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Title: Baudrillard and the contemporary consciousness
Author: Hanlon, N.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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Abstract:
This thesis constitutes a re-thinking of the work of Jean Baudrillard and its relationship with the intellectual context in which it is situated, and from which it emanates. One of the foremost Baudrillard scholars (Douglas Kellner) asks whether Baudrillard has become ‘the court jester of the societies on which he has chosen to comment’. Despite (and in a sense because of) this potential status, I argue that Baudrillard’s thinking is situated at a key site for an often banalised contemporary society and thought: that is, at a crossroads between sociology, philosophy and politics, and between populist and intellectual culture. Therefore, to attempt to understand his thought within the context of these various intersecting aspects may be viewed as a step on the path to better understanding our contemporary epistemological paradigm (and its relation to history). Through such an understanding we may find avenues to move beyond such modes of thinking, which is exactly what I attempt to do in the thesis. Chapter 1 (Becoming and Transvaluation) establishes a temporality of ‘becoming’(through Heraclitus and Nietzsche) as foundational for the methodology o the thesis. That methodology is more specifically related to the connected notion of Verwindung (as propounded by Vattimo and Heidegger), which refers to the process of re-conceptualising and rejuvenating the paradigm of thinking in which an individual (and collective) consciousness is situated, a process commensurate with Baudrillard’s ‘réversibilité’. Chapter 2 (Situatedness) explores the relationship between Baudrillard and Heidegger on the theme of death, and the implicit questions of subjectivity and temporality. The Heideggerian concept of Befindlichkeit (‘situatedness’), crucial to the German philosopher’s thinking on death, facilitates the uncovering of an aporia in Baudrillard’s theorising on temporality. Chapter 3 (History and Structure) builds on the critique of Baudrillard’ conception of temporality established in Chapter 2, moving to a consideration of the relationship between history and structure, which is a problematic that arises in particular out of Baudrillard’s attempt to overcome Foucault (Oublier Foucault, 1977). The later Baudrillard’s astructurality is considered in relation to the structural understandings of Foucault (episteme), Kuhn (paradigm), Vattimo, Gadamer and Heidegger (all three with epochal conceptions of Being).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.603654  DOI: Not available
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