John McCumber asserts that the true target of philosophical liberation is to break the structures of domination that have been encoded in western civilization. Because of the emancipatory nature of their thought, Derrida, Foucault, Habermas, and Rorty challenge domination, but they do not see their challenge clearly and it does not rise to the level of conscious critique in their writings. Using Nietzsche's writings on "the great liberation" as a starting point, McCumber captures the valuable, but elusive insights of these thinkers and places them in the larger, pluralistic movement toward philosophical freedom.
Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction: The Great Demarcation 1. Challenges to Ousia in the Work of Jacques Derrida 2. The Privilege of Presence and the Derridean Knot 3. Ousiodic Structure vs. the Speech Community in Richard Rorty 4. Irony and Redescription as Challenges to Ousia 5. Centrality as a Challenge to Ousia in Jrgen Habermas 6. Universality, Centrality, and the Theory of Communicative Action 7. Michel Foucault's Challenges to Ousia 8. Challenge and Description in Foucault 9. The Great Demarcation and the Situation of Freedom Notes Bibliography Index
John McCumber is Professor of German at Northwestern University. He is author of Poetic Interaction, The Company of Words, and Metaphysics and Oppression. (Indiana University Press).