Cartographies contributes to the growing debates on the value of poststructuralist theory. Grounded in a theoretical framework, it combines poststructural semiotics and a philosophy of the body. While interest in poststructuralism is well established, the currently felt need to anchor that interest in a political, material reality is where these readings gain their critical edge. They address the material - social, political and economic - effects of representation, marking anew direction in the debate.
Philosophy had either ignored or attacked psychoanalysis: such responses are neither warranted nor helpful. One hundred years after its inception, isn't it time to find out what psychoanalysis has to offer us? In Passion in Theory Robyn Ferrell does just that, and returns with some surprising answers. Concentrating on the work of Freud and Lacan, Robyn Ferrell asks why their work had been so influential in European philosophy yet so marginal in the Anglo-American circles. Passion in Theory explores their conception (...) of the relationship between mind and body, and how it provides a key to many current philosophical questions. Passion in Theory is designed for students and researchers in psychoanalysis, traditional and continental philosophy. (shrink)
Philosophy is textual - it is written and it is read - yet today much of philosophy regards itself as a kind of science, sometimes reducing itself to a species of intellectual bureaucracy. It is important to see these qualities as having their own aesthetic. Even realism is a genre. The aesthetic of the empirical and the bureaucratic, the aesthetic of the rhapsodic and of the clinical... in each of these the genres of philosophy are as creative as they ever (...) were. They are productive of worlds, not only worlds of thought, but 'real worlds' enabled by the technological and other changes that thought has envisaged. This book explores genres through the history of philosophy, providing new ways of thinking about philosophical writing. Exploring a wide range of both European and analytic philosophers and their works - including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Deleuze, Wittgenstein, Derrida and Rorty - Genres of Philosophy explores the reading and writing of philosophers who themselves read and write, revealing the textual relation to the history of philosophy. While the focus of the book is in aesthetics, Ferrell reveals that the interest in philosophy's writing turns out to be a metaphysical question. The question becomes one of evaluating the ontological basis for writing - its subject and its means of expression - within a world of thought which is presently captivated by a particular aesthetic, that of the empiricist. Presenting fresh readings of classic texts in aesthetics, and offering an original approach to the question of philosophical writing, this unique analysis will prove of particular interest to readers in European philosophy, the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and literary studies. (shrink)
: This paper argues that the slogans "A Woman's Right to Choose" and "The Personal is the Political" typify different traditions within feminist thinking; one emphasizing rights and equality, the other the unconscious and the personal. The author responds to both traditions by bringing together mind and body, and reason and emotion, via the figure of the copula. The copula expresses an alternative model of identity which indicates that value can be produced only in relation.
Is history a category of reason, or is reason a category of history? These opposing questions have divided the structuralist from the materialist-but neither question is wrong. Analysis of the logic of oppositions challenges feminism, in particular, to find a logic-and a poetics-in which to render its values without historical or theoretical naiveté. I explore the question of the timing of feminism through Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.
There is free thought, free choice, the free world – and then there is free stuff. By tracking the transformations of just one idea, "free," this book describes an arc of thought through a "revaluation of values" and offers its critique in the same gesture.
From here, she travels to urban locales, observing museums and department stores as they traffic interchangeably in art and commodities. Ferrell ties the history of these desert works to global acts of genocide and dispossession.
Between the Psyche and the Social is the first collection that specifically features the field of psychoanalytic social theory emerging in and between psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial studies, and queer theory, and across the disciplines of philosophy, literary, film, and cultural studies. This collection of essays takes the psychoanalytic study of social oppression in some new directions by engaging—indeed, stirring up—unconscious fantasies and ethical tensions at the heart of social subjectivity.
The paper argues that psychoanalysis and deconstruction offer more to feminist theory than contestation. The common feminist criticisms of the work of Lacan and Derrida are not as compelling as may be thought. Among the possibilities for feminist theory using psychoanalysis and deconstruction is the scrutiny of theory as theory- and this will inevitably include scrutinizing feminist theory itself.
