Déjà des questions d'actualité avaient conduit Eva Cantarella à mener des enquêtes sur l'histoire des femmes, sur le statut de l'homosexualité dans l'Antiquité gréco-romaine. La démarche est la même dans ce dernier ouvrage écrit au début des années 1990 et provoqué par l'énigme de la société nord-américaine qui, tenue pour un des pays les plus démocratiques de la planète, n'en pratique pas moins encore de nos jours la peine de mort. Non que le passé explique de manière univoque le prés..
Michèle Le Dœuff considers the relationship between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir as a paradigmatic case of what she calls an "erotico-theoretical transference" relationship: De Beauvoir devoted herself to Sartre theoretically by adopting his existentialist perspective for the analysis of reality in general and the analysis of women's oppression in particular. The latter is especially strange since Sartre used strongly sexist metaphors and adopted a macho attitude towards women. In her book Hipparchia's Choice, Le Dœuff speaks in this (...) context of "theoretical masculinism." She convincingly shows in this book that Sartre without using images could not have closed his existentialist philosophy: without the feminine drawback he would not have been able to explain why man cannot become god. Sartre not only understands gaining knowledge as a rape of a woman he also fears that the possessed feminine (body) could reverse its position from being dominated to the dominating force by appropriating the masculine through slime. In Being and Nothingness Sartre states that "slime is the revenge of the In-itself. A sickly–sweet, feminine revenge." Despite of the fact that De Beauvoir used Sartre's heterosexist ontology and metaphysics she managed to provide a highly influential depiction of women's condition and offered an original approach to the understanding of selfhood which places woman inside the subject. (shrink)
L’obiettivo che questo lavoro si propone è quello di rintracciare nella prosa appassionante e appassionata di Michele Federico Sciacca tracce che rimandano alla speculazione filosofica di Bernardo di Chiaravalle. Divisi nel tempo, ma compartecipi di un modo comune di intendere la categoria mistica, i due filosofi appaiono uniti nella condivisione di una stessa sensibilità. È una filiazione che accoglie più interrogativi che certezze, primo tra tutti, il perché Sciacca non citi mai direttamente Bernardo, cosa che invece ripetutamente fa con Agostino, (...) Tommaso, Bonaventura, e altre colonne portanti del pensiero. Sono molte in tal senso le ipotesi che vengono prese in considerazione, tra queste l’idea che per il filosofo di Giarre, Bernardo fosse non una semplice fonte, ma una lente attraverso la quale guardare meglio e più lontano. Un legame taciuto dunque, tenuto a riparo dalla vista dei più, quello che Sciacca ha lasciato crescere tra le pieghe dei suoi scritti. I due filosofi sfidano il tempo e si trovano, o ri-trovano dentro una sincronicità filosofica che li vede messaggeri dagli stessi valori. In questo forse “immaginario” dialogo tra un pensatore che ha saputo sporgere lo sguardo oltre il suo secolo, e uno che non ha mai perso occasione per riflettere e riflettersi attraverso il passato, è possibile ritrovare e godere della tensione emotiva dell’essere umano che pretende di ricongiungersi con l’Assoluto. The aim of this paper is to find in Michele Federico Sciacca’s fascinating and passionate prose traces that refer to Bernard of Clairvaux philosophical speculation. Distant in time, but sharing a common way of understanding the mystical category, the two philosophers appear united in having the same sensitivity. It is a filiation that welcomes more questions than certainties. First of all, why Sciacca never quotes Bernard directly, something that instead he repeatedly does with Augustine, Thomas, Bonaventure, and many others. In this sense, many hypotheses are taken into consideration, including the idea that for the philosopher of Giarre, Bernard was not just a source, but a lens through which to look better and further awy. A silent relationship, therefore, kept away from the sight of most, that which Sciacca has allowed to grow between the folds of his writings. The two philosophers defy time and find themselves, or refind within a philosophical synchronicity that sees them as messengers of the same values. In this perhaps “imaginary” dialogue between a thinker who has been able to look beyond his century, and one who has never missed an opportunity to reflect and reflect through the past, we can find and enjoy the emotional tension of the human being who claims to reconnect with the Absolute. (shrink)
Immanuel Kant, in ‘What is Orientation in Thinking?’ focuses on reason as the touchstone for speculative thought. The question of how to orient ourselves in thinking is still pressing, particularly if one does not take reason as providing principles for judgment. Hannah Arendt and Michèle Le Dœuff focus on this problem of orientation from a practical point of view and build up a compelling picture of how we can orient our thought. Both take imagination to be central to good (...) judgment, in addition to critical rationality. The project of enriching our imaginary and improving our judgments is an essential one in both ethics and politics, since imagination can either enable creative changes in our thinking or be stymied by pernicious myths. Arendt’s writings offer an account of the significance of the imagination to reliable judgment and suggest ways to avoid the extremes of arrogance and diffidence. Furthermore, Le Dœuff argues in recent work that we should challenge a range of myths in the epistemic imaginary and chart a course that involves hope for the future. I consider how it is possible to enrich the imaginary to overcome damaging myths, on Le Dœuff’s account, by taking political questions, particularly feminist ones, as reference points and also by avoiding the opposites of lack of faith in one’s own judgement and over-confidence. (shrink)
