is Energy Dreams: Of Actuality (Columbia, 2017). Cover design: Milenda Nan Ok Lee Cover art: sumkinn © istockphoto PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

Columbia University Press | New York cup.columbia.edu

Profile for Columbia University Press

Political Categories, by Michael Marder (preface)  

Read the preface to POLITICAL CATEGORIES: THINKING BEYOND CONCEPTS, by Michael Marder. In this work, Marder proposes a new methodology for p...

Political Categories, by Michael Marder (preface)  

Read the preface to POLITICAL CATEGORIES: THINKING BEYOND CONCEPTS, by Michael Marder. In this work, Marder proposes a new methodology for p...