The Burnout Society Book
Score: 4
From 1 Ratings

The Burnout Society


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : Stanford University Press
  • Release Date : 2015-08-12
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 72
  • ISBN 10 : 9780804797504

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The Burnout Society Excerpt :

Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.

The Burnout Society Book
Score: 4
From 1 Ratings

The Burnout Society


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : Stanford Briefs
  • Release Date : 2015-08-12
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 68
  • ISBN 10 : 0804795096

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The Burnout Society Excerpt :

Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.

The Scent of Time Book

The Scent of Time


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2017-09-25
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 120
  • ISBN 10 : 9781509516087

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The Scent of Time Excerpt :

In his philosophical reflections on the art of lingering, acclaimed cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han argues that the value we attach today to the vita activa is producing a crisis in our sense of time. Our attachment to the vita activa creates an imperative to work which degrades the human being into a labouring animal, an animal laborans. At the same time, the hyperactivity which characterizes our daily routines robs human beings of the capacity to linger and the faculty of contemplation. It therefore becomes impossible to experience time as fulfilling. Drawing on a range of thinkers including Heidegger, Nietzsche and Arendt, Han argues that we can overcome this temporal crisis only by revitalizing the vita contemplativa and relearning the art of lingering. For what distinguishes humans from other animals is the capacity for reflection and contemplation, and when life regains this capacity, this art of lingering, it gains in time and space, in duration and vastness.

Capitalism and the Death Drive Book

Capitalism and the Death Drive


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2021-05-18
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 180
  • ISBN 10 : 9781509545025

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Capitalism and the Death Drive Excerpt :

What we call growth today is in fact a tumorous growth, a cancerous proliferation which is disrupting the social organism. These tumours endlessly metastasize and grow with an inexplicable, deadly vitality. At a certain point this growth is no longer productive, but rather destructive. Capitalism passed this point long ago. Its destructive forces cause not only ecological and social catastrophes but also mental collapse. The destructive compulsion to perform combines self-affirmation and self-destruction in one. We optimize ourselves to death. Brutal competition ends in destruction. It produces an emotional coldness and indifference towards others as well as towards one’s own self. The devastating consequences of capitalism suggest that a death drive is at work. Freud initially introduced the death drive hesitantly, but later admitted that he ‘couldn’t think beyond it’ as the idea of the death drive became increasingly central to his thought. Today, it is impossible to think about capitalism without considering the death drive.

In the Swarm Book

In the Swarm


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Release Date : 2017-04-07
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 99
  • ISBN 10 : 9780262533362

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In the Swarm Excerpt :

A prominent German thinker argues that—contrary to “Twitter Revolution” cheerleading—digital communication is destroying political discourse and political action. The shitstorm represents an authentic phenomenon of digital communication. —from In the Swarm Digital communication and social media have taken over our lives. In this contrarian reflection on digitized life, Byung-Chul Han counters the cheerleaders for Twitter revolutions and Facebook activism by arguing that digital communication is in fact responsible for the disintegration of community and public space and is slowly eroding any possibility for real political action and meaningful political discourse. In the predigital, analog era, by the time an angry letter to the editor had been composed, mailed, and received, the immediate agitation had passed. Today, digital communication enables instantaneous, impulsive reaction, meant to express and stir up outrage on the spot. “The shitstorm,” writes Han, ”represents an authentic phenomenon of digital communication.” Meanwhile, the public, the senders and receivers of these communications have become a digital swarm—not a mass, or a crowd, or Negri and Hardt's antiquated notion of a “multitude,” but a set of isolated individuals incapable of forming a “we,” incapable of calling dominant power relations into question, incapable of formulating a future because of an obsession with the present. The digital swarm is a fragmented entity that can focus on individual persons only in order to make them an object of scandal. Han, one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, describes a society in which information has overrun thought, in which the same algorithms are employed by Facebook, the stock market, and the intelligence services. Democracy is under threat because digital communication has made freedom and control indistinguishable. Big Brother has been succeeded by Big Data.

The Expulsion of the Other Book

The Expulsion of the Other


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2018-01-08
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 100
  • ISBN 10 : 9781509523092

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The Expulsion of the Other Excerpt :

The days of the Other are over in this age of excessive communication, information and consumption. What used to be the Other, be it as friend, as Eros or as hell, is now indistinguishable from the self in our narcissistic desire to assimilate everything and everyone until there are no boundaries left. The result is a 'terror of the Same', lives in which we no longer pursue knowledge, insight and experience but are instead reduced to the echo chambers and illusory encounters offered by social media. In extreme cases, this feeling of disorientation and senselessness is compensated through self-harm, or even harming others through acts of terrorism. Byung-Chul Han argues that our times are characterized not by external repression but by an internal depression, whereby the destructive pressure comes not from the Other but from the self. It is only by returning to a society of listeners and lovers, by acknowledging and desiring the Other, that we can seek to overcome the isolation and suffering caused by this crushing process of total assimilation.