The two competitive currents in French philosophy initiated by Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze tackle the difference between empiricism and idealism in contrary motion. In Derrida, the move is toward a critique of representation. In Deleuze, it is toward recovery of the real. Nevertheless, this paper nominates their meeting in a kind of 'radical empiricism'. Both Derrida and Deleuze engage with empiricism at certain points in their work, although many who go by that label would be surprised to hear it.
Is history a category of reason, or is reason a category of history? These opposing questions have divided the structuralist from the materialist—but neither question is wrong. Analysis of the logic of oppositions challenges feminism, in particular, to find a logic—and a poetics—in which to render its values without historical or theoretical naiveté. I explore the question of the timing of feminism through Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray.
Book Information A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray. A Politics of Impossible Difference: The Later Work of Luce Irigaray Penelope Deutscher , Ithaca : Cornell University Press , 2002 , 228 , US $17.95 By Penelope Deutscher. Cornell University Press. Ithaca. Pp. 228. US $17.95.
This paper argues that the slogans “A Woman's Right to Choose” and “The Personal is the Political” typify different traditions within feminist thinking; one emphasizing rights and equality, the other the unconscious and the personal. The author responds to both traditions by bringing together mind and body, and reason and emotion, via the figure of the copula. The copula expresses an alternative model of identity which indicates that value can be produced only in relation.Let us say that the problem is (...) violence. At its most naive: how can the sexual relation, which is supposedly full of love, be violent?I mean the sexual relation in its resonances and ambiguity—to indicate the relation between the sexes, and the relation between lovers. In no way can the relation be confined to love, either heterosexual or homosexual, since it is often a contest. It cannot be reduced solely to a social relation, because in one of its aspects it addresses the most intimate subjectivity.In a certain feminist lifestyle advocacy, those women who are in same sex relations avoid sexual violence by avoiding men, and those who are in heterosexual relationships strive to find the “right kind”—that is, relationships of respectful and supportive love—rejecting all signs of aggression, from sexist disparagement and emotional cruelty to sexual humiliation and physical assault, as “abuse.”Strangely, this dichotomy does not explain the proximity of passion and aggression, whether in love between men and women or in same-sex relationships between feminist women. As rational counsel, it resists the important sense in which the erotic is, and is even valued as, the excess of the rational. And as an analysis of the oppression of women it defeats itself, for to insist on masculinity as violence itself, and/or on the sexual relation as properly governed by reason, seems to miss the point of both love and feminism.Stranger still, feminisms, which set out to address and redress the oppression of women, have become rivalrous themselves. Are these aggressions a legacy of the intellectual world they must take place in. Have we overlooked an aspect of the relation between sisters? Feminism has not addressed the question of aggression in feminism as anything more than contamination.Perhaps, after all, the thing that feminism has not yet successfully addressed is love. The “battle between the sexes” has not rendered the ambivalence of the heterosexual relation. As a species of theory, feminism has relished the rigor of distinction and has not found it easy to tolerate the proximity of opposites.And yet, in evoking the body, some feminisms approach closer to this difficulty. It remains to take up the relation between the body and the concept more thoroughly, in order to find out whether sexual difference could ever be philosophical. