Speaking of Freedom: Philosophy, Politics, and the Struggle for Liberation

Stanford University Press (2007)
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Speaking of Freedom analyzes the development of ideas about freedom and politics in contemporary French thought from existentialism to deconstruction, in relation to several of the most prominent twentieth century liberation struggles. It describes the paradox of freedom—that freedom "kills itself" in both thought and practice: in the attempt to theorize the indeterminate, and in the revolution or emancipatory discourse that dies as it hurries towards its utopian conclusion, rejecting one system only to be enslaved by another. Both the philosophical wariness of the concept of liberation that one finds in Foucault and Derrida, and the desire for freedom from oppression expressed by anti-colonialists and feminists, are shown to be necessary for political practice. The book thus provides a cogent analysis of some of the most difficult concepts of contemporary continental philosophy, along with a profound sense of engagement with liberation struggles



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Diane Enns
McMaster University

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