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Subjectivity is one of the central issues of twentieth-century philosophy, literature and art. Modernism, which “discovered” the subconscious, put an end to the belief in the Cartesian Subject as the autonomous centre of knowledge and self-consciousness. Instead, the subject became something uncontrollable, unreliable, incomplete and fragmentary. The attempts to recapture the unity of the subject led to the existential quest and the flight into ideology (nazism, communism).
Postmodernism, the cultural movement of the second half of the twentieth century, did not consider the subject any longer as an important category. Attention was focused on the “I” and the “Other”, on dialogism and polyphonism (Bakhtin). Ideology lost its appeal and so did the “great” stories (Lyotard).
In this issue of Avant-Garde Critical Studies the problem of subjectivity in twentieth-century culture is discussed from various angles by specialists in the field of philosophy, literature, film, music and dance.
The notion of subjectivity is one of the most fundamental notions for modern philosophy that only gains in importance in present-day discussions. This volume gathers essays from both young and senior researchers that examine which role subjectivity plays in both classical and contemporary phenomenology. The essays discuss the importance of a phenomenological account of subjectivity for the nature and the status of phenomenology but they also discuss how the phenomenological account of the subject offers new perspectives on themes from practical philosophy and from the philosophy of mind. Thus, this volume does not only show how multifaceted the question of subjectivity is but also how important this theme continues to be for present-day philosophy.
Subjectivity in Language and in Discourse deals with the linguistic encoding and discursive construction of subjectivity across languages and registers. The aim of this book is to complement the highly specialized, parallel and often separate research strands on the phenomenon of subjectivity with a volume that gives a forum to diverse theoretical vantage points and methodological approaches, presenting research results in one place which otherwise would most likely be found in substantially different publications and would have to be collected from many different sources. Taken together, the chapters in this volume reflect the rich diversity in contemporary research on the phenomenon of subjectivity. They cover numerous languages, colloquial, academic and professional registers, spoken and written discourse, diverse communities of practice, speaker and interaction types, native and non-native language use, and Lingua Franca communication. The studies investigate both already well explored languages and registers (e.g. American English, academic writing, conversation) and with respect to subjectivity, less studied languages (Greek, Italian, Persian, French, Russian, Swedish, Danish, German, Australian English) as well as many different communicative settings and contexts, ranging from conference talk, promotional business writing, academic advising, disease counselling to internet posting, translation, and university classroom and research interview talk. Some contributions focus on individual linguistic devices, such as pronouns, intensifiers, comment clauses, modal verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and their capacity of introducing the speaker's subjective perspective in discourse and interactional sequence; others examine the role of larger functional categories, such as hedging and metadiscourse, or interactional sequencing.
Towards the Reconstruction of a Materialist Theory of Law
Author: Sonja Buckel
On the basis of a reconstruction of legal theory in the tradition of Marx – a current that has been more or less silenced since the end of the 1970s – Subjectivation and Cohesion develops a critical counter-pole to the theories of law that predominate in social theory today.
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