Antonio Calcagno

Calcagno - Thinking about Love

Thinking About Love: Essays in Contemporary Continental Philosophy (editor)

Does love command an ineffability that remains inaccessible to the philosopher?

The essays collected in Thinking About Love take up the nature and experience of love with reference to some of our best-known Continental philosophers. The writings here focus on the contradictions and limits of love, manifested in such phenomena as trust, abuse, grief, death, violence, politics, and desire.

Thinking About Love does not offer prescriptive claims about authentic love. Rather, the book explores how one might think about love philosophically—with recourse to the writings of Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Jacques Derrida, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and others—without attempting to resolve or alleviate its ambiguities, paradoxes, and limitations.

New forms of social organization, rapid developments in the field of psychology, and novel variations on relationships demand a new approach to thinking about love. This book fills a lacuna in the philosophy of a richly complicated topic.
Along with the editors, the contributors are Sophie Bourgault, John Caruana, Christina M. Gschwandtner, Marguerite La Caze, Alphonso Lingis, Christian Lotz, Todd May, Dawne McCance, Dorothea Olkowski, Felix Ó Murchadha, Fiona Utley, and Mélanie Walton. 2015, Penn State University Press.

Edith Stein: Women, Social-Political Philosophy, Theology, Metaphysics and Public History: New Approaches and Applications (editor)

This volume explores the work and thought of Edith Stein (1891–1942). It discusses in detail, and from new perspectives, the traditional areas of her thinking, including her ideas about women/feminism, and theology and metaphysics. In addition, it introduces readers to fresh or underdeveloped areas of her thought, including her thoughts on history, and her social and political philosophy. The guiding thread that collects all the essays in this book is the emphasis on new approaches and novel applications of her thought. The contributions both extend the implications of Stein’s thought for our contemporary world and apply her philosophy to questions of theatre, public history and biographical representation, education, politics, autism, theological debates, feminism, sexuality studies and literature. The volume brings together for the first time leading scholars in five language-groups: English, German, Italian, French and Spanish, reflecting an international and cosmopolitan approach. Each of these linguistic traditions has a diverse take on Stein and sees her work within their own linguistic and cultural contexts. In addition, the volume takes an interdisciplinary approach because Stein’s thought touched upon many domains, including philosophy, politics, social thought, theology, spirituality, literature, feminism, education, mediaeval studies and psychology. The volume explores how these diverse disciplines converge and diverge in Stein’s thinking as a whole. 2015, Springer.

Badiou and Hegel: Infinity, Dialectics, Subjectivity

Badiou and Hegel: Infinity, Dialectics, Subjectivity offers critical appraisals of two of the dominant figures of the Continental tradition of philosophy, Alain Badiou and G.W.F. Hegel. Jim Vernon and Antonio Calcagno bring together established and emerging authors in Continental philosophy to discuss the relationship between the thinkers, creating a multifarious collection of essays by Hegelians, Badiouans, and those sympathetic to both. The text privileges neither thinker, nor any particular topic shared between them; rather, this book lays a broad and sound foundation for future scholarship on arguably two of the greatest thinkers of infinity, universality, subjectivity, and the enduring value of philosophy in the modern Western canon. Assuredly overdue, this volume will attract Hegel and Badiou scholars, as well as those interested in post-structuralism, political philosophy, cultural studies, ontology, philosophy of mathematics, and psychoanalysis. 2015, Lexington Books.

Calcagno - Con. Ital. Phil.Contemporary Italian Philosophy (editor)

Italy has a rich philosophical legacy, and recent developments and movements in its political philosophy have produced a significant body of thought by internationally renowned philosophers working on questions and themes such as the critique of neoliberalism, statehood, politics and culture, feminism, community, the stranger, and the relationship between politics and action. This volume brings this conversation to English-language readers, considering well-known Italian philosophers such as Vattimo, Agamben, Esposito, and Negri, as well as philosophers with whom English-language readers are less acquainted, such as Luce Fabbri, Adriana Cavarero, and Lea Melandri. In addition, the essays extend the conversation beyond the realm of Italian philosophy, bringing its thinkers into dialogue with philosophical figures including Badiou, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari, Adorno, Arendt, Foucault, Wittgenstein, and the Peruvian historian and sociologist Anibal Quijano. 2015, SUNY Press.

