9674 - From Subject to Community: From Descartes to Nancy - This course will trace the thinking of the subject from Descartes to contemporary theory and will emphasize how the subject has been articulated in terms of community. It might at first appear that the philosophy of the subject traces a historical trajectory: from the subject to community, from Descartes to Nancy. But while the course will attempt to establish something like a genealogy, this will constitute neither a simple historical continuum nor a radical break in the history of thought. Rather, our readings of the earlier material (Descartes, Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, for instance) will be inflected by contemporary theory (including Derrida, Butler, and Nancy, among others) while this latter is situated in terms of-and indeed put into question by-the philosophical tradition that it inherits. Throughout the course, we will ask how a subject is constituted, what the stakes of its constitution are, and how it relates to the community, understood here not simply as a close social relation but as the subject's relation to others even at the level of its being as subject.
The central works for the course will likely include the following:
- Schelling, On the Essence of Human Freedom, Ages of the World.
- Heidegger, On Schelling's Treastise on Human Freedom, Being and Time (selections); Hölderlin's Hymn "The Ister"; Letter on Humanism.
- Nancy, The Experience of Freedom, The Inoperative Community, Being Singular Plural, L'Intrus; La mondialisation ou la création du monde.
We will read these works in conjunction with others, possibly:
- Rousseau, The Social Contract.
- Kant, political and historical essays.
- Marx, selected writings.
- Derrida, Politics of Friendship.
- Lingis, The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common.
- Blanchot, The Unavowable Community.
Also from this web page: