Wendy Brown

Wendy Brown is professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. She has recently been a Senior Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a UC Berkeley Humanities Fellow. Brown's books include Left Legalism/Left Critique , co-edited with Janet Halley (Duke, 2002), Edgework: Critical Essays in Knowledge and Politics (Princeton, 2005), and Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton, 2006).

Posts by Wendy Brown:

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Idealism, materialism, secularism?

secular_age.jpgWhen I teach early modern political theory to undergraduates, I begin by trying to conjure a worldview and subjective experience not organized by capitalism, science, reason, secularism, and the primacy of the individual. I struggle to convey the extent to which this chasm between our time and that one pertains not merely to particular beliefs, knowledges, or forms of social order, but to an entire way of knowing and experiencing self and world. I aim, in other words, to get students to grasp the Otherness of early modern Europe in terms of the experience of being human and being in the world. This entails somehow grasping our epistemological, ontological, cosmological and theological frameworks from without, a nearly impossible physical and metaphysical feat. […]

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