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Sophistical Practice


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction: Towards a New Topology of Philosophy I. Unusual Presocratics 1. Who's Afraid of the Sophists? Against Ethical Correctness 2. Speak if You Are a Man, or the Transcendantal Exclusion 3. Seeing Helen in Every Woman II. Sophistics, Rhetorics, Politics 4. Rhetorical Turns in Ancient Greece 5. Topos/Kairos, Two Modes of Invention 6. Time of Deliberation and Space of Power: Athens and Rome, the First Conflict III. Sophistical Trends in Political Philosophy 7. From Organism to Picnic: Which Consensus for Which City? 8. Aristotle With and Against Kant on the Idea of Nature 9. Paradigms of the Past in Arendt and Heidegger IV. Performance and Performative 10. How To Really Do Things With Words. Performance Before the Performative 11. The Performative Without Condition, A University Sans Appel (with Ph. Buttgen) 12. Genres and Genders. Woman/Philosopher: Identity as Strategy 13. Philosophizing in Languages V. "Enough of the Truth For" 14. "Enough of the Truth ForEL" On the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 15. Politics of Memory. On the Treatment of Hate 16. Google and Cultural Democracy 17. Relativity of Translation and Relativism Notes Index

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Sophistical Practice constitutes a major contribution to the debate among philosophical pluralism, unitarism, and pragmatism.

About the Author

Barbara Cassin is Director of Research at the CNRS in Paris and a member of the Academie Francaise. Her widely discussed Dictionary of Untranslatables has been translated into seven languages, and her Nostalgia: When Are we Ever at Home? won the 2015 French Voices Grand Prize. Her most recent books to appear in English are Google Me: One-Click Democracy and, with Alain Badiou, There's No Such Thing as a Sexual Relationship.


"Nietzsche considered that Socrates mischaracterized the Sophists and exiled them out of the Logos, making their art the other of philosophy, of what became the Platonic-Aristotelian orthodoxy in the history of western thought. Barbara Cassin's Sophistical Practice undertakes the Nietzschean task of reappraising the Sophists' enterprise and the lessons that their "other" conception of the Logos has for us, today: about the long suppressed feminine buried under the orthodox history of philosophy, about language and translation, about the meaning of a transitional justice (of the kind illustrated by post-apartheid South Africa) that demands not the absolute Platonic truth-in-itself but the sophistical "enough-truth-for" restoring communities fractured by hate and strife and giving them the sense of a future. This is a superb work of classical erudition at the service of the reflection on contemporary issues."-Soulemane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University

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