An anarchy of man : Cartesian and post-Cartesian representations of the self in selected Western literature

This Master of Arts thesis is in two parts: a novel, An Anarchy of Man, and an exegesis which places the novel in relation to philosophical concerns about the self and the way those concerns are portrayed in selected works of Western literature. The novel is set in Canberra and Sydney and tells the story of the relationship between two characters: Joe and Gin. It explores the way we in the modern Western world think about ourselves and those around us. Chapter One considers the view of the self in the work of the philosopher Rene Descartes and explores how this view is portrayed in three contemporary Australia novels, and in An Anarchy of Man. Chapter Two examines post-Cartesian views of the self, especially those in the work of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, and then considers the way the self is portrayed in Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, and in my own An Anarchy of Man. Chapter Three examines postmodern conceptions of the self and considers how these conceptions are portrayed in the work of the contemporary American novelist Don DeLillo and in my own An Anarchy of Man
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