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PG WiP Seminar
Camilla Pitton: ‘Re-examining Irigaray’s Feminist Philosophy of Nature: Problems with the ‘Duality’ Interpretation’
Abstract: This paper examines Luce Irigaray’s theory of matter and nature, as elaborated in The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger (1999), in order to reconsider the criteria under which any such theory can be of use to a feminist project. Specifically, I aim to demonstrate, by looking at the strengths and shortcomings of Irigaray’s work, that presenting a theory of nature as originally dual (composed by a feminine and a masculine part) is not simply, and quite obviously, antithetical to a feminism that wants to be non-essentialist; more fundamentally, speaking of a feminine and a masculine part of nature, understood doubly in the generality of matter not subjected to human production and in the specificity of natural bodies, will be shown to be philosophically flawed. This investigation will, consequently, diffractively provide some parameters under which the articulation of a philosophy of nature can (i) aid a project interested in theorising the freeing of feminised bodies from objectification, and (ii) be philosophically rigorous.