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The Law of the Subject

  • Michael Ryan
Part of the Language, Discourse, Society book series (LDS)

Abstract

Post-structuralism is sometimes described as a critique of the humanist subject, the ‘man’ created by the Renaissance in a post-feudal, republican mercantile era and nurtured to the full extent of his powers in the era of capitalist liberalism. According to liberal humanism, the self comes into being independently of the social grounds in which it is located. In this conception, the way the self’s categories and word schemes are given to it by the culture is secondary to its psychological and political essence, an ideational and moral capacity that grounds man’s freedom of thought and action. The languages, taxonomies, and images of the mind are derivative features of a more primordial subjective substance. They are appended to free thought and action, but they in no way are constitutive of that rationality and freedom.

Keywords

Liberal Ideal Property Ownership Liberal Economic Liberal Concept Sovereign Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See M. Minow ‘Interpreting Rights’, Yale Law Journal, 96 (July 1987) 1860;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. J. W. Singer, ‘The Legal Rights Debate in Analytical Jurisprudence from Bentham to Hohfeld’, Wisconsin Law Review (1982) 975; andGoogle Scholar
  3. M. Tushnet, ‘An Essay on Rights’, Texas Law Review, 62 (May 1984) 1313.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    Q. Skinner, The Origins of Political Theory (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    See P. Bierne and R. Quinney (eds), Marxism and Law (New York: Wiley, 1982).Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    See L. Fuller, Legal Fictions (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1967).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    P. Lejeune, Le pacte autobiographique (Paris: Seuil, 1977).Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    For a discussion of related issues, see M. Sandel (ed), Liberalism and its Critics, (New York: New York University Press, 1984).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael Ryan 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityUSA

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