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Peter Osborne

Bio: Peter Osborne is an academic researcher from Kingston University. The author has contributed to research in topics: Art methodology & Contemporary art. The author has an hindex of 15, co-authored 91 publications receiving 1226 citations.


Papers
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Book
01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: Osborne as discussed by the authors argues that ideas such as avant-garde, modern, post-modern and tradition are best understood as categories of historical totalization, giving rise to a conflicting politics of time.
Abstract: This work is a philosophical intervention into contemporary cultural theory challenges the terms of its understanding of time and history. If Aristotle sought to understand time through change, might we not reverse the procedure and seek to understand change through time? Once we do this, argues Peter Osborne, it soon becomes clear that ideas such as avant-garde, modern, postmodern and tradition - which are usually only treated as markers for empirically discrete periods, movements or styles - are best understood as categories of historical totalization. More specifically, Osborne claims, such ideas involve distinct "temporalizations" of history, giving rise to conflicting politics of time. The book begins with a consideration of the main aspects of modernity, and develops a series of critical engagements with the major and 20th-century positions in the philosophy of history. It concludes with a history of the avant-garde intervention into the temporality of everyday life in surrealism, the situationists and the work of Henri Lefebvre. Peter Osborne is the editor of "Socialism and the Limits of Liberalism", and co-editor of "Thinking Art: Beyond Traditional Aesthetics" and "Walter Benjamin's Philosophy: Destruction and Experience".

237 citations

Book
04 Jun 2013
TL;DR: Anywhere or Not at All as discussed by the authors is a major philosophical intervention in art theory that challenges the terms of established positions through a new approach at once philosophical, historical, social and art-critical.
Abstract: Contemporary art is the object of inflated and widely divergent claims. But what kind of discourse can open it up effectively to critical analysis? Anywhere or Not at All is a major philosophical intervention in art theory that challenges the terms of established positions through a new approach at once philosophical, historical, social and art-critical. Developing the position that "contemporary art is postconceptual art," the book progresses through a dual series of conceptual constructions and interpretations of particular works to assess the art from a number of perspectives: contemporaneity and its global context; art against aesthetic; the Romantic pre-history of conceptual art; the multiplicity of modernisms; transcategoriality; conceptual abstraction; photographic ontology; digitalization; and the institutional and existential complexities of art-space and art-time. Anywhere or Not at All maps out the conceptual space for an art that is both critical and contemporary in the era of global capitalism.

196 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The question of the conceptual structure of transdisciplinary generality in the humanities, with respect to the incorporation of the 19th- and 20th-century German and French philosophical traditions into the anglophone humanities, is raised.
Abstract: This article situates current debates about transdisciplinarity within the deeper history of academic disciplinarity, in its difference from the notions of inter- and multi-disciplinarity. It offers a brief typology and history of established conceptions of transdisciplinarity within science and technology studies. It then goes on to raise the question of the conceptual structure of transdisciplinary generality in the humanities, with respect to the incorporation of the 19th- and 20th-century German and French philosophical traditions into the anglophone humanities, under the name of 'theory'. It identifies two distinct - dialectical and anti-dialectical, or dialectical and transversal - transdisciplinary trajectories. It locates the various contributions to the special issue of which it is the introduction within this conceptual field, drawing attention to the distinct contribution of the French debates about structuralism and its aftermath - those by Serres, Foucault, Derrida, Guattari and Latour, in particular. It concludes with an appendix on Foucault's place within current debates about disciplinarity and academic disciplines.

