Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk (b. 1947) is one of the best known and widely read German intellectuals writing today. His 1983 publication of Critique of Cynical Reason (published in English in 1988) became the best-selling German book of philosophy since World War II. He became president of the State Academy of Design at the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe in 2001. He has been cohost of a discussion program, Das Philosophische Quartett (Philosophical Quartet) on German television since 2002.

  • Foams

    Foams

    Spheres Volume III: Plural Spherology

    Peter Sloterdijk

    The final volume in Peter Sloterdijk's celebrated Spheres trilogy, on the phenomenology of community and its spatial peripheries.

    “So the One Orb has imploded—now the foams are alive."—from Foams

    Foams completes Peter Sloterdijk's celebrated Spheres trilogy: his 2,500-page “grand narrative” retelling of the history of humanity, as related through the anthropological concept of the "Sphere." For Sloterdijk, life is a matter of form and, in life, sphere formation and thought are two different labels for the same thing. The trilogy also offers his corrective answer to Martin Heidegger's Being and Time, reformulating it into a lengthy meditation on Being and Space—a shifting of the question of who we are to a more fundamental question of where we are.

    In this final volume, Sloterdijk's “plural spherology” moves from the historical perspective on humanity of the preceding two volumes to a philosophical theory of our contemporary era, offering a view of life through a multifocal lens. If Bubbles was Sloterdijk's phenomenology of intimacy, and Globes his phenomenology of globalization, Foams could be described as his phenomenology of spatial plurality: how the bubbles that we form in our duality bind together to form what sociological tradition calls "society." Foams is an exploration of capsules, islands, and hothouses that leads to the discovery of the foam city.

    The Spheres trilogy ultimately presents a theology without a God—a spatial theology that requires no God, whose death therefore need not be of concern.

    As with the two preceding volumes, Foams can be read on its own or in relation to the rest of the trilogy.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £30.00
  • Globes

    Globes

    Spheres Volume II: Macrospherology

    Peter Sloterdijk

    The second, and longest, volume in Peter Sloterdijk's celebrated Spheres trilogy, on the world history and philosophy of globalization.

    All history is the history of struggles for spheric expansion.—from Globes

    In Globes—the second, and longest, volume in Peter Sloterdijk's celebrated magnum opus Spheres trilogy—the author attempts nothing less than to uncover the philosophical foundations of the political history—the history of humanity—of the last two thousand years. The first, well-received volume of the author's Spheres trilogy, Bubbles, dealt with microspheres: the fact that individuals, from the fetal stage to childhood, are never alone, because they always incorporate the Other into themselves and align themselves with it. With Globes, Sloterdijk opens up a history of the political world using the morphological models of the orb and the globe, and argues that all previous statements about globalization have suffered from shortsightedness. For him, globalization begins with the ancient Greeks, who represented the whole world through the shape of the orb. With the discovery of America and the first circumnavigations of the earth, the orb was replaced by the globe. This second globalization is currently giving way to the third, which we are living through today, as the general virtuality of all conditions leads to a growing spatial crisis.

    Peter Sloterdijk tells here the true story of globalization: from the geometrization of the sky in Plato and Aristotle to the circumnavigation of the last orb—the earth—by ships, capital, and signals.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £30.00
  • Nietzsche Apostle

    Nietzsche Apostle

    Peter Sloterdijk

    Peter Sloterdijk's essay on Friedrich Nietzsche and the benefits and dangers of narcissistic jubilation.

    For Peter Sloterdijk, Friedrich Nietzsche represents nothing short of a “catastrophe in the history of language”—a new evangelist for a linguistics of narcissistic jubilation. Nietzsche offered a philosophical declaration of independence from humility, a meeting-point of sobriety and megalomania that for Sloterdijk has come to define the very project of philosophy.

    Yet for all the significance of this language-event named Nietzsche, Nietzsche's contributions have too often been elided and the contradictions at the root of his philosophy too often edited out. As Sloterdijk observes, “Never has an author so insisted on distinction and yet attracted such vulgarity.” Nietzsche Apostle, drawn from a speech Sloterdijk gave in 2000 on the hundredth anniversary of Nietzsche's death, looks at the ways in which Nietzsche has been branded over the years through selective compilation, and at the ways in which Nietzsche turned himself into a brand—a brand announced by his proclaimed “fifth Gospel,” Thus Spoke Zarathustra. For Sloterdijk, the focus should not be on the figure of Zarathustra or on the “will to power” often used as a kind of philosophical shorthand to sum up Nietzsche's work, but on Zarathustra's act of “speaking” itself. Nietzsche Apostle offers a brief history of self-praise and self-affirmation, an examination of the evolution of boasting (both by God and by man), and a very original approach to Nietzsche, philosophy's first designer brand of individualism.

    • Paperback $12.95 £9.99
  • Bubbles

    Bubbles

    Spheres Volume I: Microspherology

    Peter Sloterdijk

    The first volume in Peter Sloterdijk's monumental Spheres trilogy: an investigation of humanity's engagement with intimate spaces.

