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The Social Philosophy of Gillian Rose: Speculative Diremptions, Absolute Ethical Life

BROWER-LATZ, ANDREW,PHILLIP (2015) The Social Philosophy of Gillian Rose: Speculative Diremptions, Absolute Ethical Life. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis provides an original reconstruction of Gillian Rose’s work as a distinctive social philosophy within the Frankfurt School tradition that holds together the methodological, logical, descriptive, metaphysical and normative moments of social theory; provides a critical theory of modern society; and offers distinctive versions of ideology critique based on the history of jurisprudence, and mutual recognition based on a Hegelian view of appropriation. Rose’s philosophy integrates three key moments of the Frankfurt tradition: a view of the social totality as both an epistemological necessity and normative ideal; a philosophy that is its own metaphilosophy because it integrates its own logical and social preconditions within itself; and a critical analysis of modern society that is simultaneously a critique of social theory. Rose’s work is original in the way it organises these three moments around absolute ethical life as the social totality, its Hegelian basis, and its metaphysical focus on law and jurisprudence. Rose’s Hegelian philosophy includes an account of reason that is both social and logical without reducing philosophy to the sociology of knowledge, thereby steering between dogmatism and relativism. Central to this position are the historically developing nature of rationality and knowing, and an account of the nature of explanation as depending on a necessarily and necessarily imperfectly posited totality. No totality is ever fully attained but is brought to view through the Hegelian-speculative exposition of history, dirempted experience, and the tensions immanent to social theories. Rose explored one main social totality within her social philosophy – absolute ethical life – as the implied unity of law and ethics, and of finite and infinite. This enables a critique simultaneously and immanently of society and social philosophy in three ways. First, of both the social form of bourgeois property law and social contract theories reflective of it. Second, of social theorising that insufficiently appreciates its jurisprudential determinations and/or attempts to eliminate metaphysics. Third, the broken middle shows the state-civil society and the law-ethics diremptions as two fundamental features of modern society and as frequently unacknowledged influences on social theorising.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Gillian Rose, social philosophy, law, civil society, Frankfurt School, Adorno, Hegel, Kant,
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 Nov 2015 08:31

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