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How do we challenge the structures of late capitalism if all possible media through which to do do is inescapably capitalist? This urgent political question is at the heart of Peter Trawny's major new work. With searing precision Trawny demonstrates how our world has become wholly determined by technology, capital, and the medium. In this world of the `TCM', we universal subjects remain in a state of apathy that is temporarily punctuated, but also reinforced, by the phantasmatic dream of difference offered us by the `Hollywood machine.' Our sole motivation is to gain money and the power it brings. The only meaningful difference in the world of the TCM universal is the difference between wealth and poverty. Freedom here is then the freedom to dispose of things (particularly technological objects) and to gain pleasure. It makes our relation to our surroundings essentially `touristic,' and our relation to the earth an essentially exploitative one. The notion of personal or societal freedom has never been more controversial or, seemingly, more far from our grasp. While exploring in details the difficulties we face in our attempts to be free, Trawny builds an almost Utopian vision of how to break out of the mediums in which we operate and experience a new kind of freedom - both one of intimacy, and one through philosophy. An ambitious and lively yet completely rigorous work, this book offers a fascinating vision of how to live and live well.
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Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Double Topology 1.1 The Poetic Topology 1.2 The Mathematico-Technological Topology 2. The Idea-Matter-Matrix 3. What Is: 3.1 Technology 3.2 Capital 3.3 Medium 3.4 The TCM Universal 3.4.1 The Scientific Universal 3.4.2 The Human Universal 3.4.3 The Natural Universal 3.4.4 The First Universal Hierarchy 3.4.5 The Second Universal Hierarchy: Quantity ? Quality 3.4.51 Excursus: Quantity and Time 4. The Universal and the Universal Topology 5. The Universal Subject 5.1 The Subject before the TCM Universal: Solipsism and Intimacy 5.2 The Subject within the TCM Universal: Indifference and Normality 6. Pragma-Politics 7. The Final Revolution 8. Anachronisms 9. The Double Topology and the Museum 10. Patho-topo-logy 10.1 The Patho-topo-logy of the Subject in the TCM Universal I 10.2 The Patho-topo-logy of the Subject in the TCM Universal II: Loss 11. The Differentiated Subject/Violence 12. Intimacy and Freedom 13. Philosophy as Impossibility Note on the Wittgenstein Citation Notes

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A major work from acclaimed German philosopher Peter Trawny, this book asks how we could challenge the structures of late capitalism, if all possible media through which we might do so are inescapably capitalist.

About the Author

Peter Trawny is Professor of Philosophy at Bergische University, Wuppertal, Germany. A specialist in phenomenological and hermeneutical political philosophy and aesthetics, he is the author of books on Heidegger, Hegel, Arendt, and Plato, and a co-editor of Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe, or the complete works (vol. 35, 69.73, 90). Richard Lambert is a translator based in Berlin. He gained his PhD in philosophy from the University of Warwick.


On Freedom gives us a stark and striking vision of the modern global order. By emphasizing the necessity and seamlessness of our technological, economic, and communicative systems, Peter Trawny paradoxically incites us to dream of something else: a realm of genuine freedom, "impossible" though it may be. Taking inspiration from figures such as Ernst Junger and Martin Heidegger but contributing telling insights of his own, Trawny has produced a disturbing, provocative book. -- Richard Polt, Professor of Philosophy, Xavier University, USA Trawny is familiar to many in the English speaking world as the editor of Heidegger's infamous Black Notebooks. He has also published incisive and original works that deal frontally and without subterfuge or apologetics with Heidegger's - now established beyond any doubt - anti-Semitism. Yet, Trawny is more than an editor and exegete. He is also an original philosopher, writing in arresting German, beautifully captured in his excellent translation by Richard Lambert. Marcuse sought to synthesize Marx and Heidegger in the early thirties of the last century, before he had to escape from Nazi Germany. Habermas carried the challenge by turning away from Heidegger and taking up Searle, Wittgenstein, Mead, and Durkheim, while leaving behind Marx. This book aims to show how we can philosophize about our modern condition, while updating and renewing Marx, Marcuse, Habermas and Derrida, in one heady and poetic synthesis. For Marx, economics was part of philosophy, because it was about elucidating the impossible possibility of freedom. Trawny shows us how we can think freedom from out of our new conditions of necessity: the entanglement of Technology, Capital, and the ever emergent media of the technological medium. -- Eduardo Mendieta, Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Professor in the School of International Affairs, Penn State University, USA

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