Starting with Richard Wright’s controversial address to the Paris Congress of Black Writers and Authors of 1956, this article explores Wright’s and Simone de Beauvoir’s focus on existential freedom as key to an emancipatory politicalsubjectivity. Both Wright and Beauvoir reject the content of identity formed via oppression, seeking to move beyond categories of culture, religion, femininity and blackness. They argue that solidarity can be better forged across identity groups by nurturing a politicalsubjectivity that recognizes (...) the historical and political impact of embodied identities but is driven by ontological freedom expressed in collective action and dissociation with normative categories. Putting Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices in conversation with Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, we can more fully appreciate Wright’s political writing after he left the United States. Here we see the potential for solidarity across borders, and with women and other oppressed peoples. Most important, we witness these two thinkers imagining political invocations that do not reinforce political meanings given to bodies, thus allowing new forms of solidarity and collective action to emerge. (shrink)
Max Stirner has often been considered a Young Hegelian, or even the 'last Hegelian'. Such a reading implies that Stirner drew the logical conclusions of Hegel’s philosophy, thereby ignoring the way his thought marks a fundamental break with the philosophical tradition as a whole. Stirner’s notions of 'egoism', 'ownness' and 'Der Einzige' ('the ego') were not philosophical concepts but, in a Foucauldian sense, tools to dismantle the subject-object dichotomy and its social and political bearings in the wake of modernity. (...) It is argued, furthermore, that his ideas cannot be reduced to a traditional philosophy of the subject (existentialism). This chapter analyses both Stirner’s quest to 'dissolve' philosophy, as well as its radical implications for political theory as a whole. Stirner’s notion of Der Einzige not only questions the revolutionary subject in a strictly Marxist sense, but eventually any form of (political) subjectivity. Stirner’s radical criticism of the emancipatory claims of his contemporaries allows us to question and rethink the concepts of contemporary social and political theory, not only by criticizing the way political power is commonly conceived and by refraining from positing essentialist guarantees, but also by laying bare the problem of politicalsubjectivity. (shrink)
This paper is framed around a close reading and discussion of the juridical category of "caste atrocity," a form of postcolonial legislation instituted by the Indian state in 1955 to protect Dalits, or ex-untouchables, from the threat of upper-caste violence. The paper addresses the problematic permeability between humanity and violence assumed by such protective laws, and argues that rather than protecting Dalits from harm, laws to prevent violence have instead succeeded in making caste violence visible, and a new site of (...)political activism: spectacular and everyday practices of violence confirm the partial or uncertain humanity of historically stigmatized subjects, but it is also the case that violence functions as a form of public communication that enables new formations of caste politics. The paper ends by suggesting that attention to the biopolitics of caste can help produce a global accounting of how the violated subject has come to be constituted as a "body of the state.". (shrink)
Is the critique of modern, liberal subjectivity warranted, and, if so, how do we proceed in its aftermath? This article clarifies the ways in which such a critique is valid, as well as the ways in which it both misses its mark and gives us little in the way of resources for thinking further about subjectivity. I argue that thinking in the aftermath must articulate a weak ontological portrait of subjectivity that vivifies the value of both (...) class='Hi'>political generosity (emphasized by critics like William Connolly) and equal respect (as emphasized by the defenders of liberalism like Charles Larmore). (shrink)
Despite, or quite possibly because of, the structuralist, post-structuralist, and deconstructionist critiques of subjectivity, master signifiers, and political foundations, contemporary philosophy has been marked by a resurgence in interest in questions of subjectivity and the political. Guided by the contention that different conceptions of the political are, at least _implicitly_, committed to specific conceptions of subjectivity while different conceptions of subjectivity have different political implications, this collection brings together an international selection of (...) scholars to explore these notions and their connection. Rather than privilege one approach or conception of the subjectivity-political relationship, this volume emphasizes the nature and status of the _and _in the ‘subjectivity’ _and _‘the political’ schema. By thinking from the place _between _subjectivity and the political, it is able to explore this relationship from a multitude of perspectives, directions, and thinkers to show the heterogeneity, openness, and contested nature of it. While the contributions deal with different themes or thinkers, the themes/thinkers are linked historically and/or conceptually, thereby providing coherence to the volume. Thinkers addressed include Arendt, Butler, Levinas, Agamben, Derrida, Kristeva, Adorno, Gramsci, Mill, Hegel, and Heidegger, while the subjectivity-political relation is engaged with through the mediation of the law-political, ethics-politics, theological-political, inside-outside, subject-person, and individual-institution relationships, as well as through concepts such as genius, happiness, abjection, and ugliness. The original essays in this volume will be of interest to researchers in philosophy, politics, political theory, critical theory, cultural studies, history of ideas, psychology, and sociology. (shrink)
