Stuart Elden

in Speaking Against Number

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780748619818
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652518 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter sets out the main theme of this book: an engagement with the question of the politics of calculation through a reading, exegesis and critique of the work of Martin Heidegger. Heidegger is important here because his work both critically examines the importance of mathematics in terms of determining thought, and investigates the role played by understandings of calculation in terms of politics. It is his insistence on working through to the ontological determination that conditions the particularities of its consequences which is so fundamental to what he can contribute. And yet Heidegger's own politics and the way in which he harnessed his thought to political action mean that any straightforward appropriation of his work is impossible. We simply cannot read Heidegger neutrally. Indeed, the aim is to show that several seemingly apolitical concerns are inherently political. The book contains three substantive chapters that make use of the range of Heidegger's writings in order to provide a detailed analysis of the relation between language, politics and mathematics in his work.

Keywords: politics; language; mathematics; Heidegger

Chapter.  6099 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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