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HYPATI A SPECIAL ISSUE FrenchFeministPhilosophy


A Journalof FeministPhilosophy

HYPATI A SPECIAL ISSUE FrenchFeministPhilosophy

edited by Nancy Fraser and SandraBartky

VOL. 3, NO. 3 WINTER1989

A Journalof FeministPhilosophy


Hypatia (Hy-pay-sha)was an Egyptianwoman philosopher,mathematician, and astronomerwho lived in Alexandriafrom her birth in about 370 A.D. until her death in 415. She was the leaderof the NeoplatonicSchool in Alexandria and was famous as an eloquent and inspiring teacher. The journal Hypatiais namedin honorof this foresister.Hernameremindsus that although many of us are the firstwomen philosophersin our schools, we are not, after all, the first in history. Hypatiahas its roots in the Society for Women in Philosophy,many of whose membershave for yearsenvisioned a regularpublicationdevoted to feminist philosophy.Hypatiais the realizationof that vision;it is intendedto encourage and communicatemany differentkinds of feminist philosophy.

Hypatia(ISSN 0887-5367) is owned by Hypatia, Inc., a tax exempt corporation, and publishedby IndianaUniversityPress,which assumeno responsibility for statements expressedby authors. Hypatiais publishedthree times a year. Subscriptionrates for 1988-89 are: Institutions$40/year; Individuals, $20/year.Foreignorderadd postage:$5/yearto Canada,Mexico, and overseas surface;$10/yearto oversearsairmail.Single copies are $20 (institutions)and $10 (individuals).A 40 percent discount is availableon bulk orderfor classroom use or bookstoresales. Life-time subscriptionsare available to donor subscribersfor $400. and businesscorrespondence to the JournalsManager, Addressall subscriptions IndianaUniversityPress, 10th and MortonStreets, Bloomington,IN 47405. Notice of nonreceiptof an issue must be sent within fourweeks afterreceipt of subsequentissue. Pleasenotify the Pressof any change in address;the Post Office does not forwardthird class mail. Manuscriptsand other editorial correspondenceshould be addressedto: Editor, Hypatia, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville,Edwardsville,IL 62026-1437. Copyright? 1989 by Hypatia, Inc. All rights reserved. Hypatiawas published in 1983, 1984, and 1985 as special annual issues of Forum. Women'sStudiesInternational


EDITOR MargaretA. Simons, SouthernIllinoisUniversityat Edwardsville ASSISTANT EDITOR MaryEllen Blackston Amin Shen GUEST EDITORS FOR SPECIALISSUE Nancy Fraser,NorthwesternUniversity SandraBartky, Universityof Illinois,Chicago COPY EDITOR Toni Oplt BOOK REVIEWEDITOR JeffnerAllen, State Universityof New York,Binghamton ASSOCIATE EDITORS Azizah al-Hibri (Editor 1982-84), New York SandraBartky, Universityof Illinois,Chicago Ann Garry, CaliforniaState University,Los Angeles SandraHarding, Universityof Delaware Helen Longino, MillsCollege Donna Semiak-Catudal,Randolph-Macon College Joyce Trebilcot, WashingtonUniversity ADVISORY BOARD ElizabethBeardsley,TempleUniversity GertrudeEzorsky,BrooklynCollegeof City Universityof New York ElizabethFlower, Universityof Pennsylvania Virginia Held, GraduateCenterof City Universityof New York GraciellaHierro, MexicoCity Instituteof Technology JudithJarvisThompson, Massachusetts MaryMothersill, BarnardCollege MerrileeSalmon, Universityof Pittsburgh Anita Silvers, San FranciscoState University EDITORIALBOARD KathrynPyne Addelson, SmithCollege JacquelineAnderson, Olive HarveyCollege,Chicago Asoka Bandarage,BrandeisUniversity Sharon Bishop, CaliforniaState University,Los Angeles LorraineCode, YorkUniversity


Blanche Curry, ShawCollege ElizabethEames, SouthernIllinoisUniversityat Carbondale Susan Feathers, Universityof Pennsylvania Ann Ferguson,Universityof Massachusetts,Amherst Jane Flax, HowardUniversity Nancy Fraser,NorthwesternUniversity Carol Gould, Steven'sInstituteof Technology Susan Griffin, Berkeley,California Donna Haraway,Universityof California,SantaCruz Nancy Hartsock, Universityof Washington Hilda Hein, Collegeof the Holy Cross Sarah Lucia Hoagland, NortheasternIllinoisUniversity Alison Jaggar,Universityof Cincinnati ElizabethJaneway,New York Evelyn Fox Keller, NortheasternUniversity Rhoda Kotzin, MichiganState University LyndaLange, Universityof Alberta Linda LopezMcAlister, Universityof SouthFlorida PatriciaMann, City Collegeof New York KathrynMorgan, Universityof Toronto Janice Moulton, SmithCollege Andree Nichola-McLaughlin,MedgarEvarsCollege LindaNicholson, State Universityof New York,Albany Susan Ray Peterson, New York Connie Crank Price, TuskegeeInstitute Sara Ruddick,New Schoolof SocialResearch Betty Safford,CaliforniaState University,Fullerton Naomi Scheman, Universityof Minnesota Ruth Schwarz, Universityof Pennsylvania ElizabethV. Spelman, SmithCollege JacquelineM. Thomason, Los Angeles Nancy Tuana, Universityof Texas at Dallas Caroline Whitbeck, Massachusetts Instituteof Technology Iris Young, WorcesterPolytechnicInstitute JacquelineZita, Universityof Minnesota


vii Preface 1 Nancy Fraser Introduction 11 MargaretA. Simons Two InterviewswithSimonede Beauvoir 28 EleanorH. Kuykendall Introduction to "SorcererLove," by LuceIrigaray 32 Luce Irigaray SorcererLove:A Readingof Plato'sSymposium, Diotima'sSpeech 45 Andrea Nye The HiddenHost: Irigarayand Diotimaat Plato'sSymposium 62 Diana J. Fuss "EssentiallySpeaking":LuceIrigaray'sLanguageof Essence 81 Dorothy Leland and FrenchFeminism: LacanianPsychoanalysis Towardan AdequatePoliticalPsychology 104 Judith Butler The BodyPoliticsof JuliaKristeva 119 Nancy J. Holland Introduction to Kofman's"Rousseau'sPhallocratic Ends" 123 Sarah Kofman Rousseau'sPhallocratic Ends Comment/Reply 137 Kelly Oliver Keller'sGender/Science System:Is the Philosophyof Science to Scienceas Scienceis to Nature? 149 Evelyn Fox Keller The Gender/Science System:Responseto KellyOliver 153 Carl Wellman DoingJusticeto Rights 159 ElizabethWolgast A Replyto Carl Wellman



Book Reviews 162 MargaretNash Feminismand Methodology by SandraHarding 164 Monica Holland Women'sPlacein theAcademy:Transforming the Liberal Arts Curriculum,by MarilynR. Schusterand Susan R. Van Dyne 167 Notes on Contributors 170 Announcements 179 SubmissisionGuidelines


With the publicationof this eagerlyawaitedissueon FrenchFeministPhilosophy, edited by Nancy Fraserand SandraBartky,we completeourfirstyear with IndianaUniversity Press,and our third volume. The past yearhas been an exciting time for us, and the coming yearholds promiseof continuingdiscoveries and changes. As the last year of my term as Hypatiaeditor approaches,the time has come for the selection of a new editor. To initiate the process,the HypatiaExecutiveBoardof Associate Editorsis calling for nominations for editor. The new editor will serve for a term of five yearsbeginningJuly 1, 1990. Candidatesshould have a record of publication in feminist philosophy;an academicaffiliation;some experience in editing, administration,or business; and an abilityto workwith the variousphilosophicalorientationsrepresented by contemporaryfeministphilosophy.Nominationsfor a joint editorshipwill be considered.Self-nominationsare encouraged.In nominatingoneself, enclose a curriculumvita; in nominating another, include the nominee's complete addressand your reasonsfor the nomination. Qualifiednominees will receive guidelinesfor developing a full proposal.Proposalswill be evaluated and rankedby the HypatiaExecutive Boardwith assistancefrom membersof the Society for Women in Philosophy. Final selection will be made by the ExecutiveBoardin consultationwith IndianaUniversityPress.Nominations should be sent to Hypatia,Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville,Edwardsville,Illinois62026-1437. Deadlinefor receiptof nominationsis May 1, 1989. Contact the editorial office for additionalinformationat (618) 6922185. The 1989 volumeof Hypatiashouldalsoproveexciting.The firstissueof volume 4, the Spring1989 issue,will be the specialissueon the historyof women in philosophy,edited by LindaLopezMcAlister.Coming shortlyafterwill be the firstof two issueson feministbiomedicalethics, a generalissue edited by Helen BequaertHolmes, and LauraPurdyas assistanteditor. LauraPurdywill edit the second issue, on reproductivetechnology.In the futurewe can look forwardto a specialissue on feminismand philosophicalaesthetics,edited by Hilda Hein and CarolynKorsmeyer; and a specialissueof selectedphilosophy papersfromlast year'sMexicanFeministConference,editedby Ofelia Schutte and MariaLugones.As alwayswe look forwardto receivingyourpapersforgeneral submissions,and yoursuggestionsfor futurespecialissuesof Hypatia. M.A.S.

Introduction NANCY FRASER

In this special issue, Hypatiaopens its pages to the intense and important controversiessurroundingrecent French feminist theories.1 We introduce this issue by recallinga set of distinctions introducedby JuliaKristevain the (1986) essay for which she is best known in feminist circles. In "Women's Time," Kristevaidentifiedthree "generations"of feminist movements.2 The first is an egalitarian,reformoriented, humanistfeminism aiming to secure women's full participationin the public sphere, a feminism personifiedby Simone de Beauvoir. The second is a culturally-orientedgynocentricfeminism aiming to foster the expressionof a non-male-definedfeminine sexual and symbolicspecificity,a feminismrepresentedby the proponentsof ecriture feminineand parlerfemme. Finally, there is Kristeva'sown nominalist feminism, a radicallyanti-essentialistapproachthat claims that "women"don't exist and that collective identities are dangerousfictions. Each of these feminismsis representedhere, either as "primarysource"or subject of critical discussion. But they do not alwaysappearin pure form. Many contributorsmanage to combine elements of more than one of the three feminisms;and the interplayamong and within their essays is enormouslysuggestive. Humanistfeminismis represented,in the most appropriatepossibleway, in our lead-offcontribution, Hypatiaeditor MargaretSimons's interviewswith Simone de Beauvoir.Publishedhere in Jane MarieTodd'stranslation,these are amongBeauvoir'slast reflectionson her extraordinarylegacy. Yet the significance of these interviews is by no means exclusively historical. On the contrary,their content is deeplyrelevantto ongoingconcerns. Beauvoirreaffirms her longstandinghumanist feminist commitment to a view of human being that transcendsgender difference. She rejects the misleadingtranslation by HowardM. Parshleyin The SecondSexof "larealitehumaine"as "human nature,"thereby upholdingthe existentialist insistence on the priority of social situationover essence or nature. It is this philosophicalcommitment that informs her response to Simons's questions about feminine identity. Here, Beauvoirmarksher distancefromgynocentricfeministswho, she says, "comeback to men's mythologies. . . that woman is a being apart."She insists that it is women'ssituation, not women'sidentity, that is the properfocus of feminist scrutiny. Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989)? by NancyFraser



In her generalphilosophicalorientation, then, Beauvoirupholdsthe theory and politics of humanist feminism against the newer gynocentric approaches. But there is one respect in which her views appear to have changed. Perhaps under the influence of other currents in the women's movement, she softens her stand on motherhood. Denying that she ever wrote that "motherhooddoes not supporthuman meaning",she now affirms it to be a perfectly"validchoice," albeit one that is "verydangeroustodaybecauseall the responsibilityfalls on the shouldersof the woman."Here the diagnosis of the ills of motherhoodshifts from the ontological to the institutional; it is no longer anything intrinsicto the enterpriseof bearingand raising children that makesproblemsfor the second sex; it is ratherthe current social organizationof that enterpriseas "enslavedmotherhood." This shift in Beauvoir'sanalysis,if indeed it is a shift, suggeststhe abilityof humanistfeminismto absorbsome elements of gynocentricfeminismwithout having to posit a feminine essence. It suggeststhe possibilityof keeping the humanistfocuson the capacitiessharedby women and men alike, and on the institutionalarrangementsthat deny women the chance to realizemany of those capacities,while refusingto buy into androcentricvaluationsthat privilege traditionallymale-dominatedactivities over traditionallyfemale-associated ones. This wouldcertainlybe a stronger,moreconsistent, and morecritical humanistfeminism, and one with potentially a broaderappeal. But perhapseven the later Beauvoirdoes not go far enough? An alternativeemphasisemergesin Luce Irigaray'sessay, "SorcererLove," publishedhere for the first time in English in EleanorKuykendall'stranslation. This essay belongs to the critical, as opposed to the utopian, side of that Irigaray'smulti-facetedoeuvre. It offersa re-readingof Plato'sSymposium is focused on the only woman whose words appearin a Platonic dialogue. Irigarayreads Diotima's speech on love as an early exercise in patriarchal metaphysics.She identifies the founding gestureof this metaphysicsas the substitutionof a teleological view of love as an instrumentin the service of The procreationfor a processualview of love as a "demon"or "intermediary." is a set of hierarchical wherein beto oppositions upshot, according Irigaray, morimmortal is over the over the takes becoming, privileged ing precedence tal, and the soul is deemed superiorto the body. Moreover,once love is seen in termsof productratherthan process, the way is opened for a hierarchyof better and worse productsand higher and lower loves. Irigaraysuggeststhat that move providesthe conceptualbasisfor the Greekdevaluationof women and of heterosexualrelations. This readingof Diotima'sspeech belongs to a genre of Irigarayancritique familiarto readersof her book, Speculumof theOtherWoman(1985a). There she reads an impressivearrayof classical philosophical and psychoanalytic texts as providing the constitutive metaphysicsof a phallocentricWestern symbolicorder. This order, in her view, is premisedon the repressionof the

Nancy Fraser


feminine; no genuine feminine differencecan be representedthere. What passes for femininity in Western culture is actually pseudo-femininity,the specularconstructionof womanby man as his own mirrorimage, his negative complementor inferiorcopy. This culture, accordingto Irigaray,is founded on "man'sdesire for the same." Diotima'sspeech on love, therefore, is an early and formativemove in the constructionof a symbolicorderthat banishes sexual differenceand feminine specificity. In the essaythat follows, AndreaNye takes issuewith Irigaray'sreadingof Diotima and with the largerculturaldiagnosisof which it is a part.Nye offers anotherDiotima, a powerfulpriestesswho is "The Hidden Host"of the Symposiumand the exponent of the pre-Classicalworldviewon which Platonic metaphysicsfeeds. This Diotima drawson earlierculturalrepresentationsof femalefecundityin orderto figuresocial life as a continuumof love-inspired, generative activities. On this continuum, activities like statecraft,friendship, and philosophy are modelled on childbearingand childrearing.Thus, far from marginalizingand denigratingthe feminine, Diotima'sphilosophy actually celebrates it, drawingon pre-Platonic religioustraditionsthat allowed for female power. The divergencebetween Irigaray'sand Nye's readingsof Plato'sSymposium is emblematicof a largerdivergence.This is the divergencebetween a view of Western culture as monolithically and univocally masculinistor phallocentric and a view of it as male-dominatedbut plurivocaland contested. By insistingon the divergencebetween Diotima'sand Plato'sphilosophies,Nye in effect rejectsthe monolithic view. She impliesthat Irigaray's view of Western culture is too homogeneous, that it doesn't do justice to nonhegemoniccurrents. In actuality, it is the second-orderideological constructionof tradition, ratherthan the recordof culturalproductionper se, that "repressesthe feminine."3 On Nye's view, it is Irigarayherself who, by drawingDiotima into the supposedlyall-encompassingclosure of phallocentricmetaphysics, suppressesher "difference."Ironically,then, the feministcritic of phallocentrism unwittinglyextend it. 4 Nye's essay raises important questions about the general diagnosis that underliesthe criticalside of Frenchgynocentrictheory. Yet it need not entail a complete rejectionof Irigarayancritique.On the contrary,it holds out the appealingprospectof having our cake and eating it too. We might enthusiastically embrace Irigaray'sbrilliant critical readingsof specific androcentric texts while demurringfromher globalhypothesisabouttheircollectiveimport. Forexample,feministscould applaudher stunningdeconstructionof Freud'sessay on "Femininity"without acceptingher view that the logic deconstructed thereunderpinsall symbolicexpressionin Westem culture.5Then, it wouldbe possibleto replacethe view that phallocentrismis coextensivewith all extant Wester culturewith a morecomplicatedstoryabouthow the culturalhegemony of phallocentricthinkinghas been, so to speak,erected.6



If the precedingis a promisingway of approachingIrigaray'scritical side, then what should we make of her utopian side?This hotly contested issue is the focus of Diana J. Fuss'spaper, "EssentiallySpeaking." Fuss examines Irigaray'sattemptsto conjureup an "otherwoman,"a woman who would incarnate neither the patriarchalfemininity of Freudiantheory nor the maledefined specularityof phallocentric metaphysics.This new woman, rather, wouldbe beyondphallocentrism;she woulddeploy a new, feminine syntax to give symbolic expressionto her specificity and difference. Irigaray'smost strikingattemptsto release, conjureup or invent this other woman are lyrical evocations of a nonphallic feminine sexuality. These attempts, found in essayslike "This Sex Which Is Not One" and "When Our Lips Speak Together,"7 evoke an eroticism premisedon the continual selftouching of "two lips." Neither clitoral nor vaginal, requiringthe interposition neither of hand nor of penis, this wouldbe a feminine pleasurethat escapes the phallocentric economy. Moreover, certain characteristicsof this pleasure-the way it exceeds the opposition activity/passivity, for example-suggest featuresof a postphallocentricway of thinking and speaking. Thus, like her fellow gynocentristHelene Cixous, Irigarayconnects the specificity of women'sbodies not only to the specificityof our sexual desiresand sexualpleasuresbut also to putativelyspecificfeminine modesof symbolicexpression. As Fuss'spaperindicates, the utopian side of Irigarayhas provedextremely controversial. Many American readershave accused her of biologism and essentialism.8 And yet, arguesFuss, these readersappearto have missed the figurativecharacterof Irigaray'sbody-language.They have failed to register the fact that her project is less to reduce social meaningsto biology than to create new, empoweringsocial meaningsfor our bodies and pleasures.Since the female body, the charge of biologism Irigaray'saim is to re-metaphorize misses the mark. The chargeof essentialism,on the other hand, is harderto assess.Fussoffers an original and interestingdefense of Irigarayon the groundsthat her essentialismis strategic,politicallyenabling, and thereforeworth the risk. By laying claim on behalf of women to an essence of our own, Irigaraydisrupts those androcentricmetaphysicalsystemsthat deny our access to "the essential." Moreover,accordingto Fuss,the posit of a feminine essence may be essential to feminist politics. After all, its function within Irigaray'sphilosophy is precisely to provide a point of leveragefor feminist critique and political practice. "An essentialistdefinition of 'woman'impliesthat there will always remainsome partof 'woman'which resistsmasculineimprintingand socialization . . . that a woman will never be a woman solely in masculine terms, never be wholly and permanentlyannihilated in a masculine order." Here Fuss implies that unless we assume a point that escapes the culture that constructsus, we have no way of conceiving ourselvesas anythingother than

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obedientconstructsof that culture.9 Irigarayanessence, in her view, provides us with such a point. Fuss'sessay raisesthe feminist debate about essentialismto a new level of sophistication. It shifts the burden of argument back onto the antiessentialists,requiringthem to show that it is possible to conceive feminist opposition to sexism and feminist solidarityamong women without presupposing a feminine essence. The remainingessaysin this issue can be read as attemptsto do just that. 10 Dorothy Leland'spaper, "LacanianPsychoanalysisand FrenchFeminism: Towardan AdequatePolitical Psychology,"concernspreciselythis issue. Leland's focus is the problemof "internalizedoppression,"the inculcation in women in male-dominatedsocieties of sexist and androcentricschemas of thought, feeling and valuation. What sort of theory, she asks, can providean account of internalizedoppressionthat acknowledgesits depth and power while still allowing for the possibilityin principleof political resistanceand social change?Her answer,in brief, is no theorythat acceptsthe basicpostulates of Lacanianpsychoanalysis. Lelandcriticizesboth Irigarayand Kristevafor failingto breakfully enough with JacquesLacan. She arguesthat, becauseLacan'saccount of the Oedipal complex prescribescontoursof socializationthat are independentof any historicallyspecific social relations, it casts women's internalizedoppressionas inevitable and irreversible.The result, claims Leland, is a psychologicaldeterminismso absolutethat no feministpolitical practiceis even conceivable. Now, it was as a counter to just this sort of theory that Fussdefendedthe strategicessentialismof Luce Irigaray.But this is not Leland'stack. Rather than oppose one exorbitantconstructto another, she opts to debunkthe initial Lacanianpostulateof an autonomous,all-embracingOedipal structuring of subjectivity.Writing from a socialist-feministperspective,Leland rejects the autonomyof psychology.Instead,she proposesto explain internalizedoppressionby referenceto specific, historicallyvariablesocial relationsand institutions, and therefore to build in the possibility of change. In Leland's view, it is Irigaray'stacit continuation of the Lacaniantendency to bypass historicaland sociological analysisthat createsproblemsfor her theory. Because she does not groundinternalizedoppressionin variableculturalpractices, Irigarayends up without a tenable foundationfor her commitment to change. If Irigaray'sproblem is her failure to develop the theoretical resources needed to underpinher political optimism, then Kristeva'sproblem, according to Leland, is her surrenderto "politicalpessimism."Here, too, the root of the troubleis misplacedfidelity to Lacan. In fact, KristevaoutdoesIrigaray in this respect, even accepting the Lacanian claim that the phallocentric symbolicorderis not susceptibleto change. With change ruledout, the best one can hope for is a seriesof endlessand fruitlessskirmishesin which asocial



"semiotic"instinctualdrives-"feminine" vestigesof the pre-Oedipalpastdisruptbut never overthrowthe powerof "The Father'sLaw."Moreover,like Irigaray,Kristevaalso acceptsthe Lacanianassumption,earlierchallengedby Nye, that "patriarchalrepresentations. . . exhaust the entire symbolic dimension that mediatesexperience."Accordingto Leland, then, becauseshe assumesa monolithicallyphallocentricsymbolicorderthat is wholly impervious to change, "Kristevarejects too much and hopes for too little." Leland's essay emphasizes the nominalist or anti-essentialist side of Kristeva'stheory, the side that rejectsgynocentricattemptsto create a feminine symbolic order and that stresses instead that "women"don't exist. 1 The next paper, by contrast, emphasizesthe gynocentricside of Kristeva's theory, the side that posits a locusof feminine resistanceto the paternalLaw. In "The Body Politics of JuliaKristeva,"JudithButlerarguesthat "the materal body"plays a role in Kristeva'stheory not unlike that which Fussattributesto Irigarayanessence: it harborsan extra-culturalsource of cultural subversion.But, claims Butler, the result is anything but emancipatory.On the contrary,while purportingto reveal the repressedfoundationsof culture in the libidinal multiplicity of infants' primaryrelations to their mothers' bodies, Kristevaactuallyconstructsan ideologicallegitimationof compulsory motherhoodfor women. Butlercarefullyunpacksthe steps in this construction. She identifies the figureof the lesbian as the stresspoint in Kristeva'stheory, the point where variousanxieties and contradictionscondense. For Kristeva,lesbianismis a way in which women re-experiencetheir pre-Oedipalrelationto their mothers'bodies. In this respect, it is like avant-gardepoetic practiceand maternity itself, since all three are seen by Kristevaas practicesin which the subject's identity is put "on trial"as the repressedsemiotic, feminine foundationsof cultureburstonto the paternally-sanctionedsymbolicscene. However, Kristeva does not value the three practicesequally. Rather, she reservesher approvalfor motherhoodand poetry,claimingthat in them alone semioticmultiplicityfindssymbolicexpression.Lesbianism,by contrast,she assimilatesto psychosis, an escapistflight fromthe symbolicand a regressionbeneathculture. In Butler'sreading,Kristeva'shomophobiais symptomaticof deep theoretical and political difficulties.Kristevaaccepts the structuralistand Lacanian dogmasequating heterosexualitywith the foundingof culture, culturewith the symbolic, and the symbolicwith "The Father'sLaw." It follows, argues Butler, that the lesbian can only appearas the "other"of culture, an archaic and chaotic force that is intrinsicallyunintelligible.But "thissaysmoreabout the fantasiesthat a fearfulheterosexistcultureproducesto defend againstits own homosexualpossibilitiesthan about lesbianexperienceitself." In failing to treat lesbianismas an alternativepossibilitywithinculture,Kristevarefuses to take up the challenge it poses to her restrictedview of culture as wholly and necessarilypaternal.

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Butler goes on to challenge Kristeva's view of the relation between libidinaldrives, languageand the law. To Kristeva'snaturalisticunderstanding of drives as prediscursivethings-in-themselvesButler counterposesanother possibility,inspiredby Foucault:perhapsthese "drives"arereallythemselves discursiveconstructs.Then, the "maternaldrive"would not reallybe prior to the paternal law; rather, that law would itself be the cause of the drive it is said to repress.Likewise,what Kristevasees as the culturalrepression of the maternalbody would reallybe the compulsoryculturalconstruction of the female body as a maternalbody. Butler concludes by proposing a Foucauldianalternative to gynocentric essentialism.She suggeststhat repressionbe understoodas a culturallycontradictory enterprise, simultaneously prohibitive and generative. Accordingly, we should not anchor our hopes for women'sliberationon a concept of the feminine seen as external to a culturethat repressesit. Nor should we dreamof liberatinga naturalfemale body from the shacklesof culturalconstruction. Rather, we should think in terms of exploiting oppositions and contradictions within our male-dominatedculture. And we should situate the projectof liberatingour bodies in the horizonof "an open futureof cultural possibilities." Both Butler'spaperand the final paperin this issue offer anti-essentialist critiquesof compulsorymotherhood.But whereasButler'scritiqueis inspired by Foucault, Sarah Kofman'sis an exemplarof deconstruction. Kofman'sessay, "Rousseau'sPhallocraticEnds,"appearshere for the first time in English in Mara Dukats'stranslation. It providesa close readingof the various moves by which Rousseau prescribes a maternal destiny for women. Notoriously, the authorof the Emilegroundsthe socio-politicalgender arrangementshe proposeson appealsto "Nature."But, claims Kofman, these appealsto "the ends of Nature"actuallydissimulate"the ends of man." Kofman scrutinizesRousseau'sclaims to found separatespheresfor men and women on "naturaldifferences."She demonstratesthat what he casts as gender complementarityis actuallygender hierarchyand that what he portraysas simpledifferenceis actuallyinequality.As Nancy Hollandsuggestsin her "Introduction"to this essay, the method employed is deconstructive. Kofmanexposes a numberof contradictionsin Rousseau,points where what were supposedlysupplementalelaborationsof primaryclaimsturnout instead to undercutthem. In the process,Kofmanin effect poses a seriesof devastating questions. Why, when he explicitly holds women to be the weakersex, does Rousseauimplicitlycast us as the stronger?Why, when he claimswe are "naturallyreserved,"does he deem it necessaryto confine us forcibly to a "domesticreservation?"Why does it turnout to be men who arethe principal beneficiariesof "Nature'sgift"of shame to women?Why, if indeed our natural destiny is motherhood,do we requirethe whip of shameand relatedsocial sanctionsto ensure that we performit? Finally, why, if men and women are



really so naturallydifferent, are elaborateinstitutionalarrangementsneeded in orderto enforce that difference? Kofman'sessay can also be read as an implicit challenge to Irigaray.Her readingof Rousseauis at odds with Irigaray'sview that phallocentricmetaphysicsis premisedon man'sfearof differenceand desirefor the same. According to Kofman,Rousseau'sphilosophyis actuallybasedon an intense fearof being confoundedwith women. Thus, it manifestsa desirefor differenceand a fearof the same. In general, Kofman'saccount of the deep structureof sexist ideologyis closer to Beauvoir'sthan to Irigaray's.Fordespitethe enormous divergence between their respective philosophical methods, both she and Beauvoirunderstanddifferenceless as a condition to be celebratedthan as a construct of domination to be demystified.12 Thus, Kofman offers yet another alternativeto gynocentrism.She managesto combine elements of humanist feminismwith the sort of nominalistanti-essentialismassociatedwith deconstruction. The precedingmight suggestthat Irigarayand Fussare the odd women out in this special issue. However, that assessmentis rathermisleading.It is important to recognizethat there is a deeper level at which they are in accord with the other contributorsto this issue, since they too oppose essentialist definitionsof women as mothers. Clearly, it is a basic intention of Irigaray's philosophyto contest materalist constructionsof femininity. Indeed, that is preciselythe impetusbehind her counter-constructionof a feminine eros detached from procreation. At a time when women in North America (and elsewhere)arebeing bombardedwith a barrageof neo-materalist imagesand rhetorics,and when reproductivefreedomsareonce againunderopen attack, it is hearteningto encountersuch a wide rangeof feministripostes.This issue of Hypatiademonstratesthe continuing vitality of feminist theory and the enormous potential for fruitful interaction among humanist, gynocentric, and nominalist feminisms.

NOTES 1. There is now a very largesecondaryliteratureaboutthis material.Foran introductionand overview, see, for example, Duchen (1986 and 1987); Marksand de Courtivron(1981); Moi (1985 and 1987); Spivak (1981); Burke (1978); Marks(1978); and Gallop (1982). 2. In characterizingthe three feminisms, I shall use terms developed by feminist theorists other than Kristeva.I borrowthe terms"humanistfeminism"and "gynocentricfeminism"from Iris Young (1985) and I take the term "nominalistfeminism"from Linda Alcoff (1988). 3. For a parallelargumentconcerning the repressionof African and Semitic influences in the constructionof an "Aryan"model of the sourcesof Greek civilization, see Martin Beral (1987). 4. A similar objection could be made against Derrida insofar as he posits a totally "phallogocentric"culturalorder. Revealingly, the evidence he adducesin supportof this view comes entirely from texts by men. For example, in a recent (1988) paperhe arguesthat "the" Westernconcept of friendshipis male. Yet the only supporthe offersfor this claim is a readingof

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a text by Aristotle. The result is to renderinvisible the largeand interestingculturalrecordof female friendshipthat has been documentedby feminist scholarslike CarrollSmith-Rosenberg (1975). 5. See "The Blind Spot of an Old Dreamof Symmetry,"in Irigaray(1985a). 6. I have recently arguedfor this sort of approachin Fraser(1988). But again, the most extensive and persuasiveexemplaris Beral (1987). 7. Both of these essaysappearin Irigaray(1985b). 8. Early and influential argumentsto this effect were offered by Jones (1985) and Plaza (1980). 9. This assumptionappearsto be dependenton a prioracceptanceof Irigaray'sview of Western cultureas monolithicallyphallocentric. If one followsNye in refusingthat assumption,then the problemof how oppositionis possiblelooks verydifferent.On Nye's view, resistanceto male dominance involves pitting some elements of the traditionagainstothers that contradictthem. This alternativewill be discussedbelow. 10. There have of coursebeen other attemptsto answerthe sort of challenge posed by Fuss. Among the most interestingand compellingof these is Denise Riley'srecent (1988) book. See also Linda Alcoff (1988) and Nancy Fraserand LindaNicholson (1988). 11. I have suggestedthat this nominalistic side of Kristevais actuallypostfeministin Fraser (1988). 12. In this respect, though not in others, Kofmanand Beauvoirhave affinitieswith the leading Americanexponent of this position, CatharineA. MacKinnon(1987), who arguesthat gender differenceis just gender domination.


The idenAlcoff, Linda. 1988. Culturalfeminism versuspoststructuralism: tity crisis in feminist theory. Signs 13 (3): 405-436. Beral, Martin. 1987. BlackAthena.New Brunswick,N.J.: RutgersUniversity Press. Burke,Carolyn. 1978. ReportfromParis:Women'swritingand the women's movement. Signs.3(4): 843-55. Derrida,Jacques. 1988). The politics of friendship. Paperdelivered at the meetings of the American PhilosophicalAssociation, EasternDivision, Washington D.C., December30. Duchen, Claire, ed. 1987. Frenchconnections:Voicesfromthewomen'smovementin France.Amherst:University of MassachusettsPress. Duchen, Claire. 1986. Feminismin France:FromMay '68 to Mitterand.London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Fraser,Nancy and LindaNicholson. 1988. Social criticismwithout philosophy: An encounterbetween feminismand postmodernism.Theory,Culture & Society5: 373-394. Fraser,Nancy. 1988. The uses and abusesof French discoursetheories for feministpolitics. Paperdeliveredat the meetingsof the AmericanPhilosophical Association, Eastern Division, Washington D.C., December 28. Gallop, Jane. 1982. The daughter'sseduction:Feminismand psychoanalysis. Ithaca, N.Y.: Corell University Press.



Irigaray, Luce. 1985a. Speculumof the otherwoman, Gillian C. Gill, tr. Ithaca:Corell University Press. Irigaray,Luce. 1985b. Thissex whichis not one, Catherine Porter,tr. Ithaca: Comell University Press. Jones, Ann Rosalind. 1985. Writing the body: Towardan understandingof l'ecriture feminine.In Thenewfeministcriticism:Essayson women,literature and theory,Elaine Showalter, ed. New York:Pantheon Books. Kristeva,Julia. 1986. Women's time. In The Kristevareader,Toril Moi, ed. New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press. MacKinnon,CatharineA. 1987. Feminismunmodified.CambridgeMA: Harvard University Press. Marks,Elaine and Isabellede Courtivron,eds. 1981. New Frenchfeminisms. New York:Schocken. Marks,Elaine. 1978. Women and literaturein France. Signs3(4) 832-42. andsexualdifMoi, Toril, ed. 1987. Frenchfeministthought:Politics,patriarchy ference.London: Basil Blackwell. Moi, Toril. 1985. Sexual/textual politics.London:Methuen. Plaza, Monique. 1980. 'Phallomorphic' power and the psychology of 'woman.' FeministIssues 1 (1): 71-102. Riley, Denise. 1988. Am I thatname?Feminismand thecategoryof 'women'in history.Minneapolis:University of Minnesota Press. Smith-Rosenberg,Carroll. 1975. The female world of love and ritual:Relations between women in nineteenth-centuryAmerica. Signs1 (1): 1-29. Spivak, GayatriC. 1981. French feminism in an internationalframe. Yale FrenchStudies62: 154-84. Young, Iris. 1985. Humanism,gynocentrismand feministpolitics. Hypatia3, Forum8 (3): publishedas a special issue of Women'sStudiesInternational 173-183.

Two Interviewswith Simone de Beauvoir MARGARETA. SIMONS and translatedby JANE MARIETODD Transcribed

In theseinterviewsfrom 1982 and 1985, I ask Beauvoiraboutherphilosophical withJean-PaulSartreon theissuesof voluntarism vs socialconditioning differences andembodiment, individualism vs reciprocity, and ontologyvs ethics.We alsodiscussherinfluenceon Sartre'swork,theproblemswiththe currentEnglishtranslation of The Second Sex, her analysesof motherhood and feministconceptsof and her own sexism. woman-identity, experienceof


In Mayof 1982 and Septemberof 1985, I had my last interviewswith Simone de Beauvoir.My first was in the autumnof 1972. I had come to Paris on a grant to do doctoral researchwith Beauvoiron her philosophy in The SecondSex. Developmentsin the women'sliberationmovement had left me searchingfor direction and I hoped that returningto the theoreticalfoundations of feminismas Beauvoirdeveloped them in The SecondSex would help me find my way again. The SecondSex had inspiredradicalslike Ti-Grace Atkinson, Shulamith Firestone,and Kate Millett, as well as liberalslike Betty Friedan,and socialists like Juliet Mitchell. Criticizingthe male bias in traditionalphilosophy, religion, psychology, and Marxism, Beauvoir based her understandingof women's situation on descriptionsof women'sown "lived experience."She rejectedessentialistdefinitions of woman that reflectedthe oppressivemyth of woman as Other. Only women acting together, she argued,could secure independencefor all women and replaceoppressionwith relationshipsof genuine reciprocitybetween men and women. But BeauvoirwroteThe SecondSex in 1948-9, between the firstand second wavesof the women'smovement. I was interestedthen, as now and throughI am indebtedto the editorsof this issue, Nancy Fraserand SandraBartky,for their encouragementand helpful suggestionsduringthe long processof preparingthese interviewsfor publication; to Jane MarieTodd, for undertakingthe tasksof transcribingthem fromthe tape, translating, and editing them; to the GraduateSchool of SouthernIllinoisUniversityat Edwardsville, for supportingmy travel to France;and to Simone de Beauvoirfor generouslyagreeingto meet with me and respondto my questions. Hypatia vol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Margaret A. Simons



out my relationshipwith her, in how her experience of the contemporary movement had changed her perspective. In the interviewsthat follow, I ask her about her responseto the new form of feminist essentialism,the search for our "woman-identity"and about motherhood, an experience central to the traditonaldefinition of womanhood, and thus one chargedwith emotional ambivalence for many feminists. In The SecondSex, she describes motherhoodin negative terms, as "enslavementto the species,"a barrierto authentichumanexperience, and a burdenfor women that only society could lighten. Would she still define motherhoodin such a negative way or has her philosophicalposition changed? A studentof Beauvoir'sphilosophymustovercomeseveraldifficulties.One posedby our culturaldifferencesis that of translation.In these interviewswe discussthe need for a scholarlytranslationof The SecondSex. The only translation currently available to English readersis by Howard M. Parshley, a zoologistwho authoreda 1930's text on sex differences.In responseto demandsfrom the publisher,Parshleymade extensive cuts, eliminatingalmost ten percent of the original French text of The SecondSex, includinghalf of one chapteron historyand the namesof 78 women in history. Unfortunately Parshleylacked any expertise in philosophy, or familiaritywith existential phenomenology, the philosophical tradition within which Beauvoir was working. As a consequence, he gave mistranslationsof philosophicalterms crucial to an understandingof Beauvoir'sphilosophicalperspective. Few chroniclersof continental philosophy or existential phenomenology mention Beauvoir'swork, which may lead one to wonder whether she is a philosopherat all. This poses another problemfor scholarsinterestedin her work. When histories of philosophy deal with her at all, they ignore The SecondSex, commonlydescribingBeauvoiras a followerof Sartre.But Sartre was no feminist, and his attempt in Beingand Nothingnessto construct an existential social philosophywas convincing on neither theoreticalnor practical grounds.In The SecondSex Beauvoirrejectedthe Sartreanassumptions of absolutefreedomand radicalindividualism.Groundedepistemologicallyin women's experience of oppressionwithin historicallydefined relationships with men, The SecondSex representedan importanttheoretical advance for existentialismas well as feminism, and inspiredwomen aroundthe world to challenge their traditionalroles. In these interviewswith Beauvoir,I explorethemes in her philosophythat differentiateit fromSartre's.I am also interestedin her influenceon him. We discussspecific areasof disagreementbetween Beauvoirand Sartre, for example, voluntarismvs. emphasison social conditions and embodiment;individualismvs. emphasison reciprocity;ontology vs. ethics. I also raise the questionsof philosophicalinfluence:whetherBeauvoirconsideredthe reconciling of a Sartrean"choice"with her understandingof woman'soppressiona problemin The SecondSex;and whether Sartre'slater work, for example, on Genet and Flaubert,was influenced by The SecondSex.

MargaretA. Simons


Beauvoirwas not alwaysreceptiveto these questions.When we firstmet in 1972, Beauvoirseemed angeredby my questionsabouther philosophyin The SecondSex, despiteher supportfor my Fulbrightproposalwhich was precisely to examine this philosophy."I am not a philosopher,"she insisted, "buta literarywriter;Sartre is the philosopher. How could I have influenced him?" on The Second When I askedabout the importanceof Hegel's Phenomenology Sex, she angrilyrepliedthat, the only importantinfluenceon The SecondSex was BeingandNothingnessby Jean-PaulSartre.This was certainlyan odd response, given that she tells us in her memoirsthat immediatelypriorto writing The SecondSex she had made a carefuland extensive studyof Hegel. Understandingher responsebecamea continuingtopic in my researchand interviews with Beauvoir. Beauvoirwas a philosopherby training. She taughtphilosophyfor several years. In her memoirsshe describesher philosophicalwork on the "existentialist ethics" that formsthe theoretical frameworkof The SecondSex. How was I to understandher statementthat she, unlike Sartre,was "not a philosopher"but a "literarywriter"? Her identificationas a literarywritermight be understoodas a philosophical stance, confirmingthe priorityof the concrete and experientialover the abstractand ahistorical. Her goal, shapedduringthe period of her most intense philosophical work in the 1940's, was to groundexistential ethics in historyand concrete relationshipsratherthan in abstractions.In The Second Sex she locates her ethical enquirywithin the context of specifichistoricalrelationships, and asks how, given man's historical definition of woman as Other, authentic relationshipsbetween men and women are possible. Philosopherslike Kant, Hegel, and Sartre(to use her example), build abstractsystems, meant to transcendhistory. Meaning, for Beauvoir,is alwayssituated and historical. This is a substantivephilosophicalclaim. Then why did Beauvoirinsistshe was not a philosopher?Why did she assumea position outsideof philosophy for her critique?Why did she relinquishthe right of every philosopherto redefine philosophy itself? Her memoirssuggestthat her identificationwith a literarytraditionthat had includedwomen, ratherthan with a philosophical traditionthat had excludedthem, is connected with a sense of inferioritythat she herself connects with the "femininecondition." "Why not try my hand at philosophy?"she asks herself in 1935. "Sartre saysthat I understandphilosophicaldoctrines, Husserl'samongothers, more quickly and more exactly that he. ...

In brief, I have solid powers of assimi-

lation, a developedcriticalsense, and philosophyis for me a living reality. I'll never tire of its satisfactions. "However,I don't considermyselfa philosopher.I know verywell that my ease in entering into a text comes preciselyfrommy lack of inventiveness. In this domain, the truly creative spiritsare so rarethat it is idle of me to ask



why I cannot try to join their ranks. It's necessaryratherto explain how certain individualsare capableof pulling off this concerteddeliriumwhich is a system, and whence comes the stubbornesswhich gives to their insightsthe value of universalkeys. I have said alreadythat the feminine condition does not dispose one to this kind of obstinacy"(1960, 228-9). When invited in 1943 to contributean article on existentialismto an anthology on recent work in philosophy, Beauvoirwrites that, "at first I refused, I said that where philosophy was concerned I knew my own limitations" (1960, 562). In the interviewsthat follow I ask Beauvoirabout the educationalexperiences that might have contributedto this attitude. She denies ever having sufferedfromdiscriminationas a womanand claimsto have escapedwoman's traditionalrole. But her autobiographiestell a differentstory. Considerthis descriptionof her education in a Catholic girl'sschool: "Myupbringinghad convinced me of my sex's intellectual inferiority,a fact admittedby many women. 'A lady cannot hope to pass the selective examination before the fifth or sixth attempt,'" one of her teachers,who alreadyhad made two attempts,had told her (1974, 295). In the universityher experiencewasthat of a token woman. She felt "privileged" by her accessto the male domainof philohad not been on equaltermswith men. I that her access leared sophy,but 1985 interview with Beauvoir,Michele LeDoeuff, On the day before my the Frenchfeminist philosopher,told me about a conversationshe had once had with Beauvoiraboutphilosophy.Accordingto LeDoeuff,it hadbeen significant to Beauvoirthat she had not been a student at the prestigiousEcole Normale Superieure(ENS). In the highly centralizedFrenchuniversitysystem, the Sorbonne, where Beauvoirwas enrolled, providedhigher education for the mass of French students. The Ecole Normale Superieure,which was open only to men, trainsthe elite of the academicprofessoriate,and provides its students with the contacts necessaryfor major academic appointments. Both Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty had won entrance to the ENS. Beauvoirwas not permittedto matriculatethere, althoughshe did attend lecturesthere in preparationfor the standardizedcompetitiveexaminations,the "agregation"in philosophy. Sartre, who was a year ahead of her, was preparingto take his exams a second time, after having failed on his first attempt. Beauvoir'sthesis on Leibnizwon her an invitation to join his study group. When they took the exams at the end of that year, Sartreplaced first and Beauvoirsecond, making her the youngeststudent ever to pass the exams. But this successapparently could not overcome Beauvoir'ssense of intellectualinferiority.She saw her youth not as a sign of her brilliance, but ratheras another markerof her inferiority.She claims that she often assumeda passiverole in philosophical discussionsamong Sartre'smale friends, offering criticism or remainingsilent, feeling that she "did not think fast enough" (1960, 35).

