Contemporary French philosophy: modernity and the by Caroline Williams

By Caroline Williams

"Caroline Williams marks what's certain approximately twentieth Century French philosophy's interrogation of the topic and demonstrates its old continuity in a lucid, balanced and completely convincing way."
David wooden, Vanderbilt University

French philosophy and cultural conception proceed to carry a prestigious and influential place in eu suggestion. one of many primary topics of latest French philosophy is its obstacle with the theoretical and political prestige of the topic, a question which has been broached by means of structuralists and poststructuralists via an research of the development of the topic in and via language, discourse, energy and ideology.

Contemporary French Philosophy outlines the development of the topic in glossy philosophy, focusing particularly at the seminal paintings of Althusser, Lacan, Derrida and Foucault. The booklet interrogates probably the most influential views at the query of the topic to contest these postmodern voices which announce its disappearance or dying. It argues as a substitute that the query of the topic persists, even in these views which search to desert it altogether.

Providing a vast advent to the sphere and an unique research of a few of the main influential theorists of the twentieth century, the publication may be of serious curiosity to political and literary theorists, cultural historians, in addition to to philosophers.

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It is, Hegel writes, 'a bifurcation . . [t]he doubling which sets up opposition'. Both Substance and Subject (they are ultimately of the same mode for Hegel), contain their own negation. 50 This ontology is tied to history and this allows for a structural distinction between the self and the subject (which we may call consciousness and se//^-consciousness), a distinction which sets the subject on an arduous and self-alienating journey in search of satisfaction of a desire for self-recognition and self-consciousness, and a 30 C O N T E M P O R A R Y FRENCH PHILOSOPHY desire for the wisdom of Absolute Knowledge.

Consciousness does not extend outside of this milieu; the subject is not the creative agency of ideas nor the autonomous experience which, opposed to the object, creates the conditions of possibility for knowledge. '21 Similarly, 'in the mind there is no absolute, or free, will. 23 In contrast to Descartes, Spinoza understands mind and body (whilst they are separate domains) as two amongst an infinity of attributes of a common substance. Thought and extension must be viewed as modifications of the existence of this primary substance.

18 C O N T E M P O R A R Y FRENCH PHILOSOPHY structured by universal laws. The knowing subject was conceived as an absolute, transcendental being, 'a transcendental unity of apperception'; this subject became the condition for the possibility of knowledge. 15 Like Descartes, however, Kant recognized the limits of human experience as a source of absolute knowledge. Transcendental subjectivity is an ideal conception that cannot coincide with empirical, practical consciousness. Significantly, error, illusion and confusion remain, as they do in Descartes, potential disruptions to the security of self-certain forms of knowledge.

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