Publications

Books

 2013 (Ed. with Paul Hendrikse). Inventory of Possible Narrations. Amsterdam, NL: Onomatopee. PAGES: 180. ISBN: 978-90-78454-48-9 

More information about this volume can be found on my News page

2009  (Ed.) Radical Passivity. Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas. Dordrecht, NL: Springer. Book Series: Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy. PAGES: 166. ISBN: 978-1-4020-9346-3

Download IntroductionDownload Chapter 1

 2008 (Ed.) The Wal-Mart Phenomenon. Resisting Neo-Liberal Power through Art, Design & Theory. Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Press. PAGES: 160. ISBN: 978-907207629-8. Download

 2005 Ethics and Aesthetics in Foucault and Levinas. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen (Print Partners Ipskamp). PAGES: 278. ISBN: 90-9019341-3

Chapters in books

2015 (contribution to book) “Levinas and the (Post-)Colonial”.  In Imafidon, E. (Ed.) The Ethics of Subjectivity. Perspectives Since the Dawn of Modernity USA: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 280-295.

 2015 (contribution to book) “The Ethics and Politics of Self-Formation in Foucault”. In Imafidon, E. (Ed.) The Ethics of Subjectivity. Perspectives Since the Dawn of Modernity. USA: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 126-143 (reprinted upon request and with permission from the journal).

 2009 (contribution to book)  “Introduction: ‘Passivity as Necessary Condition for Ethical Agency?’”. In Hofmeyr, A. B. (Ed.) Radical Passivity. Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas. Dordrecht, NL: Springer. Book Series: Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy, pp. 1-11.

2009 (contribution to book) “Chapter I: ‘Radical Passivity: Ethical Problem or Solution?’”. In Hofmeyr, A. B. (Ed.) Radical Passivity. Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas. Dordrecht, NL: Springer. Book Series: Library of Ethics and Applied, pp. 15-30.

 2009 (contribution to book) “The Future that Death/Other gives: The Functioning of the Veil in Levinas”. In What does the Veil Know?  Eds. Eva Meyer & Vivian Liska. Zürich: Edition Voldemeer. Vienna: Springer (pp. 71-82). Download

2008 (contribution to book)  “Introduction: ‘Save Money. Live Better?’”. In Hofmeyr, A. B. (Ed.) The Wal-Mart Phenomenon. Resisting Neo-Liberal Power through Art, Design & Theory. Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Press, pp. 11-30.

2008 (contribution to book) “Chapter III: ‘The Wal-mart Phenomenon: Power /Knowledge/ Resistance’”. In Hofmeyr, A. B. (Ed.) The Wal-Mart Phenomenon. Resisting Neo-Liberal Power through Art, Design & Theory. Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Academie Press, pp. 65-106.

2008 (contribution to book)   “The Dystopian Reality of the Neo-Liberal Utopia” (Dutch translation). In Liberticide, eds. Robin Brouwer. Amsterdam: Ijzer, pp. 138-159. Download

 2007 (contribution to book)  “Artistic Over-Identification: Overrated or Underestimated. A Philosophical Revaluation”. In Cultural Activism Today: Strategies of Over-Identification. (Eds.). Gideon Boie & Matthias Pauwels. Rotterdam: Episode.

 2007  (contribution to book)   “The Art of Revolution”. In Revolution is Not a Garden Party. (Eds.) Maya and Reuben Fowkes. Manchester: Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design (MIRIAD), Manchester Metropolitan University, pp. 66-71. Download

Recommended

TAKE A LOOK AT THESE LEVINAS PUBLICATIONS

1.Radical Passivity: Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas (editor & contributor of two chapters, Springer, 2009)

This volume is the first in its kind to focus exclusively on the topic of ‘radical passivity’ in Levinas’s work. The question concerning the radically passive ethical agent as opposed to the active autonomous agent with the freedom to act independently without an inner volution steering its actions is the decisive issue separating Levinas’s supporters from his critics. While Levinas stresses our overriding responsibility towards the Other, and insists that freedom is unimportant in ethical decisions because it is self-serving, this volume confronts him with the following – as of yet underexposed – critique: how can we continue to care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves? And what is the moral significance of responsible action if it is not freely chosen but passively imposed? Reviewers have acknowledged that I succeeded in pinpointing the central problem facing Levinas readership and in providing a much needed critical revaluation of key issues in Levinas’s thought.