MargaretA. Simons


Beauvoir'sresponsesto my questionsabouther experienceof sexism in her education and in her relationship with Sartre are often ambiguous.They point out the difficultiesin any attemptto interpretanotherperson'slife. But they also shed light on Beauvoir'sexperienceas a "tokenwoman"and on her innovative response to that experience. Feeling inferiorin the male-dominated domain of philosophy, she identified instead with a literarytradition morehospitableto women and transformedher "lackof inventiveness"into a critique of philosophy and a profoundly philosophical reflection on the situation of women. II. PARIS;MAY11, 1982 MS. I have a questionabout Sartre'sinfluenceon The SecondSex. You wrote in The Primeof Life that Sartre'squestionsabout your childhood, about the fact that you were raisedas a girl, not a boy, are what gave you the idea for The SecondSex. SB: No, not exactly. I had begun-well, he was the one who actually told me. ... I wanted to write about myselfand he said, "Don'tforgetto explain first of all what it is to be a women." And I told him, "But that never botheredme, I was alwaysequal to men," and he said, "yes, but even so, you were raised differently, with different myths and a different view of the world."And I told him, "that'strue".And that'show I began to workon the myths. And then, he encouragedme by saying that, in orderto understand the myths, one had to understandthe reality. So I had to come back to reality, all of it, physiological,historical, etc. Then afterwards,I continued on my own on women's situation as I saw it. MS: You wrote somewherethat you never sufferedfrombeing female in your childhood. SB: No, I never suffered. MS: But, was not your childhood differentfrom a boy's?When you did the researchfor TheSecondSex, did that changeyourinterpretationof yourchildhood? SB: Not of my own childhood, but I interpretdifferentlyother people'schildhood. I see manywomen whose childhoodwas unfavorablecomparedto that of a boy. But for me my childhood was not unfavorable. MS: I remembera passagefromMemoirsof a DutifulDaughter.Youwerewalking past a [boy's]high school. ...



SB: Ah yes, near the College Stanislas.And I thought that they had a superior education, that's true. But in the end, I adapted to mine because I thought that later on I would be able to go on to higher education. But at that moment, yes, I thought that there was something there that was more intellectual than our course of study. MS: And this was the case? SB. Yes, it was true. MS: In yourautobiography,you wrote that there was a disagreementbetween you and Sartreconcerningliteratureand philosophy,and life. He did one before the other, and you did the reverse? SB: Yes, that's right. MS: And somewhereyou describedsexuality and passion as overwhelming you when you were young. He alwaysthought that it was a question of will, an act of will. And you thought that the body, that passion, could overwhelm. . . . That's a differencebetween the two of you. SB: Yes, Sartrewas much more voluntarist. But he also thought that about seasickness.He thought if you got seasick, it was becauseyou had let it happen and with willpower, you could conquerseasickness. MS: I thought that perhapsthat might be a problemin The SecondSex. You used Sartre'sphilosophy, which is voluntarist,but you studiedthe body, and passion, and the training of girls. And you questioned whether there is a choice. .. . SB: All the same, there'sa choice in the Sartreansense, that is, choices are alwaysmade in a certain situation and, startingfromthe same situation, one can choose this or that. One can have differentchoices in a single situation. That is, granted,one is a girl with a certain physicaltraining, and a certain social trainingbut startingfromthat, one can choose to accept it or to escape it or to. .. . Well, naturally, the choice itself depends upon a number of things. But afterall, there is still some freedomor choice, even in resignation of course. MS: But you didn't think that was a greatproblemfor you, to reconcile the Sartrean philosophical foundation with your research in biology, on the body?

MargaretA. Simons


SB: But Sartrewas not so voluntarist.In Beingand Nothingness,there was a lot of things about the body. MS: And in 1949, he also changed his ideas. SB: Oh no, BeingandNothingness,which he wrote well beforethat, is full of texts about the body. The body alwayshad a lot of importancefor him. MS: But not exactly the same importanceas for you. SB: When, in Beingand Nothingness,he speaksof masochismas well as sadism, of love etc., the bodyplaysa verygreatrole for Sartrealso. Yes, always. MS: And that wasn't a problemfor you? SB: No, not at all. MS: And you don't think he changed his ideas at that time? SB: No. MS: How did he react to your book, (The SecondSex)? SB: He read it along the way, as I was writing it, as we alwaysread each other's work. From time to time, after readinga chapter, he would tell me that there were correctionsto make, as I would sometimestell him. So that book too, he read it as I wrote it. So he was not at all surprisedby the book. He was in complete agreementwith me. MS: Not long before you wrote The SecondSex, he wrote Baudelaire,mentioning very little about Baudelaire'schildhood. And afterwards,in Saint Genet, he wrote a lot about Genet's childhood. Perhapsyour interest in childhood experience might have interestedhim in it as well. SB: No, I don't think so. I think that was a development.Baudelaire waswritten very quickly and for Genet he wanted to do something more extensive. And then, Genet himselfspeaksa lot abouthis childhoodand aboutchildren so it's the subject Genet which requiredthat one speak a lot about childhood.... MS: I see differencesbetween yourperspectivein The SecondSex and Sartre's perspectivein Beingand Nothingness.You have said that in social relations one ought to look for reciprocity.That's a kind of optimismthat was not in



BeingandNothingness.Do you agree?Is there a difference,at least in attitude if not in philosophy? SB: Yes, in effect, I think that the idea of reciprocitycame later for Sartre. He had it in The Critique.In BeingandNothingness,reciprocityis not his subject. But that doesn't mean that he didn't believe that reciprocitywas the best way afterall to live out humanrelationships.That waswhat he believed. It's just that it wasn't his subject in Beingand Nothingness,because in Being andNothingnesshe's concernedwith the individualand not so much with the relationsamong individuals.... That is, in The SecondSex, I place myself much more on a moral plane whereasSartredealtwith moralitylateron. In fact, he neverexactlydealtwith he'snot lookingfor the moral,he'sseekinga morality.In BeingandNothingness, ... is. of what existence It'smore an ontologythan a morality. description MS: Now a final question on motherhood. You opened your discussionof motherhoodin TheSecondSexwith a studyof abortionand you describedmotherhood as something rathernegative, as an inhuman activity. SB: No, I didn't say that exactly. I said that there could be a humanrelation, even a completely interesting and privilegedrelation between mother and child but that, in many cases, it was on the orderof narcissismor tyrannyor something like that. But I didn't say that motherhood in itself was always something to be condemned, no, I didn't say that. No, something that has dangers,but obviously, any human adventurehas its dangers,such as love or anything. I didn't say that motherhoodwas something negative. MS: I thought that you said that it did not supporthuman meaning. SB: No, oh no, I didn't say that motherhooddoes not supporthumanmeaning. No, I am sure that I never said that. MS: Is this a question that interestsyou now? SB: Oh yes, of course, motherhoodinterestsme a greatdeal, becauseone also discussesit a lot in feminist quarters.There are feminists who are mothers and, of course, just because one is for abortion-naturally, all feministsare for abortion-but that doesn't mean that there aren'tsome who have chosen to have children. And I find that that can be a completely valid choice, which is verydangeroustodaybecauseall the responsibilityfallson the shouldersof the woman, because in general it's enslaved motherhood.One of my friendshas written a book called EnslavedMotherhood [LesChimeres, 1975]. But motherhoodin itself is not something negative or something inhuman.

MargaretA. Simons


No, I certainly didn't write that motherhoodhad no human meaning. I may have said that one had to give it one or that the embryo,as long as it is not yet consideredhuman, as long as it is not a being with human relationships with its mother or its father, it's nothing, one can eliminate the embryo. But I never said that the relationto the child was not a humanrelation. No, no, rereadthe text, I don't have it here. Listen, I'mveryhappy[thatyou areundertakingthe new translationof The SecondSex, and correctingmistranslationof "larealitehumaine"as "the real natureof man"]since the base of existentialismis preciselythat there is no human nature, and thus no "feminine nature." It's not something given. There is a presence to the world, which is the presencewhich defines man, who is defined by his presenceto the world, his consciousnessand not a nature that grants him a prioricertain characteristics.That's a gross errorto have translatedit in that way. MS: "Woman-identity"is an importantissue in America, now, with many feminists searchingfor a feminine nature. SB: There arealso women in Francewho do that, but I am completelyagainst it because in the end they come back to men's mythologies, that is, that woman is a being apart, and I find that completely in error.Better that she identifyherselfas a human being who happensto be a woman. It's a certain situationwhich is not the same as men'ssituationof course,but she shouldn't identify herself as a woman. MS: In Americathe questionof woman-identityis often connected with motherhood;a woman sometimesbecomespregnantwhen she is insecureof her identity. Was it ratherdifficultfor you becausealmostall women of yourgeneration, all of your friendswere mothers? SB: No, in general, my friends are not mothers. Most of my friends don't have children. Of course, I have friends with children but I have many friendswithout children. My sisterdoesn'thave any children;my friendOlga has no children, many, many women I know have no children. There are some who have a child and it's no big deal. They don't considerthemselves mothers. They work in addition. Almost all the women I'm connected with work. Eitherthey'reactresses,or they'relawyers.They do things besideshaving children. III. PARIS;SEPTEMBER 10, 1985

MS: You know that in my critical study of the Parshleytranslation[of The SecondSex], I've uncoverednumerousdeletions, almosta hundredpageswere



cut from the originalFrenchedition. This is an importantissuefor the study of your philosophy-for me it's a philosophy-because the translationdestroys the philosophical integrity of your work. But you've told me many times that you are not a philosopher.Well, he's done a popular[non-philosophical] translationof your book. What do you think of this translation? SB: Well, I think that it's very bad to suppressthe philosophicalaspect because while I say that I'm not a philosopher in the sense that I'm not the creatorof a system, I'm still a philosopherin the sense that I've studieda lot of philosophy, I have a degree in philosophy, I've taught philosophy, I'm infusedwith philosophy, and when I put philosophyinto my books it's because that'sa way for me to view the worldand I can't allow them to eliminate that way of viewing the world, that dimensionof my approachto women, as Mr. Parshleyhas done. I'm altogether against the principle of gaps, omissions, condensationswhich have the effect, among other things of suppressingthe whole philosophicalaspect of the book. MS: You accepted this translationin 1952. SB: I accepted it to the extent that. . . you know, I had a lot of things to do, a creativeworkto write, and I wasnot going to readfrombeginningto end all the translationsthat were being done of my work. But when I found out that Mr. Parshleywas omittingthings, I askedhim to indicatethe omissionsto me, and I wroteto tell him that I was absolutelyagainstthem, and since he insisted on the omissionson the pretextthat otherwisethe book wouldbe too long, I asked him to say in a prefacethat I was againstthe omissions,the condensation.And I don'tbelieve that he did that, which I begrudgehim a greatdeal. MS: Yes, it's awful. We've been studying this book for more than [thirty] years, a book which is very differentfrom the book you wrote. SB: I would like very much for an unabridgedtranslationto be done today. An honest translation, with the philosophical dimension and with all the partsthat Mr. Parshleyjudgedpointlessand which I considerto have a point, very much so. . .. Fromcertain things that you've told me, I think that one will have to look at passagesthat weren't cut as well to see if there are not mistranslations,misrepresentations.Forexample, you tell me that he speaks of human nature whereas I have never believed-nor Sartreeither, and on this point I am his disciple-we never believed in humannature.So it's a serious mistaketo speakof "humannature"insteadof "humanreality,"which is a Heideggerianterm. I was infusedwith Heidegger'sphilosophyand when I speakabouthumanrealitythat is, aboutman'spresencein the world, I'mnot speakingabout human nature, it's completely different.

MargaretA. Simons


MS: Yes, exactly. These translationproblemshave been quite significantin feminist debate. American feminists have criticizedyour analysisof history and of marriage.But those discussionsin TheSecondSexcontain the most extensive deletions. Parshleycut out the names of seventy-eightwomen from history, and almost thirty-fivepagesfromthe chapteron marriage.You did a very good study of the letters of Sophie Tolstoy and he cut almost all of it. SB: That's too bad becausereally I liked that very much. It was Sophie Tolstoy'sjournal,not her letters. It'sthe journal,well the whole relationshipwas very strange,no, not very strange,on the contrary,one could say it was very banal, very typical of Tolstoy with his wife. At the same time, she is odious, but he even more odious. There. I'm enormouslysorrythat they cut out that passage. ... I would like very much for anothertranslationof TheSecondSex to be done, one that is much morefaithful,morecompleteand morefaithful. MS: I have another question. A Frenchphilosopherfriendexplained to me yourexperienceat the Ecole NormaleSuperieure[the institutionresponsible, under the highly centralizedFrench universitysystem, for trainingthe elite professoriate,as opposed to the Sorbonne, a more mass institution]. SB: I was never at the ENS. That's false. MS: Just a year as auditor. .. ? SB: No, No, never, never. MS: You didn't.... SB: I took coursesat the ENS like everyoneelse, I took coursesthere when I was preparingmy agregation. When you are preparingan agr6gation, you have the right to take coursesthere, but I was never enrolled. MS: But Sartrewas [enrolled]there. SB: Yes, he was a student there. MS: And Merleau-Ponty? SB: Yes, he as well. MS: Were there other women who were regularstudents there?



SB: There were some for a yearor two. There was Simone Weil, Simone Petrement, but that was after me. I was alreadyagregee,that is, I had already finished my studies, when they were at the ENS. MS: It was a normalthing for a womanto take courses,but not to be a regular student. SB: No, but takingcourseswas normal.At the time one waspreparingfor the agregation,one could take certain coursesat the ENS. That was completely normal. MS: Was it forbiddenfor women to be regularstudents at the ENS at that time? SB: No. Yes, it was forbiddenand then it was allowedfor a yearor two and it wasjust at that moment that Simone Weil, Simone Petrement,perhapseven anotherwoman, were regularstudents.All that is not verypertinentbetween us, that is. MS: Was it an importantexclusion for you not to. . ? SB: Absolutelynot. I could have gone to Sevres if I had wantedto. But I preferredto stay, not that I loved my family, but I preferred.. . . Well, it wasn't even a matter of that . . . I didn't want to live on campusanywhere.That would have bothered me a lot. No, it wasn't exclusion. Well, it was completely normal. You studiedat the Sorbonneand that was it. That didn'tpreat a very youngage;that didn'tbotherme vent me fromgetting my agr6gation at all. MS: I once remarkedto a colleaguethat you describeSartreas a philosopher, and yourselfas a literarywriter, and he replied: "Simone de Beauvoirsaid that she is a literarywriterand Sartreis the philosopher?Ah, that'sfunny, he would preferto be a literarywriter".Is that true? SB: No, it's not exactly that. He thought that among his works, he was perhaps more attached to his literaryworksthan to his philosophicalones, becausea literaryworkremainsyours[ensoil, and a philosophicalworkis always taken up and revised by posterity, it's changed and criticized, etc. MS: When I startedmy studieswith you, I was especiallylookingfor an independent woman. It was very importantto find a role model. And I looked for this role model in you. And I was angrythat men said"The GreatSartreuse."

MargaretA. Simons


SB: Oh, but that, that's a joke. MS: Yes, a joke. But a lot of people told me, "Whyareyou workingwith her? Why not the man himself?She is just a follower." SB: My books are completelypersonal.Sartrenever interfered.SheCameTo Stay, The Mandarins,all of that is mine. And The SecondSex is mine. Sartre was hardlyinterestedat all in the educationof women. . . . Feministsunderstand very well that feminism is me and not Sartre. MS: I heard that in 1968 or 1970, Frenchfeministswere very unhappywith The WomanDestroyedbecause they thought that it was againstwomen. SB: There were critiquesby certain feministsabout it, but it was completely false because-well, I don't like "thesis"books, but-the story was that a womanshouldbe independent.The heroine of TheWomanDestroyedis completely destroyedbecauseshe lived only for her husbandand children. So it's a veryfeminist book in a sense since it provesfinally that a womanwho only lives for marriageand motherhoodis miserable. MS: Now, this book is being readfavorablyby Americanfeministswho see it reflectingyour own experience. SB: Well, of course, one puts partof oneself into any book, but it's not at all autobiographical. MS: They referto the rage, the fearof losingyoursensualityor yourtendency to sacrificeyourself,they found all those themes in that book in you. SB: But I never had the idea of sacrificingmyself, all of that doesn't exist. They're wrong. It's hardly autobiographicalat all. When one says that it's autobiographical,it's that I put in settings that I liked, that I place the story in places, etc. But the whole storyof the good wife who has sacrificedeverything for her marriageand daughters,that'sjust the opposite. I'm completely againstthat, the idea of sacrificingoneself for a good husbandand children. I'm completely adverse, the enemy of that idea. MS: But you don't find that in your relation to Sartre. SB: No, not at all ... I never sacrificedmyselffor Sartre,any more than he sacrificedhimself for me. MS: Have you read the review by Michele LeDoeuff [1984] of your edited collection of Sartre'sletters, Les Lettresau Castor?



SB: There were so many articles. MS: LeDoeuffrefersto Sartreas "the only speakingsubject"in the relationship. SB: Does that mean that I didn't give them my letters? MS: No, it's not that. It's that Sartrereally dominatedthe relationship. SB: No, that'snot true. He's writingto me, so, one doesn'tsee my own stories, one doesn'tsee me, my personallife in his letters. One only sees Sartre's. That's all. MS: So it's really Sartrewho is speaking. SB: In his letters, yes. If I publishedmy own, I would be the one speaking. But in my lifetime, I won't publish my letters. MS: A friend, an American philsopher, once told me, "I am completely angryat this Simone de Beauvoir-"we, we, we"-she alwayssays "we"in her autobiography.Where is she?She had completely disappeared". SB: I'm the one speaking. Obviously, Sartredidn't write his autobiography [coveringthe periodof our relationship].If he had, he wouldhave had to say "we"also. MS: Yes, you begin a sentence and he finishes it, and afterwardsyou think together. SB: Yes, but it's the same thing. If I begin it, he finishes it; if he begins it, I finish it, afterwards,there's a moment .... Yes, we were very, very close. But that's nothing contraryto feminism. BecauseI believe one can be close to a man and be a feminist. Obviously, there are feminists, especiallylesbian feminists, who would not at all agree. But that's my own feminism. MS: I am surprisedthat you don't say that you find the tendency to sacrifice yourselfin your inner life. Because I think I saw it in your books. SB: Not in my memoirs. In my memoirs, there is no tendency to self-sacrifice, whereasin my novels, I describedwomen who perhapshad a tendency to self-sacrifice. Because I'm not speaking only about myself, I'm also speakingabout other women.

MargaretA. Simons


MS: And yet, you have told me, "Yes, when I was very young, just before leavingfor Marseilles,I had a crisisof consciousness".[Thisquestionrefersto Beauvoir'sexperience of losing a sense of direction in her life, in the early years of her intimate relationshipwith Sartre, after finishing her graduate study and before beginning her first position in Marseilles.] SB: Well, in fact, I refusedto marryhim afterall. Thus, I remainedfeminist. I did not at all want to attach myself to a man by the ties of marriage.I refused marriage.I was the one who refused.Sartreproposedto me. MS: You chose that relationshipwith Sartre?When one readsthe memoirs, it seems that it was he who defined the relationship. SB: No, not at all. I also chose Sartre.I was the one who chose him. I saw a lot of other men, I even saw men who later became famous, like MerleauPonty, like Levi-Straussetc., etc. But I was never temptedto live with them, to make a life together. I was the one who chose Sartre,well, we chose each other. MS: I have a question about choice. There is a theoretical tension in The SecondSex on the question of choice and oppression. In one chapter you wrote that women are not oppressedas a group.But in the next chapter,you wrote, "Yes,women are trulyoppressedas a group."In anotherchapter, you questionedwhetherone can say that a girlraisedto be the Other ever chooses to be the Other. But you also say that the woman is in complicity with her oppression.I find that there'sa tension there. It remainseven today in feminism, between choice and oppression. SB: I think that on the whole women are oppressed.But at the heartof their oppression-sometimes, they choose it because it's convenient for a bourgeois womanwho has a little bit of money to marrya man who has even more money than she has and who will take care of evrythingso that she can do nothing. There is a complicityon the partof women. Veryoften, not always. They often find it easierto get marriedthan to have a career,to workand be independent. MS: And the women who arenot rich, not at all rich, and I'mthinkingabout younggirlswho were [victimsof] incest. Can one say that these women have the choice to be. . . SB: No, I think that they had very little choice. But all the same, there is a way of choosing at a certain moment, as soon as they get a little older, of choosing to stay in that incest situationor of refusingand even bringingtheir father to court.



MS: I think that many feministsunderstandwomen as victims of an absolute patriarchy.And I find certain problemswith that analysis.And you understood in The SecondSex that women are in complicity. But also there are women who are victims of oppressionbut who also seek power over their chiidren. If a woman, for example, beats her children or bums them with a cigarette. What is she doing? She is dominating. SB: She is getting revengefor her oppression.It's not a way of getting out of it. In the samewaythat makinga scene in frontof her husbandis not a wayof eliminating oppression. MS: And the way to eliminate oppressionis to... SB: To be independent. To work. MS: Yes, especiallyto work.And what areyou doingnow in the wayof work? SB: Well, for the moment, I am workinga lot on [the journal]LesTempsModemnes. MS: I have heard it said that the feminist movement in Franceis over. SB: That's not true, that's not true. MS: No? SB: Not at all. It's less loud than before, it's not out in the streetsbecausewe have a lot of supportfrom the Ministryof the Rights of Woman. So, we are more organized,we are doing more constructiveworknow ratherthan agitation but that doesn't mean that the movement is over. Not at all. That's something that all the anti-feministssay: "It'sno longer in fashion, it's no longer in fashion, it's over." But it's not true at all. It's lasting. On the contrary,there are a lot of feministresearchers.There area lot of feministsin the CNRS [the National Center for Scientific Research].Well, that is, research, scholarshipsfor doing researchon feminism.There is a lot of work, there are a lot of foundationsto help feminist or female painters, sculptors.Oh yes, yes, there are a lot of things. It's just that it's all more or less going through the Ministry. MS: Oh, that will change. SB: Alas, perhaps.BecauseYvette Roudy, who is the Ministerof the Rights of Woman [duringthe earlyyearsof Mitterand'ssocialistgovernment],is al-

MargaretA. Simons


together a dedicatedfeminist. So she helps us enormously,she gives a lot of money to magazines,exhibitions, research,feminist work. For foundations also. Yes, yes. So it is not at all true that the movement is over.

REFERENCES Beauvoir,Simone de. 1960. La Forcede l'dge. Paris:Gallimard.My translation. . 1974. Memoirsof a Dutiful Daughter.New York: Harper & Row, [1958]. Les Chimeres. 1975. Materniteesclave.Paris:UGE 10/18. Le Doeuff, Michele. 1984. Sartre;l'uniquesujet parlant. Esprit-changerla cultureet la politique,5: 181-191.

Introductionto "SorcererLove," by Luce Irigaray ELEANORH. KUYKENDALL

Love"is thenamethatLuceIrigaraygivesto thedemonicfunctionof "Sorcerer love as presentedin Plato'sSymposium.She arguesthatSocratesthereattributes two incompatible positionsto Diotima,who in any case is not presentat the banis that The loveis a mid-pointor intermediary betweenloverswhichalso quet. first teachesimmortality.The secondis thatloveis a meansto theendanddutyof procreation,and thusis a meremeansto immortality throughwhichtheloversloseone another.Irigarayarguesin favor of thefirstposition,a conceptionof love as demonicintermediary.

Luce Irigaray's"SorcererLove" is unique among her presentlytranslated worksbecauseit was originallycomposedas a lecture, to be spoken. As such, it formsa bridgeto written language,includingthe versionsof experimental l'ecriturefeminineor feminine writing for which Irigarayis better known to readersof English(1979, 1974, 1977). Irigaraydelivered"SorcererLove," on Diotima'sspeech in Plato's Symposium,at ErasmusUniversity, Rotterdam, in 1982, duringher appointmentto a chair honoring the animal behaviorist JanTinbergen. She publishedit as the second chapterof her book, Ethiquede la differencesexuelle(Irigaray,1984). In this work Irigarayalso discussestexts by Aristotle, Descartes,Spinoza, Hegel, Merleau-Ponty,and Levinas,primarily, as the title tells us, as a point of departurefor her ethics. In her ethics, Irigarayboth presupposesand seeks to disclose a female unconscious, hidden in traditionaldiscourse,includingthe discourseof philosophers, both male and female. In her ontology, she evokes Nietzsche and Heidegger,for whom being is not fixed but constantly to be won, without, however, subscribingto their assumptionsof separationand distance (1980; 1983b). In her method, Irigaray,who began her careeras a psycholinguist (Irigaray,1973), invokes Derrideandeconstructionwithout endorsingwhat she perceivesas Derrida'sfalse presuppositionof gender-neutralityin his accounts of languagelearning and morality(Irigaray,1983a; 1987). Irigaray'sontology, ethics, and method have been criticizedboth for her rendition of Freud'sviews on femininity (Kofman, 1980: 101-120) and for Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989) ? by EleanorH. Kuykendall

EleanorH. Kuykendall


her supposeddependence on Freudand Lacan (Plaza, 1980; Gallop, 1982: 38-42). But since the 1970's, Irigarayhas attemptedto develop an alternative feminist account of the unconsciousorigins of languageand moralitywhich differssharplyfrom Freudand Lacan. For example, in Speculumof the Other Woman, (Irigaray,1974), written in an unorthodox literarystyle which at times parodiesLacan as well as Plato, Irigarayreversesthe direction of the philosopher'sjourneyin Plato'sRepublic.ForIrigaray,the philosopher'sjourney from Plato's cave to the sun and so from ignorance and delusion to a closer understanding of the Good, prefigures a Freudian and Lacanian ontology: the philosopher'semergencefrom the cave is the son's ruptureof his bond with his mother at the father'sbehest. In her feminist alternative, Irigarayinterpretsthe cave insteadas a sourceof connection and so, of moral knowledge. The connection is also magical. The ballet El Amor Brujo(1915), composed by Manuelde Fallaand presentedon the Parisstage as L'AmourSorcier (1925), culminatesin a ritualfire dance. Luce Irigaray's"SorcererLove," like its namesake,also createsan atmosphereof bewitchment. Publishedten years afterSpeculum,"SorcererLove" is Irigaray'sonly other workon Plato. Here, as elsewhere,her effortis deconstructivein that it questionsboth explicit and covert presuppositionsof gender in the text and its presentation. But the analysisin "SorcererLove"is also constructivein that it supportsan ontology groundedin what Irigarayunderstandsas women'sexperience, such as maternity, and an ethic honoring connection with or among women, ratherthan separation.Irigarayarguesmore explicitly for this ontology and ethic in later chapters of Ethiquede la differencesexuelleentitled "L'Amourdu Meme, l'Amourde l'Autre"["Loveof the Same, Love of the Other"]and "Ethique de la differencesexuelle" (1984: 127-141). In the Symposium, Plato reportsSocrates in turn reportinga speech by Diotima in praiseof love. This speech, Irigaraysuggestsin "SorcererLove," suffersfrom an internal contradiction in which love is describedin two incompatibleways. On the one hand, it is saidto be a constantlymoving intermediary,neither lover nor beloved but both; on the other hand, it is said to become stabilizedin the formof a thirdperson, for example, a child, thereby separatinglover from beloved. Moreover, Irigarayclaims that the dramatic setting in which Plato situates the speech underminesits overt content and thesis. Socratesattributesto Diotima a purportedlyuniversaltheoryof love at a banquet from which she and all other women are absent, a banquet at which a high level of sexualtension developsamongthe men. Thus, the conception of love presented as universal is not universally practiced, since women cannot participatedirectly in the discourseat the banquet. Further, both the examples and the very conception of what is said to constitute love-discourse with the divine-exclude women from all but love's initial and least enlightened phase-the physicaldesire to procreate.



Irigaray'sinterpretationof Diotima's speech is, of course, controversial. AndreaNye, for example, in a critical essaythat appearsin this issue, argues that IrigaraymisreadsDiotima (or Socrates,or Plato) since, accordingto less literaltranslations,Diotima can be interpretedas consistentlycharacterizing love as intermediaryor demonic (Nye, 1988). And although some critics have arguedthat Diotima'svery existence was an invention, the Symposium can also be readas acknowledgingthe existence of an actualhistoricalfemale person, even though that acknowledgementis somewhat ambivalent since the contributionis a second-handone (Wider, 1986: 44-48). Yet Irigarayis not unawareof these issues. She herselfpoints out that the text of the SymposiumpresentsDiotima'sspeech in praiseof love as a quotation by Socrates-whose own speech is a quotation by Plato. Historically, Diotima'sactual presence at the banquet would have been highly unlikely. The fact that a male philosopher is speakingfor an absent woman, a fact which is supposedto be irrelevantto the explicit celebrationof love as universal, rendersthat celebrationironic. Why the all-maledramaticsetting of this banquet celebrating love, from which not only Diotima but also all women, even the flute players and dancers, were absent? Why Diotima's identificationof love between men as love's highest individualrealization,albeit a realizationto be transcended?And why, after Diotima'sspeech, does Plato recount the embarrassingconfrontationof a disdainfulSocrates by a drunkenAlcibiadesfor whom, it turs out, Socrateshardlyprovidedan adequate ethical model? (Whitbeck,1984:393) These are some of the questions with which the feminist readerof this text must grapple.Irigarayreadsthem as indicationsof conflicts of unconsciousmotives or of speech acts, as would Lacanor Derrida;but she also readsthem as indicationsthat the conception of love itself presentedin the Symposiumis deeply masculinist. At the end of "SorcererLove", Irigaraydepartsfromher deconstructionof the speech of Plato'sSocrates'Diotima to sketch the beginningsof an ethic of her own, one groundedin an alternativeontology. The transformationthat she celebrates here and elsewherein her workcomes fromwhat she takes to be experiences of boundarylessnessspecific to women, such as maternity. But Irigaraydoes not intend this as a crude "essentialism"groundedon experiencesavailable only to women. She ratherseeks in women'sexperiencean alternativeto the ontology of separation and desire posited by Plato through Socrates and Diotima. Irigaray'sreadingof Plato'sSymposium,like her readingsof philosophers elsewhere, opens a dialoguewith Plato, with Socrates, with Diotima, and with Irigarayherself, which we are now challenged to continue. REFERENCES

Gallop, Jane. 1982. The daughter'sseduction:feminismand psychoanalysis. Ithaca:Cornell University Press.

EleanorH. Kuykendall


Irigaray,Luce. 1973. Le langagedes dements.The Hague: Mouton. -. 1974. Speculumof theotherwoman.Trans. Gillian Gill, 1985. Ithaca: Comell University Press. - . 1977. Thissex whichis not one. Trans. Catherine Porterwith Carolyn Burke, 1985. Ithaca:Cornell University Press. . 1979. And the one doesn't stir without the other. Trans. Helene Vivienne Wenzel. Signs7 (1981): 60-67. .1980. Amantemarine.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. . 1983a. La CroyanceMeme. Paris:Galilee. .1983b. L'oublide l'air. Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. . 1984. Ethiquede la differencesexuelle.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. -- . 1985. Parlern'estjamaisneutre.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. . 1987. Sexeset parentes.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. Kofman,Sarah. 1980. TheEnigmaof Woman.Trans. CatherinePorter,1985. Ithaca:Corell University Press. Kuykendall,EleanorH. 1983. Towardan ethic of nurturance:Luce Irigaray on motheringand power. In Mothering: essaysin feministtheory,ed. Joyce Trebilcot. Totowa, N. J.: Rowman & Allanheld: 263-274. Nye, Andrea. 1988. The hidden host: Irigarayand Diotimaat Plato'sSymposium. Hypatia,this issue. Plaza, Monique. 1980. "Phallomorphic" Power and the Psychology of "Woman."FeministIssues, I: 71-102. Trebilcot,Joyce, ed. 1983. Mothering: essaysinfeministtheory.Totowa, N. J.: Rowman & Allanheld. Wider, Kathleen. 1986. Women philosophersin the ancient greek world: Donning the mantle. Hypatia, 1(1) 21-62. Whitbeck, Caroline. 1984. Love, knowledge, and transformation.Women's StudiesInternational Forum4 (5): 393-405.

SorcererLove: A Reading of Plato's Symposium, Diotima'sSpeech LUCE IRIGARAY Translatedby EleanorH. Kuykendall

Love"is thenamethatLuceIrigaraygivesto thedemonicfunctionof "Sorcerer love as presentedin Plato'sSymposium.She arguesthatSocratesthereattributes two incompatible positionsto Diotima,who in any case is not presentat the banbetweenloverswhichalso quet. Thefirstis thatloveis a mid-pointor intermediary teachesimmortality.The secondis thatloveis a meansto theendanddutyof procreation,and thusis a meremeansto immortality throughwhichtheloversloseone another.Irigarayarguesin favor of thefirstposition,a conceptionof love as deE.K. monicintermediary.

In the Symposium,the dialogueon love, when Socratesfinishes speaking, he gives the floor to a woman:Diotima. She does not participatein these exchanges or in this meal among men. She is not there. She herselfdoes not speak. Socrates reportsor recounts her views. He borrowsher wisdom and power,declaresher his initiator,his pedagogue,on mattersof love, but she is not invited to teach or to eat. Unless she did not want to accept an invitation? But Socratessaysnothing about that. And Diotima is not the only example of a woman whose wisdom, above all in love, is reportedin her absence by a man. Diotima's teaching will be very dialectical-but differentfrom what we usuallycall dialectical. Unlike Hegel's, her dialectic does not workby opposition to transformthe firstterm into the second, in orderto arriveat a syntheand she sis of the two. At the very outset, she establishesthe intermediary never abandonsit as a mere way or means. Her method is not, then, a propaof two termsin orderto establisha or destructuration edeutic of the destruction synthesiswhich is neither one nor the other. She presents,uncovers,unveils the existence of a third that is alreadythere and that permitsprogression: frompovertyto wealth, fromignoranceto wisdom,frommortalityto immortality. Forher, this progressionalwaysleads to a greaterperfectionof and in love. Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989)? by LuceIrigaray

Luce Irigaray


But, contraryto the usualdialecticalmethods, love ought not to be abandoned for the sake of becomingwise or learned.It is love that leadsto knowledge-both practicaland metaphysical.It is love that is both the guide and the way, above all a mediator. Love is designatedas a theme, but love is also perpetuallyenacted, dramatized, in the exposition of the theme. So Diotima immediatelyrebutsthe claimsthat love is a greatGod and that it is the love of beautifulthings. At the riskof offendingthe Gods, Diotima also assertsthat love is neither beautifulnor good. This leadsher interlocutor to supposeimmediatelythat love is ugly and bad, incapableas he is of grasping the existence or instance of what is held between,what permitsthe passagebetween ignoranceand knowledge. If we did not, at each moment, have somethingto learn in the encounterwith reality,between realityand already establishedknowledge, we would not perfect ourselvesin wisdom. And not to become wiser means to become more ignorant. Therefore,between knowledgeand reality, there is an intermediarywhich permitsthe meeting and transmutationor transvaluationbetween the two. The dialectic of Diotima is in four terms,at least: the here, the two poles of the meeting, the beyond, but a beyondwhich never abolishesthe here. And so on, indefinitely. The mediatoris never abolished in an infallible knowledge. Everythingis alwaysin movement, in becoming. And the mediatorof everything is, among other things, or exemplarily,love. Never completed, alwaysevolving. And, in responseto the protestationof Socratesthat love is a greatGod, that everyonesaysso or thinksso, she laughs.Her retortis not at all angry,balancing between contradictories; it is laughter from elsewhere. Laughing, then, she asksSocrateswho this everyoneis. Justas she ceaselesslyundoesthe assuranceor the closureof opposing terms, so she rejects every ensemble of unities reducedto a similitude in orderto constitute a whole: "Youmean, by all who do not know?"said she, "orby all who know as well?""Absolutelyall." At that she laughed. (202)2 ("Ce tout le monde dont tu parles, sont-ce, dit-elle, ceux qui savent ou ceux qui ne savent pas?-Tous en general, ma foi!" Elle se mit a rire.) The tension between opposites thus abated, she shows, demonstrates,that "everyone"does not exist, nor does the position of love as eternallya great God. Does she teach nothing that is alreadydefined?A method of becoming wise, learned,moreperfectin love and in art [I'art].She ceaselesslyquestions Socrateson his positions but without, like a master,positing alreadyconstituted truths. Instead, she teaches the renunciation of alreadyestablished truths.And each time that Socratesthinks that he can take somethingas cer-



tain, she undoes his certainty. All entities, substantives,adverbs,sentences are patiently, and joyously, called into question. Forlove, the demonstrationis not so difficultto establish.For, if love possessedall that he desired,he woulddesireno more.3He mustlack, therefore, in orderto desirestill. But, if love had nothing at all to do with beautifuland in a good things, he could not desirethem either. Thus, he is an intermediary a God? Not necessarhe his as therefore lose status sense. Does very specific ily. He is neither mortalnor immortal:he is between the one and the other. Which qualifieshim as demonic. Love is a demon-his function is to transmit to the godswhat comes frommen and to men what comesfromthe gods. Like everythingelse that is demonic, love is complementaryto gods and to men in such a way as to join everythingwith itself. There must be a being of middling naturein orderfor men and gods to enter into relations, into conversation, while awakeor asleep. Which makeslove a kind of divination, priestly knowledgeof things connected with sacrifice,initiation, incantation,prediction in general and magic. The demons who serve as mediatorsbetween men and gods are numerous and very diverse. Love is one of them. And Love'sparentageis very particular: child of Plenty(himself son of Invention)and of Poverty,conceived the day the birth of Aphrodite was celebrated.Thus love is alwayspoor and ... rough, unkempt, unshod, and homeless, ever couching on the ground uncovered, sleeping beneath the open sky by doors and in the streets, because he has the nature of his mother. . . But again, in keeping with his father, he has designs upon the beautiful and good, for he is bold, headlong, and intense, a mighty hunter, alwaysweaving some device or other, eager in invention and resourceful,searchingafterwisdom all through life, terrible as a magician, sorcerer, and sophist. Further,in his naturehe is not immortal,nor yet mortal. No, on a given day, now he flourishesand lives, when things go well with him, and again he dies, but through the natureof his sire revivesagain. Yet his gain for ever slips away from him, so that Erosnever is without resources,nor is ever rich. As for ignoranceand knowledge, here again he is midway between them. The case stands thus. No god seeks after wisdom, or wishes to grow wise (for he alreadyis so), no more than anybodyelse seeks afterwisdom if he has it. Nor, again, do ignorant folk seek after wisdom or long to grow wise; for here is just the trouble about ignorance, that what is neither beautiful and good, nor yet intelligent, to itself seems good enough. Accordingly, the man who does not think himself in

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need has no desirefor what he does not think himself in need of. [Socrates.]The seekersafterknowledge,Diotima! If they are not the wise, nor yet the ignorant(saidI), who arethey, then? [Diotima.]The point (said she) is obvious even to a child, that they are persons intermediatebetween these two, and that Eros is among them; for wisdomfalls within the class of the most beautiful,while Erosis an erosfor the beautiful.And hence it follows necessarilythat Erosis a seekerafterwisdom [a philosopher],and being a philosopher, is midwaybetween wise and ignorant. (203-204) (rudeet malpropre;un va-nu-piedsqui n'a point de domicile, dormanta la belle etoile sur le pas des portes ou dans la rue selon la naturede sa mere. Mais, en revanche, guettant, sans cesse, embusqueles choses belles et bonnes, chasseurhabile et ourdissant continument quelque ruse, curieux de pensee et riche d'expedient, passant toute sa vie a philosopher, habile comme sorcier, comme inventeur de philtres magiques, comme sophiste, selon la nature de son pere. De plus, sa naturen'est ni d'un mortelni d'un immortel,mais, le memejour, tantot, quandses expedientsont reussi,il est en fleur, il a de la vie; tantot au contraire il est mourant; puis, derechef, il revient a la vie grace au naturel de son pere, tandis que, d'autre part, coule de ses mains le fruit de ses expedients! Ainsi, ni jamaisAmour n'est indigent, ni jamais il est riche! Entre savoir et ignorance, maintenant, Amour est intermediare. Voici ce qui en est. Parmiles Dieux, il n'y en a aucun qui ait envie de devenir sage, car il l'est;ne s'emploiepas non plus a philosopher quiconque d'autre est sage. Mais pas davantageles ignorantsne s'emploient,de leur c6te, a philosopher, et ils n'ont pas envie de devenir sages;car, ce qu'il y a precisementde facheux dans l'ignorance,c'est que quelqu'un, qui n'est pas un homme accompliet qui n'est pas non plus intelligent, se figurel'etredans la mesurevoulue;c'est que celui qui ne croit pas etre depourvun'a point envie de ce dont il ne croit pas avoir besoin d'etrepourvu.-Quels sont donc alors, Diotime, m'ecriai-je,ceux qui s'emploienta philosophersi ce ne sont ni les sagesni les ignorants?-La chose est claire, ditelle, et meme deja pour un enfant! Ce sont ceux qui sont intermediaresentre ces deux extremes, et au nombredesquels doit aussi se trouver Amour. La sagesse, en effet, est evidemment parmi les plus belles choses, et c'est au beau




qu'Amour rapporteson amour;d'ou il suit que, forcement, Amourest philosophe, et, etant philosophe, qu'il est intermediare entre le savant et l'ignorant.) Erosis thereforeintermediary between couplesof opposites:poverty-plenty, ignorance-wisdom, ugliness-beauty, dirtiness-cleanliness, death-life, etc. And that would be inscribedin love's natureas a resultof his genealogyand date of conception. And love is a philosopher,love is philosophy.Philosophy is not formalknowledge, fixed, abstractedfromall feeling. It is the searchfor love, love of beauty, love of wisdom, which is one of the most beautiful things. Like love, the philosopherwould be someone poor, dirty, a bit of a bum, alwaysan outsider, sleeping under the starsbut very curious, adept in ruses and devices of all kinds, reflecting ceaselessly, a sorcerer,a sophist, sometimesflourishing,sometimesexpiring. Nothing like the representation of the philosopherwe generallygive: learned, correctlydressed, with good manners,understandingeverything,pedanticallyinstructingus in a corpusof alreadycodified doctrine. The philosopheris nothing like that. He is barefoot, going out underthe starsin searchof an encounterwith reality, seeking the embrace, the acquaintance[connaissance](co-birthing) [(co-naissance)] of whatevergentleness of soul, beauty, wisdom might be found there. This incessantquest he inheritsfromhis mother. He is a philosopherthroughhis mother, an adept in invention throughhis father. But his passionfor love, for beauty, for wisdom, comes to him fromhis mother, and fromthe date when he was conceived. Desired and wanted, besides, by his mother. How is it that love and the philosopherare generallyrepresentedotherwise? Because they are imagined as belovedand not as lovers. As beloved Love, both like and unlike the philosopher, is imaginedto be of unparalled beauty, delicate, perfect, happy. Yet the lover has an entirely differentnature. He goes towardwhat is kind, beautiful,perfect,etc. He does not possess these. He is poor, unhappy,alwaysin searchof... But what does he seek or love? That beautifulthings become his-this is Socrates'answer. But what will happen to him if these things become his?To this questionof Diotima's, Socrateshas no answer. Switching "good"for "beautiful",she asksher question again. "That the good may be his," ("Qu'elles devienne siennes") Socratesrepeats. "And what happensto the man when the good things become his?" "On this," said [Socrates],"I am more than readywith an answer:that he will be happy." (204-205) ("Et qu'en sera-t-il pour celui a qui il arriveraque les choses bonnes soient devenues siennes?""Voila, dit Socrate, a quoi je serai plus a mon aise pour repondre!I1sera heureux") And happinessseems to put an ultimate end to this dialogicalrepetition between Diotima and Socrates.