Much of the work on Levinas and political philosophy is content to note two things: the resistance of the ethical to politics and the messianic dimension of Levinas’s thought. The task, then, has largely been to identify (usually formal) points of resistance and/or to trace out the figures of messianism in the various functions of the prophetic word. Themes of singularity and eschatology therefore dominate the discussion. While both of these aspects of his work are important and can pay (...) interesting dividends, one cannot but note another result: a lack of materiality in developing a Levinasian politics. This need not be the case. Indeed, much of my concern in what follows is to open up the possibility of thinking about Levinas and politics in a manner that reintroduces an element of concreteness. (shrink)
Much of the work on Levinas and political philosophy is content to note two things: the resistance of the ethical to politics and the messianic dimension of Levinas’s thought. The task, then, has largely been to identify points of resistance and/or to trace out the figures of messianism in the various functions of the prophetic word. Themes of singularity and eschatology therefore dominate the discussion. While both of these aspects of his work are important and can pay interesting dividends, (...) one cannot but note another result: a lack of materiality in developing a Levinasian politics. This need not be the case. Indeed, much of my concern in what follows is to open up the possibility of thinking about Levinas and politics in a manner that reintroduces an element of concreteness. (shrink)
Political debate is a distinctive domain in argumentation, characterized by these features: it is about proposals for action, not about propositions that may have a truth value; there may be good arguments on both sides; neither the proposal nor its rejection follows by necessity or inference; the pros and the cons generally cannot, being multidimensional and hence incommen- surable, be aggregated in an objective way; each audience member must subjectively compare and balance arguments on the two sides; eventual consensus (...) between the debaters is not a reasonable requirement. From all this follows a view of the rhetor’s special obligation in democratic, deliberative rhetoric on which it becomes crucial, in the interest of the audience, that political debaters acknowledge good arguments on the opposite side and explain why, on balance, they deem the arguments favoring their own side to be stronger. (shrink)
It behooves us to examine , first, in the work of Rousseau the overlapping of their conception of nature and the foundations of social and political life : it is possible to mention the harmony between man and nature without considerations of politics? Then we examine some aspects of modern subjectivity – feeling of existence , moral conscience , the idea of happiness, pursuit of the indoor unit.
Classical Presences Series Editors: Lorna Hardwick, Professor of Classical Studies, Open University, and James I. Porter, Professor of Greek, Latin, and Comparative Literature, University of Michigan The texts, ideas, images, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome have always been crucial to attempts to appropriate the past in order to authenticate the present. They underlie the mapping of change and the assertion and challenging of values and identities, old and new. Classical Presences brings the latest scholarship to bear on (...) the contexts, theory, and practice of such use, and abuse, of the classical past. Athens in Paris explores the ways in which the writings of the ancient Greeks played a decisive part in shaping the intellectual projects of structuralism and post-structuralism--arguably the most significant currents of thought of the post-war era. Miriam Leonard argues that thinkers in post-war France turned to the example of Athenian democracy in their debates over the role of politicalsubjectivity and ethical choice in the life of the modern citizen. The authors she investigates, who include Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Vernant, have had an incalculable influence on the direction of classical studies over the last thirty years, but classicists have yet to give due attention to the crucial role of the ancient world in the development of their philosophy. (shrink)
Diana Tietjens Meyers examines the political underpinnings of psychoanalytic feminism, analyzing the relation between the nature of the self and the structure of good societies. She argues that impartial reason--the approach to moral reflection which has dominated 20th-century Anglo-American philosophy--is inadequate for addressing real world injustices. ____Subjection and Subjectivity__ is central to feminist thought across a wide range of disciplines.
