Constructions and deconstructions of the universal

Critical Horizons 7 (1):21 (2006)
This paper presents the main directions of a new research project that centres on the paradox of the enunciation of the universal. Historical experience and the history of philosophy have made us highly sceptical towards the very possibility of enunciating the universal, yet the universal can be said to have become a fact of contemporary life, and the attempt at enunciating the universal remains an inescapable demand, in politics and notably in practice. Not to enunciate the universal is impossible, but to enunciate it is untenable. Three directions of questioning emerge from this paradox. First, a rereading of Hegel helps us to study the conflict of universalities. Second, with Marx, we can revisit the problem of ideology, the relation between the enunciation of the universal and the idea of domination. And thirdly, by rereading texts by Freud on identification and ideality, we can revisit the relation of the universal to the idea of community, and the aporia of its deconstruction.
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