Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France

Overview

This now classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the trajectory of desire: its genesis from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit through its appropriation by Kojeve, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Subjects of Desire provides a sophisticated account of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern France and that remains relevant to contemporary debates concerning desire, the unconscious ...
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Subjects of Desire: Human Reflections in 20th Century France

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Overview

This now classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the trajectory of desire: its genesis from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit through its appropriation by Kojeve, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Subjects of Desire provides a sophisticated account of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern France and that remains relevant to contemporary debates concerning desire, the unconscious subjection, and the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

Allan Stoekl
Butler's book...is an outstanding one, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the question of the survival(s of Hegel in contemporary French philosophy.
Robert B. Pippin
What her account suggests is that the most damaging aspect of contemporary French Hegel reception is that its highly critical emphasis on the metaphysical issues of identity, rationality, and historical closure have so obscured Hegel's original idealism, especially his theory of reflection, that the rejection of Hegel brings with it, with a kind of dialectical necessity, the return of the pre-Hegelian, even the pre-Kantian, a kind of naive hope for 'immediacy' and, paradoxically, a commitment to a realism that the idealist tradition was to have finished off.
Annals of Scholarship
Butler's book... is an outstanding one, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the question of the survival(s) of Hegel in contemporary French philosophy.Annals of Scholarship
The French Review
[Butler] writes clearly and without jargon.... The impact of Butler's work is immense.The French ReviewThe French Review
The Journal of Modern History
Subjects of Desire gives evidence of long reflection on important texts and issues in the Continental tradition. There is a sure-footedness of judgment here that historians ought to envy.
The Philosophical Review
What [Butler's] account suggests is that the most damaging aspect of contemporary French Hegel reception is that its highly critical emphasis on the metaphysical issues of identity, rationality, and historical closure have so obscured Hegel's original idealism, especially his theory of reflection, that the rejection of Hegel brings with it, with a kind of dialectical necessity, the return of the pre-Hegelian, even the pre-Kantian, a kind of naive hope for 'immediacy' and, paradoxically, a commitment to a realism that the idealist tradition was to have finished off.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231064514
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Butler is the Maxine Eliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. Her books include Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism; The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere; Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; and Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death.

Philippe Sabot is lecturer in philosophy at the Charles De Gaulle University-Lille 3 in Lille, France.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition
Preface
Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Desire, Rhetoric, and Recognition in Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit 17
The Ontology of Desire 24
Bodily Paradoxes: Lordship and Bondage 43
2 Historical Desires: The French Reception of Hegel 61
Kojeve: Desire and Historical Agency 63
Hyppolite: Desire, Transience, and the Absolute 79
From Hegel to Sartre 92
3 Sartre: The Imaginary Pursuit of Being 101
Image, Emotion, and Desire 101
The Strategies of Pre-reflective Choice: Existential Desire in Being and Nothingness 121
Trouble and Longing: The Circle of Sexual Desire in Being and Nothingness 138
Desire and Recognition in Saint Genet and The Family Idiot 156
4 The Life and Death Struggles of Desire: Hegel and Contemporary French Theory 175
A Questionable Patrilineage: Post-Hegelian Themes in Derrida and Foucault 177
Lacan: The Opacity of Desire 186
Deleuze: From Slave Morality to Productive Desire 205
Foucault: Dialectics Unmoored 217
Final Reflections on the "Overcoming" of Hegel 230
Notes 239
Bibliography 253
Index 265
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