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Renaut argues that modern philosophy contains within itself two opposed ways of conceiving the human person. The first, which has its roots in Descartes and Kant, views human beings as subjects capable of arriving at universal moral judgments. The second, stemming from Leibniz, Hegel, and Nietzsche, presents human beings as independent individuals sharing nothing with others. In a careful recounting of this philosophical tradition, Renaut shows the resonances of these traditions in more recent philosophers such as Heidegger and in the social anthropology of Louis Dumont.
Renaut's distinction between individualism and subjectivity has become an important issue for young thinkers dissatisfied with the intellectual tradition originating in Nietzsche and Heidegger. Moreover, his proclivity toward the Kantian tradition, combined with his insights into the shortcomings of modernity, will interest anyone concerned about today's shifting cultural attitudes toward liberalism.
|Pt. 1||Readings of Modernity|
|Ch. I||Heidegger: The Reign of the Subject||3|
|Ch. II||Dumont: The Triumph of the Individual||29|
|Pt. 2||Logic of Philosophy|
|Ch. III||Leibniz: The Monadological Idea and the Birth of the Individual||61|
|Ch. IV||Berkeley and Hume: The Empiricist Monadologies and the Dissolution of the Subject||88|
|Ch. V||Hegel and Nietzsche: Development of the Monadologies||115|
|Pt. 3||Transcendence and Autonomy: The End of the Monadologies|
|Preamble: Phenomenology and Criticism||141|
|Ch. VI||Levinas: The Rupture of Immanence||143|
|Ch. VII||Kant: The Horizon of Transcendence||167|