Idealism’s Corpse or the Prosthetics of Suicide

Idealistic Studies 41 (1-2):55-67 (2011)
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This paper uses Maurice Blanchot’s image of the corpse as a trope by which to offer a unique quasi-material reading of the German Idealist notion of speculative suicide. And its method of interpretative retrieval, like these idealists, works to think the relevance of idealism today by affirming the spirit against the letter. The paradox of suicide—that we aspire to be witness to our own death—presents itself as a double, as interpreted in works of Fichte and Schelling. This double, the very core of speculative aspiration, is essentially a temporal other whose prosthetic character suggests that the speculative power of spirit is simultaneously technological, and that the limit-condition of suicide be found not in an ethereal speculative unity but rather in the intractable materiality of our own corporeal remains.



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