Seminar on Thinking Infrapolitics (Martínez Marzoa, García Calvo, Sánchez Ferlosio). (Alberto Moreiras)

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Hispanic Studies 640-400: History of Ideas in the Hispanic World. Thinking Infrapolitics: Martínez Marzoa, Sánchez Ferlosio, García Calvo.

Instructor: Alberto Moreiras

Office: 204A Academic Building


Term: Spring 2015

Meeting Days: Wednesdays 5:45-8:35.

Seminar Room: ACAD 224

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2:00-4:00, or by appointment.

Description and Learning Outcomes

The Infrapolitical Deconstruction project, which some of us both at Texas A&M Hispanic Studies and in the field at large launched in the early Spring of 2014, is advancing through social network conversations, blogs, and publication projects.   This seminar, the second one in a projected series, attempts to contribute to it by thematizing the work of three of the most significant Spanish thinkers of the second half of the 20th century (and into the 21st): the writer and essayist Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, the professor of classical philology, playwright, and committed anarchist Agustín García Calvo, and the Galician philosopher, now retired from the University of Barcelona, Felipe Martínez Marzoa.   This seminar, which does not presuppose knowledge of texts or discussions covered in the previous seminar, will attempt an in-depth familiarization with these thinkers’ main topics of engagement.   The overarching theoretical project for the seminar will be a consideration of the three thinkers’ position vis-à-vis the so-called Principle of General Equivalence at the ontological and political level.   If the Principle of General Equivalence can be said to constitute the most radical ontological foundation of modernity, having come to be understood as a supplement-substitution for the Hegelian dialectics of Absolute Spirit or the Nietzschean Will-To-Power, then it is important to understand how these three thinkers relate to it, and whether they do so from an interior or a destructive position.   Hence, the second overarching question: are these three thinkers engaged in a preparatory thinking for what we could call, following a Heideggerian notion, an Other Beginning of thought?   The questions are large, and we can only hope to embark on their path.   The path is, nevertheless, significant both for contemporary thought and for an understanding of any possible “philosophy of the future.”

Learning outcomes for this seminar are the following: 1) To obtain a contextual understanding of the position of the three thinkers in question within the field of contemporary post-metaphysical thought; 2) To become as familiar as possible with their written work and topics of engagement; 3) To produce significant interventions at a hermeneutic level.   This seminar means to foster publishable work from the students in the context of the ongoing preparation of a monographic journal issue or issues.

Suggested Reading

The oeuvres of the three thinkers under study are vast, and we cannot read it all. Whatever segments of their work we choose to read will inevitably imply some degree of arbitrariness. My proposal is that we take the following list of suggested readings as mere suggestions.   Our discussions will often center on them, after appropriate presentations, but our seminar encourages students’s initiatives for alternative readings and seminar presentations, which should be discussed with the instructor beforehand if they are to be offered as substitutes for suggested readings (no need for consultation if additional readings are above and beyond suggested readings.) We will initiate the seminar with some work by others that should help set the context. NOTE: for Beistegui, Schürmann, Malabou, students will be asked to read only one of them, not all three. The following list follows an approximate order of class discussion:

-Jean-Luc Nancy, After Fukushima. The Equivalence of Catastrophes. Charlotte Mandel transl. New York: Fordham, 2015.

-Martin Heidegger, The End of Philosophy. Joan Stambaugh transl.   Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1973.

-Reiner Schürmann, Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy. Christine-Marie Gross and Reiner Schürmann transl.   Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1987.

-De Beistegui, Miguel. The New Heidegger. London: Continuum, 2005.

-Cathérine Malabou, The Heidegger Change. On the Fantastic in Philosophy. Peter Skafish transl. Albany: SUNY P, 2011.

-Arturo Leyte, Heidegger. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 2005.

-Felipe Martínez Marzoa, Heidegger y su tiempo. Madrid: Akal, 1999.

—. Ser y diálogo. Lectura de Platón. Madrid: Istmo, 1996.

—. Filosofía de El Capital, de Marx. Madrid: Taurus, 1983.

-Agustín García Calvo, Sermón de ser y no ser. Madrid: Visor, 1977.

—. Lecturas presocráticas. Madrid: Lucina, 1981.

—. Contra el tiempo. Zamora: Lucina, 1993.

-Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, Vendrán años más malos y nos harán más ciegos. Barcelona: Destino, 1993.

—. Mientras no cambien los dioses, nada habrá cambiado. Barcelona: Destino, 2002.

—. El alma y la vergüenza. Barcelona: Destino, 2000.

Grading Policy

Seminar participation is expected to be ongoing, and based on seminar readings as well as other pertinent readings you may want to bring to bear on course discussions.   You will have a choice between submitting a final paper not to exceed 20 typewritten and double-spaced pages (which must include secondary bibliography consisting of at least ten sources), or producing during the semester three review essays of books authored by the thinkers under study of around 8 typewritten and double-spaced pages each (which must also include secondary bibliography).

Participation: 10%

Final Paper or Three Reviews: 85%

Attendance Policy

The student is granted the right to two unexcused absences. More than two unexcused absences will affect the participation grade in the class at the rate of 3% per missed seminar meeting. More than five unexcused absences will be reported to the Hispanic Studies Director of Graduate Studies for advice on an adequate course of action.


Weeks 1 to 3. Introduction.   Discussion of Nancy, After Fukushima; Heidegger, The End of Philosophy.

Week 4-5: Student Presentations: Beistegui, Schürmann, Malabou.

Week 6-7:  Leyte, Heidegger; Martínez Marzoa, Heidegger.

Week 8-9: Martínez Marzoa, Filosofía de El Capital; Ser y diálogo.

Week 10-11: García Calvo, Sermón; Lecturas presocráticas; Contra el tiempo.

Week 12-14:  Sánchez Ferlosio, Vendrán años; Mientras no cambien; El alma.

Summary Discussion.

NOTE: Given instructor’s professional travel commitments, one or two seminar meetings may need to be rescheduled.

Grading Scale

A: 90-100

B: 80-89

C: 70-79

D: 60-69

F: Below 60

American With Disabilities Act (ADA)

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact Disability Services in Cain Hall, Room B118, or call 845 1637. For additional information visit

Academic Integrity

“An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Upon accepting admission to Texas A&M University, a student immediately assumes a commitment to uphold the Honor Code, to accept responsibility for learning, and to follow the philosophy and rules of the Honor System. Students will be required to state their commitment on examinations, research papers, and other academic work. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the TAMU community from the requirements or the processes of the Honor System.

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