This book re-examines the philosophical and personal writings of Descartes from a modernist standpoint, combining philosophical, literary and historical styles of analysis. It is original especially in the way it reveals the rhetorical and literary artifices used to express philosophical arguments.
Professor Judovitz begins by considering the status of 'the subject' in Descartes' writing, along with the representational procedures employed in his elaboration of a theory of subjectivity. The simplicity and seriousness of these questions is kept in sight throughout the complex analyses which follow.
The author shows how subjectivity and representation, which have been essential to both the definition and the critiques of modernism, were originally articulated in the work of Descartes, and through it affected both the philosophical and literary traditions.
This text makes an important contribution to the contemporary continental debate on postmodernism.
Peg Birmingham, Pace University
1. From self to subject: Montaine to Descartes
2. The epistemological model and representation
3. Theory of the subject as literary practice
4. The metaphysics of subjectivity
5. The crisis of modernism
Cambridge Studies in French (Book 23)
Published (c) 1988
Available in Hardcover ($26.74)