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Slow Philosophy


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Preface: Why Slow Reading Today? Posing the Question: what is it to read? About the Chapters Introduction: On Being Slow and Doing Philosophy The Love of Wisdom and the Desire to Know The Play Between the Instituting and the Instituted in Philosophy Philosophy as a Way of Life: Slow Reading - Slow Philosophy Resisting Institutional Reading 1 Habits of Reading: Le D uff's Future Philosophy Philosophy as Discipline Philosophy's Old Habits of Reading How Men and Women Read Teaching Reading: Sadism, Collaboration? Le D uff's Habits of Reading A Philosophy Still to Come: Open-ended Work Habits of Slow Reading 2 Reading Essayistically: Levinas and Adorno Emmanuel Levinas: An Ethics of Reading? Institution and Instrumental Reason Theodor W. Adorno: The Essay as Form Luiz Costa Lima: Criticity and the Essay Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: Reading for "Stimmung" Robert Musil: Essay, Ethics, Aesthetics 3 Re-reading: Irigaray on Love and Wonder Psychoanalysis, Listening, Attention Irigaray's Diotima: The Arts of Philosophy, Reading, and Love Descartes's "Passions of the Soul": Irigaray's Wondrous Reading Love and Wonder: Reading 4 The Present of Reading: Irigaray's Attentive Listening The Nobility of Sight: Hans Jonas Listening-to: Luce Irigaray's Way of Love The Present of Reading: Friedrich Nietzsche and Others 5 Romance and Authenticity: Beauvoir's Lesson in Reading Romantic and Authentic Love Reading and Love Authenticity as Ethics? Returning to Beauvoir: How does she read? Le D uff's Reading of Beauvoir's Reading of Sartre: "Operative Philosophy" Rethinking "Operative Philosophy" with the help of Beauvoir's Own Categories of Romance and Authenticity Beauvoir Reading the Couple: "Sartre and Beauvoir" 6 Intimate Reading: Cixous's Approach A Desire resonant with Love Cixous Writing: "Entredeux" Writing as Gift and Generosity Generosity, Love, Abandon Cixous Reading: Intimacy, Giving The Approach: A slow passage between the self and the strangeness of the other Cixous and Irigaray: extreme proximity? The Gifts of Abandon and Grace: An ethics of reading Conclusion: The Attentive Work of Grace Simone Weil: attention to gravity and grace Martin Heidegger: rapture (Rausch) and meditative thinking Reading as an Aesthetic Experience Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: reading for intensity Notes Bibliography

Promotional Information

An engaging and poetic account of how slow reading allows philosophy to embrace complexity within an institutional context dominated by speed and efficiency.

About the Author

Michelle Boulous Walker is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Queensland, Australia.


The real innovation of Boulous Walker's book is its understanding of philosophia - the love of wisdom - in terms of the love of reading. The point is not that philosophers do not read, or that they ought to read more, but that philosophy needs to rethink what it is to read, and to think carefully about what it is to read better. Hence the importance of slowness. * Los Angeles Review of Books *
Systematic reading is characterised by a desire for knowledge. Whereas slow reading, according to Walker, is about nothing less than the love of wisdom. * Svenska Dagbladet (Bloomsbury translation) *
This is a book that goes against the grain. In an age of generalized speeding up and institutional pressure to generate rapid outcomes, Michelle Boulous Walker teaches us how to appreciate and enjoy the intellectual splendors of slowness. The most important things in life have a tendency to "take their time," and philosophers should be the first to understand that. Indeed, they should make slowness a vital dimension of their work. Slow philosophy is enjoyable, imaginative, provocative, subversive - a gem of a book. Read it now. Slowly! * Costica Bradatan, Associate Professor of Humanities in the Honors College at Texas Tech University, USA *
Philosophy professes to think about thinking in its many forms. Michelle Boulous Walker shows how hard it is to do it, and the many ways contemporary academic philosophy betrays the obligation to do it. In this beautifully written book she teaches us how to read thoughtfully by her attentive reading of philosophers and writers both ancient and contemporary, who taught her how to do it... slowly. Seldom does a work of philosophy practice what it preaches in such an exemplary manner. * Raimond Gaita, Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Law School & Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne, Australia *

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