Toward a Philosophy of the Impersonal

in Terms of the Political

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242641
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242689 | DOI:
Toward a Philosophy of the Impersonal

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Chapter 10 begins by illustrating how, as a response to globalization, political, philosophical, and juridical thought focuses upon the category of the person as the subject of modern, democratic human rights. This chapter argues that the more these discourses insist upon the ideology of the person, or exhibit a “personalist fundamentalism,” paradoxically, the more impossible human rights become. The gulf between man and rights that grows wider as twenty-first-century globalization progresses results not from an incomplete or unfulfilled ideology of the person, but instead from the persistence of it. The problem we face—the absolute impracticability of the rights of man as such—arises not because we haven't completely moved into the regime of the person but rather because we haven't yet left it behind.

Keywords: Impersonal; Personhood; Democracy; Human rights; Person; Semiperson; Nonperson; Roman law and citizenship; Becoming animal; Man and animal

Chapter.  4573 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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