Spectral Nationality : Passages of Freedom from Kant to Postcolonial Literatures of Liberation - Cheah, Pheng

Spectral Nationality : Passages of Freedom from Kant to Postcolonial Literatures of Liberation

Pheng Cheah

Yayınevi: Columbia University Press

Yayın tarihi: 02/2003

ISBN: 9780231130196

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Tür: Genel Felsefe

  • Temin Süresi 28 - 42 iş günü

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This far-ranging attempt to rethink post-colonial theory's discussion of the nation and nationalism brings the problems of the postcolonial condition to bear on the philosophy of freedom. Closely identified with totalitarianism and fundamentalism, the nation-state has a tainted history of coercion, ethnic violence and even, as in ultranationalist Nazi Germany, genocide. Most contemporary theorists are therefore sceptical, if not altogether dismissive, of the idea of the nation and the related metaphor of the political body as an organism. Going against orthodoxy, Pheng Cheah retraces the universal-rationalist foundations and progressive origins of political organicism in the work of Kant and its development in philosophers in the German tradition such as Fichte, Hegel and Marx. Cheah argues that the widespread association of freedom with the self-generating dynamism of life and culture's power of transcendence is the most important legacy of this tradition. Addressing this legacy's manifestations in Fanon and Cabra's theories of anticolonial struggle and contemporary anticolonial literature, including the Buru Quartet by Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and the Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's nationalist novels, Cheah suggests that the profound difficulties of achieving freedom in the postcolonial world indicate the need to reconceptualize freedom in terms of the figure of the spectre, glimpsed and misunderstood by Marx and Derida, rather than the living organism.

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