The Site of Our Lives: The Self and the Subject from Emerson to Foucault
SUNY Press, 1995 M01 1 - 385 pages
This book addresses the question of human uniqueness at a time when academic discourse has all but abandoned its long-held commitment to the value of individuality. Through an appraisal of the works of Emerson, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, and Foucault, the author establishes the ways in which the current critique of the self has grossly distorted the nature of the debate by reducing it to a simple choice between essential or constructed selves. Hans argues that the tradition that emerges from Emerson's work is based on a relational sense of the individual as much as it is devoted to the premise that we all have a specific form of integrity. Likewise, even though Nietzsche's critique of the fictional nature of the subject is the origin of contemporary visions of the fabricated self, Nietzsche is equally insistent that each of us is a productive uniqueness: we are all principles of selection whose links to the world embrace more than the social circumstances around us. Nietzsche's vision of our productive uniqueness is carried on in larger and smaller ways by Heidegger, Derrida, and Foucault, each of whom entertains a far more complex vision of the individual than those which currently dominate our ways of talking about what it means to be human.
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Site of Our Lives, The: The Self and the Subject from Emerson to Foucault
James S. Hans
Limited preview - 1995
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