Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

^yNTiL RECENTLY, Martin Heidegger's philosophy attracted and repelled, with equal intensity, a large number of American readers. To his admirers, Heidegger was one of the great philosophers in history, the thinker who understood most clearly the impasse that Western technological civilization is supposed to have reached, who may have had a glimpse, if only dimly, of another world. To his detractors, Heidegger was an obscurantist with...

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Translator's Note

M. B. DeBevoise

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pp. xix-xx

T THE TRANSLATION of this impressively learned, closely argued, and highly individual work was begun several years ago by Franklin Philip, who had previously translated books by Alain Renaut (and by Luc Ferry) for the University of Chicago Press. It subsequently fell to me to complete and thoroughly revise Philip's draft manuscript. My aim, in keeping with the policy of the series editors, has been...

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Preface

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pp. xxi-xxxii

AT LAST the moment has come for someone to find the time and the means to work through the question of the subject in its full extent and difficulty. I propose to do this by inquiring into its history. My inquiry takes the form of a philosophical history of modernity, particularly of modern philosophy. Academic tradition has too often accustomed us to regarding—even practicing—the history...

I. Readings of Modernity

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pp. 3-4

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1. Heidegger: The Reign of the Subject

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pp. 5-30

THE CONTEMPORARY interpretation of the history of modernity, which sees this as a perpetually consolidated reign of subjectivity, is profoundly marked by the Heideggerian deconstruction of the modern history of philosophy and, more generally, of modern culture. We find direct or indirect traces of this influence in thinkers as different as Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, Michel Foucault...

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2. Dumont: The Triumph of the Individual

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pp. 31-60

THE ATTEMPT to bring an individualistic approach to bear upon a philosophical history of modernity runs into major methodological difficulties. First, the term "individualism" is notoriously imprecise. Max Weber was correct to say that it "includes the most heterogeneous things imaginable." To get some idea of its multiplicity, think of the various terms with which it can be paired...

II. Logic of Philosophy

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pp. 61-62

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3. Leibniz: The Monadological Idea and the Birth of the Individual

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pp. 63-89

BY SETTING this philosophical history of subjectivity in the context of a "logic of philosophy," I mean both to indicate the sort of usefulness it might have and also to expose it straight away to the kind of objections that it cannot help but invite. To my mind, it is clear that the logic of philosophy brings out the interpretative dimension of history: that is to say, the meaning of history....

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4. Berkeley and Hume: The Empiricist Monadologies and the Dissolution of the Subject

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pp. 90-116

THE DISCUSSION of classical empiricism that follows is intended to sharpen my chief working hypothesis: if the decisive turning point in modern philosophy leading from the affirmation of the subject to that of the individual is found in the emergence of the monadological problem, we should find signs of this problem outside of its original setting—outside the context given it by...

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5. Hegel and Nietzsche: Development of the Monadologies

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pp. 117-140

WHAT JUSTIFICATION is there for associating Hegel and Nietzsche, who in many ways—beginning with their antithetical positions on rationality— are philosophical opposites?1 We know Heidegger's verdict: united by what separated them, Hegelianism and Nietzscheanism matched up as two indissolubly linked moments...

III. Transcendence and Autonomy: The End of the Monadologies

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pp. 141-142

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Preamble: Phenomenology and Criticism

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pp. 143-144

CONTEMPORARY philosophy is full of attempts to overcome its past: one consequence of the dominant interpretation of this past has been that "overcoming metaphysics"—a move that for the great post-Hegelian philosophies has been almost obligatory (if only to the extent that, in Hegel, the completion of the system....

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6. Levinas: The Rupture of Immanence

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pp. 145-168

AT is WELL KNOWN that the theme of otherness is central to the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas. I shall not review all its underpinnings here, nor attempt to point out all its ramifications; instead I shall concentrate only on the antimonadological import of this theme and its relation to a possible revival of the question of the subject. Alluding to "the crisis of humanism in our age," Levinas refuses to...

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7. Kant: The Horizon of Transcendence

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pp. 169-202

THE NEED for the subject to think of itself as auto-nomous is inseparable from a modernity in which ethical, juridical, and political values are not received from a natural order of things already containing them, but are self-groundedor self-established as norms that humanity gives itself, constitutive of intersubjectivity...

Notes

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pp. 203-242

Bibliography

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pp. 243-252

Index

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pp. 253-260

About the author

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pp. 261-261