In a work that brings a new field-altering perspective as well as new tools to the history of philosophy, Karen S. Feldman offers a powerful and elegantly written account of how philosophical language appears to "produce" the very thing-here, "conscience"-that it seems to be discovering or describing. Conscience, as "Binding Words" convincingly argues, can only ever be understood, interpreted, and made effective through tropes and figures of language. The question this raises, and the one that interests Feldman here is: If conscience has no tangible, literal referent to which we can apply, then where does it get its "binding force?" Turning to Hobbes, Hegel, and Heidegger, Feldman analyzes the sophisticated rhetorical moves by which these thinkers negotiate the register and space in which such a "concept" can take hold. The investigations of the figurative representations of conscience and its binding force are taken as the starting point in each chapter for a consideration of how "Leviathan, Phenomenology of Spirit, " and "Being and Time" are exemplary of conscience, for these texts themselves dramatize conscience's relation to language and knowledge, morality and duty, and ontology. The concept of binding force is at stake in this book on two different levels: there is an investigation of how, within the work of Hobbes, Hegel and Heidegger, conscience is described as binding upon us; and further, Feldman considers how the texts in which conscience is described may themselves be read as binding.Feldman, Karen S. is the author of 'Binding Words Conscience And Rhetoric In Hobbes, Hegel, And Heidegger', published 2006 under ISBN 9780810122819 and ISBN 0810122812.