Cover for RONELL: Stupidity. Click for larger image

Stupidity

Ronell confronts the philosophical, psychological, and political effects of stupidity through readings of a host of writers---Dostoyevsky, Heidegger, Kant, Deleuze, Arendt, and Paul de Man

In Stupidity Avital Ronell explores the fading empire of cognition, modulating stupidity into idiocy, puerility, and the figure of the ridiculous philosopher instituted by Kant. Drawing on a range of writers including Dostoevsky, Schlegel, Musil, and Wordsworth, Stupidity investigates ignorance, dumbfounded-ness, and the limits of reason.

"The foremost thinker of the repressed conditions of knowledge, Avital Ronell, with the Nietzschean audacity characteristic of her thought, probes the philosophical no-man's land of stupidity."--Jean-Luc Nancy, author of The Sense of the World

"Ronell proves herself yet again to be one of the most original and exciting of contemporary critics. . . . If you at all suspect that you might be intelligent, do not avoid Stupidity--embrace it."--Choice

"Ronell treads with her trademark wit, agility, and daring that fine line where understanding and its nonsemblable confrère, stupidity, ‘meet.'"--Bookforum

Avital Ronell is a professor of German, comparative literature, and English at New York University, where she directs the Research in Trauma and Violence project. She is the author of The Telephone Book, Dictations, Crack Wars, and other books.

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