Demarcation and Demystification: Philosophy and Its Limits | Left Wing Books

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Demarcation and Demystification: Philosophy and Its Limits

240 pages
$30.95 (CAD)

Marx once declared that philosophers have only interpreted the world, but the point is to change it. Demarcation and Demystification examines the ways in which a radical practice of philosophy is possible under the aegis of Marx's 11th thesis, arguing that philosophy's radicality is discovered by understanding that it can only ever interpret the world; that social transformation lies beyond the sphere of its operations.


What People Are Saying

"In Demarcation and Demystification, J. Moufawad-Paul advances a militant approach to philosophy against (at least) two contending schools of thought. Against some Marxist interpretations of Marx's famous 11th thesis––those sweeping accusations that philosophy tout court is idealist––he defends philosophy as a practice of clarity. And against those new materialists who have mistaken their construction of speculative metaphysics, "new" ontologies, and idiosyncratic objects as synonymous with––or even more important than–– transforming the world, he defends a philosophical method grounded in historical materialism and engaged in social struggle. Read this book; it's a manifesto for philosophy." Devin Zane Shaw, author of Egalitarian Moments: From Descartes to Rancière

"J. Moufawad-Paul's wide-ranging intervention is a timely and fresh return to the 11th thesis. It forces philosophers to recognize the extent to which their historically recurrent pretension to rise above politics has produced propaganda for the status quo in general, and now liberal propaganda in particular. Deftly unpacking why seemingly radical currents in contemporary ontology actually amount to an occulting, reactionary retreat, the book returns to basics as a means of developing struggle. Whether or not one practices or wishes to practice philosophy in the Maoist terrain, Demarcation and Demystification is a major statement on the gulf between what philosophers actually do, and what they think they do." Matthew R. McLennan, author of Philosophy and Vulnerability and Philosophy, Sophistry, Antiphilosophy 

"In this stimulating book, Moufawad-Paul makes a good case that a philosophy of Marxism, a radical practice of interpretation, clarification, and demarcation, is the only way that philosophy can continue in line with the meaning of philosophy after Marx's celebrated 11th thesis. He also confronts head-on the problem of thinking through the relationship between concrete practice, theory, and philosophy and offers a valuable account of the pitfalls of conflating each of these in our work as scientists, theorists, and philosophers. From the standpoint of the critique of bourgeois philosophy, Moufawad-Paul's book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the meaning of philosophical practice and its place in social transformation." Mateo Andante, founder of The Bourgeois Philosophy Project and Twitter's @logicians