All For Nothing: Hamlet's Negativity

Paperback | August 22, 2014

byAndrew Cutrofello

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A specter is haunting philosophy -- the specter of Hamlet. Why is this? Wherefore? What should we do?

Entering from stage left: the philosopher's Hamlet. The philosopher's Hamlet is a conceptual character, played by philosophers rather than actors. He performs not in the theater but within the space of philosophical positions. In All for Nothing, Andrew Cutrofello critically examines the performance history of this unique role.

The philosopher's Hamlet personifies negativity. In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet's speech and action are characteristically negative; he is the melancholy Dane. Most would agree that he has nothing to be cheerful about. Philosophers have taken Hamlet to embody specific forms of negativity that first came into view in modernity. What the figure of the Sophist represented for Plato, Hamlet has represented for modern philosophers. Cutrofello analyzes five aspects of Hamlet's negativity: his melancholy, negative faith, nihilism, tarrying (which Cutrofello distinguishes from "delaying"), and nonexistence. Along the way, we meet Hamlet in the texts of Kant, Coleridge, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Russell, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Benjamin, Arendt, Schmitt, Lacan, Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida, Badiou, Zizek, and other philosophers. Whirling across a kingdom of infinite space, the philosopher's Hamlet is nothing if not thought-provoking.

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From the Publisher

A specter is haunting philosophy -- the specter of Hamlet. Why is this? Wherefore? What should we do?Entering from stage left: the philosopher's Hamlet. The philosopher's Hamlet is a conceptual character, played by philosophers rather than actors. He performs not in the theater but within the space of philosophical positions. In All fo...

Andrew Cutrofello is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. He is the author of Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction and other books.

other books by Andrew Cutrofello

Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.69 inPublished:August 22, 2014Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262526344

ISBN - 13:9780262526340

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This book is a spectacular intellectual performance. Andrew Cutrofello, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago (and author of Continental Philosophy), takes the reader on a joyride through the twists and turns of Hamlet's negativities; his melancholy; his negative faith, his nihilism; his tarrying; and his non-existence.