Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency by Thomas DochertyConfessions: The Philosophy of Transparency by Thomas Docherty

Confessions: The Philosophy of Transparency

byThomas Docherty

Hardcover | August 1, 2012

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This book explores what is at stake in our confessional culture. Thomas Docherty examines confessional writings from Augustine to Montaigne and from Sylvia Plath to Derrida, arguing that through all this work runs a philosophical substratum - the conditions under which it is possible to assert a confessional mode - that needs exploration and explication. Docherty outlines a philosophy of confession that has pertinence for a contemporary political culture based on the notion of 'transparency'. In a postmodern 'transparent society', the self coincides with its self-representations. Such a position is central to the idea of authenticity and truth-telling in confessional writing: it is the basis of saying, truthfully, 'here I take my stand'. The question is: what other consequences might there be of an assumption of the primacy of transparency? Two areas are examined in detail: the religious and the judicial. Docherty shows that despite the tendency to regard transparency as a general social and ethical good, our contemporary culture of transparency has engendered a society in which autonomy (or the very authority of the subject that proclaims 'I confess') is grounded in guilt, reparation and victimhood.
Thomas Docherty is Professor of English at Warwick University. He has published on most areas of English and comparative literature from the renaissance to the present day. He specializes in the philosophy of literary criticism, in critical theory, and in cultural history in relation primarily to European philosophy and literatures. So...
Title:Confessions: The Philosophy of TransparencyFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:August 1, 2012Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1849666598

ISBN - 13:9781849666596

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Table of Contents

Part One: Now 'This Thing of Darkness I Acknowledge Mine' Official Identity and Clandestine Experience Part Two: Dilatory Time The Ecology of Anguish Down to Zero Part Three: The Political Condition of Confession My Language

Editorial Reviews

Thomas Docherty has long been not only one of our most significant, provocative and original cultural critics, but one of the most consistent. In this, his latest foray into his chosen intellectual terrain, he deploys some of his key concepts ? the event, radical historicity, becoming as heterogeneous flux ? as a basis for a sustained interrogation of the history and supposed virtue of the idea of confession. The result is a learned, sophisticated and powerful counterblast to a culture whose demand for immediate transparency is inseparable from a range of disabling fetishes, from management and security to space and speed, `truth and reconciliation' and, above all, identity and identity-politics. Everyone should read it.