Litteraturen som en etisk praksis: En undersøgelse af litteraturens performativitet

Simon Haulrig Andersen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is a critical study of the dominant forces in our contemporary society, and how these forces create a limitation for modes of existence. The claim is based on the assumption that the contemporary subject is being articulated and understood through a specific kind of leadership stemming from the dominant understanding of the individual, and how this understanding creates an enclosed relationship to the self.The starting point is the economic transformation of what has come to be defined as neoliberalism. Through Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze the knowledge and power structure in the economic perspective is described. This defines a specific relation to the subject through a new kind of governance of the human where the primary incentives generates through the encouragement to lead your own self. Thus, the subject is encouraged to meet the imperative of being able to. This specific way of governance and its epistemology and ontology premise extends through a poststructuralist therapy called narrative therapy, where Michael White is the leading practitioner. Through the therapy aspires a hope for individual freedom and a possible resistance to the dominant repressive power structures. This expectation arises out of the subject’s capability to define its own world through its lived experiences. The narrative therapy thereby demands of the subject to give meaning and define the world by its sole discretion, thereby excluding the non-discursive, the Other, and that which is not part of the subjects superimposed description of the event. Therefor, the narrative approach tends to describe the world by an omnipotent subject ruling out the different ways of existence, which does not figure in the subjects’ understanding of the world.Through a reading of literature, it becomes possible to describe a recapitulation of the thought and thereby a way to break with the existent superimposed understanding of a life. Instead of the specific leadership of the self, imposed by an imperative of being able to, the subject is forced to meet the world and realize the impotence and estrangement it causes. Through literature, the subject must consequently experience the world again in an active meeting enabling a power to think differently in an exceedance of its own self.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages87