The Subject Of Philosophy

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

The Subject of Philosophy presents a sustained examination of the relation between literature and philosophy with special emphasis on the problem of the subject and representation. Spanning the history of philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger, and addressing such major moments in the history of literature as Greek tragedy and German romanticism, The Subject of Philosophy repeatedly questions whether philosophy's very attempts to distinguish itself from literature are not conditioned and exceeded by a fundamental inextricability of the two.

In unusually thorough and lucid readings, Lacoue-Labarthe focuses on such issues as the nature of fiction and of figurative language, the fate of the 'work', the status of the author, the questions of madness, and the definition of gender. He broaches as well the analysis of mimesis, the most important concept of his later work and one that already gives to his persistent aesthetic preoccupations an ethical and political resonance.

The publication in English of these forceful essays will be welcomed by literary scholars and philosophers—especially those who, like Lacoue-Labarthe, are concerned less with philosophy's perennial pursuit of power than with what the inevitable shortcomings of that pursuit can teach us about philosophy itself, literature, and the relation between them.

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