Phenomenology and the Poststructural Critique of Experience

Phenomenology is considered a philosophy of experience. But in the wake of French post-structuralism beginning in the 1970s, the concept of experience within phenomenology has fallen under heavy critique. Even today, in the context of feminist philosophy the phenomenological concept of experience has yet to recover from the poststructuralist critique. In this article, I will closely examine the poststructuralist critique of the concept of experience within the context of feminist theory. I will thereby refer first and foremost to the poststructuralist theorist Joan Scott, and her influential text “'Experience'”. In my examination of the poststructuralist critique of experience, the leading question will be whether or not this critique, down to its details, can in fact be applied to phenomenology. My thesis is that phenomenology is able to withstand the poststructuralist critique of experience. Further, I will argue that post-structuralism and phenomenology have more in common as regards the concept of experience than is usually admitted. For several reasons, it seems - as I will maintain - that both poststructuralist feminism and phenomenology are equally interested in a strong concept of experience and thus do not promote doing away with the concept
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DOI 10.1080/09672550903301762
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