Is everything personal also private? The modern world is neatly compartmentalized into the private and the public, and the personal is often used interchangeably with the private as if they are the same. But are they? The book starts a new discourse by distinguishing the two and analyzing existing discourses of history, culture, politics, ethics, and law, asserts that the underlying theory is vastly different, often antagonistic. It radically changes the notions of the public, private, and personal by introducing the public–private–personal “triad,” challenging the modern binary of the public and private. This original and insightful book will provoke readers to rethink their use of the personal and the private as two different notions for the same thing.

Toward a Theory of the (New) Personal

Toward a theory of the (new) personal


The First Philosophy of the Personal: Nietzsche

This collective person of culture that we were meditating on in the last chapter has had its stark and classical parentage, one would be surprised to note, in Nietzsche. The exercise begins with his deeply nourished disillusionment and disjunction with Aristotle. Aristotle is accused by Nietzsche of having destroyed the force of the personal by taking recourse to concepts and not metaphors. “For Aristotle, metaphorical writing is the sign not of an affirmative and flourishing type of life but of a lack of maturity, a state of incompletion.”1 Nietzsche precisely reverses this order. He invokes the pre-Socratics (or pre-Platonists) as a refutation of Aristotle and ...

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