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Socratesasks:what should we call what pertainsto lovers?"Bywhat manner of pursuitand in what activity does the eagernessand strainingfor the object get the name of Eros?And what may this action really be?" ("Quel est le genre d'existence, le mode d'activite pour lesquels a leur zele, a leur effort soutenu conviendrait le nom d'amour,dis-moi?En quoi peu bien consister cet acte?")And Diotima replies:"Thisaction is engenderingin beauty,with relation both to body and to soul." (205, 206) ("C'estun enfantementdans la beaute et selon le corpset selon l'ame.")But Socratesunderstandsnothing of another, equally clear, revelation . . . He understandsnothing about fecundity in relation both to body and to soul: The union of a man and womanis, in fact, a generation;this is a thing divine; in a living creaturethat is mortal, it is an element of immortality,this fecundity and generation. (206) (L'unionde l'homme et de la femme est en effet un enfantement et c'est une affairedivine, c'est, dans le vivant mortel, la presence de ce qui est immortel: la fecondite et la procreation.) This statement of Diotima'snever seems to have been understood.Besides, she herselfwill go on to emphasizethe procreativeaspectof love. Butfirstshe stresses the character of divinegenerationin every union betweenman and woman,the presenceof the immortalin the living mortal. All love would be creation, potentiallydivine, a path between the condition of the mortaland that of the immortal. Love is fecund before all procreation.And it has a demonicfecundity. Assuringeveryone, male and female, the immediumlike, mortal becoming of the living. But there cannot be procreationof a divine naturein what is not in harmony.And harmonywith the divine is not possible for the ugly, but only for the beautiful.Thus, accordingto Diotima, love between man and woman is beautiful,harmonious,divine. It must be in order for procreationto take place. It is not procreationthat is beautifuland that constitutesthe aim of love. The aim of love is to realizethe immortality in the mortalitybetween lovers. And the expansionwhich producesthe child follows the joy at the approachof a beautifulobject. But an ugly object leads to a turningback, the shrivelingup of fecundity, the painfullyborne weight of the desire to procreate.Procreationand generation in beauty-these are the aim of love, because it is thus that the eternity and imperishabilityof a mortal being manifest themselves. Fecundityof love between lovers, regenerationof one by the other, passage to immortalityin one another, throughone another-these seem to become the condition, not the cause, of procreation. Certainly, Diotima tells



Socratesthat the creation of beauty, of a workof art [l'oeuvre](solitarycreation this time?) is insufficient, that it is necessaryto give birth together to a child, that this wisdomis inscribedin the animalworlditself. She continues to laughat the wayhe goes lookingfor his truthsbeyondthe most obviouseverydayreality,which he does not see or even perceive. She mocksthe wayhis dialecticalor dialogicalmethod forgetsthe most elementarytruths. The way his discourseon love neglects to look at, to informitself about, the amorous state and to inquireabout its cause. Diotima speaks of cause in a surprisingway. We could note that her method does not enter into a chain of causalities,a chain that skipsover or often forgetsthe intermediaryas generativemilieu. Usually, causalityis not partof her reasoning.She borrowsit fromthe animalworldand evokes it, or invokes it, with respect to procreation.Insteadof allowing the child to germinate or develop in the milieu of love and fecundity between man and woman, she seeks a cause of love in the animal world:procreation. Diotima's method miscarrieshere. From here on, she leads love into a schism between mortal and immortal. Love loses its demonic character. Is this the foundingact of the meta-physical?There will be lovers in body and lovers in soul. But the perpetualpassagefrommortalto immortalthat lovers confer on one another is put aside. Love loses its divinity, its mediumlike, alchemicalqualitiesbetween couplesof opposites.The intermediarybecomes the child, and no longer love. Occupyingthe place of love, the child can no longerbe a lover. It is put in the place of the incessantmovementof love. Beloved, no doubt;but how be beloved without being a lover?And is not love trappedin thebeloved,contraryto what Diotima wanted in the first place?A belovedwho is an end is substitutedfor love between men and women. A beloved who is a will, even a duty, and a meansof attainingimmortality.Lovers can neither attain nor advance that between themselves. That is the weakness of love, for the child as well. If the couple of loverscannot care for the place of love like a thirdtermbetween them, then they will not remainlovers and they cannot give birth to lovers. Something gets solidifiedin space-time with the loss of a vital intermediarymilieu and of an accessible,loving, transcendental. A sort of teleological trianglereplacesa perpetualmovement, a perpetualtransvaluation,a permanentbecoming. Love was the vehicle of this. But, if procreationbecomes its goal, it riskslosing its internal motivation, its fecundity "in itself', its slow and constant regeneration. This errorin method, in the originalityof Diotima'smethod, is corrected shortlyafterwardonly to be confirmedlateron. Surely, once again, sheis not there.Socratesreportsherviews. Perhapshe distortsthem unwittinglyand unknowingly. The followingparagraphtakesup what was just asserted.It explainshow it is that there is permanentrenewalin us. How there is, in us, a ceaselessloss of the old, of the alreadydead, both in our most physicalpart-hair, bones,

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blood, our whole body-and in our most spiritualpart: our character,our opinions, ourdesires,joys and pains, ourfears.None of these elements is ever identical to what they were; some come into existence while others perish. The same is true for knowledges, which are acquiredand forgotten-thus constantly renewed: " ... This is the fashion in which everythingmortal is preserved, not in being alwaysperfectlyidentical, as is divinity, but in that the disappearingand decayingobject leavesbehind it another new one such as it was. By this arrangement, Socrates,"said she, "the mortalpartakesof immortality,both in body and all else; the immortaldoes so in anotherway. So do not marvel if everythingby natureprizesits own offspring; it is for the sake of immortalitythat every being has this urgency and love." . . . (208) ([C'est]de cette facon qu'estsauvegardece qui est mortel, non point comme ce qui est divin parl'identiteabsolued'uneexistence eternelle, maisparle fait que ce qui s'en va, mine parson anciennete, laisse apres lui autre chose, du nouveau qui est pareil a ce qu'il etait. C'est par ce moyen, dit-elle, qui ce qui est mortel participea l'immortalite,dans son corps et en tout le reste . . Donc, ne t'emerveille pas que, ce qui est une repoussede lui-meme, chaque etre ait pour lui tant de sollicitude naturelle, car c'est en vue de l'immortaliteque font cortege a chacun d'eux ce zele et cet amour!) Here, Diotima returnsto her type of argumentation,includingher mocking of those who suspendthe presentin orderto search"foran eternityof time an immortal glory" ("pour l'eternite du temps une gloire immortelle"). She speaks-in a style that is loosely wovenbut never definitivelyknotted-of becoming in time, of permanentgenerationand regenerationhere and now in each (wo)man [chacun(e)] of what is more corporeallyand spirituallyreal. Without sayingthat one is the fruitof the other. But that, at each moment, we are a "regrowth"of ourselves,in perpetualincrease.No morequestfor immortalitythroughthe child. But in us, ceaselessly.Diotima has returnedto a path which admits love as it was defined before she evoked procreation:an intermediateterrain,a mediator,a space-timeof permanentpassagebetween mortal and immortal. Next, returningto an example of the quest for immortalitythroughfame, she re-situates(the) object (of) love outsideof the subject:reknown, immortal glory, etc. No more perpetualbecoming-immortalin us, but rathera race towardsome thing that would confer immortality.Like and unlike procreation of a child, the stake of love is placedoutsidethe self. In the beloved and



not in the lover? The lovers cited-Alcestis, Admetus, Achilles, Codroswould not have been cited unless we alwaysrememberedthem. It was with the goal of eternal reknown that they loved unto death. Immortalityis the object of their love. Not love itself. Well then (said she), when men's fecundity is of the body, they turn ratherto the women, and the fashionof their love is this: through begetting children to provide themselves with immortality,reknown and happiness, as they imagineSecuring them for all time to come. But when fecundity is of the soul-for indeed there are (said she) those personswho are fecund in their souls, even more than in their bodies, fecund in what is the function of the soul to conceive and also to bring forth-what is this properoffspring?It is wisdom, along with every other spiritualvalue. . . .(208-209) (Cela etant, dit-elle, ceux qui sont feconds selon le corps se tourent plut6t vers les femmes, et leurfacon d'etreamoureux c'est, en engendrantdes enfants, de se procurera eux-memes, pensent-ils, pourtoute la suite du temps, le bonheurd'avoirun nom dont le souvenir ne perisse pas. Quant a ceux qui sont feconds selon l'ame, car en fait il en existe, dit-elle, dont la fecondite reside dans l'ame, a un plus haut degre encore que dans le corps, pour tout ce qui appartienta une ame d'etrefeconde et qu'illui appartientd'enfanter.Or, qu'est-cecela qui lui appartient?C'est la pensee, et c'est toute autreexcellence) What seemed to me most original in Diotima's method has disappeared once again. That irreducibleintermediarymilieu of love is cancelledbetween "subject"(an inadequateword in Plato) and "belovedreality."Amorousbecoming no longerconstitutes a becomingof the lover himself, of love in the (male or female) lover, between the lovers [un devenirde l'amantlui-meme, de l'amouren l'amante(e), entre amants].4Instead it is now a teleological quest for what is deemed the highest realityand often situatedin a transcendence inaccessibleto our condition as mortals. Immortalityis put off until death and is not counted as one of our constant tasksas mortals,as a transmutation that is endlessly incumbent on us here and now, as a possibility inscribedin a body capableof divine becoming. Beautyof body and beautyof soul become hierarchized,and the love of women becomes the lot of those who, incapableof being creatorsin soul, arefecund in body and seek the immortalityof their name perpetuatedby their offspring. . . . By far the greatest and most beautiful form of wisdom (said she) is that which has to do with regulatingstates and

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households,and has the name, no doubt, of"temperance"and "justice."(209) (. . . de beaucoupla plus considerableet la plus belle manifestation de la pensee etant celle qui conceme l'ordonnancedes Etatscomme de tout etablissement,et dont le nom, on le sait, est temperanceaussi bien que justice.) Amorousbecomings,divine, immortal,are no longerleft to their intermediary current. They are qualified, hierarchized.And, in the extreme case, love dies. In the universeof determinations,there will be contests, competitions, amorousduties-the beloved or love being the prize.The loversdisappear. Our subsequenttraditionhas even taughtus the interdictionor the futility of being lovers outside of procreation. Yet Diotima had begun by assertingthat the most divine act is "the union of man and woman, a divine affair."What she assertedthen accordedwith what she said about the function of love as an intermediaryremainingintermediary,a demon. It seems that in the courseof her speech she reducesa bit this demonic, mediumlikefunction of love; so that it is no longerreallya demon, but an intention, a reductionto intention, to the teleology of human will. Alreadysubjectedto a doctrinewith fixed goalsand not to an immanent flourishingof the divine in the flesh. Irreduciblemediator,at once physical and spiritual, between lovers; and not alreadycodified duty, will, desire. Love invoked as a demon in a method towardthe beautifuland good often disappearsfrom the speech, reappearingonly in art, "painting", in the form(s) of love inciting to eroticismand, perhaps,in the shape of angels. Is love itself split between erosand agape?Yet, in orderfor lovers to be able to love each other, there must be, between them, Love. There remainswhat has been said about the philosopher-love. But why wouldnot philosopherLove be a lover of the other?Only of the Other?Of an inaccessibletranscendent?In any case, this would alreadybe an ideal that suppresseslove qua demonic. Love becomespolitical wisdom,wisdomin regulatingthe city, not the intermediarystate that inhabitsloversand transports them fromthe condition of mortalsto that of immortals.Love becomesa sort of raisond'etat. Love founds a family, takes care of children, including the childrenwhich citizens are. The more its objective is distancedfroman individual becoming, the more valuable it is. Its stake is lost in immortalgood and beautyas collective goods. The family is preferableto the generationof lovers, between lovers. Adopted children are preferableto others. This, moreover,is how it comes to pass that lovebetweenmen is superiorto love between man and woman. Carnal procreation is suspended in favor of the engendering of beautiful and good things. Immortalthings. That, surprisingly, is the view of Diotima. At least as translatedthroughthe wordsuttered by Socrates.



The beings most gifted in wisdomgo directlyto that end. Most begin with physicalbeautyand " ... must love one single object [physicalformof beauty], and thereofmustengenderfairdiscourses .. ." (210) (parn'aimerqu'un unique beau corps et par engendrera cette occasion de beaux discours.")If the teaching is right, that must be so. But whoeverbecomesattachedto one body must lear that beauty is in many bodies. After having pursuedbeauty in one perceptibleform, he must lear that the samebeautyresidesin all bodies; he will . .abate his violent love of one, disdainingthis and deeming it a trifle, and will become a lover of all fairobjects. ... (210) ("[devenir] un amant de tous les beaux corps et detendra l'impetuositede son amoura l'egardd'unseul individu;car, un tel amour, il en est venu a le dedaigneret a en faire peu de cas.") Fromthe attractionto a single beautifulbody he passes, then, to many;and thence to the beautyresidingin souls. Thus he learnsthat beautyis not found univocallyin the body and that someone of an ugly bodilyappearancecan be beautifuland gentle of soul; that to be just is to know how to carefor that person and to engenderbeautifuldiscoursesfor him. Love thus passesinsensibly into love of works [oeuvres].The passion for beautifulbodies is transmuted into the discoveryof beautyin knowledges.That which liberatesfromthe attachment to only one masteropens onto the immenseocean of the beautiful, and leads to the birth of numerous and sublime discourses, as well as to thoughts inspiredby a boundless love of wisdom. Until the resultingforce and development permit the lover to envision a certain uniqueknowledge (210). This marvelousbeauty is perceptible, perhaps, by whoever has followed the road just described,by whoever has passedthrough the different stagesstep by step. He will have, then, the vision of a beautywhose existence is " . . .eternal, not growing up or perishing, increasing or decreasing" ([dont]l'existence est etemelle, etrangerea la generationcomme a la corruption, a l'accroissementcomme au decroissement")and which, besides, is absolutelybeautiful: not beautifulin one point and ugly in another, nor beautifulin this place and ugly in that, as if beautifulto some, to others ugly;again, this beautywill not be revealedto him in the semblance of a face, or hands, or any other element of the body, nor in any formof speech or knowledge,nor yet as if it appertained to any other being, or creature, for example, upon earth, or in the sky, or elsewhere;no, it will be seen as beauty in and for itself, consistent with itself in uniformityfor ever, whereasall other beautiesshare it in such fashion that, while

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they are ever born and perish, that eternalbeauty, never waxing, never waning, never is impaired.. . . (210-211) (pas belle a ce point de vue et laide a cet autre, pas davantage a tel moment et non a tel autre, ni non plus belle en comparaison avec ceci, laide en comparaisonavec cela, ni non plus belle en tel lieu, laide en tel autre, en tant que belle pourcertains hommes, laide pourcertainsautres;pasdavantageencore cette beaute ne se montreraa lui pourvuepar exemple d'un visage, ni de mains, ni de quoi que ce soit d'autrequi soit une partie du corps; ni non plus sous l'aspect de quelque raisonnement ou encore quelque connaissance; pas davantage comme ayant en quelqueetre distinct quelquepart son existence, en un vivant par exemple, qu'il soit de la terre ou du ciel, ou bien en quoi que ce soit d'autre;mais bien plut6t elle se montreraa lui en elle-meme, et par elle-meme, eternellement unie a elle-meme dans l'unicite de la natureformelle, tandisque les autresbeaux objets participenttous de la nature dont il s'agiten une telle facon que, ces autresobjets venant a l'existence ou cessant d'exister, il n'en resulte dans la realite dont il s'agit aucune augmentation, aucune diminution, ni non plus aucune sorte d'alteration.) To attain this sublimebeauty, one must begin with the love of young men. Startingwith their naturalbeauty, one must, step by step, raiseoneself to supernaturalbeauty:from beautifulbodies one must pass to beautifulpursuits; then to beautifulsciences, and finally to that sublimescience that is supernaturalbeauty alone, and that allows knowledgeof the essence of beauty in isolation (211). This contemplationis what gives directionand taste to life. " . . It will not appearto you to be accordingto the measureof gold and raiment, or of lovely boys and striplings. . . " (211) ("Ni l'orou la toilette, ni la beaute des jeunes garconsou des jeunes hommesne peuvent entreren parallele avec cette decouverte.")And whoever has perceived "beautydivine in its own single nature" (211) ("le beau divin dans l'unicite de sa nature formelle"), what can he still look at? Having contemplated"the beautiful with that by which it can be seen" (211) (le beau au moyen de ce parquoi il est visible"), beyond all simulacra,he is united with it and is reallyvirtuous; since he has perceived "authenticreality"("reel authentique")he becomes dear to the divine and immortal. This person would, then, have perceivedwhat I shall call a sensibletranscendental,the materialtextureof beauty.He wouldhave "seen"the veryspatiality of the visible, the realbeforeall reality,all forms,all truthof particular sensationsor of constructedidealities.Would he have contemplatedthe "nature" ("nature")of the divine? This is the supportof the fabricationof the



transcendentin its differentmodes, all of which, accordingto Diotima, are reachedby the samepropaedeutic:theloveof beauty.Neither the good nor the true nor justice nor the governmentof the city would occur without beauty. And its strongestally is love. Love thereforedeservesto be venerated. And Diotimaasksthat her wordsbe consideredas a celebrationand praiseof Love. In the second partof her speech, she used Love itself as a means.She cancelled out its intermediaryfunction and subjected it to a telos. The power [puissance]of her method seemsless evident to me here than at the beginning of her speech, when she made love the mediatorof a becomingwith no objective other than becoming. PerhapsDiotima is still sayingthe same thing. But her method, in the second part, riskslosing its irreduciblecharacterand being replacedby a meta-physics.Unless what she proposesto contemplate, beauty itself, is understoodas that which confuses the opposition between immanence and transcendence. An always alreadysensible horizon at the depths of which everything would appear. But it would be necessaryto go back over the whole speech again to discover it in its enchantment. NOTES 1. LuceIrigaray,"L'amour Sorcier:Lecturede Platon,LeBanquet,Discoursde Diotime. In:Luce Irigaray,1984, pp. 27-39. Translationpublishedby kind permissionof Les tditions de Minuit. 2. This and subsequentquotationsfrom The Symposiumare renderedin the English translation of Lane Cooper in Plato (1938) pp. 252-263. Referencesin French,which follow in parentheses, are Irigaray'scitations from the French translationof Leon Robin in Platon (1950). 3. In this and subsquentpassages"Love"or "love"is renderedin Englishwith the masculine pronoun-a translationrequiredby Frenchgrammar."L'Amour,"capitalized,means "the God of Love"-Cupid or Eros, and is alwaysmasculine in French. "L'amour"uncapitalized,means "love" and is also standardlymasculine in French. "Eros"and "Love"are interchangeablein English translationsof most of Diotima'sspeech; a similar interchangeabilityexists in French. Historically, "l'amour"was feminine in French until it was made conventionally masculineto accord with Latin use. In poetry, uses of "l'amour"in the feminine persist to this day; but "l'amour"was not grammaticallyfeminine in the passagesfromPlato that Irigaraywas citing. Irigaray'sargumentin this essaycan be read as an explorationof the ethical implicationsof these grammaticalpoints. Cf. Grevisse (1964): 190-192. [Translator'snote] 4. Irigarayis here exploiting the very characteristicsof Frenchgrammarwhich exemplifyher argument."L'amant"must be masculinewhen any of the lovers is male; but it is also possibleto specify that the lover is female, as in the title of her AmanteMarine([Female]Loverfrom the Seas), 1980. [Translator'snote] REFERENCES

Grevisse, Maurice. 1964. Le bon usage. Gambloux: Editions J. Duculot, S.A., 8th edition. Irigaray,Luce. 1980. AmanteMarine.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. . 1984. Ethiquede la differencesexuelle.Paris:Les Editionsde Minuit. Plato. 1938. Phaedrus,Ion, Gorgias,and Symposium,with passagesfromthe Republicand Laws.Trans.LaneCooper.New York:OxfordUniversityPress. Platon. 1950. Oeuvres Completes. Trans. Leon Robin. Paris: Gallimard (Bibliothequede la Pleiade 58), I.

The Hidden Host: Irigarayand Diotima at Plato's Symposium ANDREA NYE

Irigaray'sreadingof Plato'sSymposiumin Ethiquede la differencesexuelle attenillustratesboththeadvantagesand thelimitsof hertextualpractise.Irigaray's tivelisteningto thetextallowsDiotima'svoiceto emergefroman overlayof Platonic natureof thatlisteningand Irigaray's But boththeahistorical assumpscholarship. also makehera partyto Plato'ssabotageof Diotima's tionof femininemarginality in historicalcontext,Diotimais not an anomalyin Platonic philosophy.Understood world discourse,but thehiddenhostof Plato'sbanquet,speakingfor a pre-Socratic in historical viewagainstwhichclassicalGreekthoughtis asserted.Understood context, Platois not the authoritative founderof Westernthoughtagainstwhomonly can be mounted,buta rebellious studentwhomanagesto transmarginalskirmishes form Diotima'scomplexteachingon personalidentity,immortality,and love into the sterilesimplicities of logicalform.

Who is the "host"of that famousphilosophicalpartydescribedin Plato's Who decided that no woman would be invited so that twenty Symposium? centurieslater, when Luce Irigaraydecides to imposeher feminine presence in her essay"L'amoursorcier"(Hypatia,this issue), she can only interveneas interloperand eavesdropper?Is the host Agathon, in whose house the Symposium takes place? Is it Socrates, in whose honor the feast is held? Is it Plato, who evokes the scene for us? The root meaning of "host" is a physical body on whose flesh parasites feed. The host is the nourishmentthey steal and convert to prolong their own dependentexistences. The host is a sacrificedanimalbody offeredup to placateheaven. The host is the physicalbreadthe faithfuleat at communion to become one with an insubstantialgod. If we take "host" in these root senses, then, as I hope to show, it is Diotima and not Agathon, Socrates, or Plato who is the realhost of the Symposium.And if this is true Irigaray'spresence is no intrusion. She, or any woman, enters into the discussionof love with perfect right. Irigaray,however, feels none of the confidence of an invited guest, nor Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Andrea Nye



Irigaray,however, feels none of the confidence of an invited guest, nor does she recognizeDiotima'sauthority.Irigaray'sDiotima is not the mistress of her own house, but an alienatedtroublerof dichotomouscategorieswhose successdepends on being clever enough to subvertPlatonic logic. Irigaray's own commitmentto this "feminineoperation"preventsher fromunderstanding Diotima'steaching and its relation to Platonism. Diotima'sdiscourse, as reportedby Socrates as reportedby Plato, has alwaysbeen the locus of scholarlyskirmishing.In the Symposium,when it is his tur to speakon love, Socratesdoes not speak in his own voice. He repeats the teaching of his mentor, Diotima. Most scholarshave found this puzzling and embarrassing.How can the greatSocrates,founderof philosophy,be saying that he learnedeverythinghe knowsfroma woman?In a rhetoricalcompetition between Athenian men, what is a woman doing correctingthe mistakesof previousmale speakers?And what is Plato doing, letting Socratesrepeat respectfullythe teachings of a woman, teachingsnot alwaysin keeping with Plato'sown? These anomalies have been handled in a variety of ways. Some scholars have arguedthat Diotima is a fictional priestessinvented by Plato to give divine authority to Socrates, even though this explanation must ignore the many elements in Diotima'steaching inconsistent with Platonic philosophy as well as the fact that Diotima wouldbe the only fictional characterin all of the Platonic dialogues.Others have explainedher appearanceby referringto Socrateswishes to correctAgathon the romanticsubplotsof the Symposium: whom he wants to seduce, but without antagonizing;thereforeSocratesputs his correctionin Diotima'smouth so that he may implyingratiatinglythat he too once needed instructionand had to be put right. Still others have argued that Plato includesDiotima'sdiscoursein orderto ridiculeits simplisticnaturalism,ignoringthe fact the SocratespraisesDiotima and reportsherridicule of his naivete and excessiveabstraction.Almost universally,it is assertedwithout argumentthat Diotima is fictional. In translationand commentaries,her teachingsare interpretedso as to be compatiblewith Platonicphilosophy.1 In fact, Diotima'sphilosophyof love differsboth fromthe theoryof Forms in Plato'sRepublic,and from the mystical Pythagoreanismdeveloped in the Phaedrus.Farfromsuggestingthat the body is a degradedprison,Diotimasees bodily love as the metaphorand concrete traininggroundfor all creativeand knowledge-producingactivities.2 She arguesthat sexual love for one person must be outgrown, but not because it is physicaland so imperfect.Rather, the lover must progressto friendship,knowledge,and politics becauseexclusive sexual love for one person is obsessional,narrow,and makesone servile (Symposium21 c-d).Diotima does not arguethat heterosexualintercourseis inferiorbut urges an expansion of loving intercoursethat will bear fruit in new thoughts, new knowledge,and new waysof living with others, as well as in physical children (209a). The beauty-in-itself that the initiate in

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Diotima'sphilosophy may experience as the culmination of her training is not a transcendentPlatonic Form. The initiate glimpsesno universal, abstracted from imperfect particulars, but an indwelling immortal divine beauty,an attractingcenter that fomentsfruitfulcreationin all areasof existence.4 Diotima identifies this center with the pre-HellenicCretan goddess, Eilethia, goddessof childbirth, and with her attendantspinnerof fate, Moira (206d). To be in touch with this divinity, she says, is to live a new enlightened existence and to be a lover of the divine. Only in this way, Diotima concludes, will we be able to avoid false imagesof virtueand achieve real virtue (212a 1-5). The initiate in Diotima's philosophy cannot dwell in the world of absolute beauty as the philosopher of Plato's Republic aspiresto dwell in the uppersunlit worldof the Forms.To cut oneself off fromthe naturalgenerativecenter of humanlife, is to be content with only abstract,unreal ideasof virtue and to fail to achieve real virtuewhich mustbe lived and generated in the visible, physical world. At first, there is much in Diotima'steaching that Irigarayapproves.She applaudsDiotima's mocking of Socrates' simplistic dichotomous thinking: love is either ugly or beautiful,rich or poor, etc. She accepts Diotima'sview of love as an intermediaryor third term that moves between two opposing termswhose logic is deconstructed.She endorsesDiotima'stheoryof personal identitybasedon the realizationthat the self is not unitarybut constantlyin a processof renewal and destruction. But then Irigaraywithdrawsher approval.After such a promisingbeginning, she charges,Diotima'smethod "fails"(1984, 33). Diotima searchesfor a "cause"for love in a naturalimpulsetowardprocreation.She sees an "issue" and not sexualpleasureas the end of sexual intercourse.She sees non-procreative sex as only a means to the end of certain "collectivegoods."She sacrifices sexualpleasureto a teleologicalgoal. She sets up a hierarchyof goods in which an abstractphilosophicallove of beautyis "higher"than physicallove, underminingthe plurality of her original deconstruction. In other words, IrigarayjudgesDiotima as a lapsedFrenchfeministstrugglingto maintainthe "correctmethod"againstphilosophicalorthodoxy.Although Diotima begins well with an ironic onslaughton dualistic, hierarchicalcategories,she soon revertsto an orthodoxyof her own. Insteadof continuing to derail Socratic logic, Diotima becomes a Platonist. But has Irigaraylistened to what Diotima says?Does she hear Diotima or the voices of Platonic scholarsand commentatorsdeterminedto show that Diotima is a Platonist?Irigarayworksfrom a text glossed by many readings that shape and distort Diotima's teaching to make it compatiblewith Platonic dogma. For example, Irigaraycomplainsthat Diotima thinks some external acquisitionsuch as immortalityor collective happinessis the end for which love is only a means. But this popularcriticism of Platonic love depends on a misleading translation and interpretation of the expression



literally "to come to be for someone", or "to to someone" (204d). Why do we love? asksDiotima. What is it that happen we want? We want, the Greek reads, "the beautifulto come into being for us." Irigaray,however, accepts the misleadingbut common translation,"We want the good to be ours"(1984, 31). Possession,however, in the sense of acquiringa property,is not what loverscrave, accordingto Diotima. Instead, they long for the quickening, fertilizingcontact with someone beautifulin bodyand soul that is necessaryif, together, loversare to generatenew waysof thinkingand living. Diotima'slover is not the heaven-crazedloverof the Phaedruswho glimpsesin his idol the dim reflectionof an otherworldlyvision he wouldlike to reclaim.5Nor is she the Platonicteacherseekinga suitablerecepof his own ideas.6Instead,accordingto Diotima, tacle for the "dessemination" whatwe seek in love is the fruitfulnessof interaction,the fecundityof dialogue. The "goods"that resultare collective, not the possessionof any individual.7 In anotherand even more seriousmisinterpretationof Diotima'steaching, Irigarayaccepts a Platonic reading of Diotima's theory of beauty-in-itself. Here, she follows traditionalscholarshipin taking Diotima'sfinal revelation of unchangingbeautyas a less sophisticatedversionof Plato'stheoryof hierarchicalForms.In fact, the progressof Diotima'sinitiate is not vertical, from lower to higher, but lateral, from narrowsexual relations and an exclusive concern with one's own family, to "better"(not "higher"),more inclusiverelationships.8The lover comes to love souls as wellas bodies, many as wellas one. When she finally begins to sense the creativeprocessin all of life, she is "embarkedon the wide sea of beauty",and can bear"magnificentthoughtsin philosophicalabundance"(201d). The final vision of a Beautythat does not change is not of a transcendentForm,seen as a rigidconfining model for human excellence. It is the very opposite. The initiate senses an inner generative impulseat the heart of life, an impulsethat continuallyfoments change and decay and so prevents the settling in of rigid form. Only when she has this insight, Diotima warns,will the lover be able to give birth to true virtue and not to false imagesof virtue (212a, 1-5).9 Diotima does not proscribe"lower"formsof love or of thought. She does et la plus not say what Irigarayhas her say: "debeaucoupla plus considerable bellemanifestationde la penseeetant celle qui concernel'ordonnoncedes Etats commede toutetablissement" (by farthe most importantand the most beautiful expressionof thought being that which concernsthe governmentof states as of any establishment)(1984, p. 35). Diotima is moresubtle. She says:"Much that is most importantand best comes fromthis sort of thinking (ie. practical wisdom), both for the city and for the management of the household" (209a). The progressof Diotima's initiate, unlike that of Plato's student, never requiresthe renunciationof "lower"formsof engendering,only a widening circle of those with whom we have loving intercourse,and a widening of the benefits of that intercourse. '"yevecraOtL tvrT,"

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Diotima does arguethat the point of love is the "goods"that come from harmoniousintercourse.She does not say, however, what Plato seems to imply in the Phaedrus:that we use the loved one, finding in him an ideal that will assist our reascent to a Platonic heaven inhabited by ideal essences. There is no equivocationin Diotima'snaturalisticview of immortalityas the good we leave afterus. Her goods are not pre-existingeternalessenceswhich the lover wishes to acquireor reach. Instead, loving intercourseis creativity: it is the processby which we create new forms. When these forms-a child, an idea, a new way of life, a new theory or administrativetechnique-are identifiedwith a pre-existingideal, then Diotima'slove disappears.The child becomes the false image of the parents'imagination,the idea a spuriousabstraction, the theory an alienated intellectualism, the administrativetechnique a strategyof domination. For Diotima, the issue or outcome of loving harmoniousrelationsare goods, not "The Good." Goods are simplythe pluralityof things that make us happy. This is so obvious, Diotima says, that no more need be said about it (205a). According to some of the criteriaused in recent worksby feministwriters, Diotima'sphilosophy,with its denial of autonomousalienatedconsciousness, its recognitionof the affectiveand collective natureof knowledge, its unwillingness to separate the practical from the theoretical, might seem to be deeply feminist. Irigaray,however, sees Diotima as capitulatingto Platonic metaphysics.It is not hardto understandwhy classicalscholarschoose to interpretDiotima as a Platonist:this is one way to explain the anomalyof her appearanceat the Symposiumand to perpetuatethe illusion that the foundations of culture are irrevocablymale. But why Irigaraywould make such a mistakeneeds furtherexplanation.The sourceof the misunderstanding, I believe, is to be foundnot just in a misleadingtranslation,but in the conceptual infrastructure of Irigaray's feministstrategy:in deconstructivemethod and textual practise,in "ecriture feminine",and in the conceptof feminine"jouissance". Irigaray,as feministcritic of Westernphilosophy,adoptsa textual practise, a "travaildu langage."She has no naive notion of refutingmale philosophers in their own terms. Instead, she approachesthem as texts, that is, as internally generated,more or less orderedsystemsof meaningwhose logical order and pretendedtruth must be deconstructed.The readerof a text must avoid being taken in both by an establishmentof authoritativetruth and by the temptation to establish a rival thesis. Autrementdit, 1'enjeu. . . est d'enrayerla machinerietheorique sa pretensiond la production d'unveriteet elle-meme,de suspendre d'unsenspartropunivoques.(In other words,what is at stake is to jam the theoretical machineryitself, to suspendits pretension to the productionof a too unitary truth and meaning) (1977, 75). The sourceof this strategyis, of course,JacquesDerrida.For Derrida,the pretensionto truth and unitarymeaning is theological. Logic'sclaim to self-



evidence, the representationof physicalfact, even the presenceof a human voice in spoken words, all rest on an implicit appealto a transcendentpresence. Once such a "god"is rejected, it becomesclearthat speech is not revelatory of any transcendent truth but is an internally ordered phonemic graphismneither priorto nor essentiallydifferentfromwriting.This is not to say that we can do away with a "unitary"meaning orderedin hierarchical oppositions.These must continue, Derridaargues,to formthe semanticmatrix of thought. However, if, as in traditionalphilosophicalrefutation, the premisesof a supposedtruth are rejectedas false and an alternativesemantic orderingis assertedwhich is to be more consistent with the "facts",then the theological presence of truth is reasserted.10 Instead, Derridaproposesa variety of deconstructivestrategies,many of them adopted by Irigaray.Hierarchicaloppositions can be turned on their heads and the supposedpresenceexposed as a lack againstwhich the opposing term is defined. Or, the deconstructormay read between the lines and discoverways in which the authorunwittinglysubvertsher or his own text. Or she may discoverin seeminglyunimportantasidesand "supplements"the core problemor issue that motivates the text. In all of these cases, deconstructivereadingsmust not claim to find themeaning, the truth of a text, or event the author'sintendedmeaning. Releasedfromsuch logocentricprojects, the readermay proceed to explore an infinite chain of deferralsand differences in which any supposedauthoritativeorder is alwayscompromised. In Spurs: Nietzche's Styles, a deconstruction of Nietzche's misogyny, Derridaspecificallyidentifies this subversionof the text as "feminine."For the "woman,"outside masculine appropriation,there can be no truth. As feminine, she keeps an ambiguousdistance, leaves open a seductiveplurality of meanings, and so can play irreverentlywith the text, taking pleasurein overturningwhatever order misogynist, truth-asserting,phallic society tries to establish. Like other French feminists, Irigarayfound in these strategies both a possibleantidote for the paralyzingrealizationthat sexismcan be built into semanticstructure,and a flatteringreversalof the proverbialsexist claim that women are inferiorbecause they are illogical and incapableof consistency. Derridaseems to suggesta way in which women, excluded from and degradedin male culture, can still undermine,if not overcome, that culture. This method, however, so brilliantlydeployedby Irigarayin her readings of Aristotle, Plato, Kant, and other male philosophers,falterswhen applied to Diotima.12In Diotima'sthought, there is no hierarchicallogic to expose, no masculine/presence,feminine/absence to deconstruct. Diotima's lovers are humanswho must die and the motivation for their interactiondoes not depend on their sex. But neither can Irigaraysuccessfullyclaim Diotima as a fellow deconstructionist.Diotima is not concernedwith underminingan authoritativelogic. Her tone with Socratesdoes not need to be bolsteredby the defiant irony with which Irigarayfaces down her philosophical forebears.

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Instead, she treatshim with the playfulcondescensiondue a youth who has not yet graspedthe simplestof naturalfacts. Not only does Diotima not need to deconstructa Platonic theoryof the Forms,she has doubtsthat Socratesis even capableof followingher discussionof the "erotica"or mysteriesof love. To her exposure of his ignorance, Socrates responds humbly. Irigaray, however, does not approvethe masterfulway in which Diotima directs the discussion. The reasonfor her disapprovalcan be found in the theory of languageon which Irigaray'stextual practicedepends.That theory, derivedfrom Derrida and from Irigaray'sother mentor, Lacan, depends on a Saussurianview of languageas a system of signs internallyrelated.13 In the Lacanianversion, we do not use words to communicate;instead we "enter into" language, a fixed systemof meaningsstructuredaroundthe mastersignifier,the Phallus, and its corollary,the Name of the Father.Once this view of languageis accepted, Derrideandeconstructionbecomesthe only liberatorytactic.14 Fixed configurationsof meaningmustbe brokenup or subvertedin orderto insurea degreeof anarchicfreedom.On this view, Diotima, as speakerof a language, mustenter into the hierarchicalsystemof meaningthat structuresany semantics. Like Plato, or any philosopher,she mustfind herselftrappedin a system of signifierswith phallic presence at the center. If she is not to lapse into unintelligibility,she mustrevertto the foundingoppositionsof Westernmetaphysics:subordinationof the body to the mind, of physicalappetite to rationality, of naturalexistence to spiritualheaven. Her only alternativewould be to subverttheir authorityin a "feminineoperation"of deconstruction.Because Irigarayacceptsthe Lacanianview of languageas a systemof signs into which we enter, whether to obey or subvert, she can only understand Diotima in the same terms.Not only must Irigarayperforma "feminineoperation" in her readingof Diotima, she must evaluate Diotima'sown method accordingto its success as an "ecriture feminine." "Ecriturede la femme"is Irigaray'sversion of Derrida's"feminine operation." The subversionof the text of patriarchy,she claims, requiresa new kind of feminine style. This style will be alwaysfluid, never allowingitself to be definedor restricted,never takinga fixed position. A womanwritermust: met. . . feu aux motsfetiches,aux termspropres,auxformesbien construites..etfait explosertoute forme, figure, idee, concept, solidementetablis.(put fire to fetish words,correctterms, wellconstructedforms, and explode every solidly built form, figure, idea, concept. (1977, 76) This advice may be pragmaticallysound for a woman strugglingin a predominately male establishment who must negotiate concepts and rules of thought devised by men which leaves her little room for intelligible self-expression. Diotima, however, in a differentsituation, has no interest in sus-



taining such a style. On the contrary, although she begins with a tertiary logic that Irigarayfinds promisinglyelusive, Diotima proceedsto refute the views of Aristophanesand Pausaniasand to expound a thesis of her own.15 She speakswith authority,as someone who has come to knowledgethrougha difficultprocessand who can passon that knowledgeonly by urgingan initiate to travel the same road. Irigaray,however, judges Diotima within the context that gives meaning to her own deconstructivepracticeas if Diotima were a twentieth-century Parisian "intellectuelle" strugglingagainst the aumale of a academic establishment to thority producean "ecriturefeminine". But the institutionalsetting for Diotima'sphilosophyis not the EcoleNormale The ahistoricalcharacterof Irigaray'sintellectualinheritancepreSuperieure. vents her from seeing the difference.16 In Lacanianand Derrideanmetaphysics,the distinction between natural and/or historical reality and the linguistic terms we use to interpret, represent, or criticizethat realityis dissolved. ForLacan, the worldoutsideof language is not a human world. It is the world of animal intersubjectivityand unreflectivesensation. To learn to speakis not to learn to expresssensations or articulateintersubjectivelyconstitutedexperience, but to enter the world of the symbolic.A split in the self betweenwatchingsubjectand mirroredobject, foundationalboth in the development of an individualand of human culture, allows the constructionof an alienatedlinguisticidentity. This identity is then articulatedwithin the context of a social language, a transpersonal symbolicnexus whose centraland primalsignifieris the phallus.According to Lacan, our identities, as well as our understandingof any situation, are fixed only within this patrifocalsymbolicorder. Although for Derridathe meanings in which we find ourselvesare more ambiguous,disordered,"frayed",he also sees languageas radicallydiscontinuous with physical existence. A cry or a moan may be a natural sign, but wordscan never expressan affectiveexperience. History, literature,culture, everythinghuman, is a text. There are no facts outside of languagethat languagemay express,or correctlyor incorrectlyrepresent.There is no non-textual situationout of which one mayspeak.The transitionfromphysicalexistence to symbolicmeaning is absoluteand occursoutsideof historicaltime as the preconditionof culture itself. This is not simply to say that language, as socially constructedmeaning, mediatesan individual'sexpressionof her experience. If our wordsare never wholly our own but are taken from the mouths of others, we and they still speakfromparticularmaterialsituations.The Saussurianpremiseis moreradical. Languagehas meaning not from its use in human expression,but from formal syntactical relations. Even when, as for Derrida, these relations are not rigidlyordered, meaning does not depend on who is speakingor where and why she says what she does. This is true becausefor Derridathe hierarchical oppositionsagainstwhich deconstructionoperatesarenecessary.More

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importantly,it is truebecauseeven Derrideanmetaphor,ambiguity,and paradox dependon formalpatterning:configurationsof differencesand deferrals, reversalsand spacings. However, to read a text in this way is to refuse to considerthe institutionalconditionsof its productionor the identityof its author. Therefore, Irigaraycannot place Diotima'sthought within a particular material historical context. Whatever her circumstancesor her identity, Diotima, as speaker,has entered the world of the text and has left material existence behind. But this is to erase the specific historical/socialsetting of the Platonic dialogues. Much has been written about the sequesteredand inferiorstatusof women in classicalGreece. There has also been much feministcriticismof the misogynist thought that ratified that inferiority.17However, the subjugationof Greekwomen was not only textual, nor was it a necessaryeffect of the alienated originsof symbolicthought. Instead, it was the outcome of more than a millenium of social change in the Aegean and Mediterraneanareas. Beginning about 2000 B.C., Greek-speakinginvadersand emigrantsbegan to arrive in mainlandGreece. These invadersbroughtwith them the male-dominated social structuresof a nomadic, illiterate, warriorsociety:political hierarchy, the worship of a supreme sky and thunder god, the restriction of women to the domestic sphere. In Greece they found no primitive animal subsistence, but a civilization focused on a sophisticated Minoan culture. Minoan frescoesand seals document a way of life very differentfrom that of the invaders.Women are depicted in positions of prominence, presidingat religiousceremonies, worshippinga female deity, attendingfestivalsand entertainments,participatingin the importantceremonyof bull dancing.18 In the interveningcenturies-from the fall of Crete to Mycenaeandominance, throughthe darkages, up to classicaltimes-the clash continued between a theologyfocusedon a centralfemaledivinity and naturalcycles of generation on the one hand, and one focused on a supremewarrior-father-god on the other.19By classical time, although subjectedto increasingsegregationand domestic isolation, as well as to complete political disenfranchisement, women still retainedsome of their old power in religion. They continued to fill importantsacerdotalroles as priestessesof Athena or Demeter;they participated publically in religious festivals and initiations; they celebrated women'sritualssuch as the Dionysianor the Thesmophorian;they performed as prophetessesat oracularshrines such as Delphi. In historical context, then, it is neither surprisingnor anomalous that Diotima would appearin an authoritativerole as the teacher of Socrates.22 As prophetess/priestess she was part of a religiousorderthat had maintained its authorityfrom Minoan/Mycenaeantimes. At Delphi, the sibyl still presidedas the most respectedoracle in Greece. Thousandsproclaimedthe benefits of initiation into the wisdom of Demeter at Eleusis. Socrates himself points out the respect due Diotima for preparingthe sacrifice that rescued



Athens from the plague (201d). As Mantineanprophetess,Diotimadoes not speakas a lone womanwho has painfullymanagedto gain entranceto a male party. She speaksout of a traditionof female power and female thought still alive in Greek culture. When Socratesrefersto the propheticpower of the sibyl or the inspiredvoices of the Musesin the Phaedrus,he taps sourcesthat may not be availablein Irigaray'sChristianizedlate twentieth centuryParis, wherethe connection between divinity and masculinityis axiomatic, and the "absence"of the feminine a necessarytruth. Historicallylocatable psychoanalyticformulationsof that necessarytruth are part of the conceptual underpinning of Irigaray'sfeminist method. Women's sexuality, Irigarayargues, is absent from Freudiantheory. In her view, women'sliberationis intimatelyconnected with the recognitionof and indulgence in a specifically feminine sexual pleasure. This feminine "jouissance"is defined in contrast with a dominant masculine sexuality.21 Masculinesexualityis phallic, that is, active, penetrative,aggressive,focused or orgasm.Women's pleasure,on the other hand, is self-touching, interactive, heterogeneous,plural, and flowing ratherthan gatheringto a climax. This view of feminine sexuality also has at its source the ideas of Lacan. Lacan correctedany lingeringbiologismstill inherent in Freud'saccount of women's supposed sexual disabilities only to make those disabilities even more inaccessible to feminist reform.22 In principle, biology can be circumvented by contraception or artifical methods of reproduction. But when Lacan locates women's disability in universalstructuresof linguistic meaning, he writeswomen'sinferiorityinto cultureitself. ForLacan, that inferiorityis inscribedas a kind of nonentity, as what cannot be expressed. Lacan complained with some satisfaction that when women (including women analysts)are asked about their sexuality, "they know nothing about this pleasure"(Lacan 1975, 68). Irigaray,like Lacan, does not questionthe contrastbetween masculineand feminine sexuality.Instead,she attemptsto answerFreud'sand Lacan'sunansweredquestion (What do women want?), and to make articulatethat feminine "jouissance"which escapes masculine logic. She supplies Lacan's "Woman",the "pas-toute" (not all there), with a specificpresence.Women's be will no sexuality longer the simple negative, or lack of masculinephallic of Lacan'sapprowill nor it be the ineffableecstasy-beyond-words presence; will an kind of Saint it be alternative Bermini's Therese.23 of Instead, priation with a woman's different and connected pleasure-describable, recoverable, "self-touching"sexual economy. Irigaray'sneo-Lacanian account of sexuality is in sharp dissonance with Diotima's.Diotima groundslove and sexualdesirein naturalexistence rather than in semantic configurationsof meaning. Diotimean love is the same for all, women and men, and makesno distinctionbetweenfeminine and masculine desire. Diotima'stheory of love does not focus on pleasure;genital pleas-

