Discursive Subject Roles

  • Tomas Marttila


The concept of subject originates from the Latin word “subjectum” and denotes something being “thrown under” or succumbed to a subordinate role vis-à-vis something else (Critchley, 1999, p. 51). In other words, the etymology of the subject bears witness to the assumption about the relational contingency on any socially meaningful entity stemming from the post-foundational ontology (of the subject) and being a typical feature of the post-foundational discourse theory. More precisely, subjectivity qua social subjects’ socially meaningful existence comes into being as the subsequent outcome of their definition in a discourse. Relational ontology of meaning makes it impossible to refer to social subjects as “rational transparent entit[ies]” that could make any meaningful observations of reality regardless of their subjectivation into discourse-specific subject roles and in a voluntaristic manner draw the distinctions between valid and invalid conceptions of the world (Mouffe, 2005b[1993], p. 75). At this point, I would like to explain some of the key concepts related to the conceptualization of the subjectivity in post-foundational discourse theory.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Tomas Marttila 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Marttila
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BambergGermany

Personalised recommendations