 

2.‘From Activity to Radical Passivity: Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas’ (journal article, Monokl, 2010)

This article explores the problem of freedom underlying radical passivity. Is freedom a necessary condition for the possibility of ethical action or is freedom, as an expression of self-concern, a hindrance thereto? Levinas’s own position is ambiguous: while his early works stress the fact that we cannot care for others if we do not first take care of ourselves (i.e. the ethical necessity of individual freedom), his later works focus exclusively on the Other as locus of our ethical responsibility (i.e. the ethical necessity of the sacrifice of individual freedom). Hence, a false opposition has emerged between an absolutized egoism and a crushing altruism that threatens to undermine the recent resurgence of ethical concerns. This article addresses this hitherto unaddressed problem without succumbing to a biased account by opting for either egoism or altruism. I succeed in showing that a mediation between these two oppositions is not only necessary but indeed possible – contrary to the prevailing reading in favour of Other-concern, which ultimately amounts to an untenable ethical position.

 

3.‘Levinas and the Possibility of Dialogue with “Strangers”’ (British Journal of Phenomenology, 2016)

Is a productive encounter between Levinas’s thought and non-Western and postcolonial ethical frameworks possible? This article lays the groundwork upon which such an encounter could be explored by critically assessing some of the hindrances hampering dialogue. Levinas and his thought are beset by racist and Eurocentric biases that threaten to derail his ethical project. Another significant challenge is the fact that ‘the Other’ is of a completely different order than the alterity of Strangers – those others of non-Western cultures that belong to the mundane historical world. Finally, there is the seemingly insurmountable gap between ethics – a relation between two – and politics, the realm where the countless appeals of other Others impinge upon the face-to-face relation. The entire postcolonial “oeuvre” as such is expressly ethico-political with a decisive emphasis on the politics of difference. Levinas’s philosophy, on the other hand, is to a great extent a-political. In addressing these challenges this article makes an important contribution to leveling the playing field by inverting the gaze from North to South.

TAKE A LOOK AT THESE FOUCAULT PUBLICATIONS

1.‘The Culture and Subjectivity of Neo-liberal Governmentality'; (journal article, Phronimon, 2011)

This article forms part of an ongoing investigation into neo-liberal power and how it conditions our possibilities for thought and action. As a form of ‘governmentality’, neo-liberalism emerges as a political programme intent on subjecting every dimension of contemporary existence to an economic rationality. The focus is on the impact on conditions of work and subjectivity of an economic rationality that has become the dominant political programme. It is shown in what precise way Foucault’s analyses of neo-liberalism of the late 70s remain instructive and relevant to understand the present. It offers a much needed corrective of those who have interpreted Foucault as a proponent of neo-liberalism.

 

2.‘Ethics and Politics of Self-formation in Foucault’ in Imafidon, E. Ed. The Ethics of Subjectivity. (book chapter, Palgrave, 2015)

* Reprinted upon request and with permission of the journal editor

Foucault’s later works on ethics arguably opens a way to go beyond some of the problems generated by his earlier work on power. It has been argued that power so conceived leaves little room for resistance. I consider the “politics” of self-creation and attempt to establish if Foucault’s later notion of self-formation does in fact succeed in countering an over-determination by power. In the end, though, it would appear as if Foucault’s turn to ethics amounts to a substitution of ethics, understood as an individualized task, for the political task of collective social transformation. What is at stake is whether or not Foucault’s insistence on individual acts of resistance amounts to more than an empty claim that ethics still somehow has political implications whilst having in fact effectively given up on politics.

