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Title:Distinctive Complications in the Articles of Paul De Man
Author(s):Sola-Montserrat, Juan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Garrett, Peter K.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:In my dissertation I demarcate in de Man's writings a working through of the problems posed by the absence of ground in criticism, and I map his findings onto a group of texts in contemporary analytical and linguistic philosophy. In the texts which I read, I trace, first, a preoccupation about what we consider to be part of which wholes and what rhetorical tropes we use to move from parts to wholes and vice versa. Then, in a second moment, I analyze how on implicating ourselves in the process of relating parts to wholes we invariably enter the revolving door process (the "distinctive complication" of my title) which characterizes philosophical work on semantic paradoxes and which is also enacted in de Man's self-abrogating texts. I also examine how these characteristic complications appear in de Man's treatment of tropology and in the notion of "abstract particulars," as used in trope philosophy. In the first part of my dissertation, I undertake a detailed reading of de Man's "Pascal's Allegory of Persuasion," centered on the questionability of the very notion of allegory, and interspersed with forays into the philosophical texts that address convergent issues. At the end of this reading I use, in the second part of my dissertation, the body of motifs accumulated in the discussion of theories of truth, systems of part and whole, and tropology as a means of exploring the argument of de Man's reading of Rousseau's Social Contract and the Confessions, and of amplifying his treatment of the link between cognitive and performative rhetoric. The simultaneous enactment and cancellation operative in the literary and philosophical formations studied is an image of similar processes active in many current cultural projects. Emergent and non-dominant literary discourses typically encounter a simultaneous need to affirm cultural identities while maintaining an awareness of the precariousness of any foundation. Hence, my reading of de Man's articles in the context of recent philosophy is a contribution to the task of exploring this double need and of finding viable solutions to the tension it creates.
Issue Date:1997
Description:413 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9717337
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1997

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