72 citations

Book
01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: For all the enthusiasm for change manifest in the debates about postmodernism, there is probably currently less of a sense that 'things might proceed otherwise' in Western capitalist societies than at any time since the early 1950s as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The simple possibility that things might proceed otherwise is something in which there is depressingly little belief at present. * For all the enthusiasm for change manifest in the debates about postmodernism, there is probably currently less of a sense that 'things might proceed otherwise' in Western capitalist societies than at any time since the early 1950s. At a theoretical level, this situation has been depicted in a number of ways: from the 'realisation of nihilism' of Fukuyama' send of hi story , via the 'realisation of positivism' of J ameson' s postmodernism, to a series of more diffuse analyses of the end of politics and the crisis of the future. 1 One thing which is distinctive about all these scenarios is their fulsome embrace of that hitherto discredited nineteenth century genre, the philosophy of history; albeit, more often than not, in negative or inverted forms.2 Indeed, the mere fact that Fukuyama crafts his argument at this level has been enough for some on the Left to identify him as a friend: the secret agent of the State Department's discontent with its own rule, perhaps. Personally, I am less persuaded that the philosophy of history belongs intrinsically to the left than I am of the dystopian character of its more recent manifestations. Dystopias may once have functioned to raise an emancipatory alarm about the present, now they all too readily merely confirm the 'worst case scenarios' of the policy planners using the imagination to undercut, rather than underpin, the possibility that things might proceed in another way. Grand narrative forms of the philosophy of history have migrated to the Right, for fairly obvious conjunctural reasons. To

61 citations

01 Mar 1992
TL;DR: In this article, the authors make a preliminary contribution to this task, focusing on the character and status of the concept of modernity itself and the relations between its various uses, in particular its relation to postmodernity.
Abstract: Few thickets are more tangled than that in which the idea of modernity has become enmeshed, few topics less likely to inspire confidence than the question of its relations to the ‘postmodern’. Not least of the problems concerns the character and status of the concept of modernity itself. For it is far from clear that the main figures in recent debates have been writing about, and disputing, the same set of issues when the term has been used. This is of course, in one sense, precisely the point: it is the meaning of ‘modernity’ that is in dispute, and the argument is hardly just terminological. Nonetheless, there remains considerable scope for reflection about what kind of concept ‘modernity’ is, and in particular for a more systematic consideration of the relations between its various uses. What follows is offered as a preliminary contribution to this task.

51 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism are discussed. And the history of European ideas: Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 721-722.

13,842 citations

Book
01 Jan 1996
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a collection of Lefebvre's reflections on the city and urban life written over a span of some twenty years, contextualized by an introduction.
Abstract: The work of Henri Lefebvre - the only major French intellectual of the post-war period to give extensive consideration to the city and urban life - received considerable attention among both academics and practitioners of the built environment following the publication in English of The Production of Space. This new collection brings together, for the first time in English, Lefebvre's reflections on the city and urban life written over a span of some twenty years.The selection of writings is contextualized by an introduction - itself a significant contribution to the interpretation of Henri Lefebvre's work - which places the material within the context of Lefebvre's intellectual and political life and times and raises pertinent issues as to their relevance for contemporary debates over such questions as the nature of urban reality, the production of space and modernity.

1,167 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a new grounding for comparison is proposed, specific to the field of the urban, and a new typology of tactics for undertaking urban comparative research is suggested, weaves together classic approaches and more recent innovations in comparison from within urban studies with a wider philosophical analysis of the issues at stake in reframing the architecture of comparison.
Abstract: Inspired by postcolonial critiques, urban studies today is characterized by conceptual and methodological experimentation in pursuit of a more global approach to understanding cities. The challenge is to develop methods and theoretical practices which allow conceptual innovation to emerge from any urban situation or urbanization process, sustaining wider conversations while insisting that concepts are open to revision. This maps well on to the core methodological problematic of comparison. Mindful of the strong limits to comparison presented by conventional quasi-scientific methods, this paper sets out the basis for a reformatted comparative method. A new grounding for comparison is proposed, specific to the field of the urban, and a new typology of tactics for undertaking urban comparative research is suggested. The paper weaves together classic approaches and more recent innovations in comparison from within urban studies with a wider philosophical analysis of the issues at stake in reframing the architecture of comparison. The paper stands as an invitation to practise global urban studies differently – comparatively – but also to practise comparison differently, in a way that opens urban studies to a more global repertoire of potential insights. The paper develops this invitation and methodological quest through Marxist political-economy; through actually-existing vernacular comparative practices of urban studies; and through insights gleaned from Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical project. The last section of the paper explains how this new vocabulary of comparative method can be put to work through a review of some recent experiments in the field of global urban studies.

424 citations