This wide ranging and challenging book explores the relationshipbetween subjectivity and mortality as it is understood by a numberof twentieth-century French philosophers including Sartre, Lacan, Levinas and Derrida.
Making intricate and sometimes unexpectedconnections, Christina Howells draws together the work of prominentthinkers from the fields of phenomenology and existentialism, religious thought, psychoanalysis, and deconstruction, focussing inparticular on the relations between body and soul, love and death, desire and passion.
From Aristotle through to contemporary analytic philosophy andneuroscience the relationship between mind and body (psyche andsoma, consciousness and brain) has been persistently recalcitrantto analysis, and emotion (or passion) is the locus where theexplanatory gap is most keenly identified.
This problematic formsthe broad backdrop to the work's primary focus oncontemporary French philosophy and its attempts to understand theintimate relationship between subjectivity and mortality, in thelight not only of the 'death' of the classical subjectbut also of the very real frailty of the subject as it lives on, finite, desiring, embodied, open to alterity and always incomplete.Ultimately Howells identifies this vulnerability and finitude asthe paradoxical strength of the mortal subject and as what permitsits transcendence.
Subtle, beautifully written, and cogently argued, this book will beinvaluable for students and scholars interested in contemporarytheories of subjectivity, as well as for readers intrigued by theperennial connections between love and death.