Advisor

Michael J. Clark

Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in English

Department

English

Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 58 p.)

Subjects

Materialism, Promises, Social justice, Negotiable instruments

DOI

10.15760/etd.166

Abstract

This thesis is an exploration into the mechanism of Marxist materialism. It is an attempt, in the face of materialism, to regain a grasp on our intellectual lives. The promise, I will argue, is a nexus between the material and ideal realms; it largely determines the configurations of our thoughts along three poles: privacy/recognition, sovereignty/subjection, and individual/society. In this thesis, I will explore the history of the promise during the sixteenth-century development of the negotiable instrument- a form of the promise that could be bought and sold. This development, I will argue, led to a general transformation of language during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries such that the concept of the referent largely replaced the concept of the signifier. In the realm of mathematics, this transformation led to the creation of the symbolic variable; elsewhere, it led to the creation of what Mary Poovey has called the modern fact.

Description

Portland State University. Dept. of English

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/7022

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