Subjectivity and Identity is a philosophical and interdisciplinary study that critically evaluates critically the most important philosophical, sociological, psychological and literary debates on subjectivity and the subject. Starting from a history of the concept of the subject from modernity to postmodernity - from Descartes and Kant to Adorno and Lyotard - Peter V. Zima distinguishes between individual, collective, mythical and other subjects.
Most texts on subjectivity and the subject present the topic from the point of view of a single discipline: philosophy, sociology, psychology or theory of literature. In Subjectivity and Identity Zima links philosophical approaches to those of sociology, psychology and literary criticism. The link between philosophy and sociology is social philosophy (e.g. Althusser, Marcuse, Habermas), the link between philosophy and literary criticism is aesthetics (e.g. Adorno, Lyotard, Vattimo). Philosophy and psychology can be related thanks to the psychological implications of several philosophical concepts of subjectivity (Hobbes, Stirner, Sartre).
Peter V. Zima was Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria until 2012. He was elected corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna) in 1998 and member of the European Academy (London) in 2010. In 2014 he was appointed honorary professor of the East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.