Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France

Paperback | May 20, 1999

byJudith Butler

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This now classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the trajectory of desire and its genesis from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit through its appropriation by Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault, presenting how French reception of Hegel posed successive challenges to his metaphysics and view of the subject and revealed ambiguities within his position. Subjects of Desire provides a sophisticated account of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern France and remains timely in thinking about contemporary debates concerning desire, the unconscious, subjection, and the subject.

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From Our Editors

The post-Hegelian concept of desire, with its unconscious influences, subjection and objectification, still dominates in contemporary debates. Tracing the genesis of this philosophy from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, author and linguistics professor Judith Butler explores its influence on French thinkers. Subjects of Desire: Hegelia...

From the Publisher

This now classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the trajectory of desire and its genesis from Hegel's formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit through its appropriation by Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault, presenting how French reception of Hegel posed successive cha...

Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of many works, including Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection; and Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:268 pages, 9.12 × 6.5 × 0.68 inPublished:May 20, 1999Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231064519

ISBN - 13:9780231064514

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Table of Contents

Desire, Rhetoric, and Recognition in Hegel's Phenomenology of SpiritThe Ontology of DesireBodily Paradoxes: Lordship and BondageHistorical Desires: The French Reception of HegelKojève: Desire and Historical AgencyHyppolite: Desire, Transcience, and the AbsoluteFrom Hegel to SartreSartre: The Imaginary Pusuit of BeingImage, Emotion, and DesireThe Strategies of Pre-reflective Choice: Existential Desire in Being and NothingnessTrouble and Longing: The Circle of Sexual Desire in Being and NothingnessDesire and Recognition in Saint Genet and The Family IdiotThe Life and Death Struggles of Desire: Hegel and Contemporary French TheoryA Questionable Patrilieage: (Post-) Hegelian Themes in Derrida and FoucaultLacan: The Opacity of DesireDeleuze: From Slave Morality to Productive DesireFoucault: Dialectics UnmooredFinal Reflections on the "Overcoming" of Hegel

From Our Editors

The post-Hegelian concept of desire, with its unconscious influences, subjection and objectification, still dominates in contemporary debates. Tracing the genesis of this philosophy from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, author and linguistics professor Judith Butler explores its influence on French thinkers. Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France looks at the Hegelian influence on Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze and Focault.

Editorial Reviews

What her account suggests is that the most damaging aspect of contemporary French Hegel reception is that its highly critical emphasis on the metaphysical issues of identity, rationality, and historical closure have so obscured Hegel's original idealism, especially his theory of reflection, that the rejection of Hegel brings with it, with a kind of dialectical necessity, the return of the pre-Hegelian, even the pre-Kantian, a kind of naive hope for 'immediacy' and, paradoxically, a commitment to a realism that the idealist tradition was to have finished off.