Psychopolitics Book
Score: 5
From 1 Ratings

Psychopolitics


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : Verso Books
  • Release Date : 2017-12-05
  • Genre: Political Science
  • Pages : 96
  • ISBN 10 : 9781784785772

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Psychopolitics Excerpt :

Exploring how neoliberalism has discovered the productive force of the psyche Byung-Chul Han, a star of German philosophy, continues his passionate critique of neoliberalism, trenchantly describing a regime of technological domination that, in contrast to Foucault’s biopower, has discovered the productive force of the psyche. In the course of discussing all the facets of neoliberal psychopolitics fueling our contemporary crisis of freedom, Han elaborates an analytical framework that provides an original theory of Big Data and a lucid phenomenology of emotion. But this provocative essay proposes counter models too, presenting a wealth of ideas and surprising alternatives at every turn.

The Agony of Eros Book

The Agony of Eros


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Release Date : 2017-04-07
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 76
  • ISBN 10 : 9780262533379

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The Agony of Eros Excerpt :

An argument that love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. Byung-Chul Han is one of the most widely read philosophers in Europe today, a member of the new generation of German thinkers that includes Markus Gabriel and Armen Avanessian. In The Agony of Eros, a bestseller in Germany, Han considers the threat to love and desire in today's society. For Han, love requires the courage to accept self-negation for the sake of discovering the Other. In a world of fetishized individualism and technologically mediated social interaction, it is the Other that is eradicated, not the self. In today's increasingly narcissistic society, we have come to look for love and desire within the “inferno of the same.” Han offers a survey of the threats to Eros, drawing on a wide range of sources—Lars von Trier's film Melancholia, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, Fifty Shades of Grey, Michel Foucault (providing a scathing critique of Foucault's valorization of power), Martin Buber, Hegel, Baudrillard, Flaubert, Barthes, Plato, and others. Han considers the “pornographication” of society, and shows how pornography profanes eros; addresses capitalism's leveling of essential differences; and discusses the politics of eros in today's “burnout society.” To be dead to love, Han argues, is to be dead to thought itself. Concise in its expression but unsparing in its insight, The Agony of Eros is an important and provocative entry in Han's ongoing analysis of contemporary society. This remarkable essay, an intellectual experience of the first order, affords one of the best ways to gain full awareness of and join in one of the most pressing struggles of the day: the defense, that is to say—as Rimbaud desired it—the “reinvention” of love. —from the foreword by Alain Badiou

Saving Beauty Book
Score: 4
From 1 Ratings

Saving Beauty


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2017-10-27
  • Genre: Social Science
  • Pages : 120
  • ISBN 10 : 9781509515134

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Saving Beauty Excerpt :

Beauty today is a paradox. The cult of beauty is ubiquitous but it has lost its transcendence and become little more than an aspect of consumerism, the aesthetic dimension of capitalism. The sublime and unsettling aspects of beauty have given way to corporeal pleasures and 'likes', resulting in a kind of 'pornography' of beauty. In this book, cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han reinvigorates aesthetic theory for our digital age. He interrogates our preoccupation with all things slick and smooth, from Jeff Koon's sculptures and the iPhone to Brazilian waxing. Reaching far deeper than our superficial reactions to viral videos and memes, Han reclaims beauty, showing how it manifests itself as truth, temptation and even disaster. This wide-ranging and profound exploration of beauty, encompassing ethical and political considerations as well as aesthetic, will appeal to all those interested in cultural and aesthetic theory, philosophy and digital media.

Can t Even Book
Score: 4
From 3 Ratings

Can t Even


  • Author : Anne Helen Petersen
  • Publisher : Mariner Books
  • Release Date : 2021-05-04
  • Genre: History
  • Pages : 321
  • ISBN 10 : 9780358561842

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Can t Even Excerpt :

An incendiary examination of burnout in millennials--the cultural shifts that got us here, the pressures that sustain it, and the need for drastic change

What is Power  Book

What is Power


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
  • Release Date : 2018-12-28
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 120
  • ISBN 10 : 9781509516117

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What is Power Excerpt :

Power is a pervasive phenomenon yet there is little consensus on what it is and how it should be understood. In this book the cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han develops a fresh and original perspective on the nature of power, shedding new light on this key feature of social and political life. Power is commonly defined as a causal relation: an individual’s power is the cause that produces a change of behaviour in someone else against the latter’s will. Han rejects this view, arguing that power is better understood as a mediation between ego and alter which creates a complex array of reciprocal interdependencies. Power can also be exercised not only against the other but also within and through the other, and this involves a much higher degree of mediation. This perspective enables us to see that power and freedom are not opposed to one another but are manifestations of the same power, differing only in the degree of mediation. This highly original account of power will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy and of social, political and cultural theory, as well as to anyone seeking to understand the many ways in which power shapes our lives today.

