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Simulacra and Simulation Paperback – Feb 15 1995

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (Feb. 15 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472065211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472065219
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 113 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Moving away from the Marxist/Freudian approaches that had concerned him earlier, Baudrillard developed in this book a theory of contemporary culture that relies on displacing economic notions of cultural production with notions of cultural expenditure.

About the Author

Jean Baudrillard (1929--2007) was a philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of postmodernity who challenged all existing theories of contemporary society with humor and precision. An outsider in the French intellectual establishment, he was internationally renowned as a twenty-first century visionary, reporter, and provocateur.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is by no means an easy text to read. For those unfamiliar with postmodern tropes-and especially those who have never read Baudrillard before-this text may seem especially daunting. I recommend that these people start with the essay entitled 'Simulacra and Science Fiction'. In this essay, Baudrillard details the three orders of simulacra: the first, natural simulacra, are operatic, founded on images, and aim at the restoration of "the ideal institution of nature made in God's image"; the second order are both productive and operative, based on energy, and work toward "a continuous globalization and expansion [and] an indefinite liberation of energy"; the third order, the simulacra of simulation, are "founded on information [and] total operationality, hyperreality, [and the] aim of total control" (121). The differences between the various simulacra exist in the distance between the real and the imaginary exhibited by each order. This illuminating interstice provides the locus for projecting critical activity and idealism. The first order maximizes the projection, allowing the utopia to stand in direct opposition to the real. The second order reduces this projection. Baudrillard describes it as a hyper-productive universe in which "science fiction adds the multiplication of its own possibilities" (122). As all previous models implode, the third order of simulacra witnesses the complete disappearance of the projection between reality and the imaginary as it becomes reabsorbed in simulation. To Baudrillard, this is the world in which we live: no more real, no more imaginary, no more fiction, just an endless regression of lost meaning with no foundation, or rather an endless precession of simulacra.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Everything you have heard about this book is true. It is dense, complicated, annoyingly analytical, and fairly pointless. Yet it's also genius. To preface...Continental philosophy, in the past hundred years or so, has not been known for it's practical applications. Existentialism and Postmodernism are mental games for the Ivory Tower intellectual, sure. But that doesn't mean that they do not provide a model for looking at and thinking about the world that the average intellect can relate to and use. And this book is no exception to that. It IS dificult to understand, yes, but no where near as bad as most people in these reviews seem to think. Anyone with a basic understanding of Objectivism v. Subjectism, Platonism, and the empirical philosphers can get plenty out of it. The vocabulary is no worse then most other philosophy, and a lot less complicated then some (this isn't Kant). Baisically, Baudrillard shows us that reality no longer exists, and has been replaced by simulacra via the process of simulation, creatin what he calls the "hyperreal". It is a very enlightening read, and will make you really rethink how you view the world. The major problem with the book, as at least one other person has pointed out, is Baudrillard's cultural references. They are quite dated by this point, and you'll find yourself completely lost as to his point, since you can't relate to his subject. In the end though, it is a book that anyone interested in contemporary philosophy should read.
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Format: Paperback
Culture is made up of communication process. And all forms of communication are based on the production and consumption of signs. Thus there is no intrinsic division between ¡®reality¡¯ and symbolic representation. Humankind has existed in and acted through a symbolic environment. But we tend to distinguish reality from representation. Nevertheless, the advent of electric media like TV, computer, film, and multimedia, such a distinction become increasingly blurred away. This is the context where Baudrillard gained the popularity. But I disagree with him. According to Giddens, day-to-day life premised on distinction of presence and absence. Presence is a time-space notion, just as absence can refer to distances in time and space. All social interactions intermingle presence and absence. We are not confusing Mr. Bush on TV from real Bush, although we¡¯ve never met him and he is not here. But the point of Baudrillard is that Bush on TV is real Bush. Yep. We consume the virtual reality on computer, images of film not as representation of some other real thing, but as it is. But we could distinguish absent Bush (image on TV) from present Bush at the White House. If one could not do so, he must be mad.
Baudrillard¡¯s proposition has some good points on the events in cultural domain. But he goes too far.
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Format: Paperback
Many peeple who hear of Baudrillard find themselves fans of the movie The Matrix. There is no doubt that the arguments Baudrillard makes in the first and last chapter do coincide with the movie. However, to accurately interpret the book and get a feel of what Baudrillard is really trying to state, the reader must surpass the framework the media has placed on his philosophy through The Matrix.
This is a book, that if one truly comes to an understanding of, would send shivers down our spines. It questions so many facets of our culture via media, politics, socialogy...and one can use the process and the argument Baudrillard makes to any facet of our lives.
When reading this book, the reader will get overwhelmed by the complexity and awesomeness of the Baudrillard argument and way of thinking. However, this book will question your perception of reality: what is real versus what is hyperreal and how does that process take place. The simulations of events and the process of simulacrum which is now in its fourth stage. Baudrillard then takes that process and argument and applies it to specific events, places and occurences in history and throughout our culture.
While the average Joe may be perplexed and overwhelmed by Baudrillard, I feel this is a must read for anyone who is interested in the subject of what is real, what is hyperreal, and where the simulation comes into place within the simulacrum.
If you do read this book I have a good piece of advice: do not apply the The Matrix to the book, rather the see how Baudrillard's arguments coincide with some of the basic ones in the movie. Then take those arguments and apply them to anything- once that is done you will see and feel the pain of Baudrillard's argument.
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