“A Different Starting Point, a Different Metaphysics”: Reading Bergson and Barad Diffractively

Hypatia 26 (1):22-42 (2011)
Abstract
This article provides an affirmative feminist reading of the philosophy of Henri Bergson by reading it through the work of Karen Barad. Adopting such a diffractive reading strategy enables feminist philosophy to move beyond discarding Bergson for his apparent phallocentrism. Feminist philosophy finds itself double bound when it critiques a philosophy for being phallocentric, because the setup of a master narrative comes into being with the critique. By negating a gender-blind or sexist philosophy, feminist philosophy only reaffirms its parameters, and setting up a master narrative costs feminist philosophy its feminism. I thus propose and practice a different methodological starting point, one that capitalizes on “diffraction.” This article experiments with the affirmative phase in feminist philosophy prophesied by Elizabeth Grosz, among others. Working along the lines of the diffractive method, the article at the same time proposes a new reading of Bergson (as well as of Barad), a new, different metaphysics indeed, which can be specified as onto-epistemological or “new materialist.”
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