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The Philosopher and His Poor


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Table of Contents

Editor's Preface vii
Editor's Introduction: Mimesis and the Division of Labor ix
A Personal Itinerary xxv
I. Plato's Lie
1. The Order of the City 3
2. The Order of Discourse 30
II. Marx's Labor

3. The Shoemaker and the Knight 57
4. The Production of the Proletarian 70
5. The Revolution Conjured Away 90
6. The Risk of Art 105
III. The Philosopher and the Sociologist
7. The Marxist Horizon 127
8. The Philosopher's Wall 137
9. The Sociologist King 165
For Those Who Want More 203
Afterword to the English-Language Edition (2002) 219
Notes 229

Promotional Information

Ranciere's account of Western philosophical thought from Plato to Bourdieu argues that philosophers depend on an ideal "poor" for their own analyses but preclude them from abstract thought

About the Author

Jacques Ranciere is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII (St. Denis). His many books include The Nights of Labor: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth-Century France; The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation;and Disagreement: Politics and Philosophy.

Andrew Parker is Professor of English at Amherst College. He is a coeditor of Nationalisms and Sexualities and Performativity and Performance.


"Sure to provoke controversy, The Philosopher and His Poor is a virtuoso performance. I can't think of anyone who has pursued the populist premise - the intuition that in this or that situation the grounding of truth or value is to be located in those most dispossessed - with anything approaching Ranciere's degree of articulateness or philosophical sophistication. I predict that this book will become a landmark." Bruce Robbins, author of Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress "The Philosopher and His Poor is a remarkable work. Jacques Ranciere demonstrates the recurrence throughout the history of western thought of a particular self-constituting move: the freedom and the right to think are premised upon a situating and excluding of those whose task is other than to think, what Ranciere calls 'the poor.'" Derek Attridge, author of The Singularity of Literature

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