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Joyful Cruelty: Toward a Philosophy of the Real (Odeon) Hardcover – March 18, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0195077414 ISBN-10: 0195077415 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Series: Odeon
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 18, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195077415
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195077414
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,709,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A valuable service in making available in English the first significant selection from the almost fifteen volumes of philosophical essays published by Clement Rosset over the last thirty years."--Johns Hopkins University Press

"A valuable service in making available in English the first significant selection from the almost fifteen volumes of philosophical essays published by Clement Rosset over the last thirty years."--MLN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Symplokê on April 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rarely is it that I find a book I'd consider formative, that is, beyond simply engaging or fascinating. Rosset's _Joyful Cruelty_ however, is just such a formative book. I've long enjoyed the work of Nietzsche and Rosset points to what he thinks is the main thrust of Nietzsche's work: approbation of the real, or the applied struggle inherent in the "joyful science" of distinguishing "the real" from our value judgments regarding "the real," or better, tearing asunder the tradition that combined the "factually/ontically" real with moral evaluations going all the way back to at least Parmenides. I can only agree, and I can more clearly see how all of Nietzsche's critiques, postulations ("will to power," "Eternal Recurrence")and so on, stem from this central theme. Aside from this insightful penetration into Nietzsche's work, Rosset's style is literary, philosophic, and even sometimes lyrical.

The old colloquialism, "the truth hurts," is palpable throughout this work, that the truth, the real, always transcends (though not in the otherworldly sense of Platonism or Christianity), and many times painfully contradicts, what we happen to think and feel about it, that the real is always beyond our means to comprehend (even while remaining tangible in many senses) and no moral judgment, no moral theory, can possibly envelop it adequately, regardless of the latter's complexity. At root, Rosset demonstrates Nietzsche's unique and anti-traditionalist ontology: That "Being," the Good, etc., are fantasies to escape the cruel truth of the real, which contains within it no inherent meaning and reduces men and the world to mere specks of dust in the scheme of the cosmos as well as a plaited complexity rather than anything reducible to an "essence." The essence of things, including us *is* in appearance.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Aristotle's Beast on July 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
For those looking to steal Nietzsche back from the PoMo moralizers, this is an excellent collection. Rossett is by far the most Nietzschean of the French philosophers, and is hated by the vast majority of them for pointing out that Foucault, Irigaray, Derrida and the rest really do not know Nietzsche at all. For Rossett, PoMo is a kind of cruelty. It is based on hating reality -- the only true source of scandal. Affirmative philosophies, like those of Nietzsche, Spinoza and Empedocles, are simply not allowable. To like life and reality is not allowable. It is unsporting to be an atheist. It is unsporting to find reality acceptable and to force the complainers to defend their devaluation of the now. The complainers and the irrationalists never have to defend themselves. Why is that? They are following their cruelty, and we rationalists resist ours. A must read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nova137 on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Review of "Joyful Cruelty: Toward a Philosophy of the Real, by Clement Rosset.

It is nearly impossible to review a work of this caliber and depth without coming across as misunderstanding it. Within its metaphysics, I agree with it whole-heartedly. I claim, actually, that it doesn't go near far enough. It can make a claim toward a philosophy of the real, but comes up a bit short of actually capturing a full philosophy of the real. The work is made up of 3 fairly distinct sections.

Section I, "The Overwhelming Force"

The main metaphysics of this section can best be described as "anti-speculative". Speculative philosophy is defined as:

"Philosophy, especially traditional metaphysical philosophy, which makes claims that cannot be verified by everyday experience of the physical world or by a scientific method." taken from [...].

Here is another:

"Philosophy embodying beliefs insusceptible of proof and attempting to gain insight into the nature of the ultimate by intuitive or a priori means." Taken from [...]

To avoid this pitfall of attacking part of the real as not real, I must give full disclosure. I have developed a philosophy of the real and it lacks nothing, certainly not speculative or anti-speculative philosophy.

In my philosophy of the real you can read this work and find the real. But, you can read the works of Plato or even the Bible and find the real. In fact, you can pick up any work extant and read and find the real. A philosophy of the real must contain, in the final analysis, everything known and proposed to be known. My philosophy of the real, then, lacks any bias of any kind, has only the real as its point, is all-inclusive and takes all unto its bosom.
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