A Genealogy of the Subject as Posthumanism avant la lettre
If the constitution of the modern subject is indebted to Descartes’ self-grounding and self-positing of the subject of thought and knowledge, this article discusses how some of the period’s libertines and moralists in the wake of Montaigne articulated a counter-discourse to this dominating form of subjectivity. I argue that they point to a pathway for the modern subject grounded in an art of existence rather than in Descartes’ cogito. Special attention is given to their reception of Montaigne’s critique of human sovereignty. Focussing on the discussion about the animal-human relationship in Descartes and La Fontaine, but also on the latter’s relationship to Madame de Sablière as well as to the period’s court society and salon culture in general, the article’s purpose is to highlight the plurality of early modern subjectivity, and its relevance for current theories of posthumanism and critique of the modern subject.
The article discusses recent Scandinavian research contributions in the light of an on-going debate about interdisciplinary studies on law and literature. What does, or should, the ‘and’ in ‘law and literature studies’ entail? This question not only concerns the field’s two objects, law and literature, but also the interdisciplinarity between juridical science and literary studies that it presupposes: what are the points of contact between law and literature; in what ways do they oppose each other, and how can the intersections between them be productively explored? The law and literature movement has become an international, broad field of study since its formation in the USA in the 1970s. This article is concerned primarily with its development in a contemporary Norwegian and Nordic context. The first part of the article explores the somewhat tabloid story of the field’s decline that unfolded in Norwegian media during 2016. The second discusses recent research contributions, in order to suggest productive ways in which to develop law and literature studies, by telling a story of renewal rather than one of decline.
In this paper I intend to establish a link between Ibsen's play The Doll's House and Hegel's theory of the modern bourgeois family, such as expressed in The Philosophy of Right (1821). The play will be read as a moral critique of the bourgeois marriage, in which Ibsen, through Nora's revolt, shows the inadequacy of Hegel's consept of marriage as ethical love. The main point is that the ethical value of the family cannot be maintained in an institution in which the wife is not recognized as a moral subject. Ibsen's critique makes use of key concepts in Hegel's philosophy of right, such as the dichotomy of ethical life vs. morality and the dichotomy of family vs. civil society. It questions Hegel's opinion that the education of children, as a joint effort, makes marriage into a relationship based on mutual recognition.