Self-Consciousness and the Critique of the Subject: Hegel, Heidegger, and the Poststructuralists

Hardcover | August 26, 2014

bySimon Lumsden

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Poststructuralists hold Hegel responsible for giving rise to many of modern philosophy's problematic concepts-the authority of reason, self-consciousness, the knowing subject. Yet, according to Simon Lumsden, this animosity is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of Hegel's thought, and resolving this tension can not only heal the rift between poststructuralism and German idealism but also point these traditions in exciting new directions.

Revisiting the philosopher's key texts, Lumsden calls attention to Hegel's reformulation of liberal and Cartesian conceptions of subjectivity, identifying a critical though unrecognized continuity between poststructuralism and German idealism. Poststructuralism forged its identity in opposition to idealist subjectivity; however, Lumsden argues this model is not found in Hegel's texts but in an uncritical acceptance of Heidegger's characterization of Hegel and Fichte as "metaphysicians of subjectivity." Recasting Hegel as both post-Kantian and postmetaphysical, Lumsden sheds new light on this complex philosopher while revealing the surprising affinities between two supposedly antithetical modes of thought.

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Poststructuralists hold Hegel responsible for giving rise to many of modern philosophy's problematic concepts-the authority of reason, self-consciousness, the knowing subject. Yet, according to Simon Lumsden, this animosity is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of Hegel's thought, and resolving this tension can not only heal the...

Simon Lumsden is senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is recipient of fellowships from the DAAD and the Australian Research Council and has published widely on German idealism, phenomenology, and poststructuralism.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:August 26, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231168225

ISBN - 13:9780231168229

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsAbbreviationsIntroduction1. The Metaphysics of Presence and the Worldless Subject: Heidegger's Critique of Modern Philosophy2. Fichte's Striving Subject3. Hegel: Self-Consciousness and Self-Determination4. Heidegger, Care, and Selfhood5. Derrida and the Question of Subjectivity6. The Dialectic and Transcendental Empiricism: Deleuze's Critique of HegelConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

The great strength of Simon Lumsden's analysis is that it straddles a number of different philosophical worlds. Though writing from a largely Hegelian perspective, Lumsden has the audacity to wander about in other fields and consider other figures-that is, to venture outside the confines of his academic territory. Self-Consciousness and the Critique of the Subject is a highly disciplined work. It focuses on the status of the subject in the five philosophers that it analyzes and brings those thinkers into a confrontation with each other in a way that charts a new path for our understanding of German idealism and poststructuralism.