The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance (Forms of Living (FUP))

Frederickson, Kathleen

Published by Fordham University Press 1899-12-30, 1899
ISBN 10: 0823262510 / ISBN 13: 9780823262519
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0823262510 No dust jacket. Text is clean and unmarked! Small tear to cover . Has a small black line on bottom/exterior edge of pages. Tracking is not available for orders shipped outside of the United States. **Heavier books will require additional postage for International** PA Sales Tax is included in purchase price. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct’s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality.

Instinct’s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and “savages” to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of “progress” and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness.

This shift in instinct’s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis.

About the Author: Kathleen Frederickson is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Davis.

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Title: The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of ...
Publisher: Fordham University Press 1899-12-30
Publication Date: 1899
Book Condition: Fair

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality. Instinct s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and savages to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of progress and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness. This shift in instinct s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823262519

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Book Description Fordham University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. It is paradoxical that instinct became a central term for late Victorian sexual sciences as they were elaborated in the medicalized spaces of confession and introspection, given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The Ploy of Instinct ties this paradox to instinct s deployment in conceptualizing governmentality. Instinct s domain, Frederickson argues, extended well beyond the women, workers, and savages to whom it was so often ascribed. The concept of instinct helped to gloss over contradictions in British liberal ideology made palpable as turn-of-the-century writers grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. For elite European men, instinct became both an agent of progress and a force that, in contrast to desire, offered a plenitude in answer to the alienation of self-consciousness. This shift in instinct s appeal to privileged European men modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book traces these changes through parliamentary papers, pornographic fiction, accounts of Aboriginal Australians, suffragette memoirs, and scientific texts in evolutionary theory, sexology, and early psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780823262519

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Book Description Fordham University Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Ploy of Instinct: Victorian Sciences of Nature and Sexuality in Liberal Governance, Kathleen Frederickson, It is paradoxical that instinct becomes such a central term for late-Victorian sexual sciences working in the confessional mode of the Foucaultian consulting room given that instinct had long been defined in its opposition to self-conscious thought. The classic instinctive agents animals and "savages" were instinctive precisely because they were supposedly incapable of producing a self-conscious narrative about themselves or their actions. It is thus odd that instinct was so necessary to the elaboration of models of sexual subjectivity based on lack, confession, and introspection. The Ploy of Instinct argues that this paradox emerges as a result (and a cause) of changes to how instinct operates as a mechanism for governmentality as it helps gloss over contradictions and gaps in British liberal ideology that had been made palpable as writers around the turn of the twentieth century grappled with the legacy of Enlightenment humanism. As a result of these changes, instinct takes on new appeal to elite European men who identify instinct as both an agent of civilizational "progress" and a force that offers (in contradistinction to the lack associated with desire) a plenitude that can hold the alienation of self-consciousness at bay. Without wholly or consistently unseating the idea that instinct marked the proper province of women, workers and/or savages, this shift in instinct's appeal to civilized European men nonetheless modified the governmentality of empire, labor, and gender. The book makes this argument by examining materials such as legal and parliamentary papers about the regulation of obscenity, pornographic fiction, ethnological monographs about Aboriginal Australians, treatises on political economy, and suffragette memoirs alongside scientific texts in evolutionary theory, psychology, sexology, and early psychoanalysis. Bookseller Inventory # B9780823262519

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