Moral Images of Freedom resurrects the Kantian project of affirmative political philosophy and traces its oft-forgotten influences found in thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Ernst Cassirer, Frantz Fanon, and Walter Benjamin. As a whole the book attempts to respond to nihilistic claims about the empty purpose of critical theory in a world so utterly captured by violence in all of its worst forms: economic, social, political, and cultural. Instead, this book draws together a sweeping thread of hope in the varied symbolic forms of freedom persistent throughout the work of a broader range of critical theorists and addresses the burning challenge for such work to respond seriously to the need for a decolonization of critical theory itself and a sustained commitment to the possible future of socialism.
Drucilla Cornell is professor of political science, women's studies, and comparative literature at Rutgers University and has recently been appointed as chair of philosophy and law at the University of Cape Town. She has written numerous articles on contemporary continental thought, critical theory, grass-roots political and legal mobilization, jurisprudence, women's literature, feminism, aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and political philosophy. A produced playwright, her plays The Dream Cure, Background Interference, and Lifeline have been performed in California, New York, Florida, and Ohio. Her dramatization of James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake runs every year in Dublin, Ireland.