Friday, 7 July 2000

From "The Shape of the Signifier"

By Walter Benn Michaels.

The point of the appeal to perspective is that it eliminates disagreement. To see things differently because we see from different perspectives is to see the same thing differently but without contradiction [...] More radically, if we understand different perspectives not merely as seeing the same thing from different points of view but as constituting different objects, as seeing different things, then there is still no disagreement [...] And this essentializing of the subject-position does not depend on any account of that position which might be called essentialist. Because it has nothing to do with the question of what determines the subject-position (race, culture, sex, gender) and has to do only with the relevance of the subject-position, however determined, identity plays the same role in (so-called) antiessentialist accounts of the subject as it does in essentialist accounts.

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