Despite, or quite possibly because of, the structuralist, post-structuralist, and deconstructionist critiques of subjectivity, master signifiers, and political foundations, contemporary philosophy has been marked by a resurgence in interest in questions of subjectivity and the political. Guided by the contention that different conceptions of the political are, at least implicitly, committed to specific conceptions of subjectivity while different conceptions of subjectivity have different political implications, this collection brings together an international selection of scholars to explore these notions and their connection. Rather than privilege one approach or conception of the subjectivity-political relationship, this volume emphasizes the nature and status of the and in the ‘subjectivity’ and ‘the political’ schema. By thinking from the place between subjectivity and the political, it is able to explore this relationship from a multitude of perspectives, directions, and thinkers to show the heterogeneity, openness, and contested nature of it. While the contributions deal with different themes or thinkers, the themes/thinkers are linked historically and/or conceptually, thereby providing coherence to the volume. Thinkers addressed include Arendt, Butler, Levinas, Agamben, Derrida, Kristeva, Adorno, Gramsci, Mill, Hegel, and Heidegger, while the subjectivity-political relation is engaged with through the mediation of the law-political, ethics-politics, theological-political, inside-outside, subject-person, and individual-institution relationships, as well as through concepts such as genius, happiness, abjection, and ugliness. The original essays in this volume will be of interest to researchers in philosophy, politics, political theory, critical theory, cultural studies, history of ideas, psychology, and sociology.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Introduction: Between Subjectivity and the Political
Gavin Rae and Emma Ingala
PART I: Political Subjectivities
1. The Limits of Nomos: Hannah Arendt on Law, Politics, and the Polis
2. From Hannah Arendt to Judith Butler: The Conditions of the Political
3. Between Failure and Redemption: Emmanuel Levinas on the Political
4. The Significant Nothing: Agamben, Theology, and Political Subjectivity
5. Aporias of Foreignness: Transnational Encounters through Cinema
PART II: Political Subjectivities
6. The Abject and the Ugly: Kristeva, Adorno, and the Formation of the Subject
7. Antonio Gramsci: Persons, Subjectivity, and the Political
Robert P. Jackson
8. Embodied Consciousness and Political Subjectivity in the work of Merleau-Ponty
Stephen A. Noble
9. John Stuart Mill and the Liberal Genius
10. Hegel’s Ethical Life and Heidegger’s ‘They’: How Political is the Self?
Antonio Gómez Ramos
Gavin Rae is Conex Marie Sklodowska-Curie Experienced Research Fellow at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Hegel, Sartre, and the Alienation of Human Being (Palgrave Macmillan: 2011), Ontology in Heidegger and Deleuze (Palgrave Macmillan: 2014), and The Problem of Political Foundations in Carl Schmitt and Emmanuel Levinas (Palgrave Macmillan: 2016).
Emma Ingala is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theoretical Philosophy and Vice-Dean of Academic Organization in the Faculty of Philosophy at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She specializes in post-structuralist thought, political anthropology, and psychoanalysis.
"This book offers an exciting new take on questions of the political and the subject, and the intersection at which they reciprocally constitute each other. It goes beyond the established post-structuralist and deconstructionist approaches that have dominated past discussions, holding together an array of heterogeneous perspectives and maintaining the contest among them. With contributions ranging across modern and contemporary political theory, political theology, political psychology, and more, this collection will speak to students from across humanities and social science disciplines where the question of the subject-political relation remains central."—Nathan Widder, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK