Irigaray: The Specula(ra)tive Ec(h)onomy

Claire Colebrook

in Philosophy and Post-structuralist Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622276
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671663 | DOI:
Irigaray: The Specula(ra)tive Ec(h)onomy

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This chapter discusses the philosophy of Irigaray. Like Heidegger, Irigaray's critique of Western metaphysics seems poised between an attempt to think the ground of thought — a ground that has always been figured as feminine — and a refusal to posit that ground as a presence, being or essence to which thought might simply return. Irigaray's thought concerns the modality of transcendence: the way in which thought directs itself towards what is other than itself. If Heidegger's Destruktion of metaphysics can be understood as neither a simple return to thought's ground, nor a location of thought within a representational scheme, Irigaray's uptake of the question of transcendence can be seen to harbour a similar double strategy. This chapter discusses how to read Irigaray reading metaphysics; feminine metaphysics; the question of sexual difference; sensible transcendence; transcendence as sexual difference; the sensible transcendental; the time of sexual difference; beyond the location of the sexual transcendental; and autonomy.

Keywords: metaphysics; transcendence; feminism; sexual difference; autonomy

Chapter.  12758 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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