Identity and Difference
John Locke and the Invention of Consciousness
By Etienne Balibar
(Verso, Hardcover, 9781781681350, 208pp.)
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Categories: Mind & Body
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John Locke’s foundational place in the history of British empiricism and liberal political thought is well established. So, in what sense can Locke be considered a modern European philosopher? Identity and Difference argues for reassessing this canonical figure. Closely examining the "treatise on identity" added to the second edition of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Étienne Balibar demonstrates Locke’s role in the formation of two concepts central to the metaphysics of the subject—consciousness and the self—and the complex philosophical, legal, moral and political nature of his terms.
With an accompanying essay by Stella Sandford, situating Balibar’s reading of Locke in the history of the reception of the Essay and within Balibar’s other writings on "the subject," Identity and Difference rethinks a crucial moment in the history of Western philosophy.
Étienne Balibar is a French Marxist philosopher and the most celebrated student of Louis Althusser. He is also one of the leading exponents of French Marxist philosophy and the author of Spinoza and Politics, The Philosophy of Marx and coauthor of Race, Nation and Class and Reading Capital.
Stella Sandford is Reader in Modern European Philosophy in the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University London. She is the author of several books including Plato and Sex and The Metaphysics of Love: Gender and Transcendence in Levinas. She is a longstanding member of the Radical Philosophy editorial collective and a member of the executive committee of the UK Society for Women in Philosophy.
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