KEITH CHARLES PHEBY, Marquette University


Perhaps, one might argue, Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit represents the commencement of a radical shift of emphasis concerning the way that we approach the question of subjectivity. Unlike Kant, for whom history had little part to play in providing a concept of the self, the Hegelian insistence that selfhood is to be construed as a dynamic, thoroughly historical notion, has led, via a diaspora of speculative postures, to the current polemic between hermeneutics and deconstruction. This study constitutes an attempt to formulate a conception of the self which is anti-metaphysical in that it opposes any essentialist reading of the notion of selfhood, yet takes seriously the need to posit a conception of the self which addresses the social and political demands of our epoch. I argue for an inherent interrelation between the 'subject' and what I term 'global responsibility'. The general framework for the study is the various strategies that have been developed in recent years in the fields of hermeneutics and deconstruction. Thus, I examine both the ways in which these enterprises seriously undermine essentialism (of all varieties) and a fortiori, the ways in which the essentialist picture of the self is critiqued. Given that the form of the study is systematic rather than historical, the writers that I deploy (Heidegger, Derrida and Foucault primarily) serve as catalysts for my formulation of a notion of 'global responsibility'.

Recommended Citation

PHEBY, KEITH CHARLES, "DECONSTRUCTION, PRAXIS AND THE CONCEPT OF SELF" (1986). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8618716.