For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Dialectic of Enlightenment as Sport
The Barbaric Urge within Sports, Religion, and Capitalism
  • Tom Donovan
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Dialectic of Enlightenment as Sport. The Barbaric Urge within Sports, Religion, and Capitalism
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In their Dialectic of Enlightenment, Horkheimer and Adorno set out to "explain why humanity, instead of entering a truly human state, is sinking into a new kind of barbarism." Philosophy teacher Tom Donovan (PhD UCRiverside) offers a fresh reading of that classic text showing that it is first and foremost a critique of the metaphysical urge. Describing our world of "stupid consumption, mindless entertainment, and perverted games and relationships" he notes, "these sorts of games have no end game, as fantasy spectators never really win, and yet they don’t see it because they are too busy watching the other lose. This is the secret of class society. As long as there is someone below you, then lack of reconciliation doesn’t hurt so badly."

About the Author

Dr. Donovan holds an MA in Philosophy from Michigan State University and a PhD in Philosophy from The University of California, Riverside. For his dissertation he focused on the works of Horkheimer and Adorno, Habermas and Lukács. Tom is chair of Philosophy at Mt. San Jacinto College, where he has been teaching philosophy and humanities for over 15 years.

Prof. Donovan is publishing a series of books with Algora that make philosophy accessible and useful for real readers.

About the Book
Citing the Super Bowl, Clippers owner Donald Sterling, basketball players like LeBron James, plus the Kardashians, mega churches, and comedians like Jon Stewart, Donovan gives us a new understanding of our age and how the broken threads that are...
Citing the Super Bowl, Clippers owner Donald Sterling, basketball players like LeBron James, plus the Kardashians, mega churches, and comedians like Jon Stewart, Donovan gives us a new understanding of our age and how the broken threads that are today’s Capitalism, religion, and sports contribute to unraveling the fabric of Modernity.

Against readings that claim that Dialectic of Enlightenment is a simple critique of instrumental reason that ultimately undermines rationality itself, Dr. Donovan argues that the real critique is aimed at the metaphysical urge itself. As such, rationality itself is not the target of attack nor is the notion of enlightenment. Taking Adorno's and Horkheimer's example of the Marquis de Sade, the author observes, "…Sade can only find pleasure in domination. The fear of the outside has morphed into fear of a reconciled world, fear of a world where everyone treats each other as ends in themselves. A society like this can tolerate porn but not socialism, a society like this won’t miss the ice-caps but wouldn't miss the Super Bowl, a society like this lets civilization sink into barbarism so long as they can watch The Bachelor.

Stylistically this book attempts to rationally mimic the fragmentary nature of Dialectic of Enlightenment so that through form and content the argument of the book will emerge dialectically.

Readers will see that Dialectic of Enlightenment actually offers a positive conception of enlightenment and a philosophical instance of the use of dialectics.

The book is for readers interested in critiques of capitalism and religion, and sports in America, as well as Marxism and Critical Theory. It will intrigue academics interested in the Frankfurt School and the idea of the "Metaphysical Urge."


Introduction
Tebow Time

It was hard not to believe that God was rooting for Tim Tebow on that glorious January day in 2012 when the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Denver had suffered humiliating losses in their previous three football games and limped into the playoffs. Tebow himself seemed off his game as...

Tebow Time

It was hard not to believe that God was rooting for Tim Tebow on that glorious January day in 2012 when the Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Denver had suffered humiliating losses in their previous three football games and limped into the playoffs. Tebow himself seemed off his game as he struggled to complete even the simplest quarterback duties. Then, suddenly, in the quickest overtime in NFL history, Tebow threw a beautiful pass to a cutting Demaryius Thomas, who raced 80 yards to the end zone. With the touchdown Denver won their first playoff game in years. The "Mile High Messiah," as some called Tebow, ran towards the goal post, dropped into a genuflection, his signature pose, did a fist pound, and jumped around with ecstasy throughout his victory lap. Tebow had no doubt that God had helped with this one. He thanked the Lord as soon as he saw Thomas cross the goal line and then "got on a knee and thanked the Lord again."

Apparently, more Americans than not believe that God helps Tebow win football games. The game itself has a Wikipedia page where it is known as the "3:16 game." John 3:16 is Tebow’s favorite bible verse and his epic playoff win has an eerie number of numerical associations to it. The total yards Tebow passed the football that day, the average yards per reception, the game’s television ratings, the Steelers’ time of possession, all contain 3:16 in some form. In response to all this, Twitter broke twitting records and Google searches of this New Testament verse hit an all-time high. The urge to find metaphysical significance seems to extend from the local church to the sports field and even into the cyber world.

Still, Tebow himself doesn’t seem to want or expect God to help him win. Rather he appears to be motivated by intrinsic values, and his focus seems to be on keeping his character and soul pure. Even when the game is on the line he has been heard saying: "Dear Jesus, I need you. Please come through for me. No matter what happens, win or lose, give me the strength to honor you," and,"Lord put a wall of protection around me and my teammates today, and we go out there and we can honor you with everything we do and say. I love you in Jesus’ name." And despite losing the next playoff game, and eventually losing his NFL job, Tebow has remained positive and grounded, and his popularity has not dissipated. For we live in the Age of Tebowing.


Table of Contents
Tebow Time Introduction. Schizophrenic Modernity Chapter 1. Sacrificing For The Unholy Team Chapter 2. The Enlightenment Trap Chapter 3. From Kant To Kardashian Chapter 4. Bli
Tebow Time
Introduction. Schizophrenic Modernity
Chapter 1. Sacrificing For The Unholy Team
Chapter 2. The Enlightenment Trap
Chapter 3. From Kant To Kardashian
Chapter 4. Blindness
Excursus. A Novel Dialectic
Appendix. Sport As Enlightenment
Acknowledgements
Bibliography

Categories

Pages 184
Year: 2015
BISAC: PHI034000 PHILOSOPHY / Social
BISAC: PHI035000 PHILOSOPHY / Essays
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-162-3
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-163-0
Price: USD 32.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-164-7
Price: USD 22.95
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