In the Logical Investigations, Husserl argues that “sign” is an ambiguous word because it refers to two essentially different signitive functions: indication and expression. Indications work in an evidential way, providing information through a direct association of the sign and the presence of an object or state of affairs. Expressions work in a non-evidential way, pointing to possible experiences and displaying that the speaker or someone else has had such experience. In this paper I show that Husserl went back to (...) the distinction between indications and expressions in a much later text, a manuscript from 1931, in order to distinguish between two kinds of communication with different essential features. I call these indicative and expressive communication. My claim is that Husserl’s distinction between these two types of communication is a crucial contribution to the phenomenology of knowledge sharing. In knowledge sharing, we appropriate someone else’s knowledge as someone else’s knowledge. Husserl shows that only expressive communication, and not indicative communication, makes this appropriation possible. Since Husserl argues that only humans use expressive communication, his analysis of indicative and expressive communication is also a contribution to understanding the uniquely human capacity for accumulating knowledge. (shrink)
Moritz Geiger developed an original phenomenological account of the splitting of the Ego in two papers, written in 1911 and 1913. Husserl read the 1911 paper as he was working on preliminary manuscripts to Ideas I. The first part of Husserl’s comments focused precisely on the splitting of the Ego. In this paper I will answer three questions: What is the historical-philosophical context of Geiger’s and Husserl’s discussion on the splitting of the ego? What are the phenomenological features of the (...) splitting of the ego? What is the relevance of Geiger’s account of the splitting of the ego, for the further development of Husserl’s phenomenology? Reading Geiger was, indeed, the first occasion in which Husserl started to develop his own phenomenological account of the splitting of the ego. This will prove itself to be crucial for his mature analyses on the phenomenological reduction, as Husserl will distinguish more clearly between reflection and splitting of the ego. (shrink)
El tema del hombre ha sido el centro de la reflexión filosófica de los últimos siglos, siendo motivo de debate desde comienzos de la modernidad. El filósofo italiano Michele Federico Sciacca (1908-1975) tuvo conciencia clara de esto, estableciendo que la filosofía debe ser ontología y, sobre todo, ontología del hombre como existente. Esto para él significa, por lo menos, dos cosas: que el autoconocimiento es el punto de partida en el estudio filosófico y que desde el conocimiento del hombre (...) concreto, de la persona humana, podemos entender todo lo real. (shrink)
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)
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)
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 (...) class='Hi'>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)
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)
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.
Michèle Le Doeuff's "Primal Scene": Prohibition and Confidence in the Education of a Woman 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 philosophyteacher—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.
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)
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..
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.