Against Liberalism: The Social and Political Consequences of the Theory of the Subject

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dc.contributor.advisor Jones, Campbell Castano Gallego, Julian A 2021-08-25T02:45:45Z 2021-08-25T02:45:45Z 2021 en
dc.description.abstract The aim of this thesis is to understand how individualism became cemented in contemporary philosophical, political, economic and moral thought. Understanding where exactly the locus is, we can attempt to dismantle it once and for all so that a site can be created to construct relational spaces where both ourselves and the world can flourish. This thesis identifies two different trajectories that originate in the Enlightenment in terms of thinking through the theory of the subject, the self or the individual: the subject as insular on the one hand and as collective on the other. The first trajectory presents the subject as dematerialised and informed by the division between subject and objects but also between subjects. As such the subject can only relate in the negative, that is, the subject returning to itself in order to represent the other. Here the early modern subject and its liberal offspring are presented. The second trajectory evidences the deep relationality from which the subject is constituted, here, transindividuality finds its heightened expression through Spinoza’s dismantling of this first trajectory. This second trajectory emphasises on the interconnection between subject and objects that are nonetheless obscured in our current epoch and also argues that in order for relations and the world to flourish, we need to move beyond the capitalist mode of production. This project argues for the later trajectory and against the former but also attempts to show how the former has become the fulcrum from which liberal theories stem today. Once these two trajectories are clearly drawn, they will be intersected in the last two chapters of this thesis, in theory and practice, in order to evidence that liberal conceptions of justice are unable to provide a stable solution to local and global issues and to intimate how a transindividual interpretation not only helps in bringing these issues to light but provide a conceptual and practical opening for radical change. Through transindividuality we therefore can evidence the alienation that obscures the relations of subjects to objects and to other people, relations that constantly obtain under the current mode of production which liberal political and economic positions obscure through the figure of the individual.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA en
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dc.title Against Liberalism: The Social and Political Consequences of the Theory of the Subject
dc.type Thesis en Politics and International Relations The University of Auckland en Masters en 2021-06-24T05:35:30Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
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