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Grant number like: FA-50312-04

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Paul A. Miller
University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC 29208-0001)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$24,000 (approved)
$24,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 12/31/2004

Spiritual Practices: The Reception of Platonic Philosophy in Postmodern France

This book argues that an essential token in the debates that have accompanied postmodernism in France (especially in the works of Lacan, Derrida, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Foucault) has been the understanding of classical antiquity. This fact has been unappreciated. Rare is the philosophy department in the Anglophone world where contemporary French readings of ancient texts are regularly considered. Likewise, few classicists make forays into philosophical, psychoanalytic, and other speculative modes of inquiry. The result is that postmodern French thought has largely been the province, neither of the philosophers, nor philologists, but of scholars of modern languages who lack the training necessary to appreciate these thinkers' engagement with antiquity. This project will bridge this gap by offering theoretically informed readings of the above named thinkers, while arguing that they not only knew ancient literature but that their understanding of it was central to their intellectual projects.