Calcagno - Jean HarveyJean Harvey's Civilized Oppression and Moral Relations: Victims, Fallibility, and the Moral Community (editor)

There are significant differences between civilized oppression and violent oppression and these differences show not only in the phenomena involved, but also in the nature of those who actively contribute to the two phenomena ('contributing agents'). Fair characterizations of the agents of civilized oppression often require very different descriptions from those applying to violent oppressors. Many of the failings behind civilized oppression are shared by both the contributing agents and a large number of the victims. Often it is the privileged social position of the agents that allows those failings to have such a serious impact, whereas the same failings in the victims may be fairly innocuous (though they are not always). This book is alert to this and other differences between civilized and violent oppression. Jean Harvey examines what the moral relations should be between the key players in civilized oppression: the agents, victims, and 'bystanders'. 2015, Palgrave Macmillan.

Calcagno - Lived Experience

Lived Experience from the Inside Out: Social and Political Philosophy in Edith Stein

While most works devoted to Edith Stein’s philosophical legacy focus on her later, more explicitly Christian works, including Finite and Eternal Being, this comprehensive account offers readers a look into the early social and political philosophy of Stein before her conversion to Catholicism. During this period, Stein produced a significant body of philosophical work drawing on advancements in phenomenology, psychology, philosophy of mind, and sociology. As Antonio Calcagno demonstrates, this leads to a rich account of society, community, and the state through Stein’s analysis of certain states of mind, psychology, and a defense of a law-centered state community.

Lived Experience from the Inside Out: Social and Political Philosophy in Edith Stein examines, in particular, three significant works written while Stein was working with Edmund Husserl as both a student and collaborator: The Problem of Empathy, Philosophy of Psychology and the Humanities, and An Investigation Concerning the State. These texts provide rich sources of social and political insight, with Stein’s particular focus on individual consciousness as the entry point: how we understand and live, always from our own interiorities, the phenomenal experiences of self, others, the masses, society, community, and the state.

While we can never completely transcend our own egos to experience others’ realities, Stein asserts that we share with others a common essence in that we are all human persons. Taking our lived experience from our interior lives to the outside world, then, confirms this shared essence as we exist in social relations, and those relations can be explored from overarching perspectives, including sociology, psychology, geography, economics, and the like. But Stein also notes that these relations can be explored from the perspective of our own lived experience, how we live and experience such phenomena. These social and political realities must have meaning for us, in our own interior lives. As Calcagno makes clear, it is at this level of sense that Stein’s unique contribution is most profound. 2014, Duquesne University Press.

Calcagno - Deleuze Guattari

Intensities and Lines of Flight: Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and the Arts (editor)

The writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari offer the most enduring and controversial contributions to the theory and practice of art in post-war Continental thought. However, these writings are both so wide-ranging and so challenging that much of the synoptic work on Deleuzo-Guattarian aesthetics has taken the form of sympathetic exegesis, rather than critical appraisal.This rich and original collection of essays, authored by both major Deleuzian scholars and practicing artists and curators, offers an important critique of Deleuze and Guattari's legacy in relation to a multitude of art forms, including painting, cinema, television, music, architecture, literature, drawing, and installation art. Inspired by the implications of Deleuze and Guattari's work on difference and multiplicity and with a focus on the intersection of theory and practice, the book represents a major interdisciplinary contribution to Deleuze-Guattarian aesthetics. 2014, Rowman and Littlefield.

Calcagno - LanganHuman Being: A Philosophical Anthropology, by Thomas Langan (editor)

What is “human being”? In this book, Thomas Langan draws on a lifetime of study to offer a new understanding of this central question of our existence, turning to phenomenology and philosophical anthropology to help us better understand who we are as individuals and communities and what makes us act the way we do.

While recognizing the human being as an individual with a particular genetic makeup and history, Langan also probes the real essence of human being that philosophers have tended to ignore. He argues that human being is the result of the experiences of humans throughout time—an ontological reality that not only incorporates our collective memories, institutions, habits, ethical practices, and religious faiths but also unfolds in time with its own history to inform individuals in the present. He provides tools and descriptions for accessing this broader historical and present-day reality, investigating deeper structures of human being to show how those historical roots can be appropriated and made meaningful.