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ure in the sense of a privatesensation is not mentioned in her philosophy. It commitmentto the explanais not surprising,therefore,that, given Irigaray's of feminine sexual and pleasure,she can makeno sense tory liberatorypower of Diotima's positive view. After a promisingbeginning, Irigaraycharges, Diotima makesno distinction between our human (textual) identity and nature. She looks for a cause in naturalphenomena;she leaves intact a hierarchy in which spirituallove is better than physical. These formulations, however, do not do justice to Diotimean positions which do not share Irigaray'spresuppositions.Although Diotima grounds sexualdesirein a principleof nature, that principleinvolves neither women's reproductiveorgansnor men's penises. Instead, it has to do with the fact of mortalityand the impulseof living things to perpetuatethemselves. Our desire to transcendour mortalityby leaving good after us is not limited to the engenderingof children. In fact, our immortalityis moresecurewhen we produce new waysof living and thinking. Diotimamakesno distinctionbetween men and women in this respect. Both men and women come together to bring up children; in her account this is not an exclusivelyfemale activity. Both men and women enter into other kinds of loving relationshipto produce virtues, ideas, new waysof management.These relationshipscan be between any sex, heterosexualor homosexual.24In every case, the impulseof desireis the same-cooperative generationof good things both for the couple and for others, both for the household and the community. The pursuitof pleasurablesensation could not be the motive for Diotima'sdesire;a privatized sensation of pleasurecould never account for the universalityand urgency of love as she sees it. ForDiotima, love is not a recreationbut permeates the whole of human activity. Irigaray,however, sees in Diotima'sphilosophyanotherattemptto deprive women of their specific sexual pleasure.Although Irigaraywould agree that desire motivates our activities and our thought, this is for her a textual and not a naturalfact. Therefore,for her, the key to the subversionof the patriarchal order is non-textual sexual pleasure, a force outside conceptual structures, especially those generative and familial structuresthat have made women the container/envelopethat protectsand sheltersthe male. The maternity so importantfor Diotima in the lives of both men and women is, for Irigaray,only a trapfromwhich sexualpleasure,or "jouissance",mustdeliver us. Diotimean love, which has issue in humangoodness,knowledge,familial and institutional relationships, is anathema to Irigaray.It makes love, she says, into a "devoir"or "moyen"(a duty or means) (1984, 33). Love becomes "sagessepolitique,sagesseordrede la cite"(political wisdom, wisdomordering the city) (1984, 36). In contrast, Irigaray'sfeminine pleasureinvolves a free, sensuousplay of bodies and texts, engagedin for its own sake, opposedto the establishmentof any doctrine, politics, or commitment.ForIrigaray,to allow stakesin love is to cease to be feminine. It is to found an alienatedmasculine



order. The feminine can never be foundationalbecause its very essence is marginality,a marginalitythat is liberatingbecause it provokesa constant questioningand mockingof the masculineorderthat restrictsthe freecirculation of feminine desire.25 Diotima, on the other hand, speaks from a different perspective. As priestess,prophetess,memberof a theologicaltradition,she finds nothing inconsistent in the idea of feminine institutionsand social forms.She is not the marginalizedand repressedfemalestudentof an all-powerfulmale philosophical and psychoanalyticestablishment.She has not been painfullyrejectedby her master.Instead,she speaksto an audiencewhich takesfeminine divinity for grantedand for which feminine religiousleaderscontinue to commandrespect. As a result, she has a different sense of herself as feminine than a woman strugglingfor a foothold, or refusingto find a foothold, within the paranoidclosed circle of Lacanianauthority.26 Irigaray'srejection of Diotima'smethod is also linked to a view of the subject inheritedfrompost-structuralisttheory. In Diotima'sphilosophy,the self is in a constant process of change, both in mind and body (207d-208e). Therefore,it is clear that she cannot be accusedof the Cartesianismthat contemporaryfeministshave found so usefulas an objection to masculinisttheory (eg. Flax 1980, Irigaray1974). At the same time, Diotima'sview of the loving self, constantlyopen to mutilationsthat occur in any relationshipand constantlyin the processof generatingnew social forms,has little in common with the split subjectof Lacan. Lacanunderstoodthat there could be no unitaryself. Always in the self is the Other, but this Other of Lacan is not another person. It is the Other of languageruledby the Lawof the Father.We aresplitbetweenthe polymorphous feeling"me"and a linguisticorderin which we must live out our social lives as human and not animal.This "Other"we as a have no choice but to accept. Irigaray,like Lacan,sees institutionalization returnto the Other, to the Lawof the Father,and so mustposit, as the only escape, a libidinoussensualitythat languagemust leave behind. Diotima, however, does not see in languagea built-in normativeorder.For her, discoursesare interchangesthat initiate social orders.Talk between lovers is not a free expressionof pure sensuouspleasure,nor is it a programmed lesson resultingin a predetermineddefinitionof good. Neither of these possibilities would lead to the new ideasthat Diotimaclaimsare the fruitsof love. IrigaraychargesDiotima with moving away from an "individualizedbecoming" to "collective" goods. Indeed, Diotimean talk between lovers "never contemplatesan individualbecoming";sexual desire, for Diotima is not an impulsetowardself-realization.Instead, in love the mortalsubjectmoves beyond her own individual life into the lives of others. Pregnancyand birth, whether of body or mind, occur only when there is an "engagement" and a "being together"(ovvoxrCa) (206c4-dl). (dCpjT6rrov) Irigaray,on the other hand, trappedin the metaphysicsof Lacan'ssplit self, cannot accept an interactionalview of discourse.She sees feministstrug-

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gle as an internalizedrebellion against the Law of the Father in one's own speech and thought. The goal of this strugglemust be free expressionof diffuse emotions and sensations, and a feminine speech that has affiniteswith the "illogic"of hystericsand dreamers: Echangessans termesidentifiables,sans comptes,sans fin... Sansun(e) plusun(e), sansserie,san nombre.(Exchangeswithout identifiable terms, without accounts, without end . . . without one plus one, without series, without number. (1977, 193) This is a languagethat women may "parlerentre-elles",but the revolutionary resultis not the developmentof new formsof social life. It is a personalliberation that frees the subject from the symbolicLaw of the Father. ForDiotima, on the other hand, there is no "subject,"split or other. There are only selves in constant dissolution and renewal as they relate to each other. The enemy of the self is not an internalizedconceptualorder,but "ugliness",an uglinessnot identifiedas the oppositeof an ideal of perfectbeauty but as that which one cannot love. Ugliness can have no issue, becauseit is rigid, sterile, impotent, arid. (206d) Although Irigaraymaybe right in thinking that we have finally internalizedsuch an ugliness, she is wrongto ignore the historical specificity of that process. I, too, read Plato yearsago with no interest in Greek geography,religion, or politics, sexual or other, I read Plato as if he were John Austin. Others readhim as if we were Frege, or more recently Kripke.We all readhim as if he were the practitionerof our own particularbrandof rationality.Although we might have disagreedabout what rationalityconsisted in, we were sure that it existed and that it allowed us to readPlato on our own terms. Deconstructivereadingand ecriturefemininehave been a refreshingantidote. They have made us see the veneer of rationalismand the destructivemisogynyof those we were taught to respect. Irigaray,performingher "feminine operation" has interruptedacademicdiscourse,disruptedsacredAristotelian, Platonic and Kantiancategories.She has madeus see how the Lawof the Father operatesmaskedas metaphysicaltruth. If, with Diotima, her usual sure touch falters, it is because Diotima does not play the feminine role as deconstructionor Lacanianpsychoanalytictheoryhas conceived it. She is not the uninvitedgatecrasher,but the host of the Symposium.She is the spokespersonfor ways of life and thought that Greek philosophyfeeds on, ways of thought whose authorityPlato neutralizedand converted to his own purposes. In Plato's hands, Diotima's loving conversation becomes the Socratic elenchus:a programmedcourse of study in which pupil is guided towarda "correct"conclusion determinedin advance. The generative, divine source of Beautybecomesthe Formof the Good, an abstracttranscendentobject re-



moved from the processesof the naturalworld. Diotima'sconcern that, unless we see and involve ourselveswith real generativebeauty,we may rely on false "images"of virtue is rejectedand a sterileSocraticdivisionmanufactures villains and heros. Diotima'scelebrationof erotic union as the divine mode for all creative activity becomes contempt for the body and for heterosexual intercourse. Platonic philosophy is not the primal opening of metaphysicalspace, as Irigarayarguedin Speculum.It is parasiticon an earliermetaphysics,whose characteristicidioms Plato borrowsto build a phantasmicworldof images. If Irigarayshowed us the necessaryflimsinessof the Platonic "symbolic",her Derrideanand Lacanianheritage withheld from us the actual history of its fraudulentconstruction.To reduceDiotima to co-optedfeminine marginality is to perpetuatethis deception. To reinstateher is to carryout that necessary restructuringof our perspectivethat Irigarayherselfdescribedso inspiringlyin Speculumde l'autrefemme.

NOTES 1. K.J. Dover (1978) states the typical reasoning. It is unlikely that a woman could have taughtSocrates(p. 161, footnote 11). A more recent example is MarthaNussbaum(1986) who assertsDiotima'sfictionality without argumentand furtherreducesher statusby labeling her as Plato's intellectual "mistress",a woman with whom he has mental intercourse.(p. 177) 2 At 210a, Diotima explains that to reach the firstrevelationone mustbegin while youngby falling in love with beautifulbodies. At 206c, she describesthe coming together of men and women to producechildren as a "divinityand an immortalityin the midst of human life." (Cf. Phaedrus250c, where those who have forgotten the vision of beauty from their pre-earth existences go off like "beasts"and "begetoffspringof the flesh.") 3. Line citations are to Bury's (1932) text of the Symposium.Translations are my own. 4. Most commentatorshave assumedthe identity of Diotima'spure beauty-in-itselfand the Platonic Form of Beauty as describedin the Phaedrus.In the Phaedrus,the winged soul in its Pythagoreanpreexistenceclimbs a heavenly summitto glimpsethe "truebeing"of Justice,Temperance, Beauty, etc. Once imprisonedin the body, the soul can only dimly discernvestigesof this heavenly Beautyin actual beautifulobjects. For Diotima, the processis reversed.The lover begins by loving individualsand via a widening loving practisebegins to discernthe generative powerin all the beautifulthings to which she is attracted.Although Diotima'sfinal vision is of a divine beautynot instantiatedin any individualphysicalthing ("pure,mixed, not filled in with flesh or with the human, or with color") (21 d), there is no suggestionthat it has any ghostly residencein a heaven of Forms.Instead, it is graspedas an immortallife force, independentof any individualbeing. The vision of absolutebeautyis not an end in itself for Diotima. The goal continues to be "to bear" (TCKELV) true virtue. (212a3) (There is no good translation for which can be used both of the father'sand the mother'spart in reproduction.) "T(KTr)w" 5. Diotima refersto lovers as "he's"when generic termsare not available.Since Plato'saudiare male, it is to be expected that Plato and perhaps ence and also the audienceof the Symposium even Diotima herself would have adapted their presentations for that audience. There is, however, no reasonto think that Diotima'steaching wouldhave been meant only for men. The content of that teaching clearly refersto both women and men. 6. Cf. Derrida's(1981) deconstructivereadingof the Phaedrusin which he tracesthe patriarchal motifs of successionfrom father to son. 7. Cf. 209b-c. When the "pregnant"lover comes into contact with someone beautiful, she not only embracesthe loved one's body but also they converse. The new insightswhich are the

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"offspring"of this union are "broughtup" by the couple together and this "commonproject" makestheir love even stronger.There is no suggestionthat only one of the coupleprofitsfromor possessesthe "goods"that are generatedin their relationship. 8. The one passagethat seems to suggesta hierarchicalprogressionis 211c, where Diotima saysthat "in orderto approachthe philosophyof love correctlyone must, beginningfrombeautiful things, progressfor the sake of what is eternallybeautiful,like climbing stairs."In what follows, however, she explainswhat she means, again in nonhierarchicalterms.The lover is go to "fromone (beautifulbody) to two, from two to many .. . " 9. Commentatorshave had considerabledifficultyin giving a Platonic interpretationof the conclusion of Diotima'sdiscourse.She has been describingthe final vision of beauty-in-itself, the eternalgenerativecenter inherent in everythingand everyonewe love. Then she adds:"But don't you think that only this person, this seeing personforwhom the good is visible, will be able to "givebirth"not to imagesof virtuebecauseshe fastenson images,but truevirtuebecauseshe fastenson truevirtues?(212a, 1-5) In fact, Diotima'sconclusioncan be readas an implicitwarning against Platonism:if we detach ourselvesfrom real concrete beauty, we may manufacture only empty ideas of virtue and not real virtue. 10. This is the argumentof Derrida'sfoundationaltext, Of Grammatology (1976). 11. When Nietzsche's various pronouncementson women are examined, Derridaargues, there are severalattitudesrevealed.First,the woman is condemnedby Nietzsche as a "figure"of falsehood. Second, she is "censured,debasedand despised"as a figureof truth. But in a third kind of statement, beyond this double negation, the woman is affirmedas having moved beyond the opposition between truth and falsity. (Derrida1978, 97). 12. This project is carried out in Irigaray'sSpeculumde l'autrefemmewhere she reads the foundingfathersof philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Descartes,in orderto exhibit and derail their sexist logic. 13. The relationsbetween the masterLacanand Irigaraywere troubled.As a Lacaniananalyst on the facultyof Lacan'sdepartmentat Vincennes, Irigaray'sseminarwas abruptlycancelled as unsuitableafter the publicationof Speculum. 14. Lacan, himself, believing that the symbolicorderof the phalluswas constitutive of linguisticmeaning, promisedno escapefromthe signifier.Psychoanalysiscould only bringthe subject backto the alienatingmomentof enteringlanguageand makehim alive to the fragilityof his symbolicexistence. 15. When Diotima chides Socratesfor employinga simplisticdichotomouslogic (love must be uglyor beautiful), Irigarayapprovesher "non-Hegelian"dialectic, a "jeul'intermediare" which does not destroytwo termsto establisha synthesisbut that insertsa "third"that allowsa progression from one state to another. (1984, 27) Her analysis,however, does not recognizethe connection Diotima makesbetween the textual progressionfrom term to term and the naturalurge that aspiresto beauty and goodness. 16. Other feminist deconstructivereadingsof Plato sufferfrom the same ahistoricalassumptions. See eg. du Bois' (1985) deconstruction of Derrida'sdeconstruction of the Phaedrus. Derrida missed, du Bois argues, the submergedfemininity in the Phaedrus,were Plato has Socratesturn into a king of "transvestite",speakingin the voices of priestessesand femalepoets. This analysisassumesthe eternally degraded,libidinal feminine, excluded from, but erupting into, the eternallydominant masculine. 17. Irigarayherself is at the forefrontwith her brilliantdeconstructivereadingsof Aristotle and Plato in Speculum. 18. Revisions of unfoundedassumptionsof male superiorityby Sir Arthur Evans and others have been necessary.Cf. eg. Willetts (1977) who reviewsthe literatureand describesthe now overwhelmingevidence that women had a pre-eminentposition in MinoanCrete, and also Thomas (1973) for a more ideological, but still persuasive,argument. 19. The degree of survivalof Minoan-Mycenean"matriarchal"traditionsin Homer and the Archaic age has been controversial.Cf. Pomeroy(1973) for a discussionof the evidence and some speculationas to the causesof the virulencewith which scholarshave attackedthe ideaof a survivingmatriarchy.There is, however, massiveevidence for the continuationof Minoan religious traditionsthroughoutthe Archaic age and into classical times. Cf. Dietrich (1974). 20. Cf. also Aristoxenus fr. 15 (Kirk, Raven, and Schofield (1984) frg. 278, 233): "and Aristoxenussays that Pythagorasgot most of his ethical doctrine from the Delphic priestess, Themistocleia."



21. Difficult to translateinto English, "jouissance" implies sensuouspleasurein general, the use or possessionof an object for one's own pleasure,and, in colloquialuse, the specificpleasure of sexual orgasm. 22. Cf. Freud'sessay on "Femininity"(1953) in which Freudarguesthat, even in "normal" development, the girl'ssexualitywill be to some extent repressed,resultingin a necessarydegree of frigidity,narcissism,and failure to sublimatedesire in great works. 23. Bemini's statue of Saint Therese, pierced by the love of Christ, is the frontspiecefor Lacan'sseminaron love, Encore(1975). 24. Although Diotima'slanguagehas been adaptedby Plato for a Greek male homosexualaudience, and thereforesometimes seems to apply only to male lovers, the actual content of her teaching shows that it is meant to applyto any combinationof sexes. Her teaching was particularly useful for Plato who could adapt it to male homosexual love, or distort it to argue that pederastybetween men was superiorto heterosexuallove. 25. At one place, Irigarayseems to suggestthat this marginalityis, to some degree,situational (cf. 1977, 125-126), the "moded'actionaujourd'hui possiblepourlesfemmes"(the kind of action todaypossiblefor women). But in the previousparagraphIrigaraymakesit clear than an unprecede la femme" dented revolution in thought must occur beforea woman could develop a "discours or a "pratique politque." 26. See Catherine Clement (1981) for a sensitive descriptionof some of the contradictions and compromisessuch a position could entail.


Bois, Page du. 1985. Phallocentrismand its Subversionin Plato'sPhaedrus. Arethusa18: 91-103. Bury,R.G. 1932. The Symposiumof Plato. Cambridge:W. Hefferand Sons. Clement, Catherine. 1981. Vies et legendesde Jacques Lacon. Paris: B. Grasset. Trans. G.C. Spivak. Baltimore: Derrida,Jacques. 1976. Of Grammatology, John Hopkins University Press. . 1978. Spurs:Nietzche'sStyles.Trans, BarbaraHarlow. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. . 1981. Dissemination.Trans. BarbaraJohnson. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dietrich, B.C. 1974. The Origins of Greek Religion. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Dover, K.J. 1978. GreekHomosexuality.Cambridge,Mass:HarvardUniversity Press. Flax, Jane. 1980. Mother-DaughterRelationships:Psychodynamics,Politics and Philosophy, in The Futureof Difference,ed. Hester Eisenstein and Allice Jardine. Boston: G. K. Hall. Freud,Sigmund. 1953. Femininity. The StandardEditionof theCompletePsychologicalWorks.XXI. London: Hogarth. Irigaray,Luce. 1974. Speculumde l'autrefemme. Paris:Minuit. . 1977. Ce sexe qui n'estpas un. Paris:Minuit. . 1984. Ethique de la differencesexuale. Paris: Minuit.

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Lacan, Jacques. 1966. EcritsI and II. Paris:du Seuil. . 1975. Encore,Le SeminairedeJacquesLacan,LivreXX. Paris:du Seuil. Nussbaum,Martha. 1986. The Fragilityof Goodness:Luckand Ethicsin Greek Tragedyand Philosophy.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity Press. Plato, 1932. The Symposium.ed: R. G. Bury. Cambridge:W. Heffer and Sons. Pomeroy,Sarah. 1973. Selected bibliographyon women. Arethusa.6:2. . 1975. Andromacheand the Question of Matriarchy.Revuedes etudes Greques.LXXXVIII,16-19. Thomas, C.G. 1973. Matriarchyin Early Greece: The Bronze and Dark Ages. Arethusa.6: 2. Thomson, George. 1949. The PrehistoricAegean. London: Laurence and Wishart. Willets, R.F. 1977. The Civilizationof AncientCrete. London:Batsford.

"EssentiallySpeaking": Luce Irigaray'sLanguageof Essence DIANA J. FUSS

LuceIrigaray'sfearlessnesstowardsspeakingthe bodyhas earnedfor herwork thedismissivelabel"essentialist." But Irigaray'sSpeculumde I'autrefemmeand Ce Sexe qui n'en est pas un suggestthatessencemay not be theunitary,monoso oftenpresumeit to be. lithic,in short,essentialistcategorythatanti-essentialists at least two reasons:first, to reverse Irigaraystrategically deploysessentialism for and to displaceJacquesLacan'sphallomorphism; andsecond,to exposethecontradictionat theheartof Aristotelianmetaphysics whichdenieswomenaccessto "Essence"whileat thesametimepositingtheessenceof "Woman"preciselyas non-essential(as matter).

Perhapsmore than any other notion in the vocabularyof recent feminist postructuralisttheory, "essentialism"has come to representboth our greatest fear and our greatesttemptation. The idea that men and women, for example, are identifiedas such on the basisof transhistorical,eternal, immutable "essences" has been unequivocally rejected by many anti-essentialist feministsconcernedwith resistingany attemptsto naturalize poststructuralist "humannature."And yet, one can hear echoing from the cornersof the debateson essentialismrenewedinterestin its possibilitiesand potential usages, soundswhich articulatethemselves in the formof calls to "risk"or to "dare" essentialism.1Essentialismhas been given new life by these invitations to considera possiblestrategicdeploymentof essence; we could even say that, in feminist theory, essentialismis the issue which simplyrefusesto die. Certainly essentialism is the charge most frequentlyheard in critiquesof Luce The presentessayparticipatesin the general Irigaray's"psychophilosophy."2 calls for a reconsiderationof essentialismin orderto pose the questionof how essentialismmight operatein theserviceof Luce Irigaray'sfeminist theory and politics. Why and when is essentialisminvoked in her work?What might be at stake in the deploymentof essentialismfor strategicpurposes?In short, are there waysto think and to talk aboutessence that might not, necessarily,"always already,"ipso facto, be reactionary? In what follows it will become clear that I do believe that there are such waysto elaborateand to workwith a notion of essence that is not, in essence, Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Diana J. Fuss

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ahistorical,apolitical, empiricist,or simplyreductive.But beforeturningto a considerationof Irigaray'sstrategicuse of essentialism, it bearsemphasizing that most of the criticismslevelled againstIrigaray'swork since the publication of Speculumde l'autrefemmein 1974 are inevitablybasedupon or in some way linked to this fearof essentialism.A summarysampleof the most important and oft-cited of these criticisms is enough to demonstratehow impassioned and genuine the resistanceto essentialismis for many feminists, and how problematic the reassessmentof essentialism'stheoretical or political usefulnessis likely to be. IRIGARAY AND HERCRITICS

In 1981, two critical essayson Luce Irigaray'swork were publishedin the U.S., each in a well-known feminist academic journal:Christine Faure's "The Twilight of the Goddesses, or the Intellectual Crisis of French Feminism"appearedin Signs,and CarolynBurke's"IrigarayThroughthe Looking Glass"appearedin FeministStudies.Faure'scritique, a translationfrom the French, is unquestionablythe more severe. She objects to a generaltrend in French feminist theory, epitomizedby Irigaray'ssearch for a female imaginary, which marks "a retreat into aesthetics where the thrust of feminist struggleis maskedby the old naturalisticideal drapedin the trappingsof supposedly 'feminine' lyricism" (1981, 81).3 Carolyn Burke also wonders whetherIrigaray'sworkescapesthe very idealismwhich her deconctructionof selected philosophicaland psychoanalytictexts so rigorouslyand persistently seeks to displace: Does her writingmanageto avoid constructionof anotheridealism to replacethe 'phallogocentric'systemsthat she dismantles? Do her representationsof a parlerfemme,in analogywith female sexuality, avoid the centralizingidealism with which she taxes Western conceptual systems?(1981, 302) Metaphysicalidealismis probablythe most damagingof the many criticisms chargedagainst Irigaray;it finds its most recent and perhapsmost powerful rearticulationin Toril Moi's SexualTextualPolitics: Any attempt to formulatea general theory of femininity will be metaphysical.This is preciselyIrigaray'sdilemma:having shown that so far femininityhas been producedexclusivelyin relation to the logic of the Same, she falls for the temptation to produceher own positive theory of femininity. But ... to define 'woman'is necessarilyto essentializeher. (1985, 139) Is it true that any definition of 'woman'must be predicatedon essence?And does Irigaray,in fact, define 'woman'?Though I will later arguethat the



problemof an idealismbasedon the body, on an essentialfemininity, is fundamentallya misreadingof Irigaray,suffice it to say here that Moi's assumption that "to define 'woman'is necessarilyto essentializeher"is by no means self-evident. While Irigarayhas been criticizedby both psychoanalystsand materialists alike, the most impassionedcritiqueshave come primarilyfrom the materialists. Monique Plaza's " 'Phallomorphic Power' and the Psychology of 'Woman,' " first published in the French radicalfeminist publicationQuestionsfeministesand later reprintedin the BritishmarxistjournalIdeologyand Consciousness,offersthe most sustainedand unremittinglycriticalindictment of Irigaray'sapparentessentialism. According to Plaza, Luce Irigaray'sgreat mistake(second only to her generalfailureto interrogateadequatelypsychoanalyticdiscourse)is a tendency to confusesocial and anatomicalcategories; Irigaray'stheorizationof female pleasureand her "searchfor the feminine 'interior'" lead her to abjurethe categoryof the social and to practicea dangerous form of "pan-sexualismwhich is only a coarse, disguisednaturalism" (1978, 8-9). Plaza,along with MoniqueWittig and ChristineDelphy, argues fromthe materialiststandpointthat "nature"is alwaysa productof social relations and that sex is alwaysa constructionof oppressionand never its cause. It is the move to desocialize"women,"Plazainsists, which leadsIrigarayinto the fallacy of essentialism: The absence of a theory of oppression,the belief in the unavoidable and irreduciblesexual Difference, the psychologistic reduction, the inflation of the notion of "women"which one finds in Luce Irigaray'sinvestigation, can only result in this essentialistquest. In the gap left by the statementof woman's non-existence, Luce Irigaraywill set up a "new"conception of woman. (28) Plaza goes on to accuse Irigarayof positivism, empiricism, and negativism (31). Toril Moi, another materialistcritic, adds two more weighty epithets: ahistorcismand apoliticism (1985, 147-48). If this were a critical barbecue, Irigaraywould surelybe skewered. Luce Irigaray,however, is not without her defenders. Jane Gallop, in "Quand nos levres s'ecrivent: Irigaray'sBody Politic," interpretsIrigaray's ratherthan a reflectionof persistentfocus on the female labiaas a construction the body; Irigaray'sessentialismis thus read within a largeranti-essentialist project of re-creating, re-metaphorizingthe body (1983, 77-83). Margaret Whitford takes a similarlysympathetic(which is not to say uncritical) approach to the question of essentialismin Irigaray'swork. In "Luce Irigaray and the FemaleImaginary:Speakingas a Woman,"Whitfordconcludesthat while Irigaraydoes sometimes blur the distinctions between the social and the biological, "this is obviouslya stategyadoptedwithin a particularhistori-

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cal and culturalsituation"(1986, 7).4 This particularresponseto the problem of essentialismin Irigaraystrikesme as the most promisingline of argument to follow, for ratherthan foreclosingthe discussionon essentialismbefore it has truly begun, this approach asks the more difficult question: if Irigarayappealsto a mode of feminine specificity,and if she attemptsto speak the femalebody, what might such strategicforaysinto the territoryof essentialism allow her to accomplish?What might Irigaray'swork amount to if she refusedsuch admittedlyriskyventures into "this sex which is not one"? "BYOURLIPSWEAREWOMEN"

Let me begin to answer these questions by re-examining the place and function of the "two lips" in Irigaray'stheorizationof female pleasure.This concept is perhapsmost responsiblefor generatingthe chargesof essentialism. Three words neatly summarizefor Irigaraythe significanceof the two lips: "Both at once." Both at once signifies that a woman is simultaneously singularand double; she is "alreadytwo-but not divisible into one(s)," or, put anotherway, she is "neitheronenortwo"(1985c, 24, 26). It is the two lips which situate women's autoeroticism,their pleasure,in a differenteconomy from the phallic, in an economy of ceaselessexchange and constant flux: Woman's autoeroticismis very differentfrom man's. In order to touch himself, man needs an instrument: his hand, a woman'sbody, language. . . . And this self-caressingrequires at least a minimum of activity. As for woman, she touches herself in and of herself without any need for mediation, and before there is any way to distinguishactivity from passivity. Woman "touchesherself"all the time, and moreoverno one can forbidher to do so, for her genitals are formedof two lips in continuous contact. Thus, within herself, she is already two-but not divisible into one(s)-that caress each other. (1985c, 24) It would be hard to deny, on the basisof this particularpassage,that Irigaray proposesto give us an account of female pleasurebasedon the body'sgenitalia; and it would be hard to deny that her account of the phallus is any less morphological.5Why the essentialistlanguagehere?Why the relentlessemphasis on the two lips? Let me turn first to the Irigariancritique of the phallus to demonstrate what appearsto be a strategic misreadingof male genitalia. According to Irigaray,Western culture privilegesa mechanics of solids over a mechanics of fluids because man's sexual imaginaryis isomorphic;as such, the male imaginary emphasizes the following features: "production, property (propriete),order,form, unity, visibility, erection"(1985a, 77). The features



associatedwith a female imaginary,as we might expect, moreclosely approximate the propertiesof liquids:"continuous,compressible,dilatable,viscous, conductible, diffusable"(1985c, 111). The problemhere is simplythat many of the propertiesIrigarayassociateswith the two lips might also describethe penis. As K.K. Ruthven points out: A good deal dependshere on the accuracyof Irigaray'scharacterizationof the penis as "one" in comparisonwith the "not one" of the vulva. Certainly, her theory seems to requirethe penis to be alwaysinflexiblyerect and quite without metamorphic variation,and also to be circumcised,as the presenceof a foreskinendows it with most of the propertiesshe attributesto the labia. (1984, 100-101) Irigaray'sreading of phallomorphismas a kind of isomophism,however, is not so much a misreadingas an exposureof one of the dominantmetaphorsin poststructuralistpsychoanalysis.It is not Irigaraywho erects the phallusas a single transcendentalsignifierbut Lacan:Irigaray'sproductionof an apparently essentializingnotion of female sexualityfunctions strategicallyas a reversal and a displacementof Lacan'sphallomorphism. Irigaray'scritique of Lacan centers primarilyon his refusal to listen to women speakof their own pleasure;she finds most untenableLacan'sinsistence that, on the subject of pleasure, women have nothing to say. In his SeminarXX on women, Lacanlistens not to women but to art, not to Saint Theresa but to Berini's statue of Saint Theresa:"you only have to go and look at Bemini's statue in Rome to understandimmediatelythat she's coming, there is no doubtabout it" ("Godand the Jouissanceof The Woman," in Mitchell and Rose 1982, 147). Irigaray'sinterrogatoryresponsein "CostFan Tutti" deftly unmasks the phallocentrism at play here: "In Rome? So far away?To look?At a statue?Of a saint?Sculptedby a man?What pleasureare we talking about?Whose pleasure?"(1985c, 90-91) Her logic is irrefutable: why woulda womanneed to go all the way to Rome to discoverthe "truth"of her pleasure?Why, afterall, is "the rightto experiencepleasure... awarded to a statue" (1985c, 90)? Irigaray's"When Our Lips Speak Together"providesan explanatorygloss on Lacan'seffortsto arriveat the truthof woman'spleasurethroughan appeal to a statue:"Truthis necessaryfor those who are so distancedfromtheir body that they have forgottenit. But their truth immobilizesus, turnsus into statues .. ." (1985c, 214). If women are turnedinto statuesthroughthe process of specularization-through the agency of the look-how can this specular economy be undone?How, in other words, can women begin to speak their own pleasure?Throughoutboth Speculumof the OtherWomanand This Sex WhichIs Not One, Irigaraysupplantsthe logic of the gaze with the logic of touch: it is the "contact of at least two (lips) which keeps woman in touch

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with herself but without any possibility of distinguishingwhat is touching fromwhat is touched"(1985c, 26). This shift of focus fromsight to touch affordsIrigarayanother opportunityto challenge Lacan, this time on the subject of his obsessionwith veiling: "Veilingand unveiling:isn't that what intereststhem? What keeps them busy?Always repeatingthe same operation, every time. On every woman"(1985c, 210). A woman'sexchange of herself with herself, without the agencyof the literalpenis or the Symbolicphallus, is exactly what puts into question the prevailingphallocraticand specular economy. It is tempting to compare Monique Wittig's concept of "lesbian"and Irigaray'snotion of the "two lips," since both work to rethink the place and statusof the phallus in Western culture. For Wittig, "lesbian"operatesas a new transcendentalsignifierto replacethe phallus;it is outsidethe systemof exchange and keeps the systemopen. Irigaray's"two lips,"while also outside of a phallic economy, do not function in the same way, since the lips articulate a female imaginaryand not a culturalsymbolic.6Still, it is not always easy to distinguish the imaginaryfrom the symbolic in Irigaray,especially since the female imaginaryis repeatedlytheorizedin relation to the symbolic agencies of languageand speech. MargaretWhitford comes closest to pinpointing Irigaray'sdeparturefrom Lacan;in the Irigarianaccount of female sexuality, "what is needed is for the female imaginaryto accede to its own specific symbolisation"(1986, 4). This symbolisationof the female imaginaryis preciselywhat Irigarayseeks to elaboratethroughher conceptualizationof the two lips. The sustainedfocus in her workon this particulartropeoperatesin at least two ways. First,it has the desiredeffect of historicallyforegrounding"the more or less exclusive-and highly anxious-attention paid to erection in Western sexuality" and it demonstrates"to what extent the imaginarythat governsit is foreign to the feminine" (1985c, 24). Second, it poses a possibleway out of one of the most troublingbinds createdfor feminist psychoanalysts:the problemof how to acknowledge the formative role of the Symbolic, the arm of phallocracy,while still subscribingto the notion of feminine specificity. To turn once again to that lyrical lover letter, "When Our Lips Speak Together,"Irigaray'stesting of the essentialistwatersbecomestotal submersion: "no event makesus women,"she explains, rather"byour lips we arewomen" (1985c, 211, 209-10). Unlike Wittig, who seversthe classification"woman" from any anatomical determinants, there can be little doubt that, for Irigaray,a woman is classifiedas such on the basis of anatomy: Your/mybody doesn't acquire its sex through an operation. Throughthe action of some power, function, or organ. Without any intervention or special manipulation, you are a woman already. (1985c, 211) The point, for Irigaray,of definingwomen from an essentialiststandpointis not to imprisonwomen within their bodies but to rescuethem fromencultu-



ratingdefinitionsby men. An essentialistdefinitionof "woman"impliesthat there will always remain some part of "woman"which resists masculine imprintingand socialization: How can I say it? That we are women fromthe start. That we don't have to be turned into women by them, labeled by them, made holy and profaneby them. That has alwaysalready happened, without their efforts. . . . It's not that we have a territory of our own; but their fatherland, family, home, discourse,imprisonus in enclosedspaceswherewe cannot keep on moving, living, as ourselves.Their propertiesare our exile. (1985c, 212) To claim that "we are women from the start"has this advantage-a political advantage perhaps pre-eminently-that a woman will never be a woman solely in masculineterms, never be wholly and permanentlyannihilatedin a masculineorder. UP IN METAPHORS" "ROLLED

Perhapswhat most disturbsIrigaray'scritics is the way in which the figure of the two lips becomes the basis for theorizinga speaking (as) woman, a parlerfemme. Many American feministsare disturbedby the Frenchfeminist tendency to link languageand the body in any way, literallyor metaphorically. It bothersElaineShowalter,for example, that "whilefeministcriticism rejectsthe attributionof literal biological inferiority,some theoristsseem to have accepted the metaphoricalimplicationsof female biological difference in writing."Showalterbelieves that "simplyto invoke anatomyrisksa return to the crude essentialism, the phallic and ovarian theories of art, that oppressedwomen in the past" (1982, 17). MaryJacobusconcurs, arguingthat "if anatomy is not destiny, still less can it be language"(1982, 37), and Nancy K. Miller similarlyinsists in her criticismof the Frenchfeministsthat a "woman-text"must be sought in "the body of her writingand not the writing of her body" (1980, 271). It is interestingto note, as Jane Gallop does, that all the critics includedin Writingand SexualDifference(a volume which includes Showalter's "FeministCriticism in the Wilderness"and Jacobus's "The Question of Language:Men of Maxims and The Mill on the Floss") have difficultyaccepting the metaphoricityof the body; they demand that metaphorsof the body be readliterally,and they then reject these metaphors as essentialistic (1982, 802).7 The debateover Irigaray'sessentialisminevitablycomes down to this question of whetherthe bodystandsin a literalor a figurativerelationto language and discourse:are the two lips a metaphoror not? What I proposeto argue here is that, for Irigaray,the relation between languageand the body is nei-

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ther literal nor metaphoricbut metonymic.Though Irigaraydisparageswhat she calls the " 'masculine'gamesof tropesand tropisms"(1985b, 140), she is not without her own favoritetropes, chief among them the figureof metonymy. But before examining the way in which Irigaraydeconstructsthe predominance of metaphoricityin Western culture and creates a space for metonymy, a brief considerationof what Irigarayactually says about speaking (as) woman is in order. Irigaray'sproject is to explore the "distinctionof the sexes in termsof the way they inhabitor are inhabitedby language"(1985c, 100); her workrepresents "an attemptto define the characteristicsof what a differentlysexualized languagewould be" (1985a, 84). This line of inquiryleads her to ask how women can "already speak (as) women." Her answer? "By going back throughthe dominantdiscourse.By interrogatingmen's 'mastery.'By speaking to women. And among women" (1985c, 119). The chapter entitled "Questions"in ThisSex WhichIs Not One providesus with a seriesof clarifications on what a speaking (as) woman might be and how it can be put into practice: Speaking(as) woman . . impliesa differentmode of articulation between masculine and feminine desire and language. (1985c, 136) Speaking (as) woman is not speakingof woman. It is not a matterof producinga discourseof which womanwouldbe the object, or the subject. (1985c, 135) There may be a speaking-among-women that is still a speaking (as) man but that may also be the place where a speaking(as) woman may dare to expressitself. (1985c, 135) Speaking (as) woman would, among other things, permit women to speak to men. (1985c, 136) It is certain that with women-among-themselves. . . something of a speaking(as) woman is heard. This accountsfor the desireor the necessityof sexual nonintegration:the dominant languageis so powerfulthat women do not dare to speak (as) woman outside the context of nonintegration. (1985c, 135) Parlerfemmeappearsto be defined not so much by what one says, or even by how one says it, but fromwhence and to whom one speaks.Locusand audience distinguisha speaking(as) woman froma speaking(as) man: "byspeaking (as) woman,one may attempt to provide a place for the 'other' as feminine" (1985c, 135). Is it only from this "place"what women can speak to women, or is it preciselyby speakingto women that the speakercan achieve a parlerfemme?Irigaray'sresponsewould be "both at once" since for a woman



to speakshe must establisha locus fromwhich to be heard, and to articulate such a space, she must speak. Closely connected to the notion of parlerfemmeis Irigaray'sconception of two syntaxes (one masculine, one feminine) which cannot accuratelybe describedby the number"two"since "they are not susceptibleto comparison" (1985b, 139). These syntaxesare "irreduciblein their strangenessand eccentricityone to the other. Coming out of differenttimes, places, logics, 'representations,'and economies"(1985b, 139). The two syntaxescannot be comparedsince the relationbetween them is not basedon similaritybut contiguity, in other words, not on metaphorbut on metonymy.Like the "two lips," they "touch upon"but never wholly absorbeach other. Contiguity, it turns out, operates as the dominant featureof a parlerfemme, the distinguishing characteristicof a feminine syntax: what a feminine syntax might be is not simple nor easy to state, becausein that "syntax"there wouldno longerbe either subject or object, "oneness" would no longer be privileged, there would no longer be proper meanings, proper names, "proper"attributes. . . Instead, that "syntax"would involve nearness,proximity,but in such an extremeformthat it would preclude any distinction of identities, any establishment of ownership, thus any form of appropriation.(1985c, 134) Impactedwithin this list of what a feminine syntax is not-subject, object, oneness, appropriation,and so on-a positive descriptionemerges:nearness and proximity. We returnto the figureof the two lips as a model for a new kind of exchange: Ownershipand propertyaredoubtlessquite foreignto the feminine. At least sexually. But not nearness.Nearness so pronounced that it makesall discriminationof identity, and thus all forms of property, impossible. Woman derives pleasure fromwhat is so nearthatshecannothaveit, norhaveherself.She herself enters into a ceaseless exchange of herself with the other without any possibilityof identifyingeither. This puts into question all prevailingeconomies. . . . (1985c, 31) To speak (as) woman is ceaselesslyto embracewordsand persistentlyto cast them off. To touch upon but never to solidify, to put into play but never to arrive at a final telos or meaning, isn't this another way to speak about "diff6rance"?Carolyn Burke seems to think so when she proposes that Irigarayoffersus a "vaginal"fable of significationto supplement,but not replace, Derrida's"hymeneal" fable (1987, 293 and 303). I don't believe, however, that Irigaraywould ever use such a term or endorsesuch a concept as "vaginalfable"since it limits female pleasureto a single erogeneouszone

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by over-privilegingthe vaginaand denyingthat a woman'ssexualityis plural: in fact, "a woman'serogeneouszones are not the clitoris or the vagina, but the clitorisand the vagina, and the lips, and the vulva, and the mouth of the uterus,and the uterusitself, and the breasts.. ." (1985c, 63-4). The sites of woman'spleasureare so diffuse that Irigaraywonderswhether the qualifier "genital"is still even required(1985c, 64). If the tropeof nearnessdoes not function in the way Burkesuggests,as yet another non-synonymicterm for "differance,"8 it does appearto facilitate a deconstruction of the metaphor/metonymybinarismoperative in Western philosophicaldiscourse. Roman Jakobsondefines these two polar figuresof speech in "Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances,"a studyof speech disordersin which he demonstratesthat all varieties of aphasiacan be identifiedas an impairmenteither of the facultyfor "selection and substitution"(metaphor)or of the facultyfor "combinationand contexture" (metonymy). Metaphor operates along the axis of similarity whereasmetonymyoperatesalong the axis of contiguity (Jakobsonand Halle 1956, 76).9 In theories of language,metaphorhas long dominatedover metonymy.'0 We see this dominance played out in Lacanian psychoanalysis where the phallus stands in a privilegedmetaphoricrelation to the body (it "standsfor"sexual difference), and where the "paternalmetaphor"emerges as the privilegedsignifier. Why is metaphorvalidatedover metonymy?Exactly what role does the paternal metaphorplay in Lacan'stheorizationof sexual differenceand its construction?JacquelineRose identifies three symbolic functions: First, as a referenceto the act of substitution(substitutionis the very law of metaphoricoperation), wherebythe prohibition of the father takes up the place originallyfiguredby the absence of the mother. Secondly, as a referenceto the status of paternity itself which can only ever logically be inferred. And thirdly,as partof an insistencethat the fatherstandsfor a place and function which is not reducibleto the presence or absence of the real father as such. (Mitchell and Rose 1982, 38-39) Rose goes on to defend Lacan againstthe chargeof phallocentrism,arguing that we must recognizethat for Lacan "the status of the phallus is a fraud" (becausecastrationis a fraud)and so we mustnot literalizethe phallusand reduce it to the level of the penis (40 and 45). While this line of argumentis compellingenough, and certainlyfaithfulto Lacan'sown conception of the phallus, still the contiguitybetween the penis and the phallus, the proximityand nearnessof these two terms, gives one pause. MaryAnn Doane puts the problemthis way: [D]oesthe phallusreallyhave nothing to do with the penis, no commercewith it at all? The ease of the descriptionby means



of which the boy situateshimself in the mode of "having"one would seem to indicate that this is not the case. . . . There is a sense in which all attemptsto deny the relationbetween the phallus and the penis are feints, veils, illusions. The phallus, as signifier,may no longerbe the penis, but any effortto conceptualize its function is inseparablefrom an imagingof the body. (1981, 27-28)11 The problem,put anotherway, is simplythat the relationbetween the penis and the phallus is as much one of associationor metonymyas similarityor metaphor.The same might be said of Irigaray'streatmentof the "two lips," the only differencebeing that Irigarayallocates the metonymic function to the two lips and relegatesmetaphorto the realmof Lacan'sphallomorphism. Irigarayhas this to say about a woman'shistorical relation to metaphoricity: a woman is "stifled beneath all those eulogistic or denigratorymetaphors"(1985b, 142-43); she is "hemmedin, cathected by tropes"(1985b, 143) and "rolledup in metaphors"(1985b, 144). One wondersto what extent it is truly possible to think of the "two lips" as somethingother than a metaphor.I would arguethat, despite Irigaray's protestationsto the contrary, the figureof the "two lips" never stops functioning metaphorically.Her insistence that the two lips escape metaphoricityprovidesus with a particularly clear example of what Paul de Man identifies as the inevitability of "reenteringa systemof tropesat the very momentwe claim to escapefromit" (1984, 72). But, what is importantabout Irigaray'sconception of this particularfigureis that the "two lips"operateas a metaphorfor metonymy;through this collapseof boundaries,Irigaraygesturestowardthe deconstructionof the classic metaphor/metonymybinarism.In fact, her workpersistentlyattempts to effect a historicaldisplacementof metaphor'sdominanceover metonymy; she "impugnsthe privilege grantedto metaphor(a quasi solid) over metonymy (which is much moreclosely allied to fluids)"(1985c, 110). If Freudwas not able to resist the seduction of an analogy,12Irigarayinsiststhat no analogy, no metaphoricoperation, completes her: Are we alike?If you like. It's a little abstract.I don't quite understand'alike.' Do you? Alike in whose eyes? in what terms? by what standards?with referencesto what third?I'mtouching you, that'squite enough to let me know that you are my body. (1985c, 208) Lacanwritesthat the play of both displacementand condensation(metaphor and metonymy) mark a subject'srelation to the signifier;they operate, in fact, as the laws which govern the unconscious. A question oft-repeatedin Irigarayis "whetherthe feminine has an unconsciousor whether it is the unconscious"(1985c, 73). Is it possiblethat the feminineneither has an uncon-

