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Title: The infinite subject : the transcendence of subjectivity from Descartes to Derrida
Author: Rossiter, Andrew E. H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 0849
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 1997
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The aim of this thesis is to describe how the concept of the subject and subjectivity, in its necessary relation to the concept of infinity, is envisaged in the work of Jaques Derrida. His idea of deconstruction has challenged accepted notions of the subject, giving rise to new ways of describing the production of knowledge and meaning. Thus his interpretations of the subject, in its various forms, have been used to construct a representation of the subject which cannot be reduced to its traditional conceptualisation. The thesis consists of a series of "deconstructive" readings based on Derrida's earlier, more theoretical essays on the interpretation of the subject and subjectivity. This set of readings is meant both to describe the logical possibilities of thinking the concept of the subject offered by deconstruction, and to trace the movement of thought that Derrida's early writings instigate. The thesis consists of an introduction which outlines the theoretical problems and approaches to thinking the concept of the subject and subjectivity. The main body comprises four sections, the first being a short conceptual history of the subject from Descartes, Kant and Hegel. The second describes the possibility of establishing a relation of the subject to an objective world, and centres on Husserl's concept of the phenomenological subject. The third describes the possibility of establishing an objective sense in relation to subjective thought, and deals with Foucault's socio-historical account of the Cartesian Cogito. The fourth describes the possibility of providing a true description of the subject's meaning in a reading of Lacan. The thesis concludes with a description of the necessary relation of the concept of the subject to the concept of a transcendent infinity, and how this relation makes possible, and is more "original" than, traditional conceptions of the subject.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available