In this paper I show how Michèle Le Dœuff’s conception of philosophy as work is central to her articulation of a fresh conception of women’s role in philosophy and philosophy’s relation to other work. In Hipparchia’s Choice (1991, 168) she writes that ‘There is at least a third way of conceiving of philosophy and the history of philosophy: we can regard both as work, and thus as a dynamic, which can lead to and from each other.’ My objective is (...) to clarify this concept of philosophy as work and to show its significance and implications for understanding women’s relation to philosophy and the complexity of Le Dœuff’s thought concerning the nature of freedom and oppression. (shrink)
The unthought means that which it is possible to think, but which has not yet been thought, and also what we are prevented from thinking. Philosophical systems can prevent us from thinking otherwise and restrictions on women’s access to knowledge can prevent women from thinking apart from what is prescribed as suitable. The unthought is both what hasn’t been thought and what could be thought if there wasn’t a barrier of some sort. Michèle Le Dœuff directs us towards the (...) unthought as a measure of the extent to which writers on women’s education have allowed the possibility of women’s access to the unthought, not just to received knowledge to date. This unthought is also connected to creativity and originality, and philosophy that is not systematic. In this paper, I elucidate the nature of Michèle Le Dœuff’s project and the structure of her argument in The Sex of Knowing (2003) through the idea of the unthought. (shrink)
In this article, I examine Michele Moody-Adams’ critique of the ‘inability thesis’, according to which some cultures make the resources for criticizing injustice ‘unavailable’ to their members. I investigate Moody-Adams’ alternative ‘affected ignorance’ thesis. Using the example of slavery in ancient Greece, I consider two potential candidates for affected ignorance which involve, respectively, ‘unawareness’ and ‘mistaken moral weighing’; in neither, I hold, may one ascribe culpability to those involved.
John Stuart Mill's crisis of 1826 has received a great deal of attention from scholars. This attention results from reflection on the importance of the crisis to Mill's mature thought. Did the crisis signal rejection or revision of Benthamism? Or did it have little or no effect on Mill's view of his intellectual inheritance? Ultimately, an interpretation of the cause and resolution of the crisis is integral to an understanding of the nature of Mill's moral and social philosophy. Scholars, in (...) their zeal to understand Mill's crisis, have suggested various reasons for both the onset of the crisis and the recovery. Yet Mill's own perception of his crisis has often been overlooked or rejected. (shrink)
My essay begins with Michèle Le Doeuff's singular account of the "primal scene" in her own education as a woman, illustrating a universally significant point about the way in which education can differ for men and women: gender difference both shapes and is shaped by the imaginary of a culture as manifest in how texts matter for Le Doeuff. Her primal scene is the first moment she remembers when, while aspiring to think for herself, a prohibition is placed in (...) her reading of literature. Her philosophy teacher - at a boys' school - told the young Michèle that Kant's _Critique of Pure Reason_ was "too difficult" for her to read. In recalling this scene, the older Michèle - now, a woman philosopher - directs her readers to this text by Kant, in order to demonstrate how knowledge has been constrained by the narrative and imagery in the text of a philosopher; similarly, in the texts of others. She finds the central imagery of Kant's text for setting the limits to human knowledge in his account of "the island of understanding," or "land of truth," surrounded by "a stormy sea" of uncertainty; the latter image also retains a seductive appeal, threatening to destroy the confidence of any knower who ventures out beyond the well-marked out island. Moreover, women have often been associated with the dangers at sea beyond the safety of the island, where falsehood and worse reign. I propose that "text matters" here not only for gender issues, but for the postcolonial theory which Le Doeuff's reading of island imagery enhances in western literature and culture. The suggestion is that women in the history of ideas have been more susceptible than men to prohibitions : women's negative education is against going beyond certain boundaries which have been fixed by a generally colonialist culture on the grounds of gender-hierarchies. I stress the significance of confidence in the production of knowledge. A lack or an inhibition of confidence in one's own ability to think critically risks the damaging exclusions of, for example, colonialism and sexism. My aim is to unearth the political biases evident in textual imagery, while also pointing to new epistemic locations, with island-and-sea imagery that transgresses patriarchal prohibition, liberating subjects for confident reading and writing of texts today. (shrink)
In the 1970s feminist scholars rediscovered J. S. Mill's writings on sexual equality. The new feminist appraisal confronted traditional Mill scholarship which had tended either to neglect Mill's writings on women or to concentrate on Harriet Taylor's influence on Mill's views on sexual equality. But even the most cursory review of the writings of feminist scholars reveals a lack of consensus.