The object of this essay is to explore the central role played by the ‘ethic of care’ in debates within and beyond feminist legal theory. The author claims that the ethic of care has attracted feminist legal scholars in particular, as a means of resolving the theoretical, political and strategic difficulties to which the perceived ‘crisis of subjectivity’ in feminist theory has given rise. She argues that feminist legal scholars are peculiarly placed in relation to this crisis because (...) of their reliance on the social ‘woman’ whose interests are the predominant concern of feminist legal engagement. With the problematisation of subjectivity, the object of feminist legal attention disappears and it is in attempts to deflect the negative political consequences of this that the ethic of care has been invoked, the author argues, unsuccessfully. The essay concludes with suggestions as to how the feminist project in law might proceed in the wake of the crisis of subjectivity and the failure of the ethic of care to resolve it. (shrink)
Rawls''s recent modification of his theory of justice claims that political liberalism is free-standing and falls under the category of the political. It works entirely within that domain and does not rely on anything outside it In this article I pursue the metatheoretical goal of obtaining insight into the anthropological assumptions that have remained so far unacknowledged by Rawls and critics alike. My argument is that political liberalism has a dependence on comprehensive liberalism and its conception of (...) a self-serving subjectivity that is far more binding as well as undesirable than it has been so far acknowledged. I proceed with a heuristic approach that introduces us to the possibility that political liberalism presupposes tacitly the Occidental metanarrative of reason harnessing rampant self-interest and subordinating it to a higher-order interest. As the presuppositions of political liberalism emerge, I draw from the debate between Rawls and Habermas in order to illustrate my argument for the existence of a dependence on these presuppositions. I outline some implications of the anthropological basis of political liberalism and conclude by exemplifying them with reference to Rawls''s comments on the division of a cake. (shrink)
After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents--the active "subjects"--of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today. In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of (...) intellectuals from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan. Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities. (shrink)
In this article I want to show the characteristic elements of the bio-politics in the developmentalist Francoism, from 1959 to 1975. For this, I will distinguish three fields of study – economic , health and the ideological – and I will analyze the most characteristic – disciplinaries and regulatories – bio-political devices for each of them. At the same time, the analysis of these devices will allow me to show the most distinctive elements of the governmentality of the last (...) Francoism , understanding this concept as “conduct of conducts” tried out by the Franco’s regime in this period. Finally, all of this will allow me to provide a new interpretation about the end of the Franco’s regime, indicating the effectiveness of its bio-political devices, and announce the birth of a new governmentality in Spain with the democracy arrival. (shrink)
Abstract: Many of the things we do in social and political philosophy, whether normative or critical, presuppose some understanding and evaluation of agency. To have a clear idea of our normative or critical enterprise, the underlying account of agency needs spelling out. This article begins with a descriptive account: human agency consists in power (or causal efficacy) organized as subjectivity (or selfhood), and such organization takes place through attributions of power informed by values. Some such descriptive account is (...) useful for understanding and comparing forms of agency. But as we move beyond it to construct an evaluative account of agency, we face problems that are symptomatic of our social and political condition. While quantitative assessment of agency does not work, qualitative assessment seems out of place in our modern world of pluralism and yet is unavoidable for those who, like Habermas, take issue with such phenomena as colonization of the lifeworld. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with the competing and complimentary relationships between intersubjectivity and discursive logic. It contends that the ultimate failure of Husserlian phenomenology is a testament to the dilemma of subjectivist philosophy. Indeed, political philosophy requires a paradigm-shift from subjectivity to intersubjectivity. With this in mind, this paper examines the classical encounter between morality and ethical life in connection with discursive ethics. While it argues that Habermas still retains a strong residue of subjectivist philosophy, it attempts to (...) clarify the discursive analysis of Foucault and probes into its applicability to practical philosophy. (shrink)
The crisis of modernity as the crisis of the political is seen by the author primarily as a crisis of the "measure" of the criterion of political decision making and action. This crisis is understood in the first place as a crisis of self-awareness and practice of the ethos. Machiavelli was the first to attempt a solution to this problem by introducing the concept of virtus, which became the fundamental principle of modern political philosophy. However, many modern (...) and contemporary interpreters of Machiavelli's thought often ignore the social and political context in which the political doctrine of the Florentine thinker arose. Namely, Machiavelli's effort to find an authentic form of the political act that would make possible a harmonization and stabilization of the dramatic political circumstances then prevailing in Italian cities required a reliable diagnosis and adequate means for a successful therapy of the sick organism of the community. The epochal novelty in Machiavelli's political theory was the shift from the ancient