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sciousof its own nor representsman'sunconsciousbut ratherarticulatesitself as a specific operationwithin the unconscious:the play of metonymy? A POLITICSOFESSENCE

Irigaray'sfavoritetopics-the two lips, parlerfemme,a feminine syntax, an economy of fluids-all seem to suggestthat she is more interestedin questions of subjectivity,desire, and the unconsciousthan in questionsof power, history, and politics. In one sense, this is true; as a "psychophilosopher," Irigarayplaces greater emphasis on the "physical"than on the "social." However, her work is not entirelywithout what one might call a certainpolitical perspicacity. Monique Plaza, Beverly Brown, Parveen Adams, and Ann RosalindJones all question whether a psychoanalyticinvestigationof the feminine can adequatelyaccount for women'ssocial oppression.As Jones puts it, feministsmay still doubt the efficacyof privilegingchanges in subjectivityover changes in economic and political systems;is this not dangling a semiotic carrot in front of a mare still harnessed into phallocentric social practices? (Jones 1985, 107)13 Plazagoes furtherand indicts Irigarayfor providingnot a theoryof oppression but an oppressivetheory (1978, 24-25). While I think it is true that Irigaray does not provideus with a blueprintfor social action, I also find her workpolitically awareand even practicallyuseful. Any discussionof Irigaray's"politics of essence"must begin with her own understandingof politics and, specifically, with her comments on what a feminist politics might be. Irigaray'sexplicit remarkson political practice, the women'smovement in France(the MLF), and women'ssocial oppressionare largelyconcentratedin the selection from her interviews, seminarremarks,and conversationspublished underthe title "Questions"in ThisSex Whichis Not One. It seemsthat readersand studentsof Irigaraymost want her to talk about the political significanceof her work, its impacton social practice,and its relationto current political activism in France, perhapsbecause Speculumappears,on the surface, to jettison so completely the categoryof the political in favor of the philosophicaland psychoanalytic.Irigarayseemseagerto respondto her critics. If Plaza and others see her work as reactionarybecause it is apolitical, Irigarayis likely to respondthat they are workingwith too limited or rigid a notion of politics, that they areperhapsthinkingonly in termsof a masculine politics: Strictly speaking,political practice, at least currently,is masculine throughand through. In orderfor women to be able to



make themselves heard, a 'radical'evolution in our way of conceptualizingand managingthe political realm is required. (1985c, 127) For Irigaray,politics-a "feminine"politics-is inseparablefrom the project of puttingthe feminine into history, into discourse,and into culture. Because of the contingent, future condition of this latter project, Irigarayacknowledges that in fact "we cannot speak . .. of a feminine politics, but only of certain conditions under which it may be possible"(1985c, 128). The nascent condition of a feminine politics, however, does not preclude discussionof a feminist politics. "Liberation"(loosely understoodby Irigaray as the introductionof the feminine into practice)is not an "individual"task: A long history has put all women in the same sexual, social, and cultural condition. Whatever inequalities may exist among women, they all undergo,even without clearlyrealizing it, the same oppression, the same exploitation of their body, the same denial of their desire. That is why it is important for women to be able to join together, and to join together "amongthemselves".... The first issue facing liberation movements is that of makingeach woman "conscious"of the fact that what she has felt in her personalexperience is a condition sharedby all women, thus allowingthatexperienceto be politicized.(1985c, 164) A differentnotion of politics does seem to emergehere-a politics basednot so much on group militancy or open confrontation as on shared "experience." But this notion of politics sounds suspiciouslylike the popularapprovedmethod of politicizationin the earlyyearsof the Women'sMovement in both Franceand America:consciousness-raising.And as such, it is subject to many of the same criticisms-especially the charge by numerous"marginal" feminists that what white, heterosexual, middle-class,and educated women feel in their personal experience does not necessarilyrepresent"a condition sharedby all women." Irigaraymight rightlybe accusedhere of a certain tendency to universalizeand to homogenize, to subsumeall women underthe categoryof "Woman."Still, her work is not alwaysinsensitive to Consider: the axes of differencewhich divide "women-among-themselves." I think the most importantthing to do is to expose the exploitation common to all women and to find the strugglesthat are appropriatefor each woman, right where she is, depending upon her nationality, her job, her social class, her sexualexperience, that is, upon the formof oppressionthat is for her the most immediatelyunbearable.(1985c, 166-67) Here we see the typical Irigariandouble gesture:Irigarayproposesa feminist politics that will workon two frontsat once-on one side, a "global"politics

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that seeks to addressthe problemof women's universaloppression,and on the other side, a "local"politics that will addressthe specificityand complexity of each woman's particularsituation. In order to accomplish "both at once," Irigaraybelieves that "it is essential for women among themselvesto invent new modes of organization,new forms of struggle,new challenges" (1985c, 166). The phrase"women-among-themselves" suggestsa call for sepand indeed endorse aratism, Irigaraydoes, cautiously, separatismas a valid for feminists: political strategy For women to undertaketactical strikes, to keep themselves apartfrommen long enough to learnto defendtheir desire, especially throughspeech, to discoverthe love of other women which sheltered from men's imperiouschoices that put them in the position of rival commodities, to forgefor themselvesa social status that compels recognition, to earn their living in orderto escape from the condition of prostitute. . . these are certainly indispensable stages in their escape from their proletarizationon the exchange market.But if their aim were simplyto reducethe orderof things, even supposingthis to be possible, historywould repeat itself in the long run, would revert to sameness:to phallocratism.(1985c, 33) Irigaraybelieves that separatismcan be a legitimatemeans to escape from a phallic economy but not an adequategoal; she sees it as a tactical option ratherthan a final telos. Above all, she does not want to foreclosethe possibility that the politics of women-among-themselvesmight itself be a way to put the feminine into practice. Through her comments on what a feminist politics might be, Irigaray broadensthe notion of politics to include psychic resistance. She does not rule out direct political activism;she simplyinsiststhat resistancemustoperate on many levels: women mustof coursecontinue to strugglefor equalwagesand social rightsagainstdiscriminationin employmentand education, and so forth. But that is not enough: women merely "equal"to men would be "like them," thereforenot women. (1985c, 165-66) Irigarayseems to imply here that women both alreadyhave an identity on which to base a politics and that they are striving to secure an identity throughthe practiceof politics. In either case, the concept of "identity"has long been a problemfor feminist poststructuralists seeking to base a politics on somethingother than "essence."Is it possibleto generatea theoryof feminine specificity that is not essentialist?How do we reconcile the poststructuralistprojectto displaceidentitywith the feministprojectto reclaimit? For



Irigaraythe solution is again double: women are engaged in the processof both constructingand deconstructingtheir identities, their essences, simultaneously.14 The processof laying claim to "essence"at first appearsto be a politically reactionarymaneuver;but one needs to place Irigaray'sessentialismin the largerhistoricalcontext of Westernphilosophyin orderto comprehendhow she might be using it strategically.In Aristotelianphilosophy,"woman"has a very specific relation to essence, distinct from "man's"relation to essence. Only man properlyhas an essence; subjecthoodis attained as he strives, in Irigaray'swords, "to realizehis essence as perfectlyas he can, to give full expression to his telos"(1985b, 164).15 Because only subjectshave access to essence, "woman"remainsin unrealizedpotentiality;she never achieves "the wholenessof her form"-or if she has a form, it is merely"privation"(1985b, 165). Woman is the groundof essence, its preconditionin man, without herself having any access to it; she is the groundof subjecthood,but not herselfa subject: Is she unnecessaryin and of herself, but essential as the nonsubjective sub-jectum?As that which can never achieve the statusof subject, at least for/byherself. Is she the indispensable condition wherebythe living entity retainsand maintainsand perfectshimself in his self-likeness?(1985b, 165) In a phallocraticorder, woman can never be more than "the passagethat serves to transformthe inessentialwhims of a still sensible and materialnature into universalwill" (1985b, 225). Irigaray'sreading of Aristotle's understandingof essence remindsme of Lacan'sdistinction between beingand havingthe phallus:a woman does not possessthe phallus, she is the Phallus.16 Similarly,we can say that, in Aristotelian logic, a woman does not havean essence, she is Essence. Thereforeto give "woman"an essence is to undo Western phallomorphismand to offer women entry into subjecthood.Moreover,becausein this Westernontology existence is predicated on essence, it has been possible for someone like Lacan to conclude, remainingfully withintraditional metaphysics,that without essence, "womandoes not exist." Does this not cast a ratherdifferentlight on Irigaray'stheorizationof a woman'sessence?A woman who lays claim to an essence of her own undoes the conventional binarismsof essence/accident, form/matter,and actuality/potentiality.In this specifichistoricalcontext, to essentialize"woman"can be a politically strategicgestureof displacement. To say that "woman"does not have an essence but is Essence, and at the same time to say that she has no accessherselfto Essenceas Form,seemsblatantly contradictory.Moreover, has not Western philosophyalwaysposited an essence for woman-an essence basedon biologyand, as everyoneknows, definedby the propertiesof weakness,passivity,receptivity,and emotion, to

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name just a few? The problem, I would argue, is not with Irigaray;it is precisely Irigaray'sdeploymentof essentialismwhich clarifiesfor us the contradiction at the heart of Aristotelian metaphysics.In his philosophy, we see that the figureof "woman"has become the site of this contradiction:on the one hand, woman is assertedto have an essence which definesher as woman and yet, on the other hand, woman is relegatedto the status of matterand can have no access to essence (the most she can do is to facilitateman'sactualizingof his inner potential). I would go so far as to say that the dominant line of patriarchalthought since Aristotle is built on this central contradiction: woman has an essence and it is matter;or, put slightly differently,it is the essence of woman to have no essence. To the extent that Irigarayreopens the questionof essence and woman'saccessto it, essentialismrepresentsnot a trapshe falls into but rathera key strategyshe puts into play, not a dangerous oversightbut rathera lever of displacement. What, then, constitutes woman'sessence?Irigaraynever actuallytells us; at most she only approximates-"touchesupon"-possible descriptions,such as the metonymicfigureof the two lips. In fact, she insiststhat "woman"can never be incorporatedin any theory, defined by any metaphysics."What I want," Irigaraywrites, "is not to create a theory of woman, but to secure a place for the feminine within sexual difference"(1985c, 159). She explains that "for the elaborationof a theory of woman, men, I think, suffice. In a woman('s)language,the concept as such wouldhave no place"(1985c, 123). Irigarayworkstowardssecuringa woman'saccess to an essence of her own, without actuallyprescribingwhat that essence might be, or without precluding the possibilitythat a subject might possessmultiple essences which may even contradictor compete with one another.Thus Irigaraysees the question "Are you a woman?"to be preciselythe wrong question. Let me conclude with her playfulchallenge to all those who would pressher to define the essence of "woman":" 'I' am not 'I,' I am not, I am not one. As for woman,try and find out .

." (1985c, 120).

NOTES 1. Heath (1978), Jardine(1987), Schor (1987), and Spivak (1987) have all endorseda renewed considerationof essentialism. 2. The phrase is Carolyn Burke's(1981, 289). 3. Two earlierintroductorypieces to Frenchfeminist theory also appearin Signs:see Marks (1978) and Burke (1978). 4. Foranothersympatheticreadingof Irigaray,and an applicationof her deconstructivefeminism, see Feral (1981). 5. Irigaraymakesa distinction between "morphological"and "anatomical"in "Women'sExile" (1977, 64), but I agreewith Monique Plaza(1978, 31) and Toril Moi (1985, 143) that the distinction is too impreciseto be helpful. 6. The Imaginaryand the Symbolicare here used in the Lacaniansense. The Imaginaryrefers to the primarynarcissism(the illusionaryoneness with the maternalbody) which characterizes



the child's psychicaldevelopment in the pre-oedipalstage. The symmetryof the mother-child dyadis brokenby the introductionof the Lawof the Fatherduringthe Oedipalstage, facilitating the child's accession to subjectivity through the order of language, speech, and sociality. In Lacan, the Symbolic is alwaysvalued over the Imaginary(see Lacan 1977). 7. Carolyn Burkemakes a similarargumentin defense of Irigaray:to reduce"the subtletyof Irigaray's thought to a simpleargument'fromthe body,' in orderto then point out that such arguments are, indeed, essentialist"amounts to a circularargumentbasedon a ratherquestionable initial reading(1981, 302). 8. Vincent Leitch writes that, by the early 1980's, Derridahad formulatedmore than three dozen such substitutions(see Leitch 1983, 43). 9. For a recent rereadingand applicationof akobson'sterms, see Johnson (1984, 205-19). 10. Studiesof metaphorhave also dominatedover studiesof metonymyin the comparatively recent historyof linguisticand semiotic research.Jakobsonexplains:"Similarityin meaningconnects the symbolsof a metalanguagewith the symbolsof the languagereferredto. similarityconnects a metaphoricalterm with the term for which it is substituted.Consequently, when constructinga metalanguageto interprettropes, the researcherpossessesmore homogeneousmeans to handle metaphor,whereasmetonymy, basedon a differentprinciple, easily defies interpretation. Thereforenothing comparableto the rich literatureon metaphorcan be cited for the theory of metonymy"(1956, 81). 11. Jane Gallop'sReadingLacan(1985) also addressesthe penis/phallusdistinction, focussing specificallyon the linguistic sourcesof the confusion. See especially chapter 6, "Readingthe Phallus,"pp. 133-156. See also Gallop's "Phallus/Penis:Same Difference"in Men by Women, Womenand Literature(1981). 12. The referenceis to Freud's"Constructionsin Analysis"(1937): "I have not been able to resistthe seductionof an analogy."Jane Gallop has cleverlysuggestedthat Irigaray'sgeneralresistance to analogicalreasoningis based on a priorrepudiationof Freud'sanal-logicalmodel of sexual difference. Irigaray'srefusalof analogycan thus be readwithin the widerframeof a deep scepticismconcerning the anal fixation of Freud'sown theories (see Gallop 1982a, 68-69). 13. See also Plaza (1978) and Adams and Brown (1979). 14. Naomi Schor has made a similar point which I find compelling: "in both Cixous and Irigaraythe anti-essentialistaspect of their work is that which is most derivative, that is most Derridean.When Cixous and Irigaraycease to mime the master'svoice and speak in their own voices, they speak a dialect of essentialese, the languageof what they construeas the feminine, and wishing it weren'tso won't make it go away. Ratherthan simplywanting to excise this unsightly excrescence, I think it would be ultimatelymore interestingand surelymore difficultto attemptto understandjust how and why a Cixous and an Irigaraydeconstructand constructfemininity at the same time" (see Schor 1986, 98-99). 15. Most of Irigaray'sremarkson Aristotle can be found in the chapterentitled "Howto Conceive (of) a Girl"in 1985b, 160-67. ForAristotle'sown commentson essence, see especiallyCategories,Physics,Metaphysics,and On the Generationof Animals,all of which can be found in McKeon 1941. 16. For Lacan'sdistinction between being and having the phallus, see "The Meaningof the Phallus"in Mitchel and Rose 1982, esp. 82-84. Both girl and boy are the phallus in the preoedipal stage; that is, both are the phallusfor the mother. But duringthe crucial accension to sexual differencethrough the recognition and representationof lack (the castrationcomplex) the possessionof a penis allows the boy to havethe phalluswhile the girl continues to be it. For Lacan, it is this distinction between being and having the phalluswhich facilitatesthe takingon of a sexed subject position, the productionof masculineor feminine subjects.


Abel, Elizabeth,ed. 1982. Writingand sexualdifference.Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

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Adams, Parveenand Brown, Beverly. 1979. The feminine body and feminist politics. m/f 3: 35-50. Burke,Carolyn. 1978. ReportfromParis:Women'swritingand the women's movement. Signs3 (4): 843-55. . 1981. Irigaraythrough the looking glass. FeministStudies7 (2): 288306. New York:ColumbiaUniDe Man, Paul. 1984. The rhetoricof romanticism. Press. versity analysisof women'sopDelphy, Christine. 1984. Close to home:A materialist pression.Trans. Diana Leonard.Amherst:The University of Massachusetts Press. Doane, MaryAnn. 1981. Woman'sstake:Filmingthe female body. October 17: 23-36. Faure,Christine. 1981. The twilight of the goddesses,or the intellectualcrisis of french feminism. Signs7 (1): 81-6. Feral,Josette. 1981. Towardsa theory of displacement.Substance32: 52-64. Gallop, Jane. 1981. Phallus/penis:Same difference.In Men by women.Vol. 2 of Womenandliterature,ed. JanetTodd. New Yorkand London:Holmes & Meier, 243-51. . 1982a. The daughter'sseduction:Feminismand psychoanalysis.Ithaca, New York:Comell University Press. . 1982b. Writingand sexualdifference:The differencewithin. CriticalInquiry(Summer). . 1983. Quandnos Levress'ecrivent:Irigaray's bodypolitic. RomanicReview 74 (1): 77-83. . 1985. ReadingLacan. Ithaca and London:Cornell University Press. Heath, Stephen. 1978. Difference. Screen19 (3): 50-112. Irigaray,Luce. 1977. Women'sexile. IdeologyandConsciousness1 (May):6276. . 1985a. Is the subjectof science sexed?CulturalCritique1 (Fall): 73-88. . 1985b. Speculumof the otherwoman.Trans. Gillian C. Gill. Ithaca, New York:Corell UniversityPress.Trans.of Speculumde l'autrefemme. Paris:Minuit, 1974. . 1985c. Thissex whichis not one. Trans. CatherinePorterwith Carolyn Burke.Ithaca, New York:Cornell UniversityPress.Trans.of Ce Sexequi n'en est pas un. Paris:Minuit, 1977. Jacobus,Mary. 1982. The questionof language:men of maximsand The mill on thefloss. In Writingandsexualdifference; ed. ElizabethAbel. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 37-52. Jakobson, Roman and Halle, Morris. 1956. Fundamentalsof language.'SGravenhage:Mouton. Jardine,Alice and Smith, Paul, eds. 1987. Men in feminism.New Yorkand London: Methuen.



Jardine, Alice. 1987. Men in feminism: Odor di uomo or compagnonsde route?In Men infeminism,eds. Alice Jardineand PaulSmith. New York: Methuen, 54-61. Johnson, Barbara.1984. Metaphor, metonymyand voice in Theireyes were andliterarytheory,ed. HenryLouisGates, watchinggod. In Blackliterature New 205-219. York: Methuen, Jr. Jones, Ann Rosalind. 1985. Inscribingfemininity: French theories of the feminine. In Makinga difference:Feministliterarycriticism,eds. Gayle Greene and Coppelia Kahn. London and New York:Methuen, 80-112. Lacan,Jaques. 1977. Ecrits.Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York:W. W. Norton & Company. Leitch, Vincent. 1983. Deconstructivecriticism:An advancedintroduction. New York:Columbia University Press. Marks,Elaine. 1978. Women and literaturein France. Signs3 (4):832-42. McKeon, Richard,ed. 1941. The basicworksof Aristotle.New York:Random House. Miller, Nancy K. 1980. Women'sautobiographyin France:Fora dialecticsof identification. Womenand languagein literatureand society, eds. Sally McConnell-Ginet, Ruth Borker,and Nelly Furman.New York:Praeger. Mitchell, Juliet and Rose, Jacqueline. 1982. Femininesexuality:JacquesLacan and the ecolefreudienne.New York:W. W. Norton and Company. Moi, Toril. 1985. Sexual/textual politics.New York:Methuen. 1978. Plaza, Monique. "Phallomorphic power" and the psychology of "woman."IdeologyandConsciousness 4 (Autumn):57-76. Originallypublished in Questionsfeministes1 (1978). Ruthven, K. K. 1984. Feministliterarystudies:An introduction.Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. 8. OxfordUniversity Schor, Naomi. 1986. Introducingfeminism. Paragraph Press:94-101. - . 1987. Dreaming dissymmetry:Barthes, Foucault, and sexual difference. In Men in feminism.Jardineand Smith, 98-110. Showalter, Elaine. 1982. Feministcriticismin the wilderness.In Writingand sexualdifference,ed. ElizabethAbel. Chicago:The Universityof Chicago Press, 9-36. Spivak, GayatriChakravorty.1987. In otherworlds:Essaysin culturalpolitics. New Yorkand London: Methuen. Whitford,Margaret.1986. Luce Irigarayand the female imaginary:Speaking as a woman. RadicalPhilosophy43 (Summer):3-8. Wittig, Monique. 1980. The straightmind. FeministIssues(Summer):103111. . 1981. One is not born a woman. FeministIssues(Fall): 47-54.

LacanianPsychoanalysis and French Feminism: Towardan Adequate Political Psychology* DOROTHY LELAND

I foThispaperexaminessomeFrenchfeministusesof Lacanianpsychoanalysis. cus on two Lacanianinfluencedaccountsof psychological oppression,thefirst by LuceIrigarayand thesecondbyJuliaKristeva,and I arguethattheseaccountsfail to meet criteriafor an adequatepoliticalpsychology.

The use of psychoanalysisas a feminist theoreticaltool is a precariousenterprise. In classical psychoanalytic theory, female psychosexualdevelopment, only marginallyand infrequentlydiscussed,is measuredagainsta masculine norm and found deficient. Duringthe early 1970's, the concept of penis envy, developedby Freudin his account of the female versionof the castration complex, came to representfor many North American feministsthe misogynistbias of psychoanalytictheory. Moreover, many feminists considered this misogynya sufficientgroundfor rejectingpsychoanalysisas a feminist theoretical tool. Duringthe middle to late 1970's, feministssuch as Juliet Mitchell (1974), Gayle Rubin (1975), Dorothy Dinnerstein (1976), and Nancy Chodorow (1978) moved beyond this initial rejection of psychoanalysisto explore its feministpotential. These effortswerepremisedless on a denial of the misogynist characterof psychoanalytictheorythan on a reinterpretationof it. Gayle Rubin, for example, arguedthat the feministcritiqueof psychoanalysisis justified to the extent that Freudiantheory is a rationalizationof women'ssubordination. But, Rubin proposed,this is not the only legitimateway to understand Freud'stheory. It can also be read as "a descriptionof how phallic culture domesticateswomen, and the effects in women of their domestication" (Rubin 1975, 197-98). Thus, Rubin concluded, to the extent that Freudian theory is a descriptionof processesthat contribute to women's oppression, the feminist critiqueof psychoanalysisis mistaken. * I thank SandraBartky,Nancy Fraser,TerryWinant, and IrisYoungfor encouragingme to write this paper. Hypatia vol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Dorothy Leland



Whereasthe workof Dinnersteinand Chodorowdrawson the traditionof object-relationstheory, Rubin followed Mitchell in drawingon the psychoanalytic theory of JacquesLacan. Indeed, it was the work of Mitchell and Rubin that served to introduceLacanianpsychoanalysisto North American feminists.However, most of the effortto effect a rapprochement betweenfeminism and Lacanian psychoanalysis has been undertaken by feminists in et politique France.The adoption in the early 1970'sof the name psychanalyse Liberation is just influential of French Women's Movement an the wing by one indicatorof the importanceassumedby psychoanalysisin Frenchfeminist politics. This importanceis also reflected in Julia Kristeva'sdivision of French feminism into two distinct generationsor phases: a first, "socialist" phase, dominatedby the politics of equalityand a second, "psychoanalytic" phase, dominatedby a politics of difference(Kristeva1981, 37-38). In this paper, I examine some Frenchfeminist uses of Lacanianpsychoanalysisin orderto evaluate its adequacyas a political psychology.On my interpretation,one primaryconcern of Frenchpsychoanalyticfeminismsis with so-called"psychological"or "internalized"oppression,oppressionthat results when schemas of thought and valuation are internalizedand function as intrumentsof domination. In the case of women's oppression,the relevant schemasof thought and valuation include, but are not necessarilylimited to, the sexual ideologies of male-dominatedsocieties. One central claim of Frenchpsychoanalyticfeminismsis that the psychological oppressionof women is primarily,if not exclusively, a function of the processof oedipalization.This processbegins when a child comprehendsits society'ssexualrulesand genderprescriptions(e.g., kinshiprelations,the incest taboo) and ends when these rulesand prescriptionsare internalizedor acceded to. ForFrenchpsychoanalyticfeminists, then, the Oedipuscomplex is the mechanismwherebya neonate comes to recognizeitself as an I-she or an I-he and hence becomessubjectto whateversexualrulesand genderprescriptions this entails in her or his society. My standardsfor assessingthe adequacyof Lacanianpsychoanalysisas a feminist political psychology reflect a familiar socialist feminist position (Jaggar1983, 150). I invoke two criteria.1First, an adequatepolitical psychology must recognizethe groundingof internalizedoppressionin culturally and historicallyspecificinstitutionsand practices.Second, an adequatepolitical psychologymust be non-deterministic;it must allow that psychological oppressioncan, at least undersome conditions and to some extent, be transcended. In what follows, I use these criteriato evaluateLacaniantheorythroughan analysisof worksby Luce Irigarayand JuliaKristeva.My intent is not to provide a comprehensive account of the writings of these French feminists. Rather, I invoke selected themes that illustrateimportantproblemsassociated with the appropriationof Lacanianpsychoanalysisas a feministtheoreti-

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cal tool. I begin with a discussionof Luce Irigaray'saccount of internalized oppressionin "Women on the Market."I examine her uncriticalappropriation of empiricallysuspectLevi-Straussianand Lacanianclaims, and I argue that her account of psychologicaloppressionlacks the culturaland historical specificity required by criterion one. Then, I turn to the work of Julia Kristeva.I examine her use of avant-gardeliteratureas a model for feminist political practice, and I argue that her view of internalizedoppressioninvolves a formof determinismthat violates criteriontwo and deadendsin political pessimism. I The emergence of symbolic thought must have requiredthat women, like words, should be exchanged. ... This was the only means of overcoming the contradiction by which the samewoman was seen undertwo incompatibleaspects:on the one hand, as the object of personaldesire, thus exciting sexual and proprietorialinstincts;and, on the other hand, as the subject of the desireof others, and seen as such, i.e., as the means of bending others through alliance with them." (Levi-Strauss1969, 496) "Whereon earth would one situate the determinationsof the unconsciousif not in those nominal cadresin which marriage ties and kinship are alwaysgrounded?" (Lacan 1968: 128) Lacanianpsychoanalysis,unlike object-relationstheory, ascribesa central role to the Oedipus complex in the acquisitionof sexual identity.2 Consequently, in Lacanian-basedaccountsof internalizedoppression,the emphasis is less on concrete relationsbetween a motherand her infant than on the familial power of the father-in Lacanianparlance, the father's"name"and "no." Moreover, in Lacanian theory, the Oedipus complex is posited as a universalof psychosexualdevelopment. Lacaniantheory thus implicitly rejects the claim that the Oedipus complex is about or limited to the nuclear family. It also implicitlyrejects the view that the Oedipuscomplex is a psychic structuregroundedin culturallyand historicallyspecificformsof praxis. For Lacan and his followers, the universalityof the Oedipuscomplex is a functionof its statusas a condition of socialityor cultureas such. Lacandraws supportfor this view from Claude Levi-Strauss'sThe ElementaryStructuresof Kinship(1969), wherekinship is viewed as a social/symbolicorganizationthat marksthe passagefrom natureto culture. More specifically,Levi-Straussargues that what transformsbiological relationshipsinto culturalkinship systems is the institution of exogamy-the systematicexchange of women by



men. This view is aptlysummarizedby JulietMitchell, whose own appropriation of Freud draws heavily on the intersection of Lacanian and LeviStraussiantheory: The universal and priomordiallaw [of society] is that which regulates marriagerelationshipsand its pivotal expression is the prohibitionof incest. This prohibitionforcesone familyto give up one of its membersto anotherfamily;the rulesof marriage within 'primitive' societies function as a means of exchange and as an unconsciouslyacknowledgedsystemof communication. The act of exchange holds a society together:the rules of kinship . . . are the society. (Mitchell 1974, 370) According to Mitchell, even though "visible"kinship structuresplay only a residualrole in advanced as comparedto so-called primitive societies, they are nonetheless "definitional"of society or cultureas such. The same is true of the "subjective"expressionof exogamy, the incest taboo. Thus, Mitchell proposesthat the "myth Freudrewrote as the Oedipus complex epitomizes man'sentry into cultureitself. It reflectsthe originalexogamousincest taboo, the role of the father, the exchange of women and the consequentdifferences between the sexes" (Mitchell 1974, 377). Among the texts of French psychoanalytic feminisms, Luce Irigaray's "Women on the Market"(1985) is the most explicit attempt to provide an account of women's oppression drawing on the intersection of LeviStraussianand Lacaniantheory. Irigaray'sessayturs on two theoreticalpivots. First,she reinterpretsLevi-Strauss'saccountof the passagefromnatureto culture via the institution of exogamy as the reign of hom(m)osexualiteor man's [homme]desire for the same [homo]. Second, she drawson an (unorthodox) interpretationof Marx'sanalysisof commoditiesas "the elementary formof capitalistwealth"to examine the alienation of women'sdesireunder this reign.3ForIrigaray,the alienation that resultswhen women'sdesireis reduced to men'sdesire (the desirefor the same) is constitutiveof women'spsychological oppression. Moreover, she argues, in patriarchal societies, women'salienated sexuality has the status of a commodity. Although Irigaray'suse of Marxand of the concept of a commoditymight suggestthat her account is intended to cover the situationof women in capitalist societiesonly, this is not the case. Rather,her analysisis intendedto be universalin scope; it purportsto revealwhat remainsthe sameaboutwomen's oppressionthroughouthistorical variationsof social regimesand productive relations. According to Irigaray,the "organizationof partriarchalsocieties, and the operationof the symbolicsystemon which this organizationis based . . . contains in a nuclearform the developmentsthat Marxdefines as characteristicof capitalistregimes"(1985, 172-3). Irigaraydoes not explictly explain why she thinks this is so. But her text hints at possible answers. For

Dorothy Leland


Irigaray,exogamy is itself an economic arrangement,one which subtends "the economy" in the narrowersense: The exchange of women as goods accompaniesand stimulates exchanges of other 'wealth'among groupsof men. The economy-in both the narrowand broadsense-that is in place in our societies thus requiresthat women lend themselves to alienation in consumption, and to exchanges in which they do not participate,and that men be exempt frombeing used and circulatedlike commodities. (1985, 172) Elsewhere,in "The Powerof Discourse"Irigarayproposesthat the earliestoppression, identifiedby Engelsas the oppressionof women by men via the institution of monogamy, remains in effect today, and that the problemfor feminists "lies in determininghow it is articulatedwith other oppressions" (Irigaray1985, 83). Although Irigaraydoes not credit Levi-Straussfor suggestingthe analogy between women and commodities, a passagefrom The ElementaryStructures of Kinshipis its likely source: There is no need to call upon the matrimonialvocabularyof Great Russia,where the groomwas called the 'merchant'and the bridethe 'merchandise'for the likening of women to commodities, not only scarcebut essential to the life of the group (Levi-Strauss1969, 36). Like Levi-Strauss,Irigarayproposesthat culture or society as we know it is basedon the exchange of women amongmen accordingto the rule known as the incest taboo: "whateverfamilialformthis prohibitionmay take in a given state of society . . . [the incest taboo] assuresthe foundation of the economic, social, and cultural order that has been ours for centuries"(1985, 170). However, Irigarayrejects Levi-Strauss'sexplanation of why women, not men, are the objects of exchange. According to Levi-Strauss,this is due to the "deep polygamoustendency, which exists among all men, [and which] makesthe numberof availablewomen seeminsufficient"(1969, 38). Irigaray deems this inadequatebecause it presupposesbut does not acknowledgea more fundamentalasymmetrybetween the sexes: it assumesthat women are the objectsof men'sdesire, but not viceversa,and that only men have a tendency towardpolygamy.Irigaraywrites: Why are men not objectsof exchange amongwomen?It is because women's bodies-through their use, consumption, and circulation-provide for the condition makingsocial life and culture possible, although they remain an unknown 'infras-



tructure'of the elaborationof the social life and culture .... In still other words:all the systemsof exchange that organize patriarchalsocieties and all the modalitiesof productivework that are recognized, valued, and rewardedin these societies aremen'sbusiness.The productionof women, signs, and commodities is alwaysreferredback to men . . , and they always pass from one man to another. The work force is thus always assumedto be masculine,and 'products'areobjectsto be used, objects of transactionamong men alone. (1985, 171)4 Irigaraythus proposesthat the exchange of women among men, an exchange that Levi-Straussand Lacanview as essentialfor the passagefromnature to culture, should be understoodmore fundamentallyas the institution of the reignof hom(m)osexualite. By this, she meansa social orderwhose laws are the "exclusive valorizationof men's needs/desires,of exchange among men" (Irigaray 1985, 171). More specifically, Irigaray defines as a social orderin which the value of symbolicand imagihom(m)osexualite is naryproduction superimposedon and even substitutedfor the value of nature and corporeal (re)production. Women's bodies, as commodities exchanged by men, are also subjectedto this superimpositionand substitution of value. As a result, Irigarayconcludes, "in this new matrixof History, in which man begets man as man in his own likeness, wives, daughters,and sistershave value only in that they serve as the possibilityof, and potentialbenefit in, relations among men" (1985, 172). Like Juliet Mitchell, Irigarayfinds that women's sexual identity is determined by their utilizationas exchangeobjects. Women'sbodies, sexualizedas femaleby meansof the Oedipusstructure,are held to be partof the natureor "matter" acted upon by the (masculine) subject, and women's identity, graspedas the product of this labor, is assumedto be an objectificationof men'sneeds and desires. In this social order,Irigarayfinds that so-calledfeminine sexuality(i.e., "normal"feminine sexualityas describedby psychoanalytic theory) resemblesa commodity in four main respects. First, just as a commodityis producedby subjectingnatureto "man",so feminine sexuality is producedby subjectingwomen to the "formsand laws"of masculineactivity. Second, just as exchange functions overridethe naturalutility of things when they become commodities,so the naturalpropertiesof women'sbodies are suppressedand subordinatedwhen they are made into objects of circulation among men. Third, just as a commodity is incapable of imaging or mirroringitself, so women's self-imagebecomes an image of and for men. Fourthand finally, just as commoditiesmust be measuredin termsof an extrinsic standard,monetaryvalue, in orderto be exchanged, so women must be submitted to the extrinsic standardof male sexual desire in order that they, too, can be exchanged among men.

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Viewed as an intertextual weaving of Marxian, Levi-Straussian, and Lacaniantheory designedto undercuttheir presumptionsof genderneutrality, "Women on the Market"is a tourde force.5 But if we examine Irigaray's own account of women'spsychologicaloppressionas the alienation through commodification (oedipalization) of women's desire, a number of critical questionsarise. Some of these concern the empiricaladequacyof her claims. Forexample, Irigaray'scontention that in patriarchalsocieties the workforce is false. The situais alwaysmasculine(and so expressiveof hom(m)osexualite) tion of Western women during and after the industrialrevolution, when women became a relatively permanent part of the conventionally-defined paid laborforce, providesjust one counterexample.Irigaraycould, of course, counterthis objection with the claim that the entryof women into the labor force does not negate the latter'smasculine character.Or she could claim that in industrializedsocieties, men control women'slaboreven outside the reproductivesphere. But Irigaraymakes none of these claims. The issue of empiricalwarrantsdoes not enter into her analysisat all. This lack of attention to the empiricalbasesof theoreticalclaimsis characteristic of Irigaray'sapproach. For example, although she criticizesFreud, Lacan and Levi-Straussfor not acknowledgingthat their respectivepsychological and anthropologicaldescriptionsare descriptionsof the situation of women under conditions of oppression, she also uncriticallyadopts claims that arecentralto these accounts. Irigarayassumesthat all cultureshave been patriarchalor male-dominated,that the incest taboo is a culturaluniversal, and that all kinshipstructuresarebasedon the exchangeof women. Yet there is considerablecontroversysurroundingeach of these claims.6 Similarly, Irigarayfails to question the presumeduniversalityof key LeviStraussian,Freudianand Lacanianconcepts. For example, "Women on the Market"relies heavily on a genderizednature/culturedichotomy invoked both by Levi-Straussand by Freudand Lacan, where the feminine is linked with nature and the masculine with culture. Into this framework,Irigaray deftly insertsMarx'sconception of productivelabor, accordingto which labor is seen as the means whereby"manduplicateshimself, not only in consciousness,intellectually,but also actively, in reality, [so that] he sees himself in a worldhe has created"(Marxand Engels1975, 277). By redescribingproductive laboras the meanswhereby"manbegetsmanas man in his own likeness," and by calling this "the reign of hom(m)osexualite," Irigaray foregroundsMarx'stendency to conceive of the human being as male, his modeling of productivelaboron traditionalmasculineactivities, and his focus on the sphereof object productionin generaland commodityproduction in particularas the matrix and main stage of history. What she does not consider is the possibilitythat the genderizednature/culturedistinction retained in her account is not a culturaluniversalbut ratherspecificto modern, Western society-a view supportedby severalanthropologicalstudies.7As a



result, Irigarayleaves herselfopen to the chargethat her universalgeneralizations about patriarchalculturesare productsof the spuriouspracticeof projecting historicallyspecific (and ideologicallysuspect) concepts onto other societies and other historical periods. Irigaray'sclaim that in patriarchalsocieties, women's alienated sexuality has the statusof a commodity illustratesthis problem.While it may be true that women'ssexual alienation presupposessexualobjectification,it does not follow that men universallyvalue women as sex objects as objects in general are valuedundercapitalism-as commodities.Irigarayoffersno empiricalevidence for her claim. Nor does she consider whether the sexual objectification of women assumesdifferentformsin other historicalperiodsand cultures. Instead, she develops her claim by analogy,relyingon concepts shared by Marx, Levi-Strauss,and Lacan (including the genderizednature/culture distinction), without consideringthe cultural and historical limits of these concepts. Thus, while Irigaray'sanalysisof sexual objectificationas commodification may illuminate aspects of our own sexual alienation, its claim to universalityis suspect. An adequatepolitical psychology must recognize, as Irigaray'sdoes not, that women'spsychologicaloppressionis rooted in historicallyspecific social relationsand structures.This criteriondoes not rule out the possibilitythat some aspects of psychologicaloppressionhave remainedrelatively constant thoughout the history of, say, Western societies. But it does demand that these long-termcontinuities be situatedwith respectto the specificsocial relations and social structures that actually sustain them at various times. Irigaray'sappealto "the exchange of women by men" does not meet this requirement. It does not describeany specific social structurebut serves as an abstract formulafor a system of structuralpossibilities consisting in three typesof familyrelations-consanguinity, affinityand descent. Moveover, the exchange of women by men is at best only a partialexpressionof the social structuresand relationsthat link togethermembersof a given culture, particularlyin modem industrializedand class stratifiedsocieties.8 Given that the social relationsof male dominationvary in differentsocieties and in different historical periods as well as across class and ethnic lines, explanations of women'spsychologicaloppressionthat focus on only one type of social relation, in Irigaray'scase, marriagerelations, riskbeing either over simplifiedor reductionistic. Irigaray'sdiscussionof the alienation of women'sdesire highlights an importantaspect of women's psychologicaloppression:the symbolicand ideological dimension of men's control of women'ssexuality, which includesthe "terms"and processesunder which women come to identify themselves as sexualbeings and as women. But she views this alienation abstractlyas a featureof socialityperse, as somethingthat ineluctablyattendsthe passagefrom "nature"to "culture."Irigaraydoes not considerthe differentways, even in

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modem Western societies, in which men control the expressionand direction of women'sdesireor the varietyof practicesand institutionsthat engender and reinforcewomen's sexual alienation. as a causal (if not thecausal)factorin Irigaray'sappealto hom(m)osexualite women's sexual alienation illustates one importantproblemcreated by the abstract character of her analysis. As the principle of sociality governing patriarchal societies, hom(m)osexualiteis everywhere, "subtending," as Irigarayputs it, the vast and variegatedtexts of social, political, and ecois nowhere. It is nomic life. But, and for the same reason, hom(m)osexualite and pracof and institutions culturallyspecific independent any historically structure. As such, tices, a free-floating ideological and psychological lacks explanatoryforce;it cannot explainhow specific instihom(m)osexualite tutions and practicescontribute to the causes and maintenanceof women's sexual alientation. Rather, of such institutions and practices, hom(m)osexualitecan at best say: man's desire for the same resides, as it does everywhere, here. For Irigaray,although historicallyand culturallyspecific practicesand institutionsexpressor embodyhom(m)osexualite, they do not engenderit. Consequently, to attribute women's sexual alienation to ho(m)osexualite,as Irigaraydoes, effectively severs this alienation, its causes and maintenance, fromconcrete social relationsof powerand dominance, the seat of all oppression. Irigaray'sappeal to hom(m)osexualite to explain women'ssexual alienation, interpretedas the commodificationof women's desire, is thus inadequate. Forit falselyassumesthat sexualalienation is independentof the institutions and practicesin which men'scontrol of women'ssexualityis enforced and enacted. These defects in Irigaray'saccount of the alienationof women'sdesireillustrate two pitfallsassociatedwith the appropriationof Lacanianpsychoanalysis as a feminist theoretical tool. The first is the questionableempiricaladequacy of Lacanianclaims about universalstructuresof psychic life, particularlythe Oedipuscomplex understoodas the "subjective"expressionof exogamy. The second is the excessively abstractcharacterof Lacan'saccount of these universals. One strikingfeature of "Women on the Market"is the absence of references, even for the purposeof illustration,to concretesocial relations.This is also a striking, and troublesome,featureof Lacan'saccount of the Oedipus complex. FollowingLevi-Strauss,Lacanholds that "the primordiallaw [of sociality] is ... that which in regulatingmarriageties superimposesthe kingdom of cultureon that of natureabandonedto the law of copulation"(Lacan 1977, 63). This law is the incest taboo, and its subjective, psychological pivot is the Oedipus complex, which governsfor each individualhis or her passagefrom "nature"to "culture."As viewed by Lacan, the Oedipuscomplex prescribesthe limits and possibilitiesof the socialization/humanization



processregardlessof the actualnatureof relationsbetween childrenand their caretakers,and more generally, regardlessof historicallyand culturallyspecific social relations. Fromthis perspective,the Oedipuscomplex is not only or even primarilya familialdrama,the psychic counterpartof some concrete organizationof social relationslike the nuclearfamily. Rather, it is an inexorable structuralmechanism that operatesindependentlyof the human content it organizes.The abstractcharacterof Irigaray'sanalysisin "Womenon the Market"is in largemeasurea consequenceof her identificationof the alienation of women's desire with Lacan'sstructuralversion of the Oedipus complex, reinterpretedas the installationwithin psychic life of the reign of hom(m)osexualite.9 In this section, I have arguedthat Irigaray'saccount of the alienation of women's desire through commodificationand oedipalizationrests on questionable empiricalgroundsand fails adequatelyto link internalizedoppression to culturallyand historicallyspecific institutionsand practices.Thus, it fails to meet criterionone. In the next section, I turn to my second criterion, which requiresthat an adequatepolitical psychologymust be nondeterministic. I will examine the adequacyof Lacanianpsychoanalysiswith respect to this criterionthroughan analysisof selected themes fromthe workof Julia Kristeva. II "As soon as she speaks the discourse of the community, a woman becomes phallus." (Kristeva1974, 6) One importantfeministobjection to psychoanalysishas been its biologistic leanings-for instance, the biological determinismreflected in Freud'sremarkthat "anatomyis destiny."Simone de Beauvoir'scounterslogan, "one is not bor but ratherbecomes a woman," capturesthe spiritof feminist quarrels with the view that human sex and gender identities, behaviorsand desiresare determinedby the anatomical/biologicaldifferencesnecessaryfor reproduction.Against this view, a growingbody of feministresearchis providing supportfor a politicallyimportantcounter-thesis:genderand sexualityare social constructsthat are in principlesusceptibleto interventionand change. Partof the appealto feministsof Lacanianpsychoanalysisis its rejectionof the strandof Freudassociatedwith the view that "anatomyis destiny."This rejectionis clearlyevident in Lacan'streatmentof the castrationand Oedipus complexes. Here, fearsand desiresthat have been interpretedas pertainingto actual body partsare held insteadto pertainto these body partsonly as symbolic entities or signifiers.For example, in Lacan'saccount of the castration complex, it is not the penis as an anatomicalstructurebut ratherthe "phal-

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lus"as a symbolicbearerof culturallyconferredmeaningsthat playsa causal role. Penis envy thus becomes the desire to have what the phallussignifies, namely the social prestige and power that those who lack phallic signifiers (penises) are denied. Thus, Lacanianpsychoanalysisdoes not base sexual identity (the recognition of oneself as an I-he or I-she) on biology or on any other innate structures. Rather, it holds that sexual identity is acquiredthroughprocessesof identificationand languagelearningthat constitutethe psychologicalbecoming of the social person.Lacandividesthis processinto two main stages-the Imaginaryand the Symbolic. The Imaginarycorrespondsto the pre-Oedipal periodgovernedby a diadic relation between mother and child. Duringthis stage, the child forms its first self-conception by identifyingwith a unified corporealimage which more or less correspondsto its mother'sbody.10This identificationis graduallyreplacedby an identificationwith the object of the mother'sdesire:the child wants to be "all"for the mother, to please and to fuse with her. The Symbolic, on the other hand, correspondsto the Oedipal and post-Oedipalperiodsduringwhich the child comes to individuateitself from others and to recognize itself as an I-he or I-she. This identificatory change requiresthe child to renounce its desireto fuse with its mother. Psychic castration, then, is the awareness of this separation. According to Lacan, the Oedipal crisis occurs during the processof languageacquisition when the child learns its society's sexual rules. It ends when these rules are internalizedor accededto. In takingover the identityfunctionsprescribedby society, the child repressesits desire for the mother and enters what Lacan calls the SymbolicOrderwhich, as andro-orphallocentric,is governedby the father'slaw (the incest taboo). Lacanthus rejectsbiologicaldeterminismand offersin its place an account of the social constructionof sex and gender. Normally, the political significance of the view that sexualityand genderare sociallyconstructedis linked to the assumptionthat socialconstructs,unlike innatebiologicalstructures,are susceptibleto interventionand change. Lacan,however,is morepessimistic: Woman is introducedinto the symbolicpact of marriageas an object of exchange along basically androcentricand patriarchal lines. Thus, the woman is engaged in an order of exchange in which she is an object; indeed, this is what causes the fundamentally conflictual character of her position-I would say withoutexit. The symbolicorderliterallysubmerges and transcendsher. (1954-5, 304) [My emphasis] Here, Lacan'spessimismabout the possibilityof change is linked to his view of the relationbetween women and the SymbolicOrder.Elsewhere,his pessimism implicatesboth men and women: Symbols. .. envelop the life of man in a networkso total that they join together, beforehe comes into the world, those who



are going to engender him 'by flesh and blood'; so total that they bring to his birth . . . the shape of his destiny; so total that they give the words that will make him faithful or renegrade;the law of the acts that will follow him right to the very place where he is not yet and even beyond his death. (Lacan 1977, 65) Given Lacan'sview of the phallic structuringof sex and genderas a function of the reigningsocial symbolics,the possibilityof transcendingor modifying the rule of phallic law is dim. JuliaKristevaputs the matterthis way:we are caught in a "profoundstructuralmechanismconcerningthe castingof sexual differencein the West . . . and [we] can't do much about it" (1986, 155). Kristeva'spessimismconcerning the possibilityof transcendingor modifying the phallocentricSymbolicOrderis reflectedin her account of the possibilities open to us for revolutionarychange. This account is developedby way of an analysisof what she calls le sujeten procesand its disruptiveeffectsas exhibited in the writingsof the late-nineteenth century avant-garde(Kristeva 1984). Although this may seem like a circuitousway to addressthe problem of revolutionarychange, Kristevathinks otherwise.She claimsthat the "revis homololution in language"effected in the texts of the literaryavant-garde and in the social political sphere: "The ogous to revolutionarydisruption text is a practice that can be comparedto political revolution: [avant-garde] the one bringsabout in the subjectwhat the other introducesinto society" (1984, 17). In her analysisof the late nineteenth centuryavant-garde,Kristevafocuses on the presence in these texts of "poetic language"and its effect of "unsettling" the identity of meaning and of the speakingsubject: . . . one should begin by positing that there is within poetic to meaningand signification. language. . a heterogeneousness detected genetically in the echolalias This heterogeneousness, of infantsas rhythmsand intonationsanteriorto the firstphonemes, morphemes, lexemes, and sentences . . . operates through, despite, and in excess of [signification],producingin poetic language'musical'as well as non-sense effects that destroynot only accepted beliefs and significationsbut, in radical experiments, syntax itself, that guaranteeof thetic consciousness. (1980a, 133) For Kristeva,then, poetic languageis markedby the presenceof rhythmic, tonal, or syntacticalfeaturesthat beareither a negative or surplusrelationto meaning and signification, that is, to the symbolicmodalityof languageuse. This symbolicmodality,which correspondsto the LacanianSymbolicOrder, is languageas it is mobilizedin the circuit of social communication,a circuit

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within which the phonemic, lexemic, morphemic,and syntacticalstructures of languageare harnessedto the existing "social contract." Thus, the symbolic modalityencompassesthose featuresof languagethat enable it to function as an instrumentof communication,for instance, syntacticalstructures and grammaticalcategories, intersubjectivelyfixed and reiterableunits of meaning, establishedsocial contexts of use and sharedconventions. According to Kristeva,at workin poetic languageand giving rise to its "unsettling" effects is anothermodalityof languageradicallydistinct fromthe symbolicdimension. This modality, which she calls the semiotic, springs from the archaismsof the instinctual body. It is the manifestationin languageof instinctual drives. Kristeva'saccount of this semiotic modalityis elaboratedin termsof Freudian and Lacaniantheory. Her "speakingsubject"is the split subjectof psychoanalytic theory, a subject divided between psychosomaticprocessesand social constraints. Accordingly, Kristevaproposesthat the signifyingpractices of the split subject can be analyzed in terms of two dispositions or modalities-the semiotic, linked to instinctual drives, and the symbolic, linked to the installationof the subjectinto a social networkand the assumption of social identity. The semiotic refersto tensions or forcesdiscerniblein languagethat representa kind of residuefromthe pre-Oedipalphaseof development. As Terry Eagletonexplains, The child in the pre-Oedipalphasedoes not yet have accessto language. . ., but we can imagineits body as criss-crossedby a flow of 'pulsions'or driveswhich are at this point relatively unorganized.This rhythmicpattern can be seen as a form of language, though it is not yet meaningful. For language as such to happen, this heterogeneousflow must be, as it were, chopped up, articulatedinto stable terms, so that in entering the symbolicorderthis 'semiotic'processis repressed.This repression,however, is not total: for the semioticcan still be discered as a kind of pulsionalpressurewithin languageitself, in tone, rhythm, the bodily and materialqualities of language, but also in contradiction,meaninglessness,disruption,silence and absence. (Eagleton 1983, 188) Kristevadescribesthis libidinal-signifyingorganizationas instinctual, maternal, and feminine. It is held to be instinctualbecausethe organizationis dictated by primaryprocessessuch as displacementand condensation, absorption and repulsion, rejection and stasis, all of which function as innate preconditions for languageacquisition. It is held to be maternalbecause of the child'sdirect dependenceon the mother. Finally, it is held to be femininebecause this semiotic realmof rhythmic,corporealrapportwith the motherhas been genderedas such by our culture.



