By Richard Eldridge
The essays during this quantity discover the ways that conventional philosophical difficulties approximately self-knowledge, self-identity, and cost have migrated into literature because the Romantic and Idealist sessions. In a wide-ranging severe and philosophical dialogue, the individuals provide a philosophical figuring out of the roots and nature of up to date literary and philosophical perform, and difficult robust and influential, yet infrequently decisively articulated, conceptions of the human topic and of price.
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Extra resources for Beyond Representation: Philosophy and Poetic Imagination (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and the Arts)
It is not that there is an ahistorical feminine style - involving, say, gentleness and emotional attunement - into which woman writers naturally fall. To think this, Battersby argues, is to essentialize away history and its possibilities of alternative subject positions. But there is nonetheless a specifically female, not feminine, subject position that is evident in the poetry of Mary Elizabeth Coleridge and the theoretical writings of Luce Irigaray. This female subject position is specifically historically allotted to members of the female sex, who are forced by their sex 25 Richard Eldridge (itself partly a constructed, partly a given category, involving Battersby suggests - an interfusion of metaphysics and history) to react against a specific literary and philosophical tradition.
From what perspective could one be in a position to say what Kant says in these passages ... " A similar internal strain, Bates argues, also troubles Hegel's efforts to combine a conception of human subjects as always acculturated, acculturating self-revising subjects with the claim that we have arrived as human subjects at Absolute Knowledge that includes our full and final knowledge of ourselves. Once we trace out the internal strains that trouble these Kantian and Hegelian efforts to characterize our position once and for all, while yet acknowledging our lack of direct and unmediated contact with anything ultimate, then we can see, Bates suggests, that our position as subjects in nature and culture, as well as how to enact that position, is always a problem for us.
Surprising things can happen, in the arts, in the sciences, in politics, and in daily life. Jackson Pollock produces a drip painting, or the position and velocity of an electron turn out to be unmeasurable simultaneously, and we do not know what to say. Nor are we at ease with this. When some bit of experience thus challenges our concepts and our capacities to make sense, then we construe that experience as presenting a problem for us. Fleischacker persuasively analogizes our need to make new sense of surprising experiences to our need to arrive at a judgment about whether a contract may be enforced in various kinds of unforeseen and largely unforeseeable circumstances.
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