theorization of virtue to its modern operationalization. Nevertheless, this shift is often interpreted as a radical opposing of the Greek concept of arete to the Roman virtus, which is crudely and simplistically reduced to bravery and strength necessary for taking and keeping political power. Hegel in his political philosophy travels an important part of the road - unconsciously rather than consciously - along with Machiavelli and Shelling. This particularly holds for his understanding of the necessity of strength and bravery in the process of operationalizing the spirit of freedom in history through the mediation of "negation" as "the power of evil". The mediation of subjectivity and substantiality, according to Hegel, takes place in the state by the brutal bridling of the world spirit where not just individuals but whole peoples are sacrificed - toward freedom, i.e. its realization in the community of the ethos. The "trouble of the times" is a consequence of the separation between I and the world and stems from a reduced political reason which lacks the criterion of the ethical totality for political action and decision making. By the separation of the ethos this reason get routinized and political action is reduced to naked technique of winning and keeping political power. In the concluding segment of the paper the author points to some global consequences of the crisis of political decision making in the historical reality at the end of 20th century. (shrink)
In order to deepen the studies on the philosophy of practice, it is essential to explore the political significance of Marx's philosophy of practice. Marx's philosophy of practice is rooted in the problem of modernity and the separation between “individual subjectivity” and “societal community” in the modern context is the basic background of Marx's practical philosophy. It is the basic interest of Marx's philosophy of practice to find a way to end this separation via critique of civil society. (...) Therefore, Marx's philosophy of practice has a clear significance, which manifests in the following aspects: one is “liberation politics,” and the other, “the regulatory mode of the socio-political institution.”. (shrink)
If the tragic interpretation of experience is still so current, despite its disastrous ethical consequences, it is because it shapes our subjectivity. Instead of contradicting the ideals of autonomy and freedom, a modern subjectivity based on self-victimization in effect enables them. By embracing subjection to an alienating other (the Law, Power) the autonomous subject protects its sameness from the disruption of real people. Seductions of Fate stages a dialogue between this tragic agent of political emancipation and the (...) unconditional ethical demands it seeks to evade. (shrink)
Although Wittgenstein is often held co-responsible for the so-called death of man as it was pronounced in the course of the previous century, no detailed description of his alternative to the traditional or Cartesian account of human being has so far been available. By consulting several parts of Wittgenstein's later oeuvre, Subjectivity after Wittgenstein aims to fill this gap. However, it also contributes to the debate about the Cartesian subject and its demise by discussing the criticism that the rethinking (...) of subjectivity received, for it has been argued that the anti-Cartesian turn in continental philosophy has lead to a loss of a centre for both ethics and politics. By further exploring the implications of the Wittgensteinian account of human being, this book makes it clear that a non-Cartesian view on the subject is not necessarily ethically and politically inert. Moreover, it argues that ethical and political arguments should not automatically take precedence in a debate about the nature of man. (shrink)
_Levinas, Subjectivity, Education_ explores how the philosophical writings of Emmanuel Levinas lead us to reassess education and reveals the possibilities of a radical new understanding of ethical and political responsibility. Presents an original theoretical interpretation of Emmanuel Levinas that outlines the political significance of his work for contemporary debates on education Offers a clear analysis of Levinas’s central philosophical concepts, including the place of religion in his work, demonstrating their relevance for educational theorists Examines Alain Badiou’s critique (...) of Levinas’s work Considers the practical implications of Levinas’ theories for concrete educational practices and frameworks. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of individual self-formation struggle to articulate a mode of subjectivity not determined by relations of power. In response to this dilemma, Foucault's late lectures on the ancient ethical practices of "fearless speech" (parrhesia) offer a model of ethical self-governance that educates individuals to ethical and political engagement. Rooted in the psychological capacities of curiosity and resolve, such self-governance equips individuals with a "disposition to steadiness" that orients individuals in the face of uncertainty. The practices of parrhesia (...) accomplish this task without fabricating a distinction between internal soul and external body; by creating not a "body of knowledge" but a "body of practices"; and without reference to an external order such as nature, custom, tradition, or religion. The result is an "expressive subject" defined through expressive practices sustained by a simultaneous relationship to herself and to others. Individuals develop themselves not through their ability to "dare to know" but as those who "dare to act.". (shrink)
Desde una hermenéutica ontológica política se hacen visibles y audibles prácticas singulares a partir del punto de vista de los estudios latinoamericanos, los cuales apelan por una perspectiva de afirmación como propone Arturo Escobar respecto a una mirada sobre la diversidad y singularidad de accio..
The abandoned question of the historical subject from the merely negative and rather superficial deconstructions made by mega-narrations belonging to the latest modern philosophy retakes its philosophic actuality at the moment of so-called globalization, coinciding with a general decadence of po..
