Catherine Malabou is a French philosopher. She is a Professor at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, at the European Graduate School, and in the department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, a position formerly held by Jacques Derrida.
She is known for her work on plasticity, a concept she culled from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, which has proved fertile within contemporary economic, political, and social discourses. Widely regarded as one of the most exciting figures in what has been called “The New French Philosophy,” Malabou’s research and writing covers a range of figures and issues, including the work of Hegel, Freud, Heidegger, and Derrida; the relationship between philosophy, neuroscience, and psychoanalysis; and concepts of essence and difference within feminism.
Stop Thief! Anarchism and Philosophy
Many contemporary philosophers – including Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Giorgio Agamben – ascribe an ethical or political value to anarchy, but none ever called themselves an “anarchist.” It is as if anarchism were unmentionable and had to be concealed, even though its critique of domination and of government is poached by the philosophers.
Stop Thief! calls out the plundering of anarchism by philosophy. It’s a call that is all the more resonant today as the planetary demand for an alternative political realm raises a deafening cry. It also alerts us to a new philosophical awakening. Catherine Malabou proposes to answer the cry by re-elaborating a concept of anarchy articulated around a notion of the “non-governable” far beyond an inciting of disobedience or common critiques of capitalism. Anarchism is the only way out, the only pathway that allows us to question the legitimacy of political domination and thereby wfree up the confidence that we need if we are to survive.
Professor Ian James
Professor James’ research focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary French literature and philosophy.
He has written extensively on contemporary French philosophy and also on the reception in France of German thought (Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, and Heidegger). He has written on the work of specific thinkers, most notably Jean-Luc Nancy, Catherine Malabou, Bernard Stiegler, François Laruelle, and Paul Virilio.