Is Bataille 's Philosophy Something We Could Realistically Live By? Critically Discuss

1278 WordsJan 10, 20166 Pages
Is Bataille’s philosophy something we could realistically live by? Critically discuss with reference to the concepts of unproductive expenditure and transgression. Bataille argues that in modern capitalist society, we are measured by our utility and production within this system. Material utility is restricted to production and to conserving goods whilst limited to reproduction and to the preservation of human life. As a result, we work within this framework where values, rules and laws have been created for us to work within, which, Bataille argues, restricts our liberty. Though utility is an apparent positive principle of capitalism, Bataille sees this as a principle of powerlessness and an incapability of being able to expend (Botting and Wilson, 1997, 192). He uses the example of a boy who wants to waste and destroy but cannot do this because he cannot justify it in utilitarian terms and is unaware that others also have this interest. The father of the boy is partly responsible for repressing the boy’s desire to waste and destroy through things he provides for him: a home, clothes food and partial recreation. This does not actually satisfy what the son’s desires are as there is something fundamental within the character of the son. Bataille is trying to demonstrate how in society, the father is like production, which provides us with the basic components of living but not what we really need and how this excess desire the boy has, needs to be satisfied. Rules and
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