Foundations for a Feminist Sublime

Bonnie Mann

in Women's Liberation and the Sublime

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195187458
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786565 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

  Foundations for a Feminist Sublime

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This chapter takes up the notion of vulnerability in the face of alterity that is the foundation for Freeman's “feminine sublime.” It traces similar notions in Butler's book of post-9/11 essays, Precarious Life, and in Eva Kittay's ground-breaking book in feminist care ethics, Love's Labor. It is argued that the dependence these authors find at the very heart of our intersubjective relationships is also at the heart of our relationship to the natural world — and that these relations of dependence are the irrevocable aspect of the human condition that both lends itself to and is disclosed in sublime experience. The ethical and political implications of this vulnerability to others can be temporarily denied or thwarted by the subject who flees dependence, but they must ultimately be affirmed if we are to live these relations in aesthetically, ethically, and politically sustainable ways.

Keywords: intersubjective vulnerability; alterity; Judith Butler; Eva Kittay; Freeman; Eva Kittay

Chapter.  9297 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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