Articles

2017 “’Mother, Can’t You See I’m Burning?’ A Few Remarks on Our Time” (in Afrikaans). In Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe. (57)1: 114-125.

2017 “Introduction: Philosophy as Analysis of the Present. The Diagnostic and Critical Function of Philosophy” (in Afrikaans). In Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe. (57)1: 80-85.

2016 “The Enigma of Ethical Responsiveness: A Philosophical Perspective”. In   Humanities and Social Sciences (invited contribution to special theme issue: “Ethical Sensitivity: A Multi-disciplinary Approach), 4 (2-1): 5-12; doi: 10.11648/j.hss.s.2016040201.12

2016 Hofmeyr, A. B. & Kourie, M. “Levinas, Nancy and the Being of Plurality”. In Philosophia. International Journal of Philosophy 17 (2): 175-188.

2016 “Levinas and the Possibility of Dialogue with ‘Strangers’”. In British Journal of Phenomenology 47(2): 174-189.

2014 “Is Facebook Effacing the Face? Reassessing Levinas’s Ethics in the Age of Social Connectivity”. In Filozofia 69(2): 119-130.

2012 “Utility or Spirit? The State of the Humanities in South Africa” (in Afrikaans). In Journal of Humanities 52 (4): 1-21.

2012 “On Escaping the Seemingly Inescapable: Reflections on Being in Levinas”. In Filozofia 67 (6): 20-32.

2011 “The Culture and Subjectivity of Neo-liberal Governmentality”. In Phronimon 12(2): 12-42.

2010 “From Activity to Radical Passivity: Rethinking Ethical Agency in Levinas”. In Monokl (volume, number, and page numbers not yet available). Download

2009 “Liefs nie op straat nie. Die openbare rol van die intellektueel vandag”. In Litnet Akademies.

2008  “The Contemporary Pertinence of the Later Foucault. Have his Strategies of Resistance stood the Test of Time?” In South African Journal of Philosophy, 27(2): 104-117.

 2008  “Beyond the Ivory Tower. The Public Role of the Intellectual Today”. In Phronimon. Journal of the South African Society of Greek Philosophy and the Humanities. 9(2): 73-91.

 2007 “Radical Passivity. Ethical Problem or Solution? A Preliminary Study." In South African Journal of Philosophy, 26(2): 150-162.

2007  “Dying the Human Condition. Re-reading Ivan Ilyich with Levinas.” In The International Journal of the Humanities, 5(2): 129-136. Download

2007  “’Isn’t Art an Activity that Gives Things a Face?’ Levinas on Art.” In Image & Narrative (online journal of the visual narrative), vol. 17

2006  “The Meta-physics of Foucault’s Ethics: Succeeding where Levinas fails”. In South African Journal of Philosophy, 25(1): 35-51.

2006  “The Power Not to Be (What We Are). The Politics and Ethics of Self-Formation in Foucault”. In Journal of Moral Philosophy, 3(2): 215-230. Download.

2005  “From Usurpation to Subversion: Foucault meets Cultural Capitalism”. In Andere Sinema, 176: 102-119 (English version); 211-212 (Dutch version). Download

2003 “Self-Created or Other-Invoked? Foucault and Levinas on How to Become Ethical”. In Phronimon, Journal of the South African Society of Greek Philosophy and the Humanities, 4(1): 40-61.

2002 Hofmeyr, A. B. & Pauwels, M.F.A. “To be or Not to be Modern? A Philosophical Critique of an Alternative African Modernity to European Modernity”. In Journal of Literary Studies, University of South Africa, 18(1/2): 132-153. Download

 

Book Reviews                 

2009  Review of Derrida Vis-à-vis Lacan. Interweaving Deconstruction and Psychoanalysis by Andrea Hurst. In South African Journal of Philosophy, 28(1): 88-91. Download

2005 Review of Foucault and the Art of Ethics by Timothy O’Leary. In Journal of Moral Philosophy, 3(1): 123-125.