Ethico-political acts of desire

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2006
Balanuye, Çetin
The concept of desire has been central to most recent philosophical debates, in various forms and styles. I have argued in the present study that, one of the main motivations for this apparent interest in the concept of desire is the result of the increasing awareness of the shortcomings of those presuppositions revolving around an “autonomous subject”, “transcendence”, “representation”, and “moral subjectivity”. Desire, in this vein, is conceived and put into practice by the traditional philosophy as one among the other attributes that cannot be considered without reference to man. Desire as such is conceived as something that is necessarily controlled and managed by reason. Ethics and politics, in terms of these ill-conceived presuppositions, are narratives erected upon this tension that necessarily refers to a self-conscious subject and her subversive desires. I argue, in this study, for the possibility of imagining other variants of desire, i.e., something other than traditionally established debates, where desire is no longer conceived in strict reference to human beings. These novel accounts, which I will attempt to uncover, hope, will help us see in what ways desire can be considered within the concept of pure immanence and the realm post-humanist ethico-politics. Spinoza, Nietzsche and certainly Deleuze and Guattari are on this side. Desire, according to this non-tradition, belongs to immanence. In arguing for the legitimacy of two affirmative notions of desire, namely, that of immanent desire and embodied desire, I tried to establish a continuity between immanence (totality of bodies and constant differing) and embodied desire (singular intensities), and by means of which I have drawn attention to the importance of a new vision of ethics and politics that might work, not through the already established form of subjectivities, but through new forms of individuation and flow-like encounters of bodies. .

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Citation Formats
Ç. Balanuye, “Ethico-political acts of desire,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2006.