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  • Low Modernities

    Riccardo Baldissone

    Chapter from the book: Baldissone, R. 2018. Farewell to Freedom: A Western Genealogy of Liberty.


    German idealist thinkers’ inflation of the modern concept of freedom reveal it as a mere hyperbole, which can be realized either as absolute compulsion or in the absence of others. The chapter recounts Hegel’s ultimate endeavour to integrate freedom within a framework of evolving historical necessity. The reaction to the Hegelian dynamic totalization opens the way to a variety of theoretical challenges to the very notions of subject and will, which are the cornerstones of the medieval and modern constructions of freedom. From Stirner on, a veritable fault-line opens up between the pursuit of a conceptual definition of liberty and the attempt to rethink freedom as the human production of novelty. Whilst Marx anchors this production to material processes, Nietzsche takes further Stirner’s questioning of ideas by challenging the oneness of the Western subject. In turn, Bergson claims the impossibility to translate the notion of freedom into a language of extension, which constructs time on the model of quantified space.

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    Baldissone, R. 2018. Low Modernities. In: Baldissone, R, Farewell to Freedom. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book15.d

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    Published on July 23, 2018