Since the early seventies, European thinkers have departed notably from their predecessors in order to pursue analytical programs more thoroughly their own. Rethinking the Subject brings together in one volume some of the most influential writings of Foucault, Habermas, Bourdieu, Pizzorno, Macfarlane, and other authors whose ideas have had a worldwide influence in recent social theory. This anthology is testament to the central importance of three contemporary themes, each familiar to earlier thinkers but never definitively formulated or resolved. The first two concern the nature and modalities of power and legitimacy in society. The third, and most fundamental, deals with the nature and modalities of the "self" or "subject." These themes owe their special contemporary relevance to an array of events— from the collapse of colonialism to the birth of test-tube babies. James Faubion's introduction traces the historical context of these influential events and themes. It also traces the lineaments of a still inchoate intellectual movement, of which the anthology's contributors are the vanguard. Whether "modernist" or "post-modernist," this movement leads away from a "world-constituting subject," which in one guise or another has served as the ontological ground of social reflection and research since Kant. It points instead toward ontological pluralism and toward polythetic diagnostics of heterogeneous forces that constitute a multiplicity of worlds and subjects.
Foreword -- A Note on the Editing -- Credits -- Introduction -- Cultured Bodies -- Structures, Habitus, Practices -- Gender and Identity in the New Guinea Highlands -- Discipline -- Matters and Ideas -- Politics Unbound -- Progress Exposed as Fate? -- Modernity and the Planes of Historicity -- The Totalitarian Disease -- Individualism and the Ideology of Romantic Love -- The Contemporary Codification of Intimacy -- Acts and Reasons -- Communicative Versus Subject-Centered Reason -- The Contemporary Pragmatics of Scientific Knowledge -- Economies and Societies -- Post-Industrial Classes -- On Consumer Society