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Philosophy is traditionally understood as the search for universal truths, and philosophers are supposed to transmit those truths beyond the limits of their own culture. But, today, we have become sceptical about the ability of an individual philosopher to engage in ‘universal thinking’, so philosophy seems to capitulate in the face of cultural relativism.

In INTRODUCTION TO ANTIPHILOSOPHY, BORIS GROYS argues that modern ‘antiphilosophy’ does not pursue the universality of thought as its goal but proposes in its place the universality of life, material forces, social practices, passions, and experiences – angst, vitality, ecstasy, the gift, revolution, laughter or ‘profane illumination’ – and he analyses this shift from thought to life and action in the work of thinkers from Kierkegaard to Derrida, from Nietzsche to Benjamin.

Ranging across the history of modern thought, INTRODUCTION TO ANTIPHILOSOPHY endeavours to liberate philosophy from the stereotypes that hinder its development.



‘Groys has claimed a defining role in the reception of the Russian avant-garde … The Communist Postscript presents Groys’s attempt to advocate the communist idea against its own historic assumptions.’ – RADICAL PHILOSOPHY

 ‘A timely intervention in present debates about the legacy of communism [and] a provocative addition to Groys’ brilliantly paradoxical body of work.’ – ART REVIEW

Praise for ART POWER:

“The range of topics canvassed in Art Power is impressive. … All of these subjects have been comprehensively treated elsewhere, but rarely with Groys’ penetrating eye for the unexpected upshot of such developments.” – FRIEZE

“This magisterial overview situates contemporary art – its aesthetic strategies, institutions and drives -within the deeper context of the Modernist revolution, urbanism, new technologies, and the post communist era. Groys’ combines revelatory analysis with philosophical questions that go to the heart of cultural production today.” – IWONA BLAZWICK, Director, WHITECHAPEL GALLERY

‘Persuasive … provocative … By probing unacknowledged, repressed, or otherwise unexamined relationships that hover in the background of art-world conversation, Art Power recombines categories, reconfigures assumptions, and, in the end, reimagines what art writing can be.’ – BOOKFORUM


‘This is not just a book but an event … The Total Art of Stalinism is an intellectual landmark’ – ART BULLETIN

‘One of the most astute commentators on the art scene today’ –  NEW LEFT REVIEW


BORIS GROYS is Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology inKarlsruhe, and since 2005, the Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU. He has published numerous books including THE TOTAL ART OF STALINISM, ILYA KABAKOV: THE MAN WHO FLEW INTO SPACE FROM HIS APARTMENT, ART POWER, and THE COMMUNIST POSTSCRIPT.


ISBN: 9781844677566 / $26.95 / £16.99 / Hardback / 272 pages


For more information about INTRODUCTION TO ANTIPHILOSOPHY, or to buy the book visit:




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