Visceral futures: Bodies of feminist criticism

Social Epistemology 15 (2):91 – 111 (2001)
This paper is situated in the context of feminist poststructuralist debates around identity. In it, I argue that anti-essentialist accounts of identity, while they may displace, or at least call into question, the foundations of subjectivity, are no less likely to invoke a series of presuppositions with respect to the self than those who seek to maintain them in some form. In particular, these presuppositions often cohere around the materiality of the body. And yet, paradoxically, this accent on materiality refers to a very particular kind of body - one that seems to have very little relation to the biological body. Using psychopharmacology as an example, I suggest that the Gilles Deleuze's ethology offers one way through which both to engage seriously with the 'biological' body while at the same time resisting either an essentialist or biological determinist position.
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