After Poststructuralism: Reading, Stories and Theory by Colin Davis

By Colin Davis

Within the final many years of the 20th century, French poststructuralist 'theory' reworked the arts; it additionally met with resistance and at the present time we regularly listen that concept is 'dead'.In this brilliantly argued quantity, Colin Davis:*reconsiders key arguments for and opposed to concept, picking out major misreadings*reassesses the contribution of poststructuralist suggestion to the severe problems with wisdom, ethics, wish and identity*sheds new mild at the paintings of Jean-François Lyotard, Emmanuel Levinas, Louis Althusser and Julia Kristeva in a beautiful sequence of readings*offers a clean point of view on fresh debates round the dying of theory.In last he argues that thought may well swap, however it won't depart. After poststructuralism, then, comes the afterlife of poststructuralism.Wonderfully available, this can be an account of the previous and current fortunes of concept, appropriate for somebody studying, instructing, or learning within the box. And but it's even more than this. Colin Davis presents a fashion ahead for the arts - a fashion ahead during which concept will play an important half.

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After Poststructuralism: Reading, Stories and Theory

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Hegel, however, did not follow up this promising line of thought. Instead, he conceived modernity as marked by the selfrelation of subjectivity, which carries with it individualism, the right to criticism, autonomy of action and the idealistic philosophy which addresses these issues (see 16–17). The subject is both the source of the divisions which beset the modern world and the agent which, through rational self-reflection, may solve them. The problem for Habermas here is that Hegel’s philosophy of the subject, in which the rational selfreflective subject is both the problem and its solution, overcomes the problems of modernity too effectively.

Habermas is anxious to ensure that his book escapes this fate so that, at least in his own case, there is no conflict between argumentative coherence and rhetorical success. Philosophy, for him, must not be confused with literature, and the philosopher’s rhetoric should remain in the service of reason. So Habermas’s formal concern in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity is to ensure that the design of his text serves his philosophical intentions. 11 Its main body consists of twelve lectures which follow a largely chronological progression from Hegel, through the attempts of left and right Hegelians to revise Hegel, to Nietzsche, the aporias of postmodernity, and finally to the ‘alternative way’ of Habermas himself.

To make progress with the unfinished project of modernity entails confronting the problems posed by Hegel and solving them better. As Habermas puts it, his work hopes to recall that of other postEnlightenment thinkers who ‘pursued the goal of enlightening the Enlightenment about its own narrow-mindedness’ (302). This involves picking up an element in the writings of the early Hegel and replacing subject-centred reason by communicative reason. ‘Pure reason’ is now rejected as a meaningless concept.

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