The Transparency Society Book

The Transparency Society


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : Stanford University Press
  • Release Date : 2015-08-19
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 72
  • ISBN 10 : 9780804797511

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The Transparency Society Excerpt :

Transparency is the order of the day. It is a term, a slogan, that dominates public discourse about corruption and freedom of information. Considered crucial to democracy, it touches our political and economic lives as well as our private lives. Anyone can obtain information about anything. Everything—and everyone—has become transparent: unveiled or exposed by the apparatuses that exert a kind of collective control over the post-capitalist world. Yet, transparency has a dark side that, ironically, has everything to do with a lack of mystery, shadow, and nuance. Behind the apparent accessibility of knowledge lies the disappearance of privacy, homogenization, and the collapse of trust. The anxiety to accumulate ever more information does not necessarily produce more knowledge or faith. Technology creates the illusion of total containment and the constant monitoring of information, but what we lack is adequate interpretation of the information. In this manifesto, Byung-Chul Han denounces transparency as a false ideal, the strongest and most pernicious of our contemporary mythologies.

Topology of Violence Book

Topology of Violence


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Release Date : 2018-04-20
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 168
  • ISBN 10 : 9780262345071

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Topology of Violence Excerpt :

One of today's most widely read philosophers considers the shift in violence from visible to invisible, from negativity to excess of positivity. Some things never disappear—violence, for example. Violence is ubiquitous and incessant but protean, varying its outward form according to the social constellation at hand. In Topology of Violence, the philosopher Byung-Chul Han considers the shift in violence from the visible to the invisible, from the frontal to the viral to the self-inflicted, from brute force to mediated force, from the real to the virtual. Violence, Han tells us, has gone from the negative—explosive, massive, and martial—to the positive, wielded without enmity or domination. This, he says, creates the false impression that violence has disappeared. Anonymized, desubjectified, systemic, violence conceals itself because it has become one with society. Han first investigates the macro-physical manifestations of violence, which take the form of negativity—developing from the tension between self and other, interior and exterior, friend and enemy. These manifestations include the archaic violence of sacrifice and blood, the mythical violence of jealous and vengeful gods, the deadly violence of the sovereign, the merciless violence of torture, the bloodless violence of the gas chamber, the viral violence of terrorism, and the verbal violence of hurtful language. He then examines the violence of positivity—the expression of an excess of positivity—which manifests itself as over-achievement, over-production, over-communication, hyper-attention, and hyperactivity. The violence of positivity, Han warns, could be even more disastrous than that of negativity. Infection, invasion, and infiltration have given way to infarction.

The Palliative Society Book

The Palliative Society


  • Author : Byung-Chul Han
  • Publisher : Polity
  • Release Date : 2021-08-30
  • Genre: Philosophy
  • Pages : 76
  • ISBN 10 : 150954724X

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The Palliative Society Excerpt :

Our societies today are characterized by a universal algophobia: a generalized fear of pain. We strive to avoid all painful conditions – even the pain of love is treated as suspect. This algophobia extends into society: less and less space is given to conflicts and controversies that might prompt painful discussions. It takes hold of politics too: politics becomes a palliative politics that is incapable of implementing radical reforms that might be painful, so all we get is more of the same. Faced with the coronavirus pandemic, the palliative society is transformed into a society of survival. The virus enters the palliative zone of well-being and turns it into a quarantine zone in which life is increasingly focused on survival. And the more life becomes survival, the greater the fear of death, which has become increasingly visible again. Everywhere, the prolongation of life at any cost is the preeminent value, and we are prepared to sacrifice everything that makes life worth living for the sake of survival. This trenchant analysis of our contemporary societies by one of the most original cultural critics of our time will be of interest to a wide readership.

The End of Burnout Book

The End of Burnout


  • Author : Jonathan Malesic
  • Publisher : Univ of California Press
  • Release Date : 2022-01-04
  • Genre: Business & Economics
  • Pages : 283
  • ISBN 10 : 9780520344075

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The End of Burnout Excerpt :

Going beyond the how and why of burnout, a former tenured professor combines academic methods and first-person experience to propose new ways for resisting our cultural obsession with work. Through research on the science, culture, and philosophy of burnout, Malesic explores the gap between our vocation and our jobs, and between the ideals we have for work and the reality of what we have to do