Insofar as my ongoing interest in the moral consciousness conforms to a “plot”, it thickens. I love Plato’s Symposium, which I know is rather cliche. I came across this remark from Allan Bloom’s famous “Ladder of Love” essay:
The study of the soul had become such a part of Catholic Christianity that its destruction in the name of something like consciousness seemed a necessity. But the Christian teaching was about a specific version of the soul characterized by separability from the body and immortality, great miracles that defied common sense and reason. (p.195)
Okay, so classical political philosophy is about the soul and nomos, while modern political philosophy is about the moral consciousness. Hmm….
I had to go through the dreary business of cleaning out my office this week. Aside from making clear that we need at least two extra bookcases at home, I came across the old coursework essay that served as the source of the title for my dissertation. I quote myself:
International politics becomes an orientation of the internal self to the external political world. It is a way of behaving, thinking and coming into knowledge that places demands on the individual qua individual, and makes no demands or assumptions about the political organization of international relations. The international is internalized because IR becomes an account of how one comes to knowledge about international politics: IR properly understood becomes a discussion of how one relates to the international.
Perhaps I should rename my project: “The Concept of the International” just in case the Schmittean undertones weren’t clear enough in a subtitle such as “The Affect of the Political”. The footnote in this essay where I suggest more esoteric writing is a possible solution for escaping the flat nature of IR Theory texts brought a smile to my face. The frankness with which a Master’s student can write!