Postcolonialism and Political Theory explores the intersection between the political and the postcolonial through an engagement with, critique of, and challenge to some of the prevalent, restrictive tenets and frameworks of Western political and social thought. It is a response to the call by postcolonial studies, as well as to the urgent need within world politics, to turn towards a multiplicity largely excluded from globally dominant discourses of community, subjectivity, power and prosperity constituted by otherness, radical (...) alterity, or subordination to the newly reconsolidated West. The book offers a diverse range of essays that re-examine and open the boundaries of political and cultural modernity's historical domain; that look at how the racialized and gendered and cultured subject visualizes the social from elsewhere; that critique the limits of postcolonial theory and its claim to celebrate diversity; and that complicate the notion of postcolonial politics within settler societies that continue to practice exile of the indigenous. Postcolonialism and Political Theory is an ideal book for graduate and advanced undergraduate level study and for those working both disciplinarily and interdisciplinarily, both inside and outside academia. (shrink)
One of the more poignant claims Badiou makes is that the subject develops an understanding of itself as a political subject only by executing decisive political actions or making decisive political interventions. In this article I will argue that in order to have a fuller philosophical conception of politicalsubjectivity, and therefore political agency, one must also hold that, first, political interventions do not necessarily lead to a definition or a further way of (...) referring to and understanding the subject. In fact, political events and interventions may consciously aim at and result in the de-politicizing, de-subjectivating or dehumanizing of the subject. Second, political agency need not result in an event or an intervention in order to be political. In other words, failed or non-interventions may still be considered political. Third, despite Badiou's call for an ethics rooted in truth and fidelity, his political philosophy results in a relativism that can easily lapse into violence and injustice. (shrink)
Taking Derrida 's notion of the 'secret' and Deleuze's 'immanence' as its starting point, this essay proposes a reading of Marx's 'living labour' that critiques Hardt and Negri's understanding of politicalsubjectivity. In doing so, the essay examines the possibilities of rethinking political agency in terms of a 'powerless power'.
In a note from 1881 (KSA 9, 11 ) Nietzsche talks about the “infinitely small moment” as “the highest reality and truth” for the individual who tries to contrast the “uniformity of sensations” and to affirm his “idiosyncratic taste”. In doing so, he gives to the briefest of moments a leading role, since one can see it as the reference point of a dialectic between man and society. In fact, the single moment reveals the unavoidable becoming even of human taste, (...) and shows that any metaphysics of substances stating the existence of an individual subject must be rejected. Moreover, in this note Nietzsche states some ideas on the herd instinct he’ll deal with in The Gay Science, and considers the value of the anthropology established by the science, since it determines “how man – and NOT the individual ‒ experiences things and himself”. In doing so, Nietzsche starts thinking about the relationship between the plane of the individual and the wider one of the society, in which one can find the standardized “normal taste” useful for human beings’ preservation. In my paper I’ll carry out these brief sketches, and study both the subjects of this relationship. In particular, I’ll focus on the dialectic between “small” and “big” on the plane of the social community, showing the deep connections with Nietzsche’s theory of knowledge and his notion of truth. (shrink)
Athens in Paris explores the ways in which the writings of the ancient Greeks played a decisive part in shaping the intellectual projects of structuralism and post-structuralism - arguably the most significant currents of thought of the post-war era. Miriam Leonard argues that thinkers in post-war France turned to the example of Athenian democracy in their debates over the role of politicalsubjectivity and ethical choice in the life of the modern citizen. The authors she investigates, who include (...) Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Vernant, have had an incalculable influence on the direction of classical studies over the last thirty years, but classicists have yet to give due attention to the crucial role of the ancient world in the development of their philosophy. (shrink)
The topic of biopolitics is a timely one, and it has become increasingly important for scholars to reconsider how life is objectified, mobilized, and otherwise bound up in politics. This cutting-edge volume discusses the philosophical, social, and political notions of biopolitics, as well as the ways in which biopower affects all aspects of our lives, including the relationships between the human and nonhuman, the concept of politicalsubjectivity, and the connection between art, science, philosophy, and politics. In (...) addition to tracing the evolving philosophical discourse around biopolitics, this collection researches and explores certain modes of resistance against biopolitical control. Written by leading experts in the field, the book’s chapters explore resistance across a wide range of areas: politics and biophilosophy, technology and vitalism, creativity and bioethics, and performance. Resisting Biopolitics is an important intervention in contemporary biopolitical theory, looking towards the future of this interdisciplinary field. (shrink)
