Disputed Subjects analyzes some of the assumptions behind the contemporary attraction to rationalistic notions of justice and knowledge and discusses why modernity cannot be emancipatory. The effects of gender relations in constituting modern political ideas and theories of knowledge are explored, while at the same time the author identifies problematic aspects of discourses such as psychoanalysis, postmodernism and feminist theorizing. Flax pays special attention to recurrent difficulties concerning maternity, sexuality and race within feminist theorizing, and she addresses the inadequacies of postmodernist accounts of subjectivity and gender. She analyzes psychoanalysis as a discursive formation to identify its particular organization of knowledge and power.
`Jane Flax is one of the most challenging women writing today. Disputed Subjects carries her reflections on a wide variety of subjects…it is the well-informed voice of sanity, balance and courage' - Phyllis Grosskurth, University of Toronto
Overview/Reflections 1 Minerva's Owl Psychoanalysis 2 Final Analysis: Can Psychoanalysis Survive in the Postmodern West 3 Forgotten Forms of Close Combat: Mothers and Daughters Revisited Politics and Philosophy 4 Is Enlightenment Emancipatory 5 Multiples: On the Contemporary Politics of Subjectivity 6 The Play of Justice In-conclusion 7 The End of Innocence