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In his major investigation into the nature of humans, Peter Sloterdijk presents a critique of myth - the myth of the return of religion. For it is not religion that is returning; rather, there is something else quite profound that is taking on increasing significance in the present: the human as a practising, training being, one that creates itself through exercises and thereby transcends itself. Rainer Maria Rilke formulated the drive towards such self-training in the early twentieth century in the imperative You must change your life. In making his case for the expansion of the practice zone for individuals and for society as a whole, Sloterdijk develops a fundamental and fundamentally new anthropology. The core of his science of the human being is an insight into the self-formation of all things human. The activity of both individuals and collectives constantly comes back to affect them: work affects the worker, communication the communicator, feelings the feeler. It is those humans who engage expressly in practice that embody this mode of existence most clearly: farmers, workers, warriors, writers, yogis, rhetoricians, musicians or models. By examining their training plans and peak performances, this book offers a panorama of exercises that are necessary to be, and remain, a human being.
Peter Sloterdijk is Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at the Karlsruhe School of Design and the author of many works including Critique of Cynical Reason.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: On the Anthropotechnic Turn
- The Planet of the Practising
- 1 The Command from the Stone
- Rilke's Experience
- 2 Remote View of the Ascetic Planet
- Nietzsche's Antiquity Project
- 3 Only Cripples Will Survive
- Unthan's Lesson
- 4 Last Hunger Art
- Kafka's Circus Art
- 5 Parisian Buddhism
- Cioran's Exercises
- Transition: Religions Do Not Exist
- From Pierre de Coubertin to L. Ron Hubbard
- I The Conquest of the Improbable
- For an Acrobatic Ethics
- 1 Height Psychology
- The Doctrine of Upward Propagation and the Meaning of 'Over'
- 2 'Culture Is a Monastic Rule'
- Twilight of the Life Forms, Disciplinics
- 3 Sleepless in Ephesus
- On the Demons of Habit and Their Taming Through First Theory
- 4 Habitus and Inertia
- On the Base Camps of the Practising Life
- 5 Cur Homo Artista
- On the Ease of the Impossible
- II Exaggeration Procedures
- Backdrop: Retreats into Unusualness
- 6 First Eccentricity
- On the Separation of the Practising and Their Soliloquies
- 7 The Complete and the Incomplete
- How the Spirit of Perfection Entangles the Practising in Stories
- 8 Master Games
- Trainers as Guarantors of the Art of Exaggeration
- 9 Change of Trainer and Revolution
- On Conversions and Opportunistic Turns
- III The Exercises of the Moderns
- Prospect: The Re-Secularization of the Withdrawn Subject
- 10 Art with Humans
- In the Arsenals of Anthropotechnics
- 11 In the Auto-Operatively Curved Space
- New Human Beings Between Anaesthesia and Biopolitics
- 12 Exercises and Misexercises
- The Critique of Repetition
- From the Re-Embedding of the Subject to the Relapse into Total Care