Ecofeminist political philosophy is an area of intellectual inquiry that examines the political status of that which we call “nature” using the insights, theoretical tools, and ethical commitments of ecological feminisms and other liberatory theories such as critical race theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, environmental philosophy, and feminism. Ecofeminist political philosophy is concerned with questions regarding the possibilities opened by the recognition of agency and subjectivity for the more-than-human world; and it asks how we can respond (...) politically to the more-than-human world on mutual, dialogical terms. Such philosophy insists that a gendered and liberatory analysis is needed to adequately address the environmental dilemma of how to include nonhuman nature as co-interlocutor in the green public sphere. It also asks critical questions of “traditional” philosophies that exclude the more-than-human world from ethico-political consideration. These themes run throughout the work of three contemporary environmental feminist theorists who compellingly examine the entanglements between concepts and categories of gender, nature, and the political: specifically, the work of ecofeminist philosopher Val Plumwood, radical democratic theorist Catriona Sandilands, and feminist phenomenologist and philosopher of place Bonnie Mann. Karen Warren’s quilt metaphor shows how such ecofeminist political philosophy fits into the larger tapestry of ecofeminism. (shrink)
The paper’s purpose consists in pointing out the importance of the notion of “territory”, in its different accepted meanings, for the development of a theory and a practice of subjectivity both in deleuzean and canettian thought. Even though they start from very different perspectives and epistemic levels, they indeed produce similar philosophical effects, which strengthen their “common” view and the model of subjectivity they try to shape. More precisely, the paper focuses on the deleuzean triad of territorialisation, deterritorialisation, (...) reterritorialisation, with regard to the role it plays in the forming of the subject and in connection with the fundamental deleuzean notion of difference; it furthermore concentrates on the characterization of the notion of territory in Canetti’s work, also in the light of the mentioned deleuzean categories and with reference to the crucial canettian concept of transformation. Finally, the paper analyses both the political consequences of the “nomadic subjectivity” Deleuze and Canetti deal with and the critical and problematic aspects it involves. (shrink)
Stanley Cavell is a leading figure in American philosophy and one of the most exhilarating and wide-ranging intellectuals of our time. In this book Espen Hammer offers a lucid and thorough account of the development of Cavell's work, from his early writings on ordinary language philosophy and skepticism to his most recent contributions to film studies, literary theory, romanticism, ethics, and politics. The book traces the many lines of skepticism occurring in Cavell's work and shows how they amount to a (...) rich and subtle picture of human subjectivity. Hammer explores Cavell's passionate engagement with Austin and Wittgenstein's visions of language, and his uncovering of conceptions of the ordinary in Emerson and Thoreau. Central sections of the book are devoted to the tragic and the comic as these modes of existence come into play in Shakespeare and Hollywood cinematic drama. In elaborating Cavell's responses to thinkers such as Heidegger, Levinas, and Derrida, the author situates Cavell's writing within the wider context of contemporary continental philosophy. Hammer clearly reveals the existential dimensions of Cavell's thought. He argues that his variant of ordinary language philosophy is a vital stimulus to self-transformation in cognitive, aesthetic, ethical, and political domains, contributing significantly to a rethinking of issues such as responsibility and autonomy, and the relationship between philosophy and literature. A critical introduction to the thought of an inordinately complex writer, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars in philosophy, literary theory, cultural theory, comparative literature, and media and cultural studies. (shrink)
Hegel's Philosophy of Right represents a unique theory type in the history of political philosophy. It is a normative theory that departs in its construction from an empirical facticity without reducing norms to facts. It unifies teleological and deontic considerations. It is a theory of the normatively requisite institutional structures able to realize the demands of a historically particular form of individuality, and simultaneously it presents the phenomenology of modern subjectivity committed to the ultimate value of true freedom. (...) In this way it aims to transform into genuine self-knowledge the illusory social-political self-image of its addressees. The paper discusses the connection between this phenomenological method and Hegel's conception of freedom - his critique of unconditional, abstract normativity, his solution to the problem of collision between equally valid norms and the possible relevance of his methodological principles to contemporary political philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, commentators have devoted increasing attention to Hegel’s conception of conscience. Prominent interpreters like Frederick Neuhouser have even argued that many points of contact can be found between Hegel’s conceptions of conscience and moral subjectivity and historical and contemporary liberalism. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of an under-examined 1830 addition to the Philosophy of Spirit concerning the relation between religion and the state which proves particularly resistant to the kind of liberal interpretation of conscience which (...) Neuhouser provides. I assess the significance of Hegel’s argument for the “inseparability” of ethical and religious conscience for liberal interpretations. I conclude by arguing that we can identify a kind of consistency between the Philosophy of Right and the later writings and lectures, but that Hegel’s conception of conscience is incompatible with contemporary political liberalism. (shrink)