Resumen: La novela epistolar Caro Michele , de Natalia Ginzburg, aborda, como varias de las obras tardías de la autora, la decadencia de la pequeña burguesía y de la estructura tradicional de familia. Desarrollaremos la presencia de la melancolía en la novela ligada a su componente crítico. También nos proponemos analizar una reflexión acerca del lugar que ocupa la militancia del protagonista y la política como un objeto de deseo perdido en la obra.: Natalia Ginzburg’s epistolary novel Caro Michele  (...) addresses, like several of the late works of the author, the decadence of the petty bourgeoisie and the crisis of the traditional institution of the family. We will develop the presence of melancholy in the novel linked to its critical component. We also propose to analyze the place that occupies the protagonist's militancy and politics as an object of lost desire in the novel. (shrink)
Ces deux ouvrages tentent de présenter l'évolution du concept de l'utopie. L'ouvrage de Claude Cohen-Safir voudrait recenser les noms des penseurs européens et américains qu'elle considère comme importants dans la trajectoire des idées utopiques outre Atlantique. On trouve mention, dans ce livre, d'utopistes présents dans l'ouvrage dirigé par Michèle Riot-Sarcey qui s'intéresse davantage aux questions de définition et de méthodologie. Le but de chaque auteur dans ce collectif est aussi..
The article engages with the protagonist of The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Michèle Roberts, first published in 1984 as The Wild Girl. Filipczak discusses scholarly publications that analyze the role of Mary Magdalene, and redeem her from the sexist bias which reduced her to a repentant whore despite the lack of evidence for this in the Gospels. The very same analyses demonstrate that the role of Mary Magdalene as Christ’s first apostle silenced by patriarchal tradition was unique. (...) While Roberts draws on the composite character of Mary Magdalene embedded in the traditional association between women, sexuality and sin, she also moves far beyond this, by reclaiming the female imaginary as an important part of human connection to the divine. At the same time, Roberts recovers the conjunction between sexuality and spirituality by framing the relationship of Christ and Mary Magdalene with The Song of Songs, which provides the abject saint from Catholic tradition with an entirely different legacy of autonomy and expression of female desire, be it sexual, maternal or spiritual. The intertext connected with The Song of Songs runs consistently through The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene. This, in turn, sensitizes the readers to the traces of the Song in the Gospels, which never quote from it, but they rely heavily on the association between Christ and the Bridegroom, while John 20 shows the encounter between the risen Christ and Mary Magdalene in the garden whose imagery is strongly suggestive of the nuptial meeting in The Song of Songs. (shrink)
Michèle Roberts: Female Genius and the Theology of an English Novelist Since Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex in 1949, feminist analysis has tended to assume that the conditions of male normativity—reducing woman to the merely excluded "Other" of man—holds true in the experience of all women, not the least, women in the context of Christian praxis and theology. Beauvoir's powerful analysis—showing us how problematic it is to establish a position outside patriarchy's dominance of our conceptual fields—has helped (...) to explain the resilience of sexism and forms of male violence that continue to diminish and destroy women's lives because they cannot be seen as questionable. It has also, I would argue, had the unintended consequence of intensifying the sense of limitation, so that it becomes problematic to account for the work and lives of effective, innovative and responsible women in these contexts. In order to address this problematic issue, I use the life and work of novelist Michèle Roberts, as a case study in female genius within an interdisciplinary field, in order to acknowledge the conditions that have limited a singular woman's literary and theological aspirations but also to claim that she is able to give voice to something creative of her own.The key concept of female genius within this project draws on Julia Kristeva's notion of being a subject without implicitly excluding embodiment and female desire as in normative male theology, or in notions of genius derived from Romanticism. Roberts' work as a writer qualifies her as female genius in so far as it challenges aspects of traditional Christianity, bringing to birth new relationships between theological themes and scriptural narratives without excluding her singular female desires and pleasures as a writer. This paper—as part of a more inclusive, historical survey of the work of women writers crossing the disciplinary boundaries between literature and Christian theology over the last several centuries also asks whether, in order to do proper justice to the real and proven limitations imposed on countless women in these fields across global and historical contexts, we need, at the same time, to reduce the Christian tradition to something that is always antithetical or for which women can take absolutely no credit or bear no responsibility. (shrink)
My aim in this article is to analyze and extend Michèle Le Dœuff’s work on philosophy’s exclusionary practices, examining and enhancing both her diagnosis of the problem and how philosophy might be transformed. I proceed in three steps. First, I briefly outline the main features of Le Dœuff’s account of the reasons for the exclusion of women from philosophy. Le Dœuff’s focus is on the structure of philosophical pedagogy and its implications for the philosophical imaginary. Second, I examine Le (...) Dœuff’s proposals for transforming the imaginary so as to resist exclusionary practices. These suggestions involve the introduction of an original understanding of plurality in philosophy. However, Le Dœuff’s proposals are... (shrink)
For Michele Tosini, the baptism of Christ has profound allusions to Christ's suffering and death. In the Baptism of Christ and Temptations, Tosini is creative in his placement of the temptation narratives and in his selection of the Lukan account.