    An epic project in both size and purview, Peter Sloterdijk's three-volume, 2,500-page Spheres is the late-twentieth-century bookend to Heidegger's Being and Time. Rejecting the century's predominant philosophical focus on temporality, Sloterdijk, a self-described “student of the air,” reinterprets the history of Western metaphysics as an inherently spatial and immunological project, from the discovery of self (bubble) to the exploration of world (globe) to the poetics of plurality (foam). Exploring macro- and micro-space from the Greek agora to the contemporary urban apartment, Sloterdijk is able to synthesize, with immense erudition, the spatial theories of Aristotle, René Descartes, Gaston Bachelard, Walter Benjamin, and Georges Bataille into a morphology of shared, or multipolar, dwelling—identifying the question of being as one bound up with the aerial technology of architectonics and anthropogenesis.

    Sloterdijk describes Bubbles, the first volume of Spheres, as a general theory of the structures that allow couplings—or as the book's original intended subtitle put it, an “archeology of the intimate.” Bubbles includes a wide array of images, not to illustrate Sloterdijk's discourse, but to offer a spatial and visual “parallel narrative” to his exploration of bubbles.

    Written over the course of a decade, the Spheres trilogy has waited another decade for its much-anticipated English translation from Semiotext(e). Volumes II, Globes, and III, Foam, will be published in the coming seasons.

    • Hardcover $34.95 £27.00
  • Neither Sun nor Death

    Neither Sun nor Death

    Peter Sloterdijk

    A series of dialogues with the most exciting and controversial German philosopher writing today.

    Peter Sloterdijk first became known in this country for his late 1980s Critique of Cynical Reason, which confronted headlong the “enlightened false consciousness” of Habermasian critical theory. Two decades later, after spending seven years in India studying Eastern philosophy, he is now attracting renewed interest for his writings on politics and globalization and for his magnum opus Spheres, a three-volume archaeology of the human attempt to dwell within spaces, from womb to globe: Bubbles, 1998; Globes, 1999; Foam, 2004, all forthcoming from Semiotext(e). In Neither Sun nor Death, Sloterdijk answers questions posed by German writer Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs, commenting on such issues as technological mutation, development media, communication technologies, and his own intellectual itinerary. Iconoclastic and provocative, alternatively sparkling and bombastic, a child of '68 and a libertarian, Sloterdijk is the most exciting and controversial German philosopher to appear on the world scene since Nietzsche and Heidegger. Like Nietzsche, Sloterdijk remains convinced that contemporary philosophers have to think dangerously and let themselves be “kidnapped” by contemporary “hypercomplexities”; they must forsake our present humanist and nationalist world for a wider horizon at once ecological and global. Neither Sun nor Death is the best introduction available to Sloterdijk's philosophical theory of globalization. It reveals a philosophe extraordinaire, encyclopedic and provocative, as much at ease with current French Theory (Gilles Deleuze, Paul Virilio, Gabriel Tarde) as with Heidegger and Indian mystic Osho Rajneesh.

    • Paperback $18.95 £14.99
  • Terror from the Air

    Terror from the Air

    Peter Sloterdijk

    Terrorism as the matrix of modern and postmodern war, from Ypres to Auschwitz, from the bombing of Dresden to the attack on the World Trade Center.

    According to Peter Sloterdijk, the twentieth century started on a specific day and place: April 22, 1915, at Ypres in West Flanders. That day, the German army used a chlorine gas meant to exterminate indiscriminately. Until then, war, as described by Clausewitz and practiced by Napoleon, involved attacking the adversary's vital function first. Using poison gas signaled the passage from classical war to terrorism. This terror from the air inaugurated an era in which the main idea was no longer to target the enemy's body, but their environment. From then on, what would be attacked in wartime as well as in peacetime would be the very conditions necessary for life.

    This kind of terrorism became the matrix of modern and postmodern war, from World War I's toxic gas to the Nazi Zyklon B used in Auschwitz, from the bombing of Dresden to the attack on the World Trade Center. Sloterdijk goes on to describe the offensive of modern aesthetics, aesthetic terrorism from Surrealism to Malevich—an “atmo-terrorism” in the arts that parallels the assault on environment that had originated in warfare.

    • Paperback $14.95 £11.50

Contributor

  • Philosophy of Communication

    Philosophy of Communication

    Briankle G. Chang and Garnet C. Butchart

    Classical, modern, and contemporary philosophical writings that address the fundamental concepts of communication.

    To philosophize is to communicate philosophically. From its inception, philosophy has communicated forcefully. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle talk a lot, and talk ardently. Because philosophy and communication have belonged together from the beginning—and because philosophy comes into its own and solidifies its stance through communication—it is logical that we subject communication to philosophical investigation. This collection of key works of classical, modern, and contemporary philosophers brings communication back into philosophy's orbit. It is the first anthology to gather in a single volume foundational works that address the core questions, concepts, and problems of communication in philosophical terms.

    The editors have chosen thirty-two selections from the work of Plato, Leibniz, Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Lacan, Derrida, Sloterdijk, and others. They have organized these texts thematically, rather than historically, in seven sections: consciousness; intersubjective understanding; language; writing and context; difference and subjectivity; gift and exchange; and communicability and community. Taken together, these texts not only lay the foundation for establishing communication as a distinct philosophical topic but also provide an outline of what philosophy of communication might look like.

    • Paperback $72.00 £56.00