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Sally Is a Block of IceRevis(it)ing the Figure of Woman in PhilosophyRobyn FerrellThere is a metaphor made famous in the analytic philosophical literature by John Searle et al.: “Sally is a block of ice.” I met this metaphor first as an undergraduate student in philosophy of language classes. I remember, then, feeling a wordless anxiety for Sally, for the “tone” of this example interrupting, but not interrogated by, the (...) discussion it was recruited to illustrate. Later, I met Sally again, in papers given at philosophy conferences on metaphor in which, each time, this mention of Sally struck me as pointed but not observed.John Searle claims that to say “Sally is a block of ice” is to mean “Sally is an extremely unemotional and unresponsive person,” But this seems disingenuous, since the color in the metaphor comes from innuendo of a sexual character, the echoes of the Ice Queen, etc. And no doubt this is one reason why Searle would have adopted it, because it introduces the rhetorical color of sexual intrigue into an apparently technical discourse in the philosophy of language.But in his paper, this metaphor, “Sally is a block of ice,” features along with other metaphors only as an example of the trope. She is there in the text to illustrate Searle’s thesis that metaphor has meaning only because what he calls “speaker’s meaning” and “sentence meaning” are two very different things. On this view, “words have only the meanings they have,” and it is speakers uttering them “in a way that departs from what they actually mean” that allows the metaphor to operate. [End Page 194]Why would the speaker say anything other than what he meant? Why doesn’t he say, “Sally is an extremely unemotional and unresponsive person”? Since the “actual meaning” of language remains unchanged by the use of metaphor in an example of it, the interesting effect of this theory of metaphor is that the speaker can still say that, while he may have said, “Sally is a block of ice,” he didn’t mean it.Sally Is a Metaphor“Sally is a block of ice”: this evocative metaphor, this provocative figure, conjures for me the dilemma that women in philosophy have found, seeking a philosophical account of identity for an identity politics while also trying to find a place for themselves in the academy. Sally is a figure haunting the practice of English-speaking philosophy, where women are grudgingly admitted but, as Genevieve Lloyd has pointed out, disadvantaged by “inclusion without recognition of our difference.”Unless she is frozen on the slab at the morgue, Sally is not obviously a block of ice. But if Sally were a block of ice, if her identity were as a block of ice, and if the copulative form accurately described her in her essence, as “a block of ice,” why would she appear to us in physical form to be a woman?Between “This is Sally” and “Sally is a block of ice” lies a metaphysics of identity, stemming from the way that certain European languages tolerate the copula form to represent divergent senses, the “to be” of identity and the “to be” of attribution. I’ve written about the impact of this copula form for sexual difference elsewhere (Ferrell 2006). While the copula assigns objects to subjects, it does so in an ambiguous manner. Sometimes we say things such as: “Meg Ryan is Sally in the movie When Harry Met Sally on Channel 7 Sunday night.” Meg Ryan is Sally in the sense that she performs Sally. So, is Sally playing a part, then, when “Sally is a block of ice”?Judith Butler would likely say she was, her femininity a masquerade (Butler 1990). Is Sally playing a part when “Sally is Sally”? Nietzsche would say so: “[A]round every profound spirit a mask is continually growing” (Nietzsche 1968). Nietzsche incriminated grammar or syntax in the reproduction of metaphysics, claiming philosophers are particularly gullible in this regard: “[T]hey always believe in reason as in a piece of the metaphysical world itself, this backward belief always reappears in them as an all-powerful regression” (ibid., cited... (shrink)
Pinjarra in 1970 lay on an extraordinary cusp. It lagged along a fault line between one order and another; or rather, it squatted at a precipice, over which its cherished values had already been dashed to pieces. In 1967, Aboriginal people were at last, by national referendum, declared citizens of Australia. In 1969, Alcoa began to prepare the site in the hills behind Pinjarra for the open-cut mining of the largest bauxite deposit so far discovered in the world. The past (...) met the future, and they didn’t recognise each other. (shrink)
Higher education on the corporate model imagines students as consumers, choosing between knowledge products and brands. It imagines itself liberating the university from the dictates of the State/tradition/aristocratic self-replication, and putting it in the hands of its democratic stakeholders. It therefore naturally subscribes to the general management principles and practices of global corporate culture. These principles – transparency, accountability, efficiency – are hard to argue with in principle. But an abstract argument in political economy comes down to earth in the (...) challenges facing the arts and humanities, after the ‘Education Revolution’, to justify their modes of life. (shrink)