Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Mary Beth Mader
The primary purpose of the dissertation is to fill what I saw to be a gap in Hegelian scholarship, and in particular, in feminist critiques of Hegel. What I have found to be lacking in much of the literature on Hegel, and those that centerpiece his understanding of subjective differences, is that by isolating parts of his thought, they do not follow his work through to its conclusion, and in doing such, they critique him for a position he does not commit to. In reply, the dissertation assumes a double gesture: I take up the feminist concern with difference generally speaking, but also surpass feminist critiques, which take issue to centerpiece what is wanting in Hegel, by positively fleshing out the productive resources and platforms for thinking and living difference, as are immanent in his philosophy. The project is feminist, insofar as it concerns itself with rethinking sexual differences, sexualities, and genders, but it also extends beyond the limitations of these specific themes. Following Hegel, our main preoccupation concerns the cultivation of self-understanding – or as Hegel states, responding to the Greek dictum— to know thyself—which necessarily involves subject matters pertinent to feminist thought overall. The dissertation tracks the development of recurring themes that take place on increasing levels of specificity. Doing such, the project highlights different instantiations of difference, and argues that, when closely examined, each bears a significant relation to time. By accentuating the most controversial elements in Hegel’s philosophy, those that have served as reasons for dismissing Hegel’s thought for countless critics, elements which are commonly relegated to the category of “other” — madness, sexual difference, racial and gender difference, religion—I have argued that through recourse to the temporal aspects latent in each of these, one can find perspectives in Hegel’s thought itself that not only challenge the fortitude of the critiques heretofore waged against him, but also and moreover, provide productive ways for advancing new perspectives on these standpoints.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Gissberg, Kristin Sue, "Temporal Subjectivities: Time and Difference in Hegel's Thought" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 637.