Kristevaholds that the semiotic and symbolic modalities of signification are necessarilyintertwinedin languageuse. She also assertsthat differences in the dialectical interplaybetween the two signifyingmodalitiesgive rise to importantlydifferentkinds of signifyingpractices. At one extreme is scientific discoursewhich tends to reduceas much as possiblethe semiotic component. At the other extremeis poetic languagein which the semioticgains the upperhand. More precisely, Kristevacontends that in poetic languagethe semiotic and the symbolicexist in a kind of internaltension such that poetic languagein effect "positsitself... as an undecidableprocessbetween sense and non-sense, between languageand rhythm"(Kristeva1980, 135). Insofar as it is a sociallycommunicableformof discourse,poetic languagepartakesof the semantic/syntacticalorganizationof language.But it also displaysa "sonorousdistinctiveness"which exists in either a surplusor negative relationto the symbolicdimensionof languageuse. Accordingto Kristeva,in the literarytexts of the avant-garde,this sonorousdistinctivenessdisruptsthe flow of signification,setting up a play of unconsciousdrivesthat undercutsthe stability of received social meaning. For readersof these texts, the result of such disruptionsis a momentaryrelease of libidinal pleasure(jouissance). What is the relation between Kristeva'sanalysisof the "revolutionin language"effected in avant-gardetexts and her views on feminist politics? For Kristeva,the avant-gardetext is to languagewhat feminismis (or should be) to society-a disruptiveelement. Justas poetic disruptiondependson a "permanent contradiction"between the semiotic and symbolic, so feminist disruptiondependson an equallypermanentcontradictionbetween masculine/ paternaland feminine/maternalidentifications.Kristevaviews these "permanent contradictions"as rooted in the Oedipal structuringof desire, a "profound structuralmechanism"which we women "can'tdo much about." The political pessimismsuggestedby this remarkis echoed in Kristeva's analysisof the options available to women given the Oedipal structure.As presented by Kristeva, these options are bounded by two undesirableextremes, father-identification and mother-identification, which effectively createfor women a double-bind.The father identifiedwoman is exemplified by the figureof Electra,who has her mother, Clytemnestra,killed in orderto avenge her father. In so doing, Electratakes the point of view of her father vis-d-visher mother. As interpretedby Kristeva,the mother'scrime against the fatherhas been to expose her jouissanceto the worldby takinga lover, a jouissanceforbiddenby patriarchallaw. Electra'sact is an expressionof her fear and hatredof the jouissancenot only of her mother'sbody but also of her own. She must abhorin herselfwhat she abhorsin her motherand as a result she perpetuatesthe patriarchalsocial/symbolicorder. If this picture of the father-identified woman is unpalatable, Kristeva nonetheless accepts the view of Freudand Lacan that repressionof both instinctualpleasureand continuousrelationto the motheris the priceone must

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pay to enter historyand social affairs.This is why the alternativeof motheridentificationis equallyundesirable:it condemns us to "foreverremain in a sulk in the face of history,politics, and social affairs"(1986, 156). According to Kristeva,then, mother-identificationresultsin a failureto enter the symbolic order,a path that ends in psychosis.On the other hand, father-identification entails taking over patriarchalconceptualizationsand valuations. In the extremecase, this resultsin a rejectionof attributesgenderedas feminine insofaras these attributesare consideredto be incompatiblewith entry into the (masculine) realm of culture and history."1 ForKristeva,both identificatoryoptions arecapturedin the gendercategorizationsoperative in patriarchalculture:mother-identificationby feminine categoriessuch as nature, body and the unconscious, and father-identification by contrasting masculine categories such as culture, mind, and ego. While Kristevabelieves that these gendercategoriesare alwaysat workin the formationof one's identity as an I-she or I-he, she also assertsthat the extremes of mother and father identification can be avoided. Moreover, she recommendssuch an avoidance as a desirablefeminist practice. Let us refuse both extremes. Let us know that an ostensibly masculine,paternalidentification... is necessaryin orderto have a voice in the chapterof politics and history. . . . [But] let us right away be wary of the premiumon narcissismthat such an integrationcan carry;let us reject the developmentof a 'homologous'woman [i.e. an Electra],who is finally capable and virile; and let us ratheract on the socio-politico-historical stage as her negative:that is, act firstwith all those who refuse and 'swimagainstthe tide'-all who rebel againstthe existing relationsof productionand reproduction.But let us not take the role of Revolutionaryeither, whether male or female: let us on the contraryrefuseall roles to summon[a] truth outside time, a truth that is neither true nor false, that cannot be fitted into the orderof speech and social symbolism.(1986, 156) This "truth"is Kristeva'ssemiotic order-the instinctualpleasureone must repressin orderto gain entry into the symbolic/socialdomain. Thus, the politics that Kristevarecommendsrequiresan "impossibledialectic," a "permanent alternation"between the semiotic ("maternal"jouissance)and the symbolic ("pateral" power or law). This politics is supposedto be an analogueof poetic language. But there are problemsconcerningthe manifestation,aim, and efficacyof the practice Kristevarecommends.TerryEagletonarguesthat Kristeva'svision of politically revolutionaryactivity as a semiotic force that disruptsstable meanings and institutions leads to a kind of anarchismthat fosters private libidinal pleasure.He also criticizesKristevafor failingto see the need to move beyond



interal fragmentationto new formsof social solidarity(Eagleton1983, 19091). Likewise,Toril Moi finds that Kristeva'sfocus on negativityand disruption ratherthan on buildingnew solidaritiesleadsto an undesirableanarchist and subjectivistpolitical position (Moi 1985, 170-71). I have a good deal of sympathyfor these criticisms, for, as I will argue, the aspects of Kristeva's views they call into question are symptomaticof an untenablepolitical pessimism. This pessimismis a consequenceof the view that the patriarchalSymbolic Order is not susceptible to feminist intervention and change. For Kristeva,as for Lacan, the Symbolic Orderis an "implacablestructure"and the only escape is psychosis. For both Lacan and Kristeva,the Symbolic Order is the realm of culture and languagedefinitive of humanbeing. Hence, entry into the SymbolicOrder is identified with the processof humanization,the assumptionof social identity and social roles. What is essentialto this processis the submissionof presocialdesire to the laws of organizationand exchange within a sexually differentiatedgroup. Insofaras one successfullynegotiates the passagefrom naturalto social being, the identityfunctionsprescribedby the SymbolicOrder are inescapable. Lacanseems to hold that there is only one SymbolicOrder, that in which identity functions are prescribedby the Lawof the Father.Kristeva,in contrast, contends that the SymbolicOrderdescribedby Freudand Lacanis specific to Western (Mosaic) monotheistic culture.12Thus, although Kristeva holds that symbolicmediation is requiredin the passagefrom nature to culture, she does not subscribeto the view that all culturesarebasedon the same symbolicsystem. Because it marksa sensitivity to the problemof ethnocentrismwith respect to the identificationof culturaluniversals,this qualification is important.However, it does not alter Kristeva'sposition on the more general issue concerning the symbolicdeterminationof psychic life. Insofar as a Westernersuccessfullynegotiates the passagefrom naturalto social being, she maintains, the identity options prescribedby the patriarchalsymbolic system specific to Western monotheism are inescapable. Kristeva'saccount of these identity options presupposesthe Freudiandictum that what is today an act of internalrestraintwas once an externalone. Although this dictum presumablyholds for any external restraint,Freudfocused on aggression, the so-called "primal"father's restraint of the sons, which presupposedhis possessionof all the primalhorde'swomen. Thus, for Freud,the historicaloriginof the Oedipalstructuringof psychic life is a situation of oppressionin which women are dominatedby men. With the intemalizationof the father'sexternal restraint(the incest taboo), this situation of oppressionis transformedinto one of repression.In the historyof individual persons,the Oedipal structuringof psychic life is a repetitionof this epochal event, which Freudidentifieswith the originsof civilizationproper.External restraintis replacedby its symbolicexpression:the fathercomes to represent

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the culturalrealityprinciple, the symbolic, while the mother representsthe sensualsubstratum,the semiotic, that must be repressedif a child is to enter culture at all. Since Freudviews the psychologicalmechanismof Oedipal repressionas the symbolic/psychologicalexpression of women's "primal"oppression, he groundsthe Oedipus complex in an hypothetical historical situation of oppression. However, once the (primal)father'sexternal restraintis interalized, the resultingpsychic structureand symbolismis severedfrom the social sphere. For Freud, this autonomy of the psychologicalfrom the social is a consequenceof the hypothesisthat a "primaevaland prehistoricdemandhas . . .become part of the organizedand inherited endowment of mankind" (Freud195-74, 13:188). What was originallysocial (the primalfather'sthreat of castration,the sons'responses,etc.) became"natural,"an internaldisposition or instinctual structure.Fromthis perspective,the Oedipus complex is not exclusively or even primarilythe psychologicalcounterpartof some particularsocio-familialstructurebut ratheran autonomousfunction of psychic life. The autonomy thus ascribed to the Oedipus complex is at the root of Kristeva'spolitical pessimism.Once set in motion, the Oedipal mechanism, like the Deist's universe, functions of its own accord. It runs on and on in both the individualand her culture, imperviousto changing social and economic relations and to ongoing feminist interventions. Given her adoptionof Lacan's"de-biologized"Freud,the implacablecharacterof the Oedipalstructuringof desiredoes not entail, for Kristeva,a crude biological determinism. Anatomy is not destiny. Instead, it is the psychic symbolismand structuredefinitive of the Oedipuscomplex that playsthis determiningrole. Kristeva'sview on this matterreflectsa hyperbolicbut nonethelessfaithful interpretationof a basic Lacanianclaim: "Imagesand symbolsfor the woman cannot be isolatedfrom imagesand symbolsof the woman . . . [for]it is the representationof sexualitywhich conditionshow [sexuality]comes into play" (Lacan 1982, 90). On some interpretations,this claim is unobjectionable.In fact, some version of it is central to the projectof feminist political psychology, a psychologywhose task it is to explain the processeswherebypatriarchal representationsand gender-differentiated categoriestake root within our psychic lives, affecting our desires, feelings, thoughts, and valuations. This task presupposes, first, that at least some patriarchal representations of women also serve as representationsfor women. In addition, it presupposes, that in so serving, they function as instrumentsof male domination. But the project of feminist political psychologyrests on yet another, equally crucial premise. Feministpsychologyis politicalpsychologypreciselybecause its accounts of internalizedoppressionare given in the serviceof a liberatoryproject. It thus assumesthat psychologicaloppression,at least undersome condi-



tions and to some extent, can be transcended.But Kristeva'sLacanianaccount of psychologicaloppressiondoes not allow for the political hope expressedby this third assumption.This is not becauseshe rejectson empirical groundsthe possibilityof transcendingthe patriarchalSymbolicOrder. It is rather a consequence of her acceptance of the Lacanian view that social personhood(at least for Western women) requiressubjectionor submission to Oedipal identity functions and laws. Lacanand Kristevaallow for only two alternatives:subjectionto the Law of the Fatheror psychosis.I-hood, having a coherent self-identityover time, is impossible without submission through oedipalizationto the patriarchal Symbolic Order, which structuresand sustainssubjectivity. Submissionto the SymbolicOrderthus is not just a diachronic,developmentalevent but a permanentcondition of social being. The political pessimismengenderedby this view can be expressedas the claim that the Oedipalstructuringof subjectivity is "total"-i.e., once in place, we cannot escape the identificatoryoptions circumscribedby patriarchalrepresentationsand gender categories. This claim, however, is unwarrented.For even if we accept the (arguable) view that we enter society via the Oedipus complex and submissionto the Law of the Father, it does not follow that we cannot subsequently reject, at least in part, our paternalheritage.13 Partof what feminismis about is breakingfreeof damagingrepresentations and gendercategories,and I see no reasonnot to believe that this projectis in principlepossibleor that, indeed, it has not alreadymet with some success. As long as there are slippagesor "contradictions"between patriarchalrepresentationsof women and other featuresof a woman'ssymbolically-mediated lived experience, as long as such representationsdo not dictate the entire structureand content of such experience, they are susceptibleto feminist interventions.14 Lacan's contention that there is no such slippage is made on a priori grounds.Yet I believe that the historyof feminist interventionsprovidesan empiricalchallenge to the view that we cannot transcendthe identity options and laws definitive of the patriarchalSymbolic Order.The practiceof consciousnessraisingprovidesjust one example. One of the primaryaims of this type of feminist interventionis to help womendiscoverfacetsof internalized oppressionby "showingup" the sexual ideology that affectsour desires, feelings, thoughts, and valuations.This processboth presupposesand utilizes rethe slippagebetween this sexual ideologyand the symbolically-meditated ality of women'slives. To "showup"sexual ideologyinvolves exposing it for what it is, to make it the subject of our thoughts, feelings, and valuations ratherthan their determiningcontent. Of course, "showingup"sexual ideology in this way does not necessarilyinvolve freeing oneself from it. But to grantthis projectsome success, one need not deny that patriarchalrepresentations and gendercategoriesare deeply rooted in our psychic lives, so much

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so that they can appearimplacable.Ratherit is to deny that they exhaustthe entire symbolicdimension mediatingexperience. In addition, it is to affirm that graduallywe can loosen the hold of patriarchalrepresentations,see throughthem and beyond them, and perhapsone day even overcome their domination of our psychic lives. Many of the writingsof Frenchfeminists influencedby Lacan, including writingsby Kristevaand Irigaray,can be seen as contributionsto the feminist practiceof consciousnessraising.The site of their analysesis the unconscious culturalsymbolism,particularlysex and gender symbolism,which subtends individualpsychic life. The aim is to make the unconsciousconsciousand in doing so to assistwomen in overcominginternalizedoppression.15 Yet the political hope presupposedby such a projectoften exists in uneasytension with the political pessimismthat Lacaniantheory engenders. JuliaKristeva'spolitics providesan extreme example of this pessimism.It combinesthe pessimismof the Lacanianview that the Oedipalstructuringof female subjectivity is "total" with Freud'spessimismconcerning "civilization's"demandsfor instinctualrenunciation.As a result, the feministpolitics Kristevacommendsemergesas just one expressionof an eternalwarbetween (feminine) jouissanceand (masculine) power/law, where the only possible revolutionsare temporarytransgressions,limited "returnsof the repressed." ForKristeva,what makesfeminismgenuinelyrevolutionaryis not its opposition to and transformationof historically specific relations of oppression. Rather,feminism'srevolutionarymoment consists in its oppositionto the repressiveor sacrificialcharacterof sociabilityor cultureper se.16Accordingly, Kristevaholds that if feminismhas a role to play in revolutionarypolitics, it is only by assuminga negative function: reject everythingfinite, definite, structured,loadedwith meaningin the existing state of society. Such an attitudeplaceswomen on the side of the explosion of social codes: with revolutionary moments. (1980b, 166) If everythingfinite, definite, structured,loadedwith meaningin the existing state of society contributesto women's oppression,then Kristeva'sprescriptionfor feminist politics might make some sense. But there is no good reasonfor thinking this to be so. Of course, in our own society, women are sociallyand economicallysubordinatedto men. However,this does not mean that all aspectsof society are harmfulto women and hence legitimatetargets of feministopposition. Moreover,feminismneeds to move beyondthe rejection of existing social codes to the constructionof new, more equitablesocial, economic, and political relations.17Kristeva'sview of revolutionary feministpolitics is thus inadequatefor two reasons:it rejectstoo much and it hopes or aims for too little.



III In this paper,I have claimedthat an adequatefeministpoliticalpsychology must meet at least two requirements.First, it must treat internalizedoppression as groundedin culturallyand historicallyspecific institutionsand practices. Second, it must understandsuch oppressionnon-deterministicallyand allow for the possibility that it could, under some circumstances,be overcome. I have arguedthat the theories of Luce Irigarayand Julia Kristevado not meet these requirements.I would like to conclude on a more positive note with some briefreflectionsas to the sort of theorythat might betterprovide for an adequatepolitical psychology. Let me begin by observingthat the two requirementsI have invoked are not unrelated.To see internalizedoppressionas based in historicallyspecific institutions and practices is to see it non-deterministically.It is to suppose that to dismantlethose institutionsand practicesis to begin to dismantlepsychological oppression. It is to assume, in addition, that under alternative, egalitarianand non-sexist arrangements,patriarchalsymbolicrepresentations could lose their hold on our psyches. A feminist political psychologythat began from these assumptionswould have an interest in investigating certain matters that Lacanian theory ignores. Forexample, it wouldwant to examine the historyand characterof infant care, the concrete and variablecontexts where languagelearning and early identity formationoccurs. The point would be to uncover the actual empiricallinks between differentpracticesand differentsymbolic constructions of social identity. Moreover,an adequatepoliticalpsychologywouldsituate the child carepracticesit studiesin their largersocial-structuralcontext. It would try to understandthe connections, including the tensions, among familialand extra-familialfactorsin society that contributeto the formation of sex and gender identity. Further,an adequatepolitical psychologywould attend to the experiencesand activities of the "post-Oedipalperson."Here, the task would be to understandwhat social and economic relationstend to reinforceor resistearlysex and gendersocialization.Finally, an adequatepolitical psychologywould approachall of its inquirieswith a view to eventually determiningwhat sortsof alternativearrangementsare both possibleand desirable. In so doing, it would be committed to demystifyingthe patriarchalideological illusion that women's internalizedoppressionis inescapable.

NOTES 1. The criteriaI invoke here arenot the only relevantones. In addition, an adequatepolitical psychologymust be non-idealistic, that is, it must recognizethat social relationsof domination

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cannot be adequatelydefined in termsof ideationalor symbolicstructures.I do not discussthis criterionhere. 2. Lacaniantheorydoes not drawon the familiardistinction between sex and genderidentity accordingto which sexual identity is a function of differentiatingbiologicalfeaturesand gender identity is a function of sociallydefinedmeaningsand roles. For Lacan and his followers, sexual identity is itself a socially mediated phenomenon rather than a purelybiological datum. This view is reflected in Irigaray'sclaim that bodies are "sexualizedas female [sexuefeminin]in and throughdiscourse"(Irigaray1985,90). Similarly, Kristevaassertsthat the categories'man' and 'woman'shouldbe viewed in termsof how biologicaland physiologicaldifferencesare"translated by and translatea differencein the relationshipof subjects. . . to power, language,and meaning" (Kristeva1981,39). 3. Forpurposesof the presentdiscussion,it is not necessaryto take up the questionof the accuracyof Irigaray'sreadingof Marx. Let me simply suggestthat it strikesme as suspect. 4. It should be noted that bothIrigarayand Levi-Straussgive circularanswersto the question of why women ratherthan men are the objects of exchange. 5. In "Womenon the Market,"Irigarayuses the rhetoricalstrategyshe calls "mimickry"-a deliberateimitationof male-generateddiscoursethat aimsto flauntor parodyits androcentricbiases. However, her essayas a whole is not a parody.The analogyit developsbetween oedipalization and commodificationis taken seriouslyby Irigaray,who also invokes it elsewhere. 6. For an extended argumentagainst the claim that all cultureshave been male-dominated, see Leacock(1982). Duley and Edwards(1986, 26-47) review currentanthropologicalliterature on this issue. Millett (1971) and Firestone(1971) contain classicfeministcriticismsof Freudon the universalityof the Oedipus complex. Leach (1970) providesan accessiblecritical analysis (basedon ethnographicdata ) of Levi-Strauss'saccount of the elementarystructuresof kinship. 7. Ortner(1974) invokes Levi-Strauss,amongothers, in developingthe claim that in all societies, culturehas been associatedwith masculinityand naturewith femininity. Foranthropological criticismsof this claim, see Ortner and Whitehead (1981). 8. In moder industrializedsocieties, even marriagerelationscannot be adequatelycharacterized as an exchange of women (daughtersand wives) by men (fathersand husbands).Although some marriageceremoniesinclude a symbolicgesturein which a father"givesaway"his daughter to some other man'sson, marriageis apt to be seen by its participantsas an emotional, religious, or legal contract between free individuals.This perception is not without ideological components that maskthe extent to which marriageas an institutionis oppressiveto women. Nonetheless, the claim that marriageis basedon the exchangeof women by men hardlysufficesto capture the complexityof this institution, includingthe ideologicaldimensionsthat may contributeto a woman'spsychologicaloppression. 9. Ragland-Sullivan(1986, 267-280) criticizes Irigaray,among others, for reading Lacan substantivelyratherthan structurallyby equatingLacan'sSymbolic Orderwith patriarchyand the Oedipalstructurewith the alienation of women'sdesireunderpatriarchy.On my interpretation, in contrast, Irigaraydoes not misreadLacan;rather,she foregroundsmattersshe believes he slightedor overlooked,for example, the universalityof male dominationand the role playedby the Oedipalstructurein women'soppression.Thus unlike Ragland-Sullivan,Irigarayrejectsthe claim that the "Lacanianphallic signifier[is]neutralin its own right"(273) ratherthan an artifact or emblem of male domination. 10. I am assumingthat Lacan'snotion of "the mirrorstage"is best understoodmetaphorically and that it is earlymaternalidentification, ratherthan a mirrorimage, that is at the base of the pre-Oedipal"moi." 11. I have not discussedtwo assumptionscentral to understandingKristeva'sclaim that both mother and father identification are undesirable.The first, relativelyuncontroversialassumption, is that psychosisis undesirable.The second, more controversialassumption,is that the rejection by women of so-called "feminine" in favor of "masculine"attributes is undesirable. Kristeva's"Women'sTime" (1981) contains a useful discussionof this second assumption. 12. Kristeva'sDes Chinoises(1974) is an extended argumentfor this claim. 13. Although the sex and genderstructuringof our psychiclives begins in earlychildhood, it does not end there. The social institutionsand practicesthat tend to reinforceor resistchildhood sex and gender-structuring shouldbe of specialinterestto feministsconcernedwith psychological oppression.



14. The phrase "a woman's lived experience"does not denote a substratumof experience unmediatedby representations.My point is that our experienceor perceptionof realitydoes not alwaysconform to patriarchal representationsof it. 15. See Whitford (1988) for an interpretationof Luce Irigarayalong these lines. 16. Kristevadoes not deny that it is importantfor women to fight againstspecificsocial and economic oppressions.But she does not consider this fight genuinely revolutionaryunless it is also a fight against the psychologicallyrepressivecharacterof the Symbolic Order. She views revolutionaryfeminist politics as partof a broaderculturalrevolt, exemplifiedby the avant-garde in literature,painting, and music, againstthe inhibitionsand prohibitionsof the social-symbolic order. 17. Kristevadoes have a vision of a better worldwhich is less repressive,less body-and pleasure-denying,less "totalizing"and "equalizing"than our own. However, this vision can never find effective socialand institutional realizationif revolutionarypolitical practiceis limited to perpetual demystificationof the statusquo. In part, it is becausethe realizationof her political vision seems to be confined to the "corporealand desiringspace" of individualsthat Eagleton (1983), Moi (1985), and others have labelled Kristeva'spolitics of negation or rejection "individualisticanarchism".


Chodorow,Nancy. 1978. The reproduction of mothering.Berkeley:University of CaliforniaPress. Dinnerstein, Dorothy. 1976. The mermaidand the minotaur:sexualarrangementsand the humanmalaise.New York:Harperand Row. Duley, Margot and Mary Edwards, ed. 1986. The cross-culturalstudy of women:a comprehensive guide.New York:The Feminist Press. 1983. Literarytheory.Minneapolis:Universityof Minnesota Eagleton,Terry. Press. Firestone, Shulamith. 1971. The dialecticsof sex: the casefor feministrevolution. New York:Bantam. Freud,Sigmund. 1953-74. The claims of psycho-analysisto scientific interworksof ests. 1913. In The standardeditionof the completepsychological SigmundFreud,vol 13. Trans. and ed. James Strachey, et. al. London: The HogarthPressand the Institute of Psycho-analysis. Irigaray,Luce. 1985. Ce sexe qui n'en est pas un. 1977. This sex whichis not one. Trans. Catherine Porter.New York:Corell University Press. Jaggar,Alison. 1983. Feministpoliticsandhumannature.New Jersey:Rowman and Allanheld. Kristeva,Julia. 1974. Sujet dans le langageet pratiquepolitique. In Psychanalyse et politique.Paris:Verdiglione. . 1977. Des chinoises.1974. Aboutchinesewomen.Trans.Anita Barrows. London:Aron Boyars. . 1980a. D'une identite l'autre. 1975. From one identity to another. Trans. Tom Gora and Alice Jardine.In Desirein language:a semioticapproachto literatureandart. Ed. Leon Roudiez.New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press, 124-148.

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. 1980b. Oscillation between power and denial. 1974. In New French feminisms. Ed. Elaine Marks and Isabelle de Courtivron. New York: Schocken. . 1981. Le temps des femmes. 1979. Women's time. Trans. Margaret Waller. Signs7, 13-35. . 1984. La revolutiondu langagepoetique.1974. Revolutionin poeticlanguage.Trans. MargaretWaller. New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press. . 1986. Des chinoises. 1974. Excerpted as About Chinese Women. Trans. Sean Hand. In The KristevaReader.Ed. Toril Moi. New York: ColumbiaUniversity Press, 138-159. Lacan, Jacques. 1954-55. SeminaireII. Paris:Editionsdu Seuil. . 1956. "De l'usage de la parole et des structuresde langage dans la conduite et dans le champ de la psychanalyse."In La psychanalyse,vol. 1, 202-55. . 1977. Ecrits.1966. Ecrits:a selection. Trans. and ed. Alan Sheridan. New York:Norton. Leach, Edmund. 1970. ClaudeLevi-Strauss.New York:The Viking Press. Leacock,EleanorB. 1982. Mythsof maledomination.New York:MonthlyReview Press. de la parente.Trans. Levi-Strauss,Claude. 1969. Les structureselementaires 1949. The elementarystructuresof kinship.Boston: Beacon Press. Marx, Karland FrederickEngels. 1975. Collectedworks.Vol. 3. New York: InternationalPublishers. Millett, Kate. 1971. Sexualpolitics.New York:Avon. andfeminism.New York:Vintage Mitchell, Juliet. 1974. Psychoanalysis Toril. 1985. Sexual/textual Moi, politics.London:Methuen. Is female to male as nature is to culture?In Women, Ortner, Sherry. 1974. and M.Z. Ed. Rosaldoand L. Lamphere.Palo Alto: Stanculture, society. ford University Press. Ortner, Sherryand HarrietWhitehead, eds. 1981. Sexualmeanings:the culturalconstruction of genderandsexuality.New York:CambridgeUniversity Press. Ragland-Sullivan,Ellie. 1986. JacquesLacanandthephilosophy of psychoanalysis. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Rubin, Gayle. 1975. The trafficin women: Notes on the political economy of sex. In Towardan anthropology of women.Ed. RaynaR. Reiter. New York:Monthly Review Press, 157-210. Whitford, Margaret.1988. Luce Irigaray'scritiqueof rationality.In Feminist perspectives in philosophy. Ed. Morwenna Griffiths and Margaret Whitford. Bloomington:IndianaUniversity Press, 109-130.

The Body Politics of Julia Kristeva JUDITH BUTLER

Julia Kristevaattemptsto exposethe limitsof Lacan'stheoryof languageby revealingthe semioticdimensionof languagethatit excludes.She arguesthat the semioticpotentialof languageis subversive,and describesthesemioticas a poeticas culturallyintelmaternallinguistic practicethatdisruptsthesymbolic,understood speech.In thecourseof arguingthatthesemioticconteststhe ligiblerule-governed moveswhichendup universality of theSymbolic,Kristevamakesseveraltheoretical thepowerof the Symbolicand paternalauthoritygenerally.She deconsolidating biologicalnecessity,therebynaturalizfendsa maternalinstinctas a pre-discursive thecultural a of maternity.In heruse of psychoanalytic configuration ing specific the cultural lesbianism. Her distinction she ends of ory, unintelligibility up claiming betweenthesemioticand theSymbolicoperatesto foreclosea culturalinvestigation into thegenesisof preciselythosefeminineprinciples for whichsheclaimsa pre-disthat she claims thematernalaspectsof lannaturalistic cursive, ontology.Although in a critical and are of displacing possibility guage repressed Symbolicspeech provide herverydescriptions thehegemonyof thepaternal/symbolic, of thematernalappear to acceptratherthancontestthe inevitablehegemonyof the Symbolic.In conclusion, thisessayoffersa genealogical critiqueof the maternaldiscoursein Kristeva to doesnot constitutea subversivestrategy recourse the maternal and suggeststhat as Kristevaappearsto assume.

Kristeva'stheory of the semiotic dimension of languageat first appearsto engage Lacanianpremisesonly to expose their limits and to offer a specifically feminine locus of subversionof the paternallaw within language.According to Lacan, the paternal law structuresall linguistic signification, termed "the symbolic", and so becomes a universalorganizingprinciple of culture itself. This law creates the possibilityof meaningfullanguageand, hence, meaningful experience, through the repressionof primarylibidinal drives, includingthe radicaldependencyof the child on the maternalbody. Hence, the symbolic becomes possible by repudiatingthe primaryrelationship to the maternalbody. The "subject"who emergesas a consequence of this repressionitself becomes a beareror proponent of this repressivelaw. The libidinalchaos characteristicof that earlydependencyis now fully constrainedby a unitaryagent whose languageis structuredby that law. This lanHypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Judith Butler

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guage, in turn, structuresthe worldby suppressingmultiplemeanings(which alwaysrecall the libidinal multiplicitywhich characterizedthe primaryrelation to the maternalbody) and instatingunivocal and discretemeaningsin their place. Kristeva challenges the Lacanian narrative which assumesthat cultural meaningrequiresthe repressionof that primaryrelationshipto the maternal body. She arguesthat the "semiotic"is a dimensionof languageoccasioned by that primarymaternalbody which not only refutesLacan'sprimarypremise, but which servesas a perpetualsourceof subversionwithin the symbolic. ForKristeva,the semiotic expressesthat originallibidinalmultiplicitywithin the very terms of culture, more precisely, within poetic languagein which multiple meanings and semantic non-closureprevail. In effect, poetic language is the recoveryof the maternalbody within the termsof language,one that has the potential to disrupt,subvert, and displace the paternallaw. Despite her critique of Lacan, however, Kristeva'sstrategyof subversion provesdoubtful. Her theory appearsto depend upon the stabilityand reproduction of preciselythe paternallaw that she sought to displace. Although she effectivelyexposesthe limits of Lacan'seffortsto universalizethe paternal law in language, she nevertheless concedes that the semiotic is invariably subordinateto the symbolic, that it assumesits specificitywithin the termsof a hierarchywhich is immuneto challenge. If the semioticpromotesthe possibility of the subversion,displacement,or disruptionof the paternallaw, what meaningscan those termshave if the symbolicalwaysreassertsits hegemony? The criticism of Kristevawhich follows takes issue with several different steps in Kristeva'sargumentin favor of the semiotic as a source of effective subversion.First, it is unclearwhetherthe primaryrelationshipto the maternal bodywhich both Kristevaand Lacanappearto accept is a viable construct and whether it is even a knowableexperienceaccordingto either of their linguistic theories. The multipledrivesthat characterizethe semiotic constitute a pre-discursivelibidinaleconomy which occasionallymakesitself known in language,but which maintainsan ontological statuspriorto languageitself. Manifest in language, in poetic language in particular,this prediscursive libidinaleconomy becomes a locus of culturalsubversion.A second problem emergeswhen Kristevamaintainsthat this libidinalsourceof subversioncannot be maintained within the terms of culture, that its sustainedpresence leadsto psychosisand to the breakdownof culturallife itself. Kristevathus alternatelyposits and denies the semiotic as an emancipatoryideal. Though she tells us that it is a dimensionof languageregularlyrepressed,she also concedes that it is a kind of languagewhich can never be consistently maintained. In orderto assessher seeminglyself-defeatingtheory, we need to ask how this libidinalmultiplicitybecomesmanifestin language,and what conditions its temporarylifespanthere?Moreover,Kristevadescribesthe maternalbody



as bearinga set of meaningsthat are priorto cultureitself. She therebysafeguardsthe notion of cultureas a paternalstructureand delimits maternityas an essentiallypre-culturalreality. Her naturalisticdescriptionsof the maternal body effectivelyreifymotherhoodand precludean analysisof its cultural constructionand variability.In askingwhethera pre-discursivelibidinalmultiplicity is possible, we will also considerwhetherwhat we claim to discover in the pre-discursivematernalbody is itself a productionof a given historical discourse,an effect of culture ratherthan its secret and primarycause. Even if we accept Kristeva'stheoryof primarydrives, it is unclearthat the subversiveeffectsof such drivescan serve, via the semiotic, as anythingmore than a temporaryand futile disruptionof the hegemonyof the paternallaw. I will try to show how the failureof her political strategyfollows in part from her largelyuncriticalappropriationof drive theory. Moreover,upon careful scrutinyof her descriptionsof the semiotic function within language, it appearsthat Kristevareinstatesthe paternallaw at the level of the semiotic itself. In the end, Kristevaoffersus a strategyof subversionthat can never become a sustainedpolitical practice. In the final section of this paper, I will suggesta way to reconceptualizethe relation between drives, language,and patriarchalprerogativewhich might serve a moreeffective strategyof subversion. Kristeva'sdescriptionof the semiotic proceedsthrougha numberof problematic steps. She assumesthat drives have aims prior to their emergence into language, that languageinvariablyrepressesor sublimatesthese drives, and that such drives are manifestonly in those linguistic expressionswhich disobey,as it were, the univocal requirementsof significationwithin the symbolic domain. She claims furtherthat the emergenceof multiplicitousdrives into languageis evident in the semiotic, that domain of linguistic meaning distinct from the symbolic, which is the maternalbody manifest in poetic speech. As earlyas Revolutionin PoeticLanguage(1974), Kristevaarguedfor a necessarycausalrelation between the heterogeneityof drivesand the plurivocal possibilitiesof poetic language. Differingfrom Lacan, she maintainedthat poetic languagewas not predicatedupon a repressionof primarydrives. On the contrary, poetic language, she claimed, is the linguistic occasion on which drivesbreakapartthe usual, univocal termsof languageand reveal an irrepressibleheterogeneityof multiplesoundsand meanings.Kristevathereby contested Lacan'sequation of the symbolicwith all linguisticmeaningby assertingthat poetic languagehas its own modalityof meaningwhich does not conform to the requirementsof univocal designation. In this same work, she subscribedto a notion of free or uncathectedenergy which makes itself known in language through the poetic function. She claimed, for instance, that ". . . in the interminglingof drives in language . . we shall see the economy of poetic language"and that in this economy,

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"the unitarysubject can no longer find his place" (1984, 132). This poetic function is a rejective or divisive linguisticfunction which tends to fracture and multiplymeanings;it enacts the heterogeneityof drivesthroughthe proliferationand destructionof univocal signification.Hence, the urgetowarda highly differentiatedor plurivocalset of meaningsappearsas the revenge of drives against the rule of the symbolic which, in turn, is predicatedupon their repression.Kristevadefines the semiotic as the multiplicity of drives manifest in language. With their insistent energy and heterogeneity, these drives disruptthe signifyingfunction of language.Thus, in this early work, she definesthe semiotic as "the signifyingfunction . .. connected to the modality [of] primaryprocess." In the essaysthat compriseDesirein Language(1977) Kristevagroundher definition of the semiotic more fully in psychoanalyticterms. The primary drives that the symbolic repressesand the semiotic obliquely indicates are now understoodas maternaldrives,not only those drives belonging to the mother, but those which characterizethe dependencyof the infant'sbody (of either sex) on the mother. In other words, "the maternalbody"designatesa relation of continuity rather than a discrete subject or object of desire; indeed, it designatesthat jouissancewhich precedesdesireand the subject/object dichotomy that desire presupposes.While the symbolic is predicated upon the rejection of the mother, the refusalof the mother as an object of sexual love, the semiotic, through rhythm, assonance, intonations, sound play and repetition, re-presents or recovers the maternal body in poetic speech. Even the "first echolalias of infants" and the "glossalaliasin psychotic discourse"are manifestationsof the continuity of the mother-infant relation, a heterogeneousfield of impulsepriorto the separation/individuation of infant and mother, alike effectedby the impositionof the incest taboo (1980, 135). The separationof the motherand infanteffectedby the taboo is expressed linguistically as the severing of sound from sense. In Kristeva's words, ". .. a phoneme, as distinctive element of meaning, belongs to language as symbolic. But this same phoneme is involved in rhythmic, intonational repetitions;it thereby tends towardautonomyfrom meaning so as to maintain itself in a semiotic disposition near the instinctual drive's body" (1980, 135). The semiotic is describedby Kristevaas destroyingor erodingthe symbolic; it is saidto be "before"meaning, as when a child beginsto vocalize,or "after" meaningas when a psychoticno longeruses wordsto signify. If the symbolic and the semiotic are understoodas two modalities of language, and if the semiotic is understoodto be generallyrepressedby the symbolic, then language for Kristevais understoodas a system in which the symbolicremains hegemonic except when the semiotic disruptsits signifyingprocessthrough elision, repetition, mere sound, and the multiplicationof meaning through indefinitelysignifyingimagesand metaphors.In its symbolicmode, language



restsupon a severanceof the relationof maternaldependency,wherebyit becomes abstract (abstractedfrom the materialityof language) and univocal; this is most apparent in quantitative or purely formal reasoning. In its semiotic mode, language is engaged in a poetic recovery of the maternal body, that diffusematerialitythat resistsall discrete and univocal signification. Kristevawrites, In any poetic language,not only do the rhythmicconstraints, for example,go so faras to violatecertaingrammatical rulesof a national language. . . but in recent texts, these semioticconstraints(rhythm, vocalic timbresin Symbolistwork, but also graphicdisposition on the page) are accompaniedby nonrecoverablesyntacticelisions;it is impossibleto reconstitutethe particularelided syntactic category (object or verb), which makesthe meaningof the utterancedecidable. .. (1980, 134). ForKristeva,this undecidabilityis preciselythe instinctualmoment in language, its disruptivefunction. Poetic languagethus suggestsa dissolutionof the coherent, signifyingsubjectinto the primarycontinuity which is the matemal body: Languageas symbolicfunction constitutes itself at the cost of repressing instinctual drive and continuous relation to the mother. On the contrary,the unsettledand questionablesubject of poetic language(fromwhom the wordis never uniquely sign) maintainsitself at the cost of reactivatingthis repressed, instinctual, maternalelement. (1980, 136) Kristeva'sreferencesto the "subject"of poetic languagearenot wholly appropriate, for poetic languageerodesand destroysthe subject, where the subject is understoodas a speaking being participatingin the symbolic. Following Lacan, she maintainsthat the prohibitionagainstthe incestuousunion with the mother is the founding law of the subject, a foundationwhich seversor breaksthe continuousrelation of maternaldependence. In creatingthe subject, the prohibitivelaw createsthe domain of the symbolicor languageas a systemof univocallysignifyingsigns. Hence, Kristevaconcludesthat "poetic languagewouldbe for its questionablesubject-in-processthe equivalentof incest" (1980, 136). The breakingof symboliclanguageagainstits own founding law or, equivalently,the emergenceof ruptureinto languagefromwithin its own interiorinstinctualityis not merelythe outburstof libidinalheterogeneity into language;it also signifies the somatic state of dependence on the maternalbody priorto the individuationof the ego. Poetic languagethus always indicates a returnto the maternalterrain,where the maternalsignifies both libidinal dependence and the heterogeneityof drives.

