Research Seminar in Post-Kantian European Philosophy, 2013/2014
Unless otherwise stated, Post-Kantian European Philosophy Research Group seminars take place on Tuesdays, 5:30–7:00pm in Room S0.11 (ground floor of Social Studies). All welcome.
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The fundamental problem for political philosophy today, Deleuze and Guattari claim inAnti-Œdipus, remains the one that Spinoza saw so clearly when he raised the question of the conditions under which “human beings fight for their own servitude as if they were fighting for their deliverance, and will not think it humiliating but supremely glorious to spill their blood and sacrifice their lives for the glorification of one man.” The question, in other words, is that of knowing how, independently of the exercise of physical force or coercion, subjects can desire their own servitude. This paper (co-written with C. Bottici) aims to do three things: a. define voluntary servitude and reveal the mechanisms of what Spinoza calls “superstition;” b. show how Spinoza sees the creation of the Hebraic state in theTheological-Political Treatiseas an example of superstition; draw an analogy between the theocratic organisation of desire described by Spinoza and neoliberalism as the contemporary and dominant regime of desire.