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Circus Philosophicus Paperback – December 16, 2010

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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.
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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: 5.6 x 0.2 x 8.6 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: #624,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 19 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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