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About the Author: Jacques Rancière

Jacques Rancière (born Algiers, 1940) is a French philosopher and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris (St. Denis) who came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.

Rancière contributed to the influential volume Reading "Capital" (though his contribution is not contained in the partial English translation) before publicly breaking with Althusser over his attitude toward the May 1968 student uprising in Paris.
Since then, Rancière has departed from the path set by his teacher and published a series of works probing the concepts that make up our understanding of political discourse. What is ideology? What is the proletariat? Is there a working class? And how do these masses of workers that thinkers like Althusser referred to continuously enter into a relationship with knowledge? We talk about them but what do we know? An example of this line of thinking is Rancière's book entitled Le philosophe et ses pauvres (The Philosopher and His Poor, 1983), a book about the role of the poor in the intellectual lives of philosophers.

Most recently Rancière has written on the topic of human rights and specifically the role of international human rights organizations in asserting the authority to determine which groups of people — again the problem of masses — justify human rights interventions, and even war.

In 2006, it was reported that Rancière's aesthetic theory had become a point of reference in the visual arts, and Rancière has lectured at such art world events as the Freize Art Fair. Former French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal has cited Rancière as her favourite philosopher.


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On Politics and Aesthetics by

Goodreads rating: 4.17

Hardcover, Published in Feb 2010 by Continuum

ISBN10: 1847064450 | ISBN13: 9781847064455

Page count: 240

Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics brings together some of Jacques Rancière's most recent writings on art and politics to show the critical potential of two of his most important concepts: the aesthetics of politics and the politics of aesthetics.

In this fascinating collection, Rancière engages in a radical critique of some of his major contemporaries on questions of art and politics: Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida. The essays show how Rancière's ideas can be used to analyse contemporary trends in both art and politics, including the events surrounding 9/11, war in the contemporary consensual age, and the ethical turn of aesthetics and politics. Rancière elaborates new directions for the concepts of politics and communism, as well as the notion of what a 'politics of art' might be. This important collection includes several essays that have never previously been published in English, as well as a brand new afterword. Together these essays serve as a superb introduction to the work of one of the world's most influential contemporary thinkers.

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