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In "MotherhoodAccordingto Bellini", Kristevasuggeststhat, becausethe maternalbody signifiesthe loss of coherent and discreteidentity, poetic languagevergeson psychosis.And in the case of a woman'ssemiotic expressions in language,the returnto the maternalsignifiesa pre-discursivehomosexuality that Kristeva also clearly associates with psychosis. Although Kristeva concedes that poetic languageis sustainedculturallythroughits participation in the symbolicand, hence, in the normsof linguisticcommunicability,she fails to allow that homosexualityis capableof the same non-psychoticsocial expression.The key to Kristeva'sview of the psychoticnatureof homosexuality is to be understood,I suggest, in her acceptance of the structuralistassumption that heterosexualityis coextensive with the foundingof the symbolic. Hence, the cathexis of homosexualdesirecan only be achieved, according to Kristeva,throughdisplacementsthat are sanctionedwithin the symbolic, such as poetic languageor the act of giving birth: By giving birth, the women enters into contact with her mother; she becomes, she is her own mother; they are the same continuity differentiatingitself. She thus actualizesthe homosexualfacet of motherhood, throughwhich a woman is simultaneouslycloser to her instinctualmemory,moreopen to her psychosis, and consequently, more negatoryof the social, symbolicbond. (1980, 239) Accordingto Kristeva,the act of giving birthdoes not successfullyreestablish that continuous relation priorto individuationbecausethe infant invariably suffersthe prohibitionon incest and is separatedoff as a discreteidentity. In the case of the mother'sseparationfrom the girl-child, the result is melancholy for both, for the separationis never fully completed. As opposedto griefor mourning,in which separationis recognizedand the libido attachedto the originalobject is successfullydisplacedonto a new substitute object, melancholy designatesa failureto grieve in which the loss is simplyinternalizedand, in that sense, refused.Insteadof negatingthe attachment to the body, the maternalbody is internalizedas a negation, so that the girl'sidentity becomes itself a kind of loss, a characteristicprivationor lack. The alleged psychosis of homosexuality, then, consists in its thorough breakwith the paternallaw and with the groundingof the female "ego",tenuous though it may be, in the melancholic responseto separationfrom the maternalbody. Hence, accordingto Kristeva,female homosexualityis the emergenceof psychosisinto culture: The homosexual-maternalfacet is a whirlof words,a complete absence of meaning and seeing; it is feeling, displacement, rhythm,sound, flashes, and fantasiedclinging to the maternal



body as a screen againstthe plunge ... for woman, a paradise lost but seeminglyclose at hand. . . . (1980, 239-40). For women, however, this homosexuality is manifest in poetic language which becomes, in fact, the only form of the semiotic, besides childbirth, that can be sustainedwithin the terms of the symbolic. For Kristeva,then, overt homosexualitycannot be a culturallysustainableactivity, for it would constitute a breakingof the incest taboo in an unmediatedway. And yet why is this the case? Kristevaaccepts the assumptionthat cultureis equivalentto the symbolic, that the symbolic is fully subsumedunder the "Lawof the Father",and that the only modes of non-psychotic activity are those which participatein the symbolicto some extent. Her strategictask, then, is not to replacethe symbolic with the semiotic nor to establishthe semiotic as a rival culturalpossibility, but ratherto validate those experienceswithin the symbolicthat permit a manifestation of the borders which divide the symbolic from the semiotic. Just as birth is understoodto be a cathexis of instinctualdrivesfor the purposesof a social teleology, so poetic productionis conceived as the site in which the split between instinct and representationcoexist in culturally communicableform: The speakerreachesthis limit, this requisiteof sociality, only by virtue of a particular,discursivepractice called "art".A woman also attains it (and in our society, especially)through the strangeform of split symbolization(thresholdof language and instinctual drive, of the 'symbolic'and the 'semiotic') of which the act of giving birth consists. (1980, 240)2 Hence, for Kristeva, poetry and maternityrepresentprivilegedpractices within paternallysanctionedculturewhich permita nonpsychoticexperience of the heterogeneityand dependencycharacteristicof the maternalterrain. These acts of poesisreveal an instinctualheterogeneitythat exposes the repressedgroundof the symbolic, challengesthe masteryof the univocal signifier, and diffusesthe autonomyof the subjectwho posturesas their necessary ground.The heterogeneityof drivesoperatesculturallyas a subversivestrategy of displacement,one which dislodgesthe hegemony of the paternallaw by releasingthe repressedmultiplicityinteriorto languageitself. Preciselybecause that instinctualheterogeneitymust be re-presentedin and throughthe paternal law, it cannot defy the incest taboo altogether, but must remain within the most fragileregionsof the symbolic. Obedient, then, to syntactical requirements,the poetic-materal practicesof displacingthe paternallaw alwaysremain tenuously tethered to that law. Hence, a full-scale refusalof the symbolicis impossible,and a discourseof 'emancipation',for Kristeva,is out of the question. At best, tactical subversionsand displacementsof the

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law challenge its self-groundingpresumption.But, once again, Kristevadoes not seriouslychallenge the structuralistassumptionthat the prohibitivepateral law is foundationalto culture itself. Hence, the subversionof paternally sanctioned culture cannot come from another version of culture, but only fromwithin the repressedinteriorof cultureitself, fromthe heterogeneity of drives that constitutes culture'sconcealed foundation. This relation between heterogeneousdrivesand the paternallaw produces an exceedinglyproblematicview of psychosis.On the one hand, it designates female homosexualityas a culturallyunintelligiblepractice, inherentlypsychotic; on the other hand, it mandatesmaternityas a compulsorydefense againstlibidinalchaos. Although Kristevadoes not makeeither claim explicitly, both implications follow from her views on the law, language, and drives. Considerthat for Kristeva,poetic languagebreaksthe incest taboo and, as such, vergesalwayson psychosis.As a returnto the maternalbodyand a concomitant de-individuation of the ego, poetic language becomes especially threateningwhen utteredby women. The poetic then contests not only the incest taboo, but the taboo againsthomosexualityas well. Poetic languageis thus, for women, both displacedmaternaldependencyand, becausethat dependency is libidinal, displacedhomosexualityas well. For Kristeva,the unmediatedcathexis of female homosexualdesire leads unequivocallyto psychosis. Hence, one can satisfythis drive only througha series of displacements:the incorporationof maternal identity, i.e. by becoming a mother oneself, or through poetic languagewhich manifestsobliquelythe heterogeneityof drivescharacteristicof maternaldependency.As the only sociallysanctionedand, hence, non-psychoticdisplacementsfor homosexual desire, both maternityand poetry constitute melancholic experiences for women appropriatelyacculturatedinto heterosexuality.The heterosexual poet-mothersuffersinterminablyfrom the displacementof the homosexual cathexis. And yet, the consummationof this desirewould lead to the psychotic unravelingof identity, accordingto Kristeva.The presumptionis that, for women, heterosexuality and coherent selfhood are indissolubly linked. How are we to understandthis constitution of lesbian experience as the site of an irretrievableself-loss?Kristevaclearly takes heterosexualityto be prerequisiteto kinship and to culture. Consequently, she identifies lesbian experienceas the psychotic alternativeto the acceptanceof paternallysanctioned laws. And yet why is lesbianismconstituted as psychosis?Fromwhat culturalperspectiveis lesbianismconstructedas a site of fusion, self-loss, and psychosis? By projectingthe lesbian as "other"to culture, and characterizinglesbian Kristevaconstructslesbiansexualspeech as the psychotic "whirl-of-words", ity as intrinsicallyunintelligible. This tactical dismissaland reductionof les-



bian experience performedin the name of the law positions Kristevawithin the orbit of pateral-heterosexual privilege. The paternallaw which protects her from this radical incoherence is preciselythe mechanismthat produces the construct of lesbianismas a site of irrationality.Significantly, this descriptionof lesbianexperience is effected fromthe outside, and tells us more about the fantasies that a fearful heterosexual culture produces to defend againstits own homosexualpossibilitiesthan about lesbianexperience itself. In claiming that lesbianismdesignatesa loss of self, Kristevaappearsto be deliveringa psychoanalytictruth about the repressionnecessaryfor individuation. The fear of such a 'regression'to homosexualityis, then, a fearof losing culturalsanction and privilegealtogether.Although Kristevaclaims that this loss designatesa place priorto culture, there is no reasonnot to understand it as a new or unacknowledgedculturalform. In other words, Kristeva prefersto explain lesbianexperienceas a regressivelibidinalstate priorto acculturationitself ratherthan to take up the challenge that lesbianismoffersto her restrictedview of paternallysanctionedculturallaws. Is the fearencoded in the constructionof the lesbianas psychoticthe resultof a developmentally necessitatedrepression,or is it, rather, the fear of losing culturallegitimacy and, hence, being cast-not outsideor priorto culture-but outside cultural legitimacy,still within culture, but culturally"out-lawed"? Kristevadescribesboth the maternalbody and lesbian experience from a position of sanctioned heterosexualitythat fails to acknowledgeits own fear of losing that sanction. Her reificationof the paternallaw not only repudiates female homosexuality, but denies the varied meanings and possibilitiesof motherhood as a cultural practice. But culturalsubversion is not really Kristeva'sconcern, for subversion, when it appears,emergesfrom beneath the surfaceof cultureonly inevitablyto returnthere. Although the semiotic is a possibilityof languagethat escapesthe paternallaw, it remainsinevitably within or, indeed, beneath the territoryof that law. Hence, poetic language and the pleasuresof maternityconstitute local displacementsof the paternal law, temporarysubversionswhich finally submit to that againstwhich they initially rebel. By relegatingthe sourceof subversionto a site outside of culture itself, Kristevaappearsto foreclosethe possibilityof subversionas an effective or realizableculturalpractice. Pleasurebeyond the paternallaw can only be imaginedtogether with its inevitable impossibility. Kristeva'stheory of thwarted subversionis premisedon her problematic view of the relationbetween drives, languageand the law. Her postulationof a subversivemultiplicityof drivesraisesa numberof epistemologicaland political questions. In the first place, if these drives are only manifest in languageor culturalformsalreadydeterminedas symbolic,then how is it that we can verify their pre-symbolicontological status?Kristevaarguesthat poetic languagegives us access to these drivesin their fundamentalmultiplicity,but this answeris not fully satisfactory.Since poetic languageis said to depend

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upon the priorexistence of these multiplicitousdrives, we cannot, then, in circularfashion, justify the postulatedexistence of these drives through recourseto poetic language.If drivesmust firstbe repressedfor languageto exist, and if we can only attributemeaning to that which is representablein language, then to attributemeaning to drivesprior to their emergence into languageis impossible.Similarly,to attributea causalityto driveswhich facilitates their transformationinto languageand by which languageitself is to be explained cannot reasonablybe done within the confines of languageitself. In other words, we know these drives as 'causes'only in and through their effects and, as such, we have no reasonfor not identifyingdriveswith their effects. It follows that either (a) drives and their representationsare coextensive or (b) representationspreexist the drives themselves. This last alternative is, I would argue, an importantone to consider, for how do we know that the instinctual object of Kristeva'sdiscourseis not a construction of the discourse itself? And what grounds do we have for positing this object, this multiplicitousfield, as priorto signification?If poetic languagemust participatein the symbolicin orderto be culturallycommunicable,and if Kristeva'sown theoreticaltexts areemblematicof the symbolic, then where are we to find a convincing 'outside'to this domain?Her postulation of a pre-discursivecorporealmultiplicity becomes all the more problematicwhen we discover that maternaldrives are consideredpart of a "biologicaldestiny" and are themselves manifestationsof "a non-symbolic, non-paternal causality".2 This presymbolic nonpaternal causality is, for Kristeva, a semiotic, maternalcausalityor, more specifically, a teleological conception of maternalinstincts: Materialcompulsion,spasmof a memorybelongingto the species that either binds together or splits apartto perpetuateitself, seriesof markerswith no other significancethan the eternal returnof the life-deathbiological cycle. How can we verbalize this prelinguistic,unrepresentablememory?Heraclitus' flux, Epicurus'atoms, the whirling dust of cabalic, Arab and Indian mystics, and the stippled drawingsof psychedelicsall seem better metaphorsthan the theoryof Being, the logos, and its laws. Here, the repressedmaternalbody is not only the locus of multipledrives, but also the bearerof a biologicalteleology, one which, it seems, makesitself evident in the early stagesof Western philosophy, in non-Westernreligious beliefs and practices, in aesthetic representationsproducedby psychotic or near-psychoticstates, and even in avant-gardeartisticpractices.But why are we to assumethat these variousculturalexpressionsmanifest the self-same principle of maternal heterogeneity? Kristevasimply subordinateseach of these cultural moments to the same principle. Consequently, the semiotic



representsany cultural effort to displace the Logos (which, curiously, she contrastswith Heraclitus' flux), where the Logos represents the univocal signifier, the law of identity. Her opposition between the semiotic and the symbolicreduceshere to a metaphysicalquarrelbetween the principleof multiplicity that escapesthe chargeof non-contradictionand a principleof identity basedon the suppressionof that multiplicity.Oddly, that very principle of multiplicitythat Kristevaeverywheredefendsoperatesin much the same way as a principle of identity. Note the way in which all mannerof things 'primitive'and 'oriental'are summarilysubordinatedto the principleof the maternalbody. Surely, her descriptionnot only warrantsthe chargeof orientalism, but raisesthe very significantquestionwhether, ironically,multiplicity has become a univocal signifier. Her ascriptionof a teleological aim to maternaldrivespriorto their constitution in languageor cultureraisesa numberof questionsaboutKristeva'spolitical program.Although she clearlysees subversiveand disruptivepotential in those semiotic expressionsthat challenge the hegemony of the paternal law, it is less clear in what preciselythis subversionconsists. If the law is understoodto rest on a constructedground, beneath which lurksthe repressed maternalterrain, what concrete culturaloptions emergewithin the termsof cultureas a consequenceof this revelation?Ostensibly, the multiplicityassociated with the maternal libidinal economy has the force to disperse the univocity of the paternalsignifier, and seeminglyto create the possibilityof other culturalexpressionsno longer tightly constrainedby the law of noncontradiction.But is this disruptiveactivity the opening of a field of significations, or is it the manifestationof a biologicalarchaismwhich operatesaccording to a natural and "prepatemal"causality?If Kristevabelieved that the formerwere the case (and she does not), then she would be interestedin a displacementof the paternal law in favor of a proliferatingfield of cultural possibilities.But insteadshe prescribesa returnto a principleof maternalheterogeneitywhich provesto be a closed concept, indeed, a heterogeneityconfined by a teleology both unilinear and univocal. Kristevaunderstandsthe desire to give birth as a species-desire,part of a collective and archaicfemale libidinaldrivethat constitutesan ever recurring metaphysicalprinciple. Here Kristevareifies maternityand then promotes this reificationas the disruptivepotential of the semiotic. As a result, the paternal law, understoodas the groundof univocal signification,is displacedby an equally univocal signifier, the principle of the maternalbody which remains self-identicalin its teleology regardlessof its "multiplicitous"manifestations. Insofaras Kristevaconceptualizesthis maternalinstinct as having an ontological statuspriorto the paternallaw, she fails to considerthe way in which that law might well be the causeof the very desireit is said to repress.Rather than the manifestationof a prepatemalcausality,these desiresmight attest to

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maternityas a social practicerequiredand recapitulatedby the exigencies of kinship. Kristevaaccepts Levi-Strauss'analysisof the exchange of women as prerequisitefor the consolidationof kinship bonds. She understandsthis exchange, however, as the culturalmoment in which the maternalbody is repressedratherthan as a mechanismfor the compulsoryculturalconstruction of the female body as a maternalbody. Indeed, we might understandthe exchange of women as imposinga compulsoryobligationon women'sbodies to reproduce.According to Gayle Rubin'sreadingof Levi-Strauss,kinship effects a "sculptingof. . . sexuality"such that the desireto give birth is the result of social practiceswhich requireand producesuch desiresin orderto effect their reproductiveends (Rubin 1975, 182). What grounds,then, does Kristevahave for imputinga maternalteleology to the female body priorto its emergenceinto culture?To pose the question in this way is alreadyto question the distinction between the symbolicand the semiotic on which her conception of the maternalbodyrests.The maternal body in its originarysignificationis consideredby Kristevato be priorto signification itself; hence, it becomes impossiblewithin her frameworkto consider the maternal itself as a signification, open to cultural variability. Her argumentmakesclear that maternaldrivesconstitutethose primaryprocesses that languageinvariablyrepressesor sublimates.But perhapsher argument could be recast within an even more encompassingframework:what culturalconfigurationof language,indeed, of discourse,generatesthe tropeof a pre-discursivelibidinal multiplicity, and for what purposes? By restricting the paternal law to a prohibitive or repressivefunction, Kristevafails to understandthe paternalmechanismsby which affectivityitself is generated.The law that is said to repressthe semiotic may well be the governingprincipleof the semiotic itself, with the resultthat what passesas "maternalinstinct"maywell be a culturallyconstructeddesirewhich is interpretedthrougha naturalisticvocabulary.And if that desireis constructedaccording to a law of kinship which requiresthe heterosexualproductionand reproductionof desire, then the vocabularyof naturalisticaffect effectively rendersthat "paternallaw"invisible. What Kristevarefersto as a "pre-paternal causality"would then appearas a paternalcausalityunder the guise of a naturalor distinctively maternalcausality. Significantly, the figurationof the maternalbody and the teleology of its instinctsas a self-identicaland insistentmetaphysicalprinciple-an archaism of a collective, sex-specificbiologicalconstitution-bases itself on a univocal conception of the femalesex. And this sex, conceived as both originand causality, poses as a principle of pure generativity. Indeed, for Kristeva, it is equatedwith poesisitself, the activity of makingthat in Plato'sSymposiumis held to be an act of birth and poetic conception at one. 3 But is female generativity truly an uncaused cause, and does it begin the narrativethat takes all of humanityunder the force of the incest taboo and into language?



Does the prepatemalcausalitywhereof Kristevaspeakssignify a primaryfemale economy of pleasureand meaning?Can we reversethe veryorderof this causalityand understandthis semiotic economy as a productionof a priordiscourse? In the final chapterof Foucault'sfirstvolumeof TheHistoryof Sexuality,he cautions against using the category of sex as a "fictitious unity . . . [and] causalprinciple",and arguesthat the fictitiouscategoryof sex facilitatesa reversalof causalrelationssuch that "sex"is understoodto cause the structure and meaning of desire: . . . the notion of 'sex' made it possibleto grouptogether, in an artificialunity, anatomicalelements, biological functions, conducts, sensations, and pleasures, and it enabled one to make use of this fictitious unity as a causalprinciple, an omnipresent meaning: sex was thus able to function as a unique signifierand as a universalsignified. (1980, 154). ForFoucault,the body is not 'sexed'in any significantsense priorto its determinationwithin a discoursethroughwhich it becomes investedwith an 'idea' of naturalor essential sex. As an instrumentand effect of power, the body only gains meaningwithin discoursein the context of powerrelations. Sexuality is an historicallyspecific organizationof power, discourse,bodies, and affectivity.As such, sexualityis understoodby Foucaultto produce'sex' as an artificialconcept which effectively extends and disguisesthe powerrelations responsiblefor its genesis. Foucault'sframeworksuggestsa way to solve some of the epistemological and political difficultiesthat follow from Kristeva'sview of the female body. We can understandKristeva'sassertionof a "prepatemalcausality"as fundamentallyinverted. WhereasKristevapositsa maternalbody priorto discourse which exerts its own causalforce in the structureof drives, I wouldarguethat the discursiveproductionof the maternalbody as pre-discursiveis a tactic in the self-amplificationand concealment of those specific power relations by which the trope of the maternalbody is produced.Then the maternalbody would no longerbe understoodas the hidden groundof all signification, the tacit causeof all culture. It wouldbe understood,rather,as an effect or consequence of a systemof sexualityin which the femalebody is requiredto assume maternityas the essence of its self and the law of its desire. Fromwithin Foucault'sframework,we are compelledto redescribethe maternal libidinal economy as a productof an historicallyspecific organization of sexuality. Moreover,the discourseof sexuality, itself suffusedby powerrelations, becomes the true groundof the trope of the pre-discursivematernal body. Kristeva'sformulationsuffersa thoroughgoingreversal:the symbolic and the semiotic are no longer interpretedas those dimensionsof language which follow upon the repressionor manifestationof the maternallibidinal

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economy. This very economy is understoodinsteadas a reificationthat both extends and conceals the institution of motherhood as compulsory for women. Indeed, when the desires that maintain the institution of motherhood are transvaluatedas prepatemaland preculturaldrives, then the institution gains a permanentlegitimation in the invariantstructuresof the female body. Indeed, the clearlypaternallaw that sanctionsand requiresthe female body to be characterizedprimarilyin termsof its reproductivefunction is inscribedon that body as the law of its naturalnecessity. And Kristeva,safeguardingthat law of a biologicallynecessitatedmaternityas a subversiveoperationthat preexiststhe paternallaw itself, aidsin the systematicproduction of its invisibility and, consequently, the illusion of its inevitability. In conclusion, becauseKristevarestrictsherselfto an exclusivelyprohibitive conception of the paternal law, she is unable to account for the ways in which the paternallaw generatescertain desiresin the formof naturaldrives. The femalebody that she seeks to expressis itself a constructproducedby the very law it is supposed to undermine. In no way do these criticisms of Kristeva'sconception of the paternal law necessarilyinvalidate her general position that culture or the symbolic is predicated upon a repudiationof women'sbodies. I want to suggest,however, that any theory that assertsthat significationis predicatedupon the denial or repressionof a female principle ought to consider whether that femalenessis really external to the cultural normsby which it is repressed.In other words,on my reading,the repression of the feminine does not requirethat the agencyof repressionand the object of repressionbe ontologicallydistinct. Indeed, repressionmay be understood to producethe object that it comes to deny. That productionmaywell be an elaborationof the agency of repressionitself. As Foucaultmade clear, this culturallycontradictoryenterpriseof repressionis prohibitiveand generative at once, and makes the problematicof 'liberation'especiallyacute. The female body that is freed from the shacklesof the paternallaw may well prove to be yet another incarnationof that law, posing as subversivebut operating in the service of that law's self-amplificationand proliferation.In order to avoid the emancipationof the oppressorin the name of the oppressed,it is necessaryto take into account the full complexityand subtletyof the law and to cureourselvesof the illusionof a truebody beyondthe law. If subversionis possible, it will be a subversionfromwithin the termsof the law, throughthe possibilitiesthat emergewhen the law turs against itself and spawnsunexpected permutationsof itself. The culturallyconstructedbody will then be liberated,not to its 'natural'past nor to its originalpleasures,but to an open futureof culturalpossibilities.



NOTES 1. For an extremelyinterestinganalysisof reproductivemetaphorsas descriptiveof the process of poetic creativity, see Wendy Owen, 1985. 2. See Plato'sSymposium,209a: of the "procreancy. .. of the spirit",he writesthat it is the specificcapacityof the poet. Hence, poetic creationsare understoodas sublimatedreproductive desire.


Foucault, Michel. 1980. The historyof sexuality.Vol. I. An introduction. Trans. Robert Hurley. New York:Vintage. Kristeva,Julia. 1984. Revolutionin poeticlanguage.Trans. MargaretWalker. New York:Columbia University Press. andart. Trans. -- . 1980. Desirein language,a semioticapproachto literature ThomasGorz, Alice Jardin,Leon S. Roudiez.New York:ColumbiaUniversity Press. Owen, Wendy. 1985. A riddle in nine syllables:Femalecreativityin the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Ph.D. diss., Departmentof English. Yale University. Rubin, Gayle. 1975. The traffic in women: Notes on the "Political Econof women. omy"of sex. In RaynaR. Reiter, ed., Towardan anthropology New York:Monthly Review Press.

Introductionto Kofman's "Rousseau'sPhallocraticEnds" NANCY J. HOLLAND

Sarah Kofmancame to Berkeleyat a point in my graduatecareerwhen I was much in need of role models, and it might providesomethingof an introduction if I can accuratelyrepresentthe effect her lectureshad on me then. A small, intense woman, she would quietly enter the lecturehall or classroom, wait for the hour to begin, and then explode into an almost overwhelming barrageof rapid-fireFrench. As she deconstructedboth Freudand Nietzsche, she used all those wordsthat I still found so hard to say: "phallus","penis", "vagina".Listeningto her, it became easier to see myself using those words and those methods in studyingphilosophicaltexts. In short, Sarah Kofman playeda significantrole in my becoming comfortableas a woman and a philosopherwho did deconstruction. Part of the problemof introducingKofman'swork to American philosophers, however, is exactly how to introducedeconstructionitself, since in this country it is most often seen as a literary,ratherthan a philosophical, theory. The confusion is perhapsunderstandableinsofaras deconstructionis often presentedas a way of "reading"texts, not as a way of determiningtheir "truth".When the text that is "read"is Plato, Aristotle, or Kant, however, one calls the reading "literary",and hence irrelevantto the "truth"of the text, only at considerablerisk to both philosophyand literature. Kofman'schoice of Rousseauas a subject in the paper that follows only complicatesthis problem. Since Rousseauis most often considereda minor philosopher,or worse, a "mere"literaryfigurein the United States, Kofman's argumentassumesa familiaritywith Rousseauthat many philosophersmay lack. This makes it difficult to evaluate her "reading",especially since the links between her conclusions and the text are occasionallysomewhat obscure. Furthermore, given what we do know about Rousseau and what Kofmanhas to say abouthim, one obviousquestionis why a feministphilosopher would want to "read"Rousseauat all. Kofmantells us why: she is interested in supportinga thesis about how referencesto naturefunction in various phallocratic(that is, patriarchal)texts to rationalizeand naturalizethe subordinationof women. That this processof rationalizationcan be shown to rely on very irrationallogical "phallacies"providesan excellent example of the use of deconstructivemethod in the feminist"reading"of a philosophical text. Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989)? by NancyJ. Holland



Kofman's"reading"of Rousseau illustratesat least three common techniques of deconstructionwhich are closely relatedto Freud'smethod of psychoanalytic interpretation.First, there is her allusion to "cauldronlogic." The expressioncomes fromFreud'sworkon dreams,althoughhe himself uses this form of "logic"as often as anyone. The cauldronstory involves a borrowedcauldronthat is retured with holes in it. Asked about the holes, the borrowersays: (1) "The holes were in it when I borrowedit"; (2) "Thereare no holes in the cauldron";and (3) "I never borrowedyour cauldron."This formof "protestingtoo much"frequentlyappearswhen a phallocratictext is confrontedwith its own internalinconsistencies:as in the psychoanalyticinterpretationof a dream, the logical "holes"aredenied in a multitudeof mutually contradictoryways. Kofman exposes another form of patriarchal denial in what she calls "sophisms,"that is, question-beggingargumentsthat are persuasivebecause the (male) audiencewants to believe them true. One obviouscase of this can be found almost every time (patriarchal)metaphysicshas proven that the sexes must be separatedand one sex secludedto create the restrictedsexual economy (scarcityof pleasure)requiredby our culture. There is never any argumentto show why it is womenwho mustbe cloistered,but simplythe claim that someone must be, and surelyis cannot be the men. Kofmanmakesthis point with regardto Rousseauin the following essay;elsewhereshe makes it with regardto Kant (1982) and Freud(1985) as well. Kofmanalso makesuse of a thirdformof argumentwhich should be familiarfromJohn StuartMill and HarrietTaylor'sTheSubjection of Women:if the subordinationand inferiorityof women (or the aversionto incest or to homosexuality, to take two other frequentlycited cases) is "natural,"then why does (phallocratic)metaphysicsinsist that people must be madeto act in the way that it is "natural"for them to act?Why do these treatisesalwaysbecome as well as descriptive?Kofmanfinds this slide fromthe postulation prescriptive of a natural"femininereserve"to women's"confinementon a reservation"in Freud,Kant, and others, as well as in Rousseau.The possibilityof "reading" such a large range of thinkers as exemplifying this fairly obvious logical "phallacy" (as well as the others mentioned above) is taken by feminist deconstructionto be the sign of a shareddenial that marksa deep anxiety in phallocraticmetaphysics. Having situated Kofman'swork in the context of deconstruction, it remainsnecessaryto situate it in the context of feministthought as well. While the successof her paperon Rousseauin exposingat least one facet of the ideology that oppresseswomen will be clear to all who readit, its relationshipto feminismis harderto characterize.One way to approachthis problemmight be throughKofman'scuriouscomment that Rousseau'scompensatoryovervaluation of women, his turning women into goddesses, makes his phallocratism a sort of "feminism."Since she makessimilarremarksaboutKant (1982)

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and Hegel (1981), it is importantto know exactly what kind of "feminism" she has in mind here. The most obvious meaningof the kind of "feminism"that Kofmanattributes to Rousseauderives from the fact that deconstructionrejects any putative "overcoming"of metaphysicsthat would consist in a simple reversalof a metaphysicalhierarchy.This is becausea reversalwould only producea new hierarchyand a new version of (phallocratic)metaphysics.Kofman, therefore, is wary of an "essentialist" feminism that would reproduce the phallocraticovervaluationof women, and, so, remainpartof the same patriarchaltext. Women will have made no advance if their "feminism"follows Rousseau(or Kant or Hegel) in merelychanging which side of the goddess/ whore duality is to be emphasizedin the essentialculturaldefinition of femininity. At the same time, in her recently translated book on Freud (1985), Kofmanalso takes issuewith a kind of feminismthat would simplyreject the workof Freud,and of other phallocraticthinkers,without any regardfor the use that feminist thought might make of their insights in deconstructingthe metaphysicaltradition itself. She notes that Freud, like other phallocratic writers,forces women to play the role either of accomplicesof the Freudian logos,the word of the Father, or of criminals,outside the law createdby the Father'sword. Kofmanrejectsthe view, which she attributesto LuceIrigaray, that the best response to this dilemma is to accept the role of criminal. Instead, she denies that there are only two options. Kofmanpoints out that we can choose a third course',namely, to use the deconstructivecharacterof Freud'sworkfor our own feministpurposes.Thus, she developswhat is really a psychoanalysis of Freud'swork on women. Turning one side of Freud againstthe other, she implies, allowsher more independencefromthe Freudian text than does a simple rebellion against it. What will American feminists make of Kofman'swork?Many of us share her deconstructivereservationsabout a feminist critique that tries to reject phallocraticmetaphysicsby appealingto a counter "truth"defined in traditional philosophicalterms. Many of us also shareher distastefor a new feminist "essentialism,"which, in establishing,say, a mothergoddess,merelyreversesthe traditionalmetaphysicalhierarchies,or worseyet, leaves us, barefoot and pregnant again, on Rousseau'spedestal. Beyond that, however, many of us are ambivalentabout our relationshipto male discourse.Should we continue to teach and use, even if critically,the texts of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes,and Kant, not to mention Nietzsche and Freud?Or shouldwe reject them entirelybecauseof their phallocraticbias?Kofman'sdeconstruction of Rousseaugives Americanreadersan opportunityto evaluatethe usefulness of her strategyof turningphallocraticdiscourseagainstitself. It suggeststhat, in simplyrejectingsuch discourses,we may depriveourselvesof usefulmethods for doing what we, as feministsand as philosophers,want and need to do.



REFERENCES Kofman,Sarah. 1981. "(a cloche" in Lesfinsde l'homme:A partirdu travailde JacquesDerrida.(89-112). Paris:Galilee. -. 1982. "The Economyof respect:Kant and respectfor women".Trans. Nicola Fisher,SocialResearch.49:2. (383-404). (This is an excerptfrom Le Respectdesfemmes. 1982. Paris:Galilee.) - . 1985. The Enigmaof woman.Trans. CatherinePorter.Ithaca:Cornell University Press.

Rousseau'sPhallocraticEnds SARAH KOFMAN Translatedby MARA DUKATS

KofmantracesRousseau'sargumentthatwomen'sroleas mothersrequiresthe subordination of womento men, and thecompanionargumentthatwomen'slustis a threatto the (male) socialorder,whichalsojustifiesthe confinementof women withinthehome.Shethenrelatestheclaimthatwomenso confinedexerta powerof theirown to Rousseau'seroticobsessionwith dominant,but maternal,women. Thus, the "Nature"to whichRousseauappealsis seento be botha reflectionof his own specificnatureand representative discoursein its defenseof of all phallocratic maledomination.

Everybodyknows it: Rousseauis very free in calling on Nature, on good MotherNature. It'salwaysin Her name that he coucheshis claims.Justas he identifieswith his motherwho died bringinghim into the world;1and just as he attemptsto supplantthat one indispensablewoman,2to bringher back to life by himself becomingwoman and mother;3so in the same way he tries to speakin the place of Nature, the motherof us all, the Naturewho is not dead even though her crieshave been muffledby the philosophyfashionablein the cities, that is, by an artificialand falsifyingculture.4It appearsthat Rousseau alone, in this depravedcentury,has understoodher voice, and has rushedto the rescue in order to protect her from the fashionablephilosophers,who have joined forceswith those citified and denaturedwomen, women in name only, for they have become dolls and puppets, and have decked themselves out as a bastardsex. They areno longerwomen since they deny their one and only natural destiny: childbearing.Therefore, it is necessaryto resuscitate and disseminatenature'ssuppressedvoice, remindingthese "women"of their one and only duty: motherhood. "Women have ceased to be mothers;they no longerwill be mothers;they no longerwant to be mothers."5The family and the whole moralorderof societydependon this duty. "As soon as women become mothers again men will quickly become fathers and husbands" (Emile,p. 48). This single but fundamentalduty thus has multiple implications. Rousseauclaims to deduce from it the entire temperament,the entire physicaland moral constitution of women, as well as an entire educational program.For, in orderto conformto nature, the educationof women would have to differradicallyfrom that of men. Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Fall1988)? by SarahKofman



Thus, naturalteleology alone wouldlegitimateall the inequalitiesof development, all the dissymmetriesattributedto sexualdifference.However, insofar as these dissymmetriesfavor the masculine sex, as they alwaysdo, we might wonderif good MotherNature doesn't serve as a mere pretext here, if the ends of Nature don't in fact dissimulatethe ends of man (vir), rationalizing his injusticesand violences. Several of Rousseau's texts come close to acknowledging this. In the "Entretiensurles romans"("Reflectionson the Novel"), which precedesthe second edition of La NouvelleHeloise(The New Heloise), he writes:"Letus give women their due: the cause of their disorderis less in themselvesthan in our faulty institutions."In "Surles femmes"("On Women"), his unfinished essay on the "Evenements importants dont les femmes ont ete la cause secr&te"("Importantevents of which women were the secret cause"), Rousseau accuses men of having preventedwomen from governingand thereby, fromdoing everythingthat they could have done in politics, moralsand literature. In all areasof life, the law of the strongesthas enabledmen to exercise a veritable tyrannyover women, preventing them from evincing their true virtues. Relatively speaking, women would have been able to present more and better examples of noble-mindednessand love of virtue than men, had our injusticenot deprivedthem of their liberty, and of the opportunityto manifest these qualities to the world. . . [I]fwomen had had as largea shareas we've had in handling affairsand governing empires, they might have carried heroism and courage to greaterheights and more of them might have distinguishedthemselves in this regard.6 Rousseau'sstory "LaReine fantasque"("The CapriciousQueen") shows, in a comic vein, how men alwaysexclude women from power. They prefer the stupidest man, even an animal, "a monkey or a wolf," to the wisest woman, since they think women should alwaysbe subject to men's will. It is probablynot just a coincidence that such writingsremainedunfinished, are considered "minor" and are usually ignored. Rousseau usually adoptsa very differentlanguage,a languageof Nature which partakesof the most traditionalphallocraticdiscourse.7This is especiallythe case in Lettred d'Alembertand Emile, where he is "hardest"on women, as opposed to La NouvelleHeloisewherehe adoptsa moreconciliatorytone.8 Thus, at the very moment when he claims to speakin the name of Nature, to oppose the "philosophers"and their prejudices,he can only repeatthe most hackneyedand symptomaticallymasculinist philosophical discourse. For example, that of Aristotle, who also claimed, of course, to write neutrallyand objectivelyand to found an intellectual, moraland political hierarchyon a naturalontological hierarchy.At the top of this hierarchyis divinity, followedby the philos-



opher and men in general. As for woman, she ranksbelow the child of the masculinesex, for whereashe is male in potentiality, if not yet in actuality, she remainsbrandedthroughouther entire life with an "indelibleinferiority" because of her sex. She is and always will be a "mutilatedmale," even a "monster,"a flaw of nature, a male manque. Rousseaurepeats the discourseof Aristotle as well as that of the Bible, which, although it stems from another tradition, is no less phallocentric. So, in Book V of Emile,he purportsto providea rationaldeductionof the temperament,constitution, duties and education of women. A sophistic argument, actually, in which the pseudo-voiceof Nature becomes the vehicle for the expressionof Rousseau'sprejudices.It is significantthat the question of women and their education is not approacheduntil Book V. In the dramatic fiction of Emile,women are grantedonly one act of the play, the last one. This gesture is emblematicof the subordinationof woman-the weak sex, the second sex-to the strong sex-the sole referentand prototypefor humanity.It reenactsthe gestureof divine creationin which the firstwoman is made fromthe rib of the firstman, in which she is derivedfromhim and is createdfor him. It is not good for man to be alone; I shall makefor him a companion similarto him [Genesis11,8].It is not good that man be alone. Emile is a man;we promisedhim a companion;now we must give her to him [Emile,p. 465]. As a pedagogicalnovel, Emilesets out to re-createwomen so as to perfect and improve upon divine creation. An appropriateeducation, one in conformitywith nature, should beget the sort of woman who can now only be found in some mythical naturalpreserve,untouched by civilization-a wise and perfectwoman, Sophie, a womanwho knowshow to staywithin the limits Nature has assignedto her, in the place befitting her sex, subordinateto man, the one and only king of creation. Rousseautakes Sophie, not Eve or Lilith, as this model woman. Certainlynot those corruptand seductiveParisian women who are the sourceof all of men'swoes, those women who have failed to respect the natural hierarchybetween the sexes, who have abandoned their place and their reserve, who have aspiredto Knowledge, and who have not hesitated to show themselves in public and to mix with the other sex. Accordingto Rousseau,all disorders,abusesand perversionsoriginate in the "scandalousconfusion"of the sexes. Thus, Rousseau,in his divine magnanimity,gives Emile a companionand a helpmeet "madefor him" but not "similarto him." No, she must certainly not be "similarto him," and it will be up to educationto see to that, on pain of the direst disasters.For if it is true that "in everythingnot having to do with sex, the woman is a man," and that she contains within herselfa divine model just like he does, it is no less true that "in everythingthat does have to



do with sex, . . . man and woman alwayshave both similaritiesand dissimilarities"[Emile,p. 465-66]. Thus, if it is to fulfill its naturaldestiny in the physical and moral order, each sex must be subject to its own sex-specific model. "A perfect man and a perfect woman must no more resembleeach other in mind than in face, and there is no such thing as being more or less perfect"[Emile,p. 466]. Although in Genesis,woman'sname (icha)derivesfromthat of man (ich), Rousseauis carefulnot to derive the name of the perfectwomanfromthat of the perfectman. Her name is not Emilie, but Sophie. In his overt discourse, he never claims to establish any derivation or hierarchy,only differences. Neither sex is to be superiorto the other, nor even comparableto the other. Each is to be perfect of its own kind, incomparableto the other insofaras they differ,equal to the other insofaras they are similar.If each remainedin the place nature assignedto it, perfectharmonyand happinesswould reign, just like at Clarens. The two sexes would then be like a single person: Woman would be the eye and man the arm. They wouldbe so dependenton one another that womanwould learnfromman what should be seen and man would learn from woman what must be done. . . . Each would follow the impetus of the other; each would obey and both would be masters[Emile,p. 492]. Although, shades of Aristotle, the temperaments, tastes, inclinations, tasksand duties of the two sexes varyas a function of their respectivenatural destinies, they nonetheless "participatein a common happiness"albeit by differentroutes [Emile,p. 466]. "Thisdivision of laborand of responsibilities is the strongestaspect of their union."9 "Commonhappiness,"he says. Yet this alleged equalitysurelyconceals a profoundhierarchicalinequality,a profoundunhappinesswhich can only be interpretedas happinessif one postulatesthat women enjoy subordination, subjectionand docility. And in fact, Rousseaudoes not recoil from asserting this. FollowingAristotle, he contends that women are made to obey. "Since dependence is women's naturalcondition, girls feel they are made to obey" [Emile,p. 482]. The rigidsegregationof sexes and the sexual division of laborresultin the extensive confinement of women. In the name of their naturaldestiny, they are condemned to a sedentaryand reclusive life in the shadowsof domestic enclosure.There they are excludedfrom knowledgeand public life. The latter are reservedfor men who are destined for the active life, life in the open airand in the sun. Thus Rousseau,as earlyas Book I of Emile,deemsthat, if a man were to engage in "a typical stay-at-homeand sedentaryoccupation" like sewingor some other "needletrade,"he wouldbe reducedto a crippleor a eunuch because these occupations"feminizeand weaken the body." They

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"dishonor the masculine sex" for "the needle and the sword cannot be wieldedby the samehands." (Moreover,in Book V, Hercules,forcedto spin near Omphale, is deemed, despite his strength, to be dominated by a woman.) How, then, does Rousseaujustifythe domesticlot of women and their confinement?He claims to groundthese in the feminine temperamentas he deduced it, in the most naturalway, in the beginning of Book V: In the union of the sexes, each contributesequallyto the common goal, but not in the same manner. From this diversity comes the firstmajordifferencebetween our moralrelationto the one and to the other. One shouldbe active and strong,the other passiveand weak. It follows that the one shouldbe willing and able; that the other shouldnot resisttoo much [Emile, p. 466]. And it seemsobvious that it is the womanwho mustbe passiveand weak and not the reverse.So obvious, in fact, that only the authorityof Aristotle can guaranteeit. "Once this principle is established,"-but is it?-it would follow naturallythat woman'sspecificfunction is to pleaseman and to be subjugated. Fromthat, in turn, it wouldfollow that woman should "resist"his advances in order to be agreeable to man and to arouse his strength. Man, however, turs out not to be that strongsince an elaboratefeminine strategy is requiredto actualizehis potentiality, to awakenthe flamesof a ratherfeeble fire. Hence the audacityof the masculinesex and the timidityof the other sex, "the modestyand the shame with which Nature armedthe weak in orderto subjugatethe strong"[Emile,p. 467]. Timidity, modesty, decency, or again, reserve and a sense of shame (pudeur).These are the naturalvirtues, the cardinalvirtues,of women. This premiseis essentialto Rousseau'sargument.Fromit he infers-not without a certainslippage-the necessityof confiningwomen. Fromtheir pseudo-natural reservehe deduces their forcible relocation to a reservation. Here, a sense of shame is cast as a brakegiven to the feminine sex in order to make up for the animal instinct it lacks, an instinct which naturallymoderates animals'sexual avidity. Once "the cargo is loaded"and "the hold is full," female animals reject their mates. Human women, by contrast, can never get enough, and if it were not for this sense of shame, they wouldpursue these poor men to their deaths. For although men are held to be the strong and active sex, they have no real sexual need; whereaswomen, supposedlythe weak and passive sex, have a lust which knows no bounds.10 Given the facility women have for exciting men's senses and for awakening, deep in their hearts, the remnantsof a most



feeble disposition, if there existed some unfortunateclimate on earth where philosophy might have introduceda practice [whereby women initiate aggression], especially in hot climates where more women than men are born, men would be women'svictims, tyrannizedby them, and they would all end up dragged to their death without any means of defense. [Emile,467] Nature would thus have granted women a supplement of shame not so much to compensate for their weakness as to compel man to "find his strengthand use it," that is, in orderto give him the illusion that he is the strongest.The point is not so much to preventthe downfallof both sexes and to save the human race, although without this feminine reservethe species would "perish by the means established to preserve it" [Emile,467]. It is rather, above all, to save the male sex. This whole economy of shame is aimed at sparingthe male some loss or narcissisticwound. If it were indeed "Nature"that had "given"women a sense of shame, then the generosityof Nature would be entirely at the service of man. But is this sense of shame really a gift of Nature? Doesn't Nature's generosity rather serveas a pretextand a cover for the phallocraticaim of Rousseau'sdiscourse? The demonstrationof the naturalcharacterof shame, whether in Emileor in Lettred d'Alembert,is highly shaky. In vain does Rousseaumultiplyhis arguments and respondto the philosophes' objections;he remainscaught in a web of sophisms.Thus, in Lettred d'Alembert,he tries to show that, contraryto shame is not a prejudicebut a natthe fashionableopinion of the philosophes, ural virtue. Natural because necessary to the sexual economy of the two sexes! Necessary to preserve feminine charm so that man can be sexually arousedwithout ever being fully satisfied. The sense of shame, then, would be the naturalveil that introducesa beneficialdistance into the economy. It wouldbe the sharedsafeguardthat Natureprovidedfor the sakeof both sexes in orderthat they not be subjectto indiscriminateadvanceswhen in a "state of weaknessand self-forgetfulness."It wouldbe the sense of shamethat hides the pleasuresof love from the eyes of others, just as the shade of night conceals and protects sexual relationships. But why, if it is a matterof a sharedsafeguard,is it womanwho must have a sense of shame?Why, if it is a matterof naturalvirtue, is there a difference between human and animal behavior? Pushedinto a comer, Rousseaurespondsto the firstobjection with a true petitioprincipii:only Nature, the Makerof the humanrace, could answerthis, since it is She who has endowed woman, and only woman, with this sentiment. Then, taking the place of Nature, identifyinghimselfwith Her, as always, Rousseautries to supply the natural reasonsfor this difference:both sexes have equal desires, but they don't have equal means to satisfythese. If

