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Subjects of Desire


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A new, critically-situated edition of the genre-breaking work that recast modern French thought.

About the Author

Judith Butler is the Maxine Eliot Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, and Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. Her books include Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism; The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere; Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity; and Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. Philippe Sabot is lecturer in philosophy at the Charles De Gaulle University-Lille 3 in Lille, France.


Butler's book... is an outstanding one, and deserves to be read by anyone interested in the question of the survival(s) of Hegel in contemporary French philosophy.Annals of Scholarship Annals of Scholarship [Butler] writes clearly and without jargon... The impact of Butler's work is immense.The French ReviewThe French Review The French Review Subjects of Desire gives evidence of long reflection on important texts and issues in the Continental tradition. There is a sure-footedness of judgment here that historians ought to envy. The Journal of Modern History What [Butler's] 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. The Philosophical Review

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