Synopses & Reviews
Focusing on the first four images of the Other mobilized in Descartes' Meditations--namely, the blind, the mad, the dreamy, and the bad--Reading Descartes Otherwise
casts light on what have heretofore been the phenomenological shadows of "Cartesian rationality." In doing so, it discovers dynamic signs of spectral alterity lodged both at the core and on the edges of modern Cartesian subjectivity.
Calling for a Copernican reorientation of the very notion "Cartesianism," the book's series of close, creatively critical readings of Descartes' signature images brings the dramatic forces, moments, and scenes of the cogito into our own contemporary moment. The author patiently unravels the knotted skeins of ambiguity that have been spun within philosophical modernity out of such cliches as "Descartes, the abstract modern subject" and "Descartes, the father of modern philosophy"--a figure who is at once everywhere and nowhere. In the process, she revitalizes and reframes the legacy of Cartesian modernity, in a way more mindful of its proto-phenomenological traces.
"Kyoo Lee presents a timely reengagement with Descartes, exploring the allegorical and spectral edges of his thought with insights that sparkle and startle. Illuminating links with recent thinkers from Bachelard to Badiou show incisively that Descartes's preoccupations with dreams, madness, and matter are still ours today, however differently we may appear to inflect them."-Ed Casey, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, SUNY at Stony Brook; author, The World at a Glance
"Here is a book that rocks the legacy of our Cartesian base with exceptional intelligence, rigor, and humor. A breath of fresh philosophical air!"-Avital Ronell, New York University
"This is a very timely and thought provoking volume that provides new insights into Descartes' works as well as extends the currency of his ideas to contemporary debates and a broader public. Theoretically sophisticated, Lee's work brings together an extensive scholarly and critical erudition with a careful reappraisal of Cartesian texts, all the while retaining a sense of intellectual immediacy and relevance through the freshness, insightful, and humorous nature of her interventions."-Dalia Judovitz, Emory University
About the Author
is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. She also teaches comparative literature and feminist theory at the Graduate Center, CUNY.