Integration and Difference

At long last, I’m very happy to share the news that my new book, Integration and Difference: Constructing a Mythical Dialectic has been published by Routledge. Here’s the description from the publisher and some kind words from respected colleagues:

This groundbreaking work synthesizes concepts from thirteen crucial philosophers and psychologists, relating how the ancient problem of opposites has been opening to an integration which not only conserves differentiation but enacts it, especially through the integration of myth into the dialectic.

Weaving a fascinating narrative that ‘thinks with’ the complex encounters of theorists from Baruch Spinoza, G. W. F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, and William James to Alfred North Whitehead, C. G. Jung, Gilles Deleuze, and Isabelle Stengers, this book uniquely performs the convergence of continental philosophy, pragmatism, depth psychology, and constructivist ‘postmodern’ theory as a complement to the trajectory culminating in Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction.

This is an important book for professionals and academics working across the humanities and social sciences, particularly for continental theorists and depth psychologists interested in the construction of a novel epoch after the modern.

Integration and Difference strikes me as an important book for continental philosophy especially because it emphasizes the positive, constructive, and indeed integrative potentials within this tradition while nevertheless attempting to do justice to the negative contributions of deconstruction and postmodernism more broadly. It is a wonderful book, patient and generous in its approach to the thinkers it treats and fundamentally hopeful about the power of their ideas to create new, non-totalizing syntheses, or in Maxwell’s terms, differentiating integrations. I fully expect it will become a valuable resource for many who are trying to create a new philosophical dispensation from the materials of the continental, pragmatic, and psychoanalytic traditions.’

David F. HoinskiProfessor of Philosophy, West Virginia University

‘This is a tremendously exciting and generative book. Through an exploration of thirteen of Western culture’s most original thinkers from Spinoza to Stengers, Maxwell brilliantly explicates various powerful forms of integrative thought that yet preserve and enact differentiation as their necessary and perpetual concomitant. Written in a supple, spirited, and engaging style, the book also performs its own impressive feat of differentiating integration in creating such a rich and cogent narrative among these so distinctive thinkers.’

Roderick MainProfessor of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex; coeditor of Jung, Deleuze, and the Problematic Whole

‘In an era of division, intellectual and cultural, Maxwell presents a thrilling journey through the work of some of the greatest thinkers, seeking a way forward which is embedded in theories often deemed to be in opposition. Where Derrida pauses in the still moment before integration and holds you there, this book explores how philosophy’s crises are part of its being, and their attempted resolution the very task that drives knowledge forward. Brilliant.’

Peter Salmonauthor of An Event, Perhaps: A Biography of Jacques Derrida

Integration and Difference is a deep and poetic rumination on some of the most important thinkers of our time, including several that are not often examined in mainstream philosophy. It offers a valuable process of integration providing new insight into the work of these great philosophers – a significant achievement that will benefit both those familiar with their ideas and those who are new to their work.’

Barbara JenkinsProfessor of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University; author of Eros and Economy: Jung, Deleuze, Sexual Difference

‘Inspiring in its ambition, staggering in its breadth, and powerful in its originality, Maxwell’s Integration and Difference charts an innovative path through nuanced readings of a number of thinkers whose difficulty is exceeded perhaps only by the disparateness of their approaches. Constructing a unique narrative arc, Maxwell integrates elements of pragmatism, post-structuralism, depth psychology, and deconstruction, as well as insights from the arts and social sciences, in the search for a new way to think about the shaping of a mythos, reminding us why he’s one of today’s most original thinkers.’

Vernon W. Cisney, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Gettysburg College; author of Deleuze and Derrida

‘In this tremendously exciting book, Grant Maxwell offers a genuinely fresh philosophical perspective. Integration and Difference has the courage and ambition to look beyond the usual suspects to construct an integrative vision that feels original. By placing the ideas of academically neglected figures like C. G. Jung and James Hillman into productive tension with the thinking of philosophers like Deleuze and Stengers, Maxwell performs precisely the kind of integrative work his book seeks to explore. A hugely stimulating read.’

Mark SabanProfessor of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex; author of Two Souls Alas’: Jung’s Two Personalities and the Making of Analytical Psychology

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