Building on Langan’s earlier works, Human Being is also readily accessible on its own. Langan shows how the larger issues discussed in those books, ranging from the Catholic tradition to high technology, relate to being human while he brings to light new philosophical insights and ideas.

Because human beings continue to evolve, informing our everyday understanding of the world, Langan shows how vital it is for us to think through the sense of human being and how great a challenge that is in today’s society. His work offers insight into human being that invites readers to think and live more deeply in their humanity—and to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world by reawakening perennial quests for love and the divine, and the very search for meaning itself. 2009, University of Missouri Press.

Badiou and Derrida: Politics, Events and Their Time

Calcagno - Badiou and Derrida

This exciting new book makes a major contribution to Continental philosophy, bringing together for the first time the crucial work on politics by two giants of contemporary French philosophy, Jacques Derrida and Alain Badiou. Derrida has long been recognised as one of the most influential and indeed controversial thinkers in contemporary philosophy and Badiou is fast emerging as a central figure in French thought, as well as in Anglo-American philosophy - his magnum opus, Being and Event, and its long-awaited sequel, Logics of Worlds, have confirmed his position as one of the most significant thinkers working in philosophy today. Both philosophers have devoted a substantial amount of their oeuvre to politics and the question of the nature of the political. Here Antonio Calcagno shows how the political views of these two major thinkers diverge and converge, thus providing a comprehensive exposition of their respective political systems. Both Badiou and Derrida give the event a central role in structuring politics and political thinking and Calcagno advances a theory about the relationship between political events and time that can account for both political undecidability and decidability. This book navigates some very intriguing developments in Continental thought and offers a clear and fascinating account of the political theories of two major contemporary thinkers. 2007, Bloomsbury Publishing.

Calcagno - Edith SteinThe Philosophy of Edith Stein

For most philosophers, the work of Edith Stein continues to be eclipsed and relegated to obscurity. This work presents an excellent cross-section of Stein's writings and demonstrates the timeliness and relevance of her ideas for contemporary philosophical scholarship. Antonio Calcagno covers most of Edith Stein's philosophical life, from her early work with Husserl to her later encounters with medieval Christian thought, as well as a critical and analytical reading of major Steinian texts. Stein was an original thinker who challenged not only the direction in which Husserlian phenomenology was progressing but also sought to bring to philosophical light the relevance of certain key questions, including the meaning of what it is to be human, the relevance of metaphysics to science, and fundamental questions about the nature of God. Working to correct the perception that Stein is either an “unfaithful and distorting” phenomenologist or a pious Catholic mystic, Calcagno presents important work that has been neglected by both secular and religious scholars. The essays are not merely expository, but discuss the philosophical questions raised by Stein's work from a contemporary perspective, using Stein's original German texts. In its attention to the breadth and depth of Stein's philosophy from its initial development to its more mature form, The Philosophy of Edith Stein offers a new understanding of an individual who left behind an incredible philosophical and literary legacy worthy of scholarly attention. The book will be of interest not only to Stein scholars, but to feminists, phenomenologists, and Heideggerians. 2007, Duquesne University Press.

Calcagno BrunoGiordano Bruno and the Logic of Coincidence: Unity and Multiplicity in the Philosophical Thought of Giordano Bruno

Burned at the stake for heresy, Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) was one of the Renaissance's more controversial thinkers. Current scholarship tends to read Bruno as either a Neo-Platonist who ultimately collapses reality to an overarching unity, or as an eclectic thinker whose disparate and disjointed musings are essentially incoherent. By closely and critically examining Bruno's writings this book demonstrates that Bruno was very much in the spirit of Modernity in that he tried to explain philosophically the possibility of the coexistence of unity and multiplicity (difference) through the «then-scientific» logic of the coincidence of opposites. His metaphysics, cosmology and ethical thinking are to be understood through this underlying logic of coincidence, thereby rendering Bruno neither an absolute Neo-Platonist nor unintelligible. 1998, Peter Lang.

See more of Dr. Calcagno's work here.