Daniel Defoe and the Representation of Personal Identity by Christopher Borsing

By Christopher Borsing

The idea of a private id used to be a contentious factor within the early eighteenth century. John Locke’s philosophical dialogue of private id in An Essay bearing on Human Understanding fostered a public debate upon the prestige of an immortal Christian soul. This publication argues that Defoe, like lots of this age, had spiritual problems with Locke’s empiricist research of human id. specifically, it examines how Defoe explores aggressive individualism as a social possibility whereas additionally demonstrating the literary and mental fiction of any thought of a separated, lone id. This foreshadows Michel Foucault’s statement that the belief of guy is ‘a fresh invention, a determine now not but centuries previous, a brand new wrinkle in our knowledge’. The monograph’s engagement with Defoe’s destabilization of any definition or picture of private identification throughout a variety of genres – together with satire, political propaganda, historical past, behavior literature, commute narrative, religious autobiography, piracy and background, fiscal and clinical literature, rogue biography, scandalous and mystery heritage, dystopian documentary, technological know-how fiction and apparition narrative - is a vital and unique contribution to the literary and cultural realizing of the early eighteenth century because it interrogates and demanding situations smooth presumptions of person identity.

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