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Circus Philosophicus Paperback – December 16, 2010


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Circus Philosophicus + Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures + The Quadruple Object
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 92 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (December 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781846944000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846944000
  • ASIN: 1846944007
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Graham Harman is Associate Vice Provost for Research and a member of the Department of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.

More About the Author

Graham Harman is Distinguished University Professor at the American University in Cairo.



Further books currently under contract:

*On Epistemism: Žižek, Badiou, and Others (in preparation)

*Prince of Modes: Bruno Latour's Later Philosophy (in preparation)

*Skirmishes: With Friends, Enemies, and the Dead (in preparation)

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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By I. Allen on September 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is not inane. That is, there's some real weight to the philosophy it's working through. In effect, Harman has taken the worst of Heidegger (everything a thing-in-itself, with Being receding between all these things and placing them thereby in constitutive but unsatisfying relation) and given it a weird, Leibnizian twist (he presents the twist as Leibnizian, anyhow; to call it that, he ends up having to twist Leibniz quite a bit already). He's finished this off by subtracting any necessarily human participation (or so he thinks he's done).*

As an intelligent representative of a current trend in philosophy (object-oriented ontology, speculative realism, or whatever they're calling it presently), Harman is worth reading. The book is speckled with moments of insight and the occasional nicely turned phrase. There's a feeling of creativity running through it.

That said, it's also stylistically wearying. Harman is one of the most affected, Henry-James-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed writers I've grumped my way through in years. Don't get me wrong, please: I love a good myth. And I even like a certain amount of coy self-historicizing (though not all that much--and there's *lots* here). The trouble is that Harman doesn't do either well. The myths have a tendency to fall apart at the seams, and the self-historicizing is not so much coy as frankly self-indulgent. Harman neither fictionalizes enough to make the stories sing nor edits enough out to make them fly by. I was repeatedly left feeling he thought I should care about his personal life enough to want to know more. I didn't.

In sum: of interest and short enough that you probably won't feel you've wasted your time, but far from special.
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5 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Alyse Woodard on July 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though it touts itself as a legitimate vehicle for some seriously weighty discourse, my best description for 'Circus Philosophicus' would be: underwhelmingly simple.
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