News: October / November 2021 | Number 146


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New translation of all of Plato’s dialogues • A Heideggerian hacker claims a moral position • Death of an eminent French thinker – Reports by Anja steinbauer

New translation of Plato

It took thirteen years, but it did: Dr David Horgan of the Trinity Plato Center in Dublin gave the world a new translation of Plato’s complete works. This is the first time that Plato’s complete writings have been translated from Ancient Greek into English by a scholar since 1871, when Oxford scholar Benjamin Jowett produced his now standard translation of the same works. Horan’s new translation is available free online at www.platonicfoundation.org. In the introduction, Horan acknowledges the sponsorship and support he has received from others: “Since the whole project was carried out in a spirit of great generosity, it would, I think, be inappropriate to introduce commercial considerations into the project. this stage. I firmly believe that work that has been freely and selflessly supported should be readily available to anyone who wishes to use this work. In one respect, the project is not quite finished, for Horan states: period after which this work will be, God willing, published in printed form, perhaps in one volume, at the highest price. low possible to ensure its availability to anyone who wishes to access the wisdom of Plato.

A philosophical bank robber

Here is an unusual use of philosophy that has hit the headlines. A massive cryptocurrency theft recently plunged Poly Network customers into a brief panic. In the biggest heist in cryptocurrency history, the thief fled with $ 610 million worth of Ether, Tether, Polygon and Binance tokens. However, instead of running away with his loot, the hacker offered to return the money, stating “I have enough money,” then involved Poly Network in a dialogue, which in turn was of a strong nature. philosophical. “I explored the meaning of life for a while,” he said, then quoted Heidegger’s reflections on “being to death”. This notion refers to our awareness that our time is over. Heidegger says that it is only when we fully realize that time is running out that we can decide how we really want to live our life. Although the hacker admitted to going into his project with selfish motives, he later changed his mind: “I realized that being the moral leader would be the coolest hack I could ever do!” So he returned the funds.

Prizes for Klaus Theweleit

Thinker Klaus Theweleit has just received the 2021 Theodor W. Adorno Prize. The most famous book by Theweleit is Male fantasies (1977), a study of the “proto-fascist consciousness” and the bodily experience of the former soldiers who made up the Freikorps militias of Weimar in Germany; men who then contributed to the rise of the Nazi dictatorship. “In doing so, he provided an analysis of the mechanisms of discrimination and male violence reaching the present, giving us an example of where the dangers to democracy and humanity lie”, comments the mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann. Theweleit develops a theory of “fascist male imprint and socialization”, drawing on empirical studies and theoretical concepts by Wilhelm Reich, Margaret Mahler, Michel Foucault, Melanie Klein and others. The prize he received is awarded every three years by the City of Frankfurt, worth 50,000 euros. Named after the Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor Adorno, it honors, in accordance with Adorno’s interests, thinkers who make exceptional contributions to philosophy, music, theater or cinema. Past laureates include Judith Butler, Georges Didi-Huberman and Margarete von Trotta.

… And an even bigger prize for Peter Singer

Peter Singer is the recipient of the Berggruen Prize 2021, awarded annually by the Berggruen Institute to a thinker whose ideas have “profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world”. Singer is known for many influential and sometimes very controversial works in applied ethics, notably Animal liberation (1975) which became the founding text of the animal rights movement. Singer has long advocated sharing our wealth with those who suffer from poverty and disadvantage and is known to donate 40 percent of his income to charity. “Few academic philosophers have ever had the impact of Peter Singer,” said Kwame Anthony Appiah, president of the award jury. The father of the “effective altruism” movement, Singer says he will donate half the million dollars in award to The Life You Can Save. It’s an organization he founded in 2009 to promote the idea that philanthropy should be guided by rationally evaluating how the money you give can save or improve the lives of many.

Jean-Luc Nancy has passed away

Jean-Luc Nancy
Jean-Luc Nancy teacher in 2006

French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy has died at the age of 81. Although not as internationally known as his colleagues Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, Nancy is considered in France as one of the most influential contemporary thinkers. He focused on the combination of philosophy, political theory and current affairs, wanting to explore “what this life is that we live”. To do this, Nancy adopted Derrida’s method of deconstruction and applied it to political contexts. Rethinking deconstructionism meant, for him, rethinking ingrained oppositions such as religion and atheism or mind and body. By thinking these pairs of opposites together, the opposites have often been resolved, giving rise to new and interesting perspectives. One of Nancy’s last books used this method to explore the social meaning of the COVID crisis. He is intitulated Too human virus – ‘too human a virus’.

Photo credit: Irigaray by Babich

Luce Irigaray
Luce Irigaray, photo by Babette Babich

Back in issue 128, we printed a photo of Luce Irigaray to illustrate a review of her 2017 book. Being born: the genesis of a new human being, which our reviewer called “a dense but readable defense of individuality in the midst of a culture that promotes conformity.” We have just learned that the photo was taken by Professor Babette Babich of Fordham University, herself a well-known philosopher on a wide range of subjects including Heidegger and the philosophy of science and technology. So we would like to make this photo credit very late.

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