Between Nature and Culture

William Robert

in Trials

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231652
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237203 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Between Nature and Culture

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The incest prohibition cannot be conceived within the nature-culture oppositional dyad, which relegates it and Antigone to the unthinkable, barred from symbolic registers and rendered unintelligible. Antigone remains naturally and culturally unintelligible. Like the incest taboo that she incarnates, she belongs neither to nature nor to culture but remains outside of and prior to them, as their condition of possibility. Antigone is the eventive impossibility that makes way for possibility. She cannot reside on either side of the nature-culture binary since she occasions this binary and its symbolic orders—and does so, moreover, through sexual difference as a sister and thanks to her erōs-infused “philia beyond kinship”. This “philia beyond kinship” names the erotically contaminated, taboo love that she bears for her dead brother Polyneikes.

Keywords: nature; culture; Antigone; incest; kinship; taboo; love; Polyneikes; sexual difference

Chapter.  6565 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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