Structuralism, Poststructuralism & the Pure Form of the Subject

Instructor: Katerina Kolozova
Program: Critical Philosophy
Credit(s): 1
Date: Saturday, November 25, December 2, 9, 16
Time: 1 PM EST

Katerina Kolozova: Structuralism, Poststructuralism & the Pure Form of the Subject

DESCRIPTION: The course will revisit some of the themes present in my publication from 2014, The Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy (New York: Columbia University Press). We will focus mostly on the question of subjectivation. It will be based on a close reading of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault, and in particular of what I see as the amalgamation of their theses, namely Psychic Life of Power (1997) by Butler. We will do so through the lenses of de Saussure’s structuralism, Marx’s objectivism and Irigaray’s critique of the speculative reason. The crisis of the poststructuralist theory of the subject is tackled in The Cut of the Real, and so it will be addressed once again, in the original terms of the book, but also enriched with some readings from de Sausure, Marx and Irigaray. The perspective of Francois Laruelle’s non-philosophy is the method that pervades the entire book and will be one of the main methodological backdrops in the course as well. In that way, the course will function as yet a careful pedagogically conceived intro in Laruelle’s method.

Required Readings: Structuralism, poststructuralism and the pure form

Butler, Judith (1997) Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Redwood City CA: Stanford University Press.

de Saussure, F. (1959) Course in General Linguistics. Ed. by Charles Bally and Albert Reidlinger. Trans. from the French by Wade Baskin. New York: Philosophical Library.

Foucault, Michel (1991) Discipline and Punish. Translated by Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin.

___.  Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” In Language, Counter-Memory, Practice:

Selected Essays and Interviews, edited by D. F. Bouchard. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977

Irigaray, Luce (1985) This Sex Which is Not One. Cornell University Press, 170-197.

Kolozova, Katerina. Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014), the first chapter.

Lacan, Jacques (1998) The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, ed. by Jacques-Alain Miller, trans. by Alan Sheridan, New York & London: W. W. Norton and Company

Laruelle, F. (2012) Théorie générale des victimes. Paris: Fayard.

___.  (2000) Introduction au non-marxisme. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

___. (1989) Philosophie et non-philosophie. Liège: Pierre Mardaga.

Levi Strauss, Claude (1966) Savage Mind.Chicago University Press.

Lukács, G. (1971) History and Class Consciousness. Rodney Livingstone (trans.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Marx, K. (1973) Grundrisse: Outlines of the Critique of Political Economy. Translated by Martin Nicolaus. New York: Penguin Books, 1973.

___. (1959) Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts 1844. Moscow: Progress Publishers (from the online version of the Marxist Internet Archive: 2000; 2007), URL (consulted April 2017): https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Economic-Philosophic-Manuscripts-1844.pdf

___. (1887) Capital: Volume I. Translated by Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, edited by Frederick Engels. Moscow: Progress Publishing (from the online version of the Marxist Internet Archive: 1995; 1999), URL (consulted April 2015=7): https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/

Meillassoux, M. (2008) After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency. Trans. from the French by Ray Brassier.  London: Bloomsbury.

Petrovic, G. (1983) “Reification,” In Tom Bottomore et al (eds.) A Dictionary of Marxist Thought.Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Sohn-Rethel, A. (1978) Intellectual and Manual Labor: Critique of Epistemology. London: Macmillan.

Wittgenstein, L. (1922) Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd, available at Gutenberg project.


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