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Title: Zelfverruiming of loutering? - Self-Enlargement or Purification?
Subtitle: Over de gefragmenteerde subjectiviteit in het vroege werk van René Girard - On the Meaning of the Fragmentary Subject in René Girard 's Early Writings
Author(s): VANHEESWIJCK, Guido
Volume: 57 Issue: 3 Date: 1996
In this article I intend to focus on the interpretation of the so-called postmodern phenomenon of anthropological fragmentation/doubling. My starting-point is a comparison between the anthropological position of the American philosopher Richard Rorty on the one hand and that of the French-American anthropologist René Girard on the other. Both Rorty and Girard prefer literature to academic philosophy as a gateway to the understanding of anthropological issues. Moreover, both their anthropological analyses take full account of the work of Sigmund Freud. In spite of these resemblances, their respective interpretations of the current image of man are complete opposites. I shall work out this opposition in three different steps. In the first section of this article, I shall go into Rorty's interpretation of the Freudian image of man. In the second section I shall present the Girardian image of man, which, to a certain extent, he has worked out in answer to the Freudian one. Eventually, in the third section, I shall confront both forms of current anthropology, situate Girard's early writings within the context of his entire oeuvre and put forward a few critical remarks with regard to his anthroplogical presuppositions.