Entre émancipation et paranoïa : la " propriété de soi-même " comme motif aporétique de la sensibilité politique moderne

Abstract : At the junction of a purely bookish history of political ideas and of what could be called a socio-history of sensibility, this article claims that the modern political rationality is based on a peculiar form of subjectification captured by the notion of "self-ownership". Classically formulated by John Locke, the idea, according to which the end pursued by men when they submit to a government is "the preservation of their property", implies the existence of a foundational self-ownership, which conditions the individual's capacity to acquire properties. Thomas Hobbes wrote similarly, a few decades earlier, that "[o]f things held in propriety, those that are dearest to a man are his own life and limbs", those bodily things by means of which his liberty can come about as the unlimited extension of his vital force. At the root of the liberal doctrine thus lies this mode of self-relationship that holds that, possessing himself by virtue of natural right, the individual is qualified to receive from the sovereign authority the guarantee of his exclusive right to that which he can acquire, as well as the assurance of being protected from harm. In the political discourse as well as in the sensibility of modern men, to possess one's own body appears as the condition for freedom. This article aims to demonstrate the long-standing of such a conception of selfrelationship within other traditions critical of liberalism, such as the Marxist theory of alienation or the feminist critique of corporeal subjection to patriarchy. If the reappropriation of one's body, wrenched from the grips of the powers that exploit it, can foster emancipation, it raises the question whether or not this entails the risk of repeating the underside of the liberal posture, that is, the affective disposition that leads men to see in others a threat against selfownership, of which the Hobbesian state of nature, the motive of another form of servitude, is a paradigmatic example.
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Jean François Bissonnette. Entre émancipation et paranoïa : la " propriété de soi-même " comme motif aporétique de la sensibilité politique moderne. Encyclo. Revue de l'école doctorale ED 382, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2013, pp.75-84. ⟨hal-00944218⟩

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