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Synopsis

This classic work by one of the most important philosophers and critics of our time charts the genesis and trajectory of the desiring subject from Hegel’s formulation in Phenomenology of Spirit to its appropriation by Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze, and Foucault. Judith Butler plots the French reception of Hegel and the successive challenges waged against his metaphysics and view of the subject, all while revealing ambiguities within his position. The result is a sophisticated reconsideration of the post-Hegelian tradition that has predominated in modern French thought.

Butler’s study remains a provocative and timely intervention in contemporary debates on the unconscious, the powers of subjection, and the subject. This edition features a foreword by French philosophical scholar Philippe Sabot, which accompanied the French edition of Subjects of Desire and was widely praised for its keen understanding of Butler’s insight and legacy. This is the first translation of the foreword into English.

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