Living Ethically, Acting Politically

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - 227 pages
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"When social power is conceived in Foucauldian terms, it is notoriously difficult to grapple with what it means to think affirmatively about ethical-political action. Drawing upon the unlikely combination of Hannah Arendt and the early 17th-century Quaker movement, Orlie articulates a fascinating approach to this problem. Without forgetting for a moment our enmeshment in power, she nevertheless shows how better appreciating our spiritual capacity for 'natality' can engender a distinctive sense of responsibility and freedom."—Stephen K. White, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University"A thoughtful and erudite meditation on our ethical and political possibilities in the time after Truth."—Wendy Brown, University of California, Santa Cruz"Living Ethically, Acting Politically confronts our ordinary complicities in the operations of social power with the possibility of doing otherwise. Refusing the legislative imaginary of sovereignty, Melissa A. Orlie draws innovatively on Arendt, Foucault, and early modern Quakers to rescue the 'can' from the jaws of the 'ought'—not to escape obligations but to recollect their generation in the contingencies and equivocalities of social practices. At once evocative and provoking, this work opens new terrain at the borderlines of politics and ethics."—Kirstie M. McClure, author of Judging Rights: Lockean Politics and the Limits of Consent
 

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Contents

Introduction I
1
The Contemporary Imagination of Power II
11
SubjectCitizens and Corporeal Souls
35
Recovering Political Enthusiasm for Invisible Powers
61
A Genealogy of the Modern SubjectCitizen
89
Hobbess America
113
Living Ethically Acting Politically
141
A Political Ethos of Conscience
169
Notes
199
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Melissa A. Orlie is Associate Professor of Political Science, Criticism and Interpretive Theory, and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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