One of the twentieth century's most brilliant and unconventional thinkers, Alexandre Koj ve was a Russian migr to France whose lectures on Hegel in the 1930s galvanized a generation of French intellectuals. Although Koj ve wrote a great deal, he published very little in his lifetime, and so the ongoing rediscovery of his work continues to present new challenges to philosophy and political theory. Written in 1931 but left unfinished, Atheism is an erudite and open-ended exploration of profound questions of estrangement, death, suicide, and the infinite that demonstrates the range and the provocative power of Koj ve's thought. Ranging across Heidegger, Buddhism, Christianity, German idealism, Russian literature, and mathematics, Koj ve advances a novel argument about freedom and authority. He investigates the possibility that there is not any vantage point or source of authority--including philosophy, science, or God--that is outside or beyond politics and the world as we experience it. The question becomes whether atheism--or theism--is even a meaningful position since both affirmation and denial of God's existence imply a knowledge that seems clearly outside our capacities. Masterfully translated by Jeff Love, this book offers a striking new perspective on Koj ve's work and its implications for theism, atheism, politics, and freedom.
Alexandre Koj ve (1902-1968) was a Russian-born French philosopher and polymath whose influence on contemporary thought via his many disciples and detractors, from Derrida to Lacan to Leo Strauss, is vast. While most famous for his Hegel lectures, Koj ve also had exceptional influence while working in the French Ministry of Economic Affairs as an important figure in the creation of the European Economic Community. Jeff Love is Research Professor of German and Russian at Clemson University. He is the author of The Black Circle: A Life of Alexandre Koj ve (Columbia, 2018) and The Overcoming of History in "War and Peace" (2004). He is also cotranslator of F. W. J. Schelling's Philosophical Investigations Into the Essence of Human Freedom (2006) and editor of Heidegger in Russia and Eastern Europe (2017).
Acknowledgments Introduction: Atheism and Politics Translator's Note Atheism Notes Index