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the order of advance and defense were changed, then chance would rule. Love wouldno longerbe the supportof Nature, but its destroyerand its bane. Equallibertyof the two sexes, by overcomingevery obstacle, would suppressamorousdesire. Finally, and above all, shame is reservedfor woman because the consequences are not the same for the two sexes: "A child must have one father." Becausewomen'sproperdestiny is to bear children (even if they don't alwaysdo so), because the lot of women is motherhood,Nature and manners mustprovidefor this by generallaws such as that of shame. In Emileit is this same "lot"of women which justifiesthe view that the duty of conjugalfidelity, and that of a reputation for fidelity, fall upon women only. It is on women that Naturehas conferredexclusiveresponsibilityforprotectingnatural family ties; it is to women that Nature has confided the sacred trust of children:"when a woman gives a man childrenwho are not his own, she beand traysboth of them, she combinesperfidywith infidelity."All "disorders" "crimes"are linked with this one. Thus, a womanmustbe "modest,attentive and reserved";she must displayto the eyes of the worldthe "evidenceof her virtue"so that children can esteem and respect their mothers. "Honorand reputationare no less necessarythan chastity."'1 It is indeed Nature, then, who intended to adom women with the veil of shame and it is a crime to stifle Her voice. Once this constraintis removed, women will cease to have any reticence whatever. Woman can't attach any importanceto honor, she can't respect anything anymore, if she doesn't respect her own honor.12 Just look, says Emile,at Ninon de Lenclos! Experiencewould confirm this reasoning:the closer women are to their naturalstate, the more susceptiblethey are to shame. Don't think that the nakednessof savagewomen disprovesthis, for it is not the sign of an absence of shame. On the contrary,it is clothing that arousesthe senses by exciting the imagination.As pointed out in Emile,nakedness,that of children,for example, is alwaysa sign of innocence. Lacedaemonianmaidensused to dance naked: this is a scandal only for depravedmoder man. Do we really believe that the skillful finery of our women is less dangerousthan an absolutenakednesswhich, if habitual, would soon turn first impressions into indifference, maybe even into disgust! Don't we know that statues and paintings offend our eyes only when the combinationof clothes renders nakednessobscene?The greatestravagesoccurwhen imagination steps in.13 Do not assume,however, that Rousseaucondemnsclothing and finery.On the contrary, they are necessaryin order that woman preserveher charm, that she continue to excite man's imagination. In this sense, "clothing"is partof sexualstrategy.It is in the serviceof shameand its ends. The taste for



finery, ornament, mirrorsand jewels is part of feminine nature. A girl "has more hunger for finery than for food" [Emile,p. 479]. In this argument,aimed at demonstratingthe naturalcharacterof shame, clothing has a complex function and playsa strategicrole. Rousseaustill has to justifythe differencebetween human and animalbehaviorwith respectto shame. At this point, he resortsto a true "cauldronargument."14 On the one hand, man is preciselynot an ordinaryanimal like any other; he alone is capable of conceiving of honesty and of beauty. On the other hand, animals are more susceptibleto shame than one would think, even though they too, like children, are naked. ... In any case, even if we grant that shame is not a naturalsentiment to d'Alembertand the other philosophes but, rather, a conventional virtue, the same essential consequenceremains: women ought to cultivate the virtues of shame and timidity. Their lot is to lead a secludeddomestic life, a life hidden in a cloister-likeretreat.Woman shouldnot be showy nor should she put herselfon show. Her home is her ornament;she is its soul. Her place is not in public. Forher to appearthere is to usurpman's place and to debase him, to degradeboth her sex and his. If you objectthat Rousseauimprisonswomen in the home, that he demands fromthem an excessivereserve,he will respondlike Lucreceto Pauline: Do you call the sweetness of a peaceful life in the bosom of one's familya prison?As for me, my happinessneeds no other society, my gloryneeds no other esteem, than that of my husband, my father and my children.15 It's no coincidence that, when Rousseaudoes concede that shame might be a culturalprejudice,there is a slide in his logic. He slides from an insistence on women'sreticence to a demandfor female seclusion, fromfeminine reserveto the confinement of the feminine on a reservation.In this slippage Rousseaurepeatsa familiarsocial operationof masculinedomination. Under the pretext of giving back Nature her suppressedvoice and of defendingNature's ends, what is really being advocated, as always, are the phallocratic ends of man. It is the voice of man (vir)-stifled by women, those wickedand degeneratewomen-that Rousseaurestores. These maxims, these naturalor conventional maximswhich demand the isolation and domestic confinement of women, would be doubly confirmed by experience:whereverwomen arefree, low moralsarerampant;conversely, wherevermoralsare regulated,women are confined and separatedfrommen. This separationof the sexes is necessaryfor their pleasureand their union. Indeed, there is no union without separation. Every communication, every commercebetween the sexes is indiscreet, every familiarityis suspect, every liaison dangerous!Thus, it is in orderto insurea lastingbond between them ordermaintained that Emile is separatedfromSophie. Thus, the "admirable" In this well-rundothe of the sexes. Clarens is on at based byJulie separation

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mestic economy, there is little commerce between men and women. They live apartfrom one another like men and women everywhere,be they civilizedor savage. The very universalityof this practiceprovesits conformityto nature. Even among savages, men and women are never seen indiscriminatelymixed. In the evening the family gathers, every man spendsthe night with his woman;the separationresumes with the light of day and the two sexes have nothing but meals, at the most, in common.16 Lettred d'Alembert privilegesthe people of Antiquity (for they are the closest to nature):Rome and Spartawould be the best models of this admirable domestic economy where, when men and women do see each other, "it is very brieflyand almost secretly."17 Thus, nothing justifiesthe naturalcharacterof shame, the slippagefrom feminine reserve to the confinement of the feminine on a reservation,and the strictsegregationof the sexes, unlessit is Rousseau'sphallocraticaim. But isn't the latter itself basedon Rousseau'slibidinaleconomy, on a certainparanoiac structure?Isn't it basedon his desireto be confusedwith women, and at the same time, on his fearof being contaminatedby women, the very women to whom he feels himself so very close? Isn't it this very proximitywhich compels him to erect barriers,to emphasizethe differencesand the separations? Considerthe passagein Lettred d'Alembertwhere, for once, Rousseau declaresthat if women are brave enough they should, like Spartanwomen, imitatethe masculinemodel. This passageis symptomaticof his desire/fearof becomingwoman. It shows that this whole discourseis motivatedby that desire/fear.Now we see what is really at stake in the segregationof sexes: the point is not so much to avoid the generalconfusionof the sexes;it is ratherto avoid the contamination of the masculine by the feminine and a general effeminization. Among barbaricpeoples, men did not live like women because women had the courageto live like men. In Sparta, women became robust and man was not enervated. . . . Unable to make themselvesmen, women make us women, [a frightening perversion,degradation,and denaturation]especiallyin a Republic where men are needed. The thesis that Rousseau defends is always already anticipated by his libidinaldrives;the voice of Nature is equallythe echo of hisnature.That the singularityof his nature resonateswith the universalityof traditionalphilosophic discourseis not an objection to, but rathera proof of, the complicity or, as Freudwould say, the secret kinship between philosophic Reason and "paranoiac"madness.18 On this subject,we mustproceedwith caution. Let's



restrictourselveshere to emphasizingthe "kinship"between the apparently non-biographicaltexts and the Confessionsor the Dialogues. The "theoretical"insistence on virile mobility and activity is inseparable from Rousseau'sfantasiesof being suffocated,paralyzed,and imprisonedin the maternalwomb. We can read this fantasywhen Rousseaudescribesthe doll-woman,the Parisienne,who illegitimatelyreversesthe relationof domination. "[Flragility,sweetnessof voice and delicate featureswerenot given to her in orderthat she may be offensive, insulting, or disfigureherselfwith anger."19Thus, when she assumesthe right to command, woman fails to heed the voice of the master;seeking to usurphis rights, she unleashesdisorder, misery, scandal, and dishonor. Farfrom guaranteeinghis freedom, the new empire of women enslaves, deforms, and emasculates man. Henceforth, womanconfines him in chains in the darknessof her enclosure.Insteadof being a mother, of bringinghiminto theworld,into the light of day, she tries to keep him in her cave, to put him back into her womb, to suffocatehim by denying him air and mobility. Terms like these abound in Lettred d'Alembert,Emile, and La Nouvelle H&loise.So "unnatural"and perverseis this stiflingand paralyzing"feminine" operationthat, even as it feminizesman, it cannot obliterateevery "vestige" of his realnatureand destiny. His viriltyreassertsitself in his desirefor mobility, in the involuntary agitation and anxiety he experiences whenever woman, by nature sedentary and indolent, reclines tranquillyon a chaise lounge, suffocatinghim behind the closed doorsof some over-stuffedparlor. This, as Rousseaudescribesin Lettred d'Alembert,is especiallytrue in Paris, where women harborin their rooms a true seraglioof men (more feminine than masculine) whose automatic instinct strugglesincessantly against the bondagethey find themselves in and drivesthem, despite themselves, to the active and painstakinglife that nature imposesupon them. Likewisein the theatersof Paris, men stand in the orchestrastalls as if wanting to relax after having spent the whole day in a sitting room. Finally, overwhelmed by the ennui of this effeminate and sedentaryidleness, and in order to temper their disgust, to involve themselves in at least some sort of activity, they give their placesto strangersand go looking for the women of other men.20 However, these vestiges of man's formernature are laughable.They expressonly a half-hearteddesireto reclaimhis nature.They don't preventhim from dribblingaway his strength in the idle and lax life of a sex-junkie, nor fromkeepingto the "abodeand reposeof women,"wherehe is enervatedand loses his vigor. Such passages from Lettrea d'Alembert,Emile, or La Nouvelle Heloise, which depict the sadisticspectacleof the male paralyzed,suffocated,and im-

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prisoned,call to mind certain passagesof the Confessions.How can one not think, for example, of the passagewhereJean-Jacquesstates that for him to remainseated in a room, armscrossed,inactive, chatting with others, "movHow, in general, can one ing only his tongue," is an "unbearabletorture"?21 fail to recall Rousseau'sclaustrophobia,his taste for the outdoor life, his hikes, his disgustat traveling in a poste chaise, which he likens to a small, locked cage whereone is bound and blinded, an obscureprisonwhich no free man could tolerate? One does not acquirea taste for prisonby virtueof residingin one. . . . Active life, manualwork, exercise, and movement have become so necessary that man couldn't give them up without suffering.To suddenlyreducehim to an indolent and sedentarylife would be to imprisonhim, to put him in chains, to keep him in a violent and constrainedstate. No doubt his disposition and health would be equally altered. He can scarcely breathe in a stuffy room. He needs the open air, movement, and fatigue . . ; he is disturbedand agitated;he seems to be struggling;he staysbecausehe is in chains. [Emile, 567-68] These are the wordsof Emile'sprivatetutor. But they betrayall the fantasies of Jean-Jacquesas endlesslyrepeatedin the Dialogues:his fear, his horror of the dark, the belief that his persecutorshave surroundedhim with a "triple enclosureof darkness,"entombedhim behind impenetrablewallsof darkness; his fantasyof being weigheddown with chains, of being unableto say a word, take a step, move a fingerwithout the knowledgeand permissionof his enemies;of being enclosed in an immenselabyrinthwheretortuousand subterranean falsepaths lead him furtherand furtherastray;and finally, the fantasyof being buriedalive. All of these persecutionfantasiesexpressnot only horror but also desire:the desire "to be beaten." Caught in the gripof his persecutors, he barelytries to escape. Surroundedby falsityand darkness,he waits, without a murmurof protest,for truthand light. Finally,buriedalive in a coffin, he lies still, not even thinking of death. Is this the tranquilityof innocence? Or the tranquilityof masochisticpleasureat being punished, immobilized, possessedlike a woman and by women, the pleasureof being suffocated and humiliatedby women, of being made into their thing, their property? In the Confessions,we learn that the episode with Mile Lambercierdetermined the shape of the remainderof Jean-Jacques'love life. Her severitywas for him a thousandtimes sweeterthan her favorswould ever have been. She treatedhim "asa thing that belongedto her," possessinghim as one possesses private property.Their encounter becomes a prototype:to kneel before an imperiousmistress,obeyingher orders,beggingher forgiveness-these always remain very sweet pleasuresfor him. Mile Goton, who deigns to act the



school mistress,showershim with joy. On his knees before Mme Basile, silent and still, afraidto do or say anything,Jean-Jacquesfinds this state ludicrous but delightful."Nothing I ever experienced in possessing a woman could rival the two minutes I spent at her feet without even daringto touch her dress."22It's the same with Sophie d'Houdetot who, for six months, floods his heart with a delight he defies any mere sensualistto match. "Am I not your possession?Have you not taken possession?"he writes to her.23 Now, all of these captivatingwomen, these castratingwomen, arealso maternalfigures,figuresof and substitutesfor the motherwho died bringinghim into the light of day. It is perhapsin orderto still the reproachesfor this death "which cannot be atoned," that Rousseaueffects an inversion. Man will no longerbe the causeof the death of women or mothers.Rather,womenwill be responsiblefor the death of man. By refusingmotherhood, refusingto put themselves entirely at his service, to be filled with pity and tendernessfor him, women will be responsiblefor his degeneration,perversion,emasculation, and depropriation. This masterful inversion displaces all aggression onto the "dolls." At the same time, it preserves,or rather constructsand internalizes,the image, intact and pure, of an idealizedand divine Mother, a Motherwho could only be the best of mothers-even if she nearlysuffocated him in her womb, causing him to be born "disabledand sickly." Thus, there is a split between two motherfigures-the whore and the Virgin-between public women unafraidto trespassthe domesticenclosure(the comediennes, the Dolls, the prostitutes,the Parisiennes,all "publicwomen" in Rousseau'seyes) and the women who live within the shadowof the enclosure, the respectable Mothers, surroundedby their husbandsand children (can there be a more pleasingsight?). This split suggeststhat the phallocraticism of Rousseauis also, as always, a feminism.24 The sense of shame, whose corollaryis the enclosureof women, is in effect responsiblefor the "natural"inversionof domination:throughit, the strongest become dependenton the weakest, the weakesttrulyruleover the strongest. The respectablewoman, reservedand chaste, the womanwho knowsher place, incites a love which verges on enthusiasm, on sublime transportsof emotion. Admittedly, she does not govern, but she reigns. She is a queen, an idol, a goddess.With a simple sign or wordshe sends men to the ends of the world, off to combat and to glory, here, there, wherevershe pleases. A note in Emilecites the case of a woman who, duringthe reign of Fran;ois I, imposed a vow of strict silence upon her garrulouslover. For two-and-a-half yearshe kept it faithfully. One thought that he had become mute through illness. She cured him with a single word: speak! Isn't there something grandand heroic in such love? Doesn't one imaginea divinity

Sarah Kofman


giving the organ of speech to a mortal with a single word?

[Emile,p. 515]. The empireof women-these women, the "true"women, the respectable mothers- is not fearedby men becauseit doesn't debasethem. On the contrary,it enables them to fulfill their duties, to prove their heroismand their virility. For men, there is "no sweeter"or more respected"empire."If only women really wanted to be women and mothers, their uncontested power would be immense. Mothers, "be all that you should be and you will overcome all obstacles."25 Women are thus wrongto demandequal rightsand the same educationas men. If they aspireto become men, they can only fail. They would surelybe inferiormen and in the bargainthey would lose the essentialthing-the empire in which they naturallyreign. Obviously, this reign is conditional upon women'snaturalqualities, their submission,docility, and gentleness. It is given to them on the condition that, from childhood on, they be schooled in constraints and permanent discomforts,since their "naturalstate"is to be dependent, to be subjectedto man and at the service of man. Since men are, from the beginning, dependenton women, the education of women must be relative to men. Here in a nutshell is the sophism. The formationof childrendependson the formationof mothers, the first educationof men dependson the care of women; the manners,passions,tastes, pleasuresand even happinessof men dependson women. Thus the entire educationof women must be relative to men. To please men, to be usefulto them, to be loved and honoredby them, to raisethem when they are young, care for them when they are grown-up, to console them, to make their lives agreeableand gentle-these are the duties of women in all times and this is what they must be taughtfromchildhood. Unless we returnto this principle, we will stray from the goal, and all of the precepts we give to women will serveneither their happinessnor our own. [Emile,

475] No confessioncould be clearer:he who claims alwaysto "followthe directions of Nature," is really following the best of guides. In fulfilling his own "nature"to the maximum,he serves the interestsand ends of man (vir). NOTES 1. "Iwasborndisabledandsickly;I costmymotherherlife, andmybirthwasthefirstof my misfortunes." ed. Livrede Poche,t. I, p. 8. Thisandallothertranslations of RousConfessions, seauaremyown-M.D.



2. On the death of Julie'smother he writes in La NouvelleHeloise,Part III, LetterVI: "a loss which cannot be restoredand for which one never finds consolation once one has been able to reproachoneself for it." And in Emile,Book I: "Maternalsolicitude cannot be supplied." 3. See S. Kofman, Le Respectdes femmes,Galilee, 1980. 4. See, for example, Lettred d'Alembert,"At this very instant the short-livedphilosophythat is bor and dies in the comer of a great city, this philosophythat seeks to suppressthe cry of Nature and the unanimousvoice of humankindis going to rise up againstme." ["a l'instantva s'elevercontre moi, cette philosophied'un jour ... (Gamier-Flammarion p. 168)], and further: "Thusit was willed by nature,it is a crimeto suppressher voice" ["Ainsil'a voulu la Nature, ... (p. 171)]. 5. Emile,ed. Gamier-Flammarion,p. 48. All page numbersgiven in this text for Emilerefer to the Gamier-Flammarionedition. Translationsare my own-M.D. 6. "Surles femmes"in Oeuvrescompletes,Pleiade, t. II, p. 1255. 7. One could find this contrastbetween "major"and "minor"texts, between texts of "youth" and those of "maturity"in other philosophers.This is the case with Auguste Comte, another phallocrat,whose early letter to Valet, dating from Sept. 24, 1819, espousesa position which will laterbe that of his adversary,John StuartMill. See S. Kofman:Aberrations,le devenir-femme d'A. Comte (Aubier-Flammarionp. 230 and following). 8. See Kofman, Le Respectdes femmes,Galilee, 1980. 9. La NouveUeHeloise, Part IV, Letter X. 10. The Rousseauisticdescriptionis the opposite of that of Freudfor whom libido is essentially "masculine."See Kofman,The Enigmaof Woman,Cornell UniversityPress, 1985. Despite this difference,both appealto the same "Nature"to justifythe sexualsubjugationof women, the essential point of the whole argument. 11. Emile,p. 470-71. See also La NouveUeHeloise,PartII, LetterXVIII, whereJuliewritesto Saint-Preuxabout the marriedwoman:"She not only invested her faith, but alienatedher freedom. (. . .) It is not enough to be honest, it is necessarythat she be honored;it is not enough to do only what is good, it is necessarythat she refrainfromdoing anythingthat isn't approved.A virtuouswoman must not only merit the esteem of her husband,but obtain it. If he blamesher, she is blameful;and if she were to be innocent, she is wrongas soon as she is suspect-for appearance itself counts as one of her duties." 12. Lucrece,who preferreddeath to the loss of honor, is quotedby Rousseauas being among the heroines comparableand superiorto male heros. (See "Surles femmes"and La Mort de Lucrce, O.C., II). 13. Lettrea d'Alembert,ed. Garier-Flammarion, p. 246. 14. See Nancy Holland's"Introduction,"Hypatia,this issue, for an explanationof this reference to "cauldron"logic (tr.). 15. La Mortde Lucrece 16. La NouvelleHeloise, Part IV, Letter X. 17. It wouldbe interestingand very enlighteningto compareRousseau'sdiscourseon decency with that of Montesquieuin L'Espritdes lois (Books XVI, X, XI, XX). In particular,one would find clarificationfor the allusion to warmcountrieswhere climate rendersfeminine sexual avidity fearsome.Montesquieuovertly groundsdecency and the domestic confinement of women in the sexual dangerthat these representfor men in warmcountries. In contrast, where climate is temperate, it is unnecessaryto confine women. Men can "communicate"with them for the pleasureand "entertainment"of both men and women. d' A. Comte (Aubierin Aberrations,le devenir-femme 18. See De l'interetde la psychanalyse; Flammarion,1978) Kofmanoffersa detailed analysisof the possiblerelationshipsbetween a philosopher'sdeliriumand his philosophicalsystem. 19. Emile, Book V. 20. La NouveUeHeloise, Part IV, Letter X. 21. Confessions,Book XII. 22. for Mile Lambercier,see Book I and L'EbauchedesConfessions,13. ForMile Goton, Book I. For Mme Basile, Book II. 23. Letter of October 15, 1757. 24. Foran explanationof Kofman'suse of'feminism'in this passage,see Nancy Holland's"Introduction,"Hypatia,this issue (tr.). 25. La NouvelleHeloise, Part V, Letter III.


Keller'sGender/ScienceSystem: Is the Philosophyof Science to Science as Science is to Nature? KELLYOLIVER

I arguethatalthoughin "TheGender/Science System,"Kellerintendstoformulatea middlegroundpositionin orderto openscienceto feministcriticismswithout Whilesheendorsesthedyforcingit intorelativism,shestepsbackintoobjectivism. modelfor science,she endorsesthestatic-object modelfor philosophy namic-object on hermethodof science.I suggestthatbymodelinghermethodology forphilosophy ologyfor scienceherphilosophywouldbetterserveherfeministgoals.

Feminist theorists have played majorroles in contemporarydiscourseson power and dominance. Understandinghow power and dominance are constructedand eventuallydeconstructed,is a centralconcern for feminists.The notion that power has one unified source has been called into question by both feminists (eg., Hartsock, Balbus, Cixous, Spivak) and nonfeminists (eg., Foucault, Delueze). This model of power has been seen as part of a patriarchalor logocentric discourseon power. Many theorists are exploring new waysin which to conceive of poweraltogether.In this context of controversies, Evelyn Fox Keller has not adequatelychallengedtraditionalnotions of power and dominance. Although Keller describesa new model for conceiving of powerrelationswithin scientific research,I will maintainthat she adoptsa traditionalmodel of powerin her philosophyof science. In Evelyn Fox Keller'srecent work, she has tried to reconcile feminism and science. Her goal has been to open science to feminist chargesof male bias without risking scientific knowledge altogether. In "The Gender/Science System," she gracefullywalks the balance beam on the fundamentaldilemma: if we open science to feminist scrutiny, which discloses biases in what we have heretoforeheld as scientific truth, how can we be surethat there is any truth in science? And, if there is truth in science, how can we distinguishit from bias or parochialism?'

Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by Kelly Oliver



Keller would like to formulatea middle groundbetween objectivismand relativism,between dualismand universalism(1987, 39, 44). She hopes to make science a human, ratherthan masculine, project by rejectingobjectivism (1985, 178; 1987, 46). She hopes to preservethe integrityof scientific truth by rejecting relativism(1987b, 46).2 Due to recent "dynamicinstability,"arguesKeller, in the categoriesof science and gender, science shifts its weight fromobjectivismback to relativism and visa versa. Kellercontends that this instabilityis both "politicallyand intellectually-an obstacle to productiveexchange" (1987b, 38). I will argue, however, that her latest attempt to reconcile feminismand science does not stabilizethese categories. In fact, while her ambiguousposition may, on the surface,preservescience, it conceals a threat to feminism. Keller stabilizes science by side-steppingher middle groundback into objectivism. My central argumentis that while as a scientist Kelleradvocateswhat she calls the dynamic-objectmodel, as a philosophershe practicesthe opposing static-objectmodel. I maintain that if she used the dynamic-objectmodel in philosophytoo, she would better serve her feminist goals. I will begin by demonstratingthat Keller, as a philosopher, views nature and ultimatelyscience as static-objects.My argumentrevolves aroundthree issues.First, I will arguethat Keller'sconception of the dialectic between nature and culture always favorsnature and thereforehas no real moment of synthesisbetween culture and nature. Second, I will arguethat Keller'snotion of the "recalcitranceof nature"implies an absolutetruth. Third, I will argue that Keller'ssuggestion that there is no differentscience, just differences within science, perpetuatestraditionalconceptions of dominance. Next, I will describe why this view of nature and science presupposesa monodimensionalauthoritywhich underminesKeller'sfeminist project. Finally, I will create an alternativeview of nature and science out of Keller's own descriptionof a dynamic-object.I will drawout the implicationsof the dynamic-objectmodel when appliedto science itself. I will conclude by extending the dynamic-objectmodel in orderto assessits advantagesfor a feminist philosophyof science. KELLER'S OBJECTIVISM: DIALECTIC

In her latest work, "The Gender/Science System,"which inches towards relativismonly to recoil at the last minute, Kellertakes what she sees as the obvious post-Kuhnianposition, that science is not a mirrorof nature. It is, rather, the result of a "dialectic"between nature and culture (1987b, 48). This dialectic, however, as it unfolds, is a ratherone-sided operation. Kellernever describesthe dynamicof this dialectic-what does she mean by "dialectic"?"Dialectic"carrieswith it the weight of a traditionand unless

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Keller, too, wants to carrythat weight, she must separateherselffrom traditional formulationsof the dialectic. Therefore, before consideringKeller's specificdialectic betweennatureand culture, I would like to raisesome suspicions of the traditionalHegelian dialectic. The goal of the dialectic, I will argue, is unity (in Hegel's case, Absolute Knowingor in Keller'scase, the stabilityof science). Traditionally,all difference is subsumedin the synthesisstage of the dialectic. In other words, although the synthesis is, in the Hegelian scenario, the aufhebungof both the positing and the negating (or in Keller'sterms, natureand culture), the dialectic alwaysmoves this synthesisback into the position of positingand never back into the position of negating. That is, the synthesis alwaysbecomes a new positing against which a new negating arises. Negating, or difference, then, is always turned back into a positing. Thus, the negating is always merelya reaction. With the dialectic, then, the multidimensionalbecomes once again the monodimensional,differencebecomes sameness. Even in Marx'sdialectic in Capital,the synthesis assumesthe same moment in the dialecticalstructureas what we might call the "thesis"so that the dialecticaldynamiccan occur again. We can see this more concretelyby examining a particulardialectical interaction. For example, in CapitalMarx identifies M-C-M' as the generalformulafor capital (1977, 257). Although M' is the resultof the movementfromM to C, as M' it immediatelytakesthe place of M so that the circuitcan being again (1977, 253). Also, in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and even Plato, the dialectic is teleological. Which means that it aims towarda final moment where all conflict/differenceis resolved. The telos of Keller'sdialectic is Nature. In Keller's scenario, culture is merely a reaction to nature, a reaction which becomes partof anotherpositing, a reactionwhich becomesencorporatedinto nature. In other words,the structureof Keller'sdialectic is NatureCulture-Nature;where every N' assumesthe position of N so that the cycle begins again until scientific knowledgereaches its goal and the conflict between culture and nature is resolved. In the synthesisof Keller'sdialectic, then, natureout-weighsculture. Science, it turs out, is bound by nature, but ultimatelynot by culture (1987b, 48; 1982, 117, 123). In "The Gender/Science System," Keller takes up a somewhat Kantian position when she arguesthat "despite its unrepresentability, naturedoes exist" (48). And it is the "recalcitranceof nature,"she argues,which providesthe ultimateconstrainton science (9). It is this recalcitranceof nature, I wouldargue,which also providesthe telos of Keller'sdialectic. Culture, on the other hand, in Keller'stheory, providesno such absolute constraint.In fact, earlier,in "Feminismand Science," she claims that "neither science nor individuals are totally bound by ideology" (1982, 123).



Thus, while science is not totally boundby culture, it is totally boundby the recalcitranceof nature. Already the dialectic scale tips in favor of nature. TRUTH

It is nature, suggestsKeller, that provideswhat is "constantand indispensible"in science (1985, 11-12). If "science"has any meaning, arguesKeller, that meaning "mustderive from the sharedcommitmentof scientists to the pursuitof a maximallyreliable (even if not faithful) representationof nature, under the equally sharedassumptionthat, however elusive, thereis only one nature"(1987b, 46). Earlier,Keller stated, with less qualification,that: scientists' shared commitment to the possibility of reliable knowledgeof nature, and to its dependence on experimental replicabilityand logical coherence, is an indispensableprerequisite for the effectivenessof any scientificventure(1985, 11). The goal of science, then, as Kellerdescribesit, is to discoverthe objective truthof naturewhile drainingoff the deceptive biasof culture. If there is a dialectic between natureand cultureat work in the practiceof science, we can conclude fromKeller'sprescription,that the naturepole of the dialectic must silence the culture pole in normative science.3 In orderto preservescience, Kellerholds onto the belief in one truthabout one nature, towards which science aims. She wants to justify scientists' claims to different, and even better, knowledgethan other practitionersand theoreticians.If, as Kellersuggests,"scienceis divorcedfromnatureand married instead to culture," then scientific theories are not differentfrom any other kind of cultural theories (1987b, 45). Although Keller suggeststhis new union as a possibility, she quickly recoils. Afraid to give up the privileged position of science with regardto truth and nature, she can't allow culture to break up the happy marriage.Science perhapshas a on-going affair with culture, but it is still marriedto nature. Keller, in order to prevent science from collapsing into cultural theory, claims that science has a commitment to truth which other theory doesn't have. Science strivesfor the one objective truth about the one nature. Two conflicting truths cannot coexist. Everytheory, then, competes with every other. Kellersuggeststhat this is not trueof other theoreticalpursuits.Other types of theories, she argues,do not challenge and engage each other in the same kind of search for objective truth (1987a).4 This, however, is simply not the case. Other types of theories, nonscientific theories, even philosophies, make truth claims which exclude any opposing truth claims. Even here the counter-examplesmust be explained and competing theories must be falsified. This is the case in any field where the

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"truenature"of something (whethernature, or culture, or literature,or history, etc.) is "supposed"to be described.5 UNITY

Another argumentKeller uses in order to preservethe "structuralintegrity"of science is that there can be no differentscience, i.e., no feminine science. Rather, there can only be differenceswithin science (1987b, 40, 46, 48; 1985, 165, 173; 1982, 125). Kellersees a differentscience as a threat to the structural integrity of science. She wants to celebrate the differences which alreadyexist within science.6 Part of Keller'spoint is that if there is a differentway of doing science, it still has to describereality. It, too, must try to tell the truth about nature. Moreover, Keller argues,what is called "science"is part of a social system. And if this differentscience is still called "science,"then it is science.7 There is, then, only one science just as there is only one nature. One might arguethat Keller'sinsistenceon differenceswithin both science and natureshowsthat she is not committedto one science or one nature. It is truethat Kellerarguesthat both natureand science aremultidimensionaland diverse. In fact, one of the majortheses of "The Gender/ScienceSystem"is that we can use nature's diversity-within-unity as a model for science. However, Kellermakesit clear that she is not arguingin favorof differentnatures (or differentsciences), but only differenceswithin nature (1987b, 40, 46, 48). According to Keller, the multiplicityof nature or science does not underminethe unity of natureor science. Therefore,while both natureand science are composedof diverse parts, they are both unified. Nature'srecalcitrance may limit in diverseways, but nature itself is still the absolutelimit of science. AUTHORITY

Keller wants a variety of methods within science which are differentyet not divided. She wants a science which, like nature, is multidimensionalyet unified. Her view of science, however, prevents this. Her view of science fuels the unitarydefinition of powerwhich she claims leads to the instability of science, and causesall differencesto be collapsedinto samenessor opposition. Her attempts to save science from its associationwith culturaltheory stems from the "us versusthem" power strugglewhich she criticizeswithin science (1987b, 44): Throughtheir specialconnection to the truthaboutnature, scientists are more objective than other theorists. Before developing this criticism, let me explain Keller'sargument. The reasonwhy science can exclude diversityand perpetuatemale bias, argues Keller, is because power has one source and differentmethods/theories



become opponents vying for that one power: As long as power itself remainsdefined in the unitaryterms that have prevailed,the strugglesfor powerthat ensue provide fuel, on the one hand, for the collapse between science and nature, and genderand sex, and on the other, for the repudiation of nature and/or sex. In other words, they guaranteethe very instabilityin the concepts gender and science that continues to plagueboth feministand science studies. (1987b, 48) Kellersuggeststhat this unified sourceof powercausesdualismswhich are "obstaclesto productiveexchange"(1987b, 38). We can inferfromthis that a unified source of power could not legitimateand empower,both sides of a conflict at once; thus the conflict. Yet Keller'sassumptionthat there is one natureand one truth about that natureprovidesthis unifiedsourceof power. The theorywhich can maintainits affiliationwith "recalcitrantnature"is legitimate, while all conflicting theories, insofaras they cannot at the same time maintainan affiliationwith this one nature, are illegitimate. In Keller's scenario, it seems, scientific theory is acceptedif it is empoweredby the truth of recalcitrantnatureand rejectedif it is not. Kelleris right that this unified powersourcemakesdifferenttheories into opposingtheories. With the truth of one natureas the goal, differenceswithin science necessarilylead to division. The recalcitranceand unity of nature,which Kelleridentifies,providea unified power source. Moreover,this unifiedpowersourceis responsiblefor the impulseto dominate which Kelleridentifieswith the masculinebias in science. In fact, Keller suggeststhat it is the prevailingunitarydefinitionof powerwhich has perpetuated domination (1987b, 44). It is the unity of powerthat bringswith it absoluteauthority.If there is one natureand one truth about that nature, that truthhas the absoluteauthority to dominate all other "truths."If, on the other hand, there is more than one truth, or even more than one nature, then no one truth can seriouslyclaim the authoritywith which to dominate all of the others. In other words, if there are severalauthorities,severalpowersources,one theorycannot maintain an affiliationwith an overridingauthorityor power.With severalsources of power there would be diverseaffiliationsand no one affiliationcould give the license to dominate. At bottom, contraryto her intentions, in Keller'ssystem it is all or nothing: It is science or it is not. It is recalcitrantnatureor it is not. In principle, in Keller'ssystem, theory either describesnature or it doesn't. In fact, it has been patriarchy'suse of the absolute authority of nature which has servedto perpetuatemale dominance. Traditionally,nature is invoked to prove man's superiorityto woman-women are inferior,or subjec-

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tive, or passive, etc., by nature. Male dominancehas been justifiedin terms of women's "natural"physiologicalor psychologicalinferiority. In orderto prevent the absoluteauthorityof nature,we mustdo awaywith its unity. Why must, as Keller suggests, nature's unity be primaryand its diversitybe secondary,or subsumedinto, this unity?Contraryto her intentions, Keller'ssystemcannot preventthat any theory, no matterhow oppressive, can claim to innocently describe recalcitrantnature; and, that that claim can circumventany challenge to it. Of course, that theory'sauthority can be challenged by challenging its allegiance with recalcitrant nature. However, if it can maintainthat allegiance, throughwhatevermeans, it can successfullymaintain its authority.After all, the way in which science goes aboutfalsifyingtheories is also dependenton an allegianceto recalcitrantnature.8 The centralproblemwith Keller'ssystem, in spite of her intentions, is that theauthoritystructureitselfis neverchallenged: The questionis never "whymust someone have absoluteauthority?"Rather, the only questionis "whowill get the absolute authority?"Keller wants to empowerdifferenceswithin traditional science without changing the power-structureof that science. Although she sees the dangersof that power structure,she does not proposea new way in which to empowertheories, methods, or individualscientists. Keller uses the authority of recalcitrant nature to counter relativism. However, she also recognizesthe dangerof associatingany one theoryor concept with that authority. She suggeststhat we can somehow maintain the awarenessthat our names for nature and gender are not themselvesnatural; and that they are social constructions.9 However, given her version of scientific realism, our scientific concepts musthave some relation to nature, even if they'renot the "mirrorimages"of traditionalrealism. Recalcitrantnature is still the source of their power regardlessof their actual status. In other words, as long as the scientific enterprisedictatesthat we aimfor absoluteauthorityin science, it doesn'tmatterif we succeed or not. Although historymay alwaysunderminethe truth claims of past theories with new discoveries,as long as the structureof absoluteauthority exists (one nature, one truth), some theory can dominate all others. Without an absoluteauthorityto empowerany one perspective,that perspective cannot dominate every other. The masculinebias, then, cannot dominate science without unified nature. They are conspiratorsin the quest for power. Now, it becomesunclearwhere to locate Keller'scritiqueof science. '0 The goal of Keller'sscience, like traditionalscience, is to discoverthe one truth about nature. The practiceof science, then, must be the problem.Scientists have failed to drain off their culturalinterests. While this may be the case, Keller has argued that the practice of science is more truly what science



should be than the dominant ideology of science (1985, 17, 48, 125, 173; 1982, 124). Where, then, is Keller'scritique? KELLER'S ALTERNATIVE: DYNAMIC-OBJECTS

I will suggestthat what Kellercould do is applythe methodologywhich she endorsesin scienceitself to the philosophy of science.Why not applythe nonagmethod of gressive,participatory, analysisto the bodyof scienceitself as well as bodieswithinscience?l Since her workon BarbaraMcClintock, Kellerhas made a distinction between two typesof methodsemployedin science. In Reflections on Genderand Keller characterizes the two as a to methods relation either a dyScience, In or a the McClintock namic-object static-object. example, Keller points out that in biologythere are two differentwaysof conceiving of genes, as well as DNA. Quoting David Nanney, she associatesthe dynamic-objectview with the "SteadyState" concept and the static-objectview with the "Master Molecule"concept: The first we will designate as the 'MasterMolecule' concept . . This is in essence the totalitariangovernment . .. The second concept we will designate as the 'Steady State' concept. By this term ... we envision a dynamicself-perpetuating organizationof a varietyof MolecularSpecies which owes its specific propertiesnot to the characteristicof any one kind of molecule, but to the functional interelationshipsof these species. (1985, 184) Keller arguesthat McClintock, for example, sees the gene as a dynamicobject where the part'sfunctional interrelationshipresults in the action of the whole-there is no "mastermolecule"dictatingthe action of the whole. Kellergives another example fromher own theory of aggregationin cellularslime-mold.In 1970, Keller, along with Lee Segel, publishedan articlearguing against the pacemakerconcept in theories of aggregationin cellular on Gender slime-mold.The importanceof this for Keller'spoint in Reflections and Scienceis that while other scientists were proposingpacemakercells, or predeterminedinitiatorcells (types of mastercells which control the whole), Kellerand Segel were proposinga dynamicinteractionbetween cells (1985, 152). The dynamic-objectview, then, does not divide the object into master and slave elements. Rather, the object is composedof partswhose interrelationshipsequally account for the activity of the whole. I am suggestingthat Keller views science itself as a static-object,while it may be more useful to follow her slime-moldexample and view it as a dynamic-object. In other words,Kellerdoes not applyher critiqueof the meth-

Kelly Oliver


in philosophy odologywithinscienceto the methodology of science.Why can't we view our object, science, in the same way McClintock views genes or Keller views cellular slime-mold? Recall that for Keller certain elements of science are constant and indespensible(1987b, 46-48; 1985, 11-12). We could saythat these arestatic elements. They representwhat is constant or static in nature. What happens,however,if we takethe truthaboutscienceor natureas a dynamicobject?Here is whatwe get if we revisethe previouspassageand takescience as the exemplaryobject in Nanney'sdescriptionof a dynamic-object: . . . we envision a dynamicself-perpetuatingorganizationof a variety of scientific theories/truths which owes its specific propertiesnot to the characteristicsof any one kind of scientific theory/truth, but to the functional interrelationshipsof these theories/truths. IMPLICATIONS

This gives us a much differentview of science than Keller'sview as I have presentedit. If we view science (especiallynormativescience) itself, even in its relation to nature, as a primarilydynamic-objectratherthan a primarily static-object, then we can effectivelydo awaywith the subjectivity/objectivity dichotomy. Objectivityaboutnatureis no longerthe "master-cell"which dominatesthe movement and growthof science. Rather, the science system includes nature as a functionally interrelatedpart. Nature no longer stands outside of science, just out of its reach, as its telos. The powerof science no longer comes from this external legitimation. Objectivity itself, then, is a part of the system, defined by its relationshipto the rest of the system. This is not to say that science is subjective.Science is a systemwhose operation is not solely definedby the subjectsworkingin it. Rather, it is a system whose operationis defined by complex relationshipsbetween scientists, ideologies, theories, traditions,experiments,modes of technology and production, economic factors,etc. To say that science is a social system, or a social practiceor construction,is not to say that it is subjective.Here, I think Keller mayfall preyto a fearanalogousto the one she criticizes.She criticizesthe fear that a gender-freescience is a femininescience;yet, she seemsto fearthat a science which is not objective,in the traditionalsense, is subjective(1987b, 43). This view of science as a dynamic-object,in the sense of Keller'scellular slime-moldor McClintock'sgenes, is morecompatiblewith Keller'sview of objectswithinscience.It also seemsmorecompatiblewith Keller'sfeministtheory. EXTENSIONS

Science, in this scenario, is a system of functionally interrelatedparts whose goal is part of, and defined by, the system. Scientific theories and ex-



perimentsare strategiesfor doing something. This is not to say that all theoriesor experimentssucceedequally.Some maybe moreefficient, or appropriate, or coherent, when meeting particulargoals, than others. However, no one theorycan legitimatelyclaim allegiancewith the absoluteauthorityof recalcitrantnature. Multiple strategies("truths")will alwaysbe a possibility. Authoritywill not be global, but merelylocal; it will dependon the problem to be solved, data to be interpreted,calculation to run, etc. Now, given this view of science, how do we account for the male bias in science? If science is a social practice, traditionally,it is the practiceof men. Kellerprovidesus with severalpossibleexplanationsof why men might view science as an instrumentof domination rather than an instrumentof care throughparticipation.One reasonis simplyto perpetuatethe structurewhich insures that someone is dominant. Without such a structure,no one can dominate. By first maintaining this power structure,and then invoking it againstcertain groupsof people, science itself can become an instrumentof patriarchy. However, if science is cut off from this fictional power source, it cannot claim the same kind of monodimensionalauthoritylinked, in a straightline, to the absoluteauthorityof nature. Rather, there would be no one sourceof power for science. It would be the productof variousinterrelatedfunctions within the system. So, unlike Keller'sscenariowhere theories are multifarious but empoweredby the same source, here, even the sourcesof power are multifarious. Also, now the feminist project no longer has to contend with this allegiance to a nature which cannot be changed. In other words, women's oppression can no longer be justified as a fact of nature. Rather, gradually, women can make science the practiceof human beings and not just men, by strugglingto become practitionersand theoreticiansof science. In this way, gradually,not without resistance,the ideologyof science can change in relation to the changing practice of science. Feminist theory, then, does not requireallegiance to patriarchy'smonodimensionalpowersource in orderto be effective. It is not necessaryto arguethat feminist theoryor feministcriticisms "tell the truth"about science. Rather, feminist theory ought to challenge our (patriarchy's) very conception of theory itself. This is where Keller'stheorystopsbeing critical. Kellerdoes not examineher own theoretical presuppositionsas a philosopherof science. (Of course, no one can examine all of their own presuppositions.) I proposethat in orderto be revolutionary,feministtheorycannot claim to describewhat exists, or, "naturalfacts." Rather, feminist theories should be political tools, strategiesfor overcomingoppressionin specificconcrete situations. The goal, then, of feminist theory, shouldbe to develop strategictheories-not true theories, not false theories, but strategictheories.This strategy for theory making does away with the monodimensional power structure

Kelly Oliver


which polarizesall theories as either true or false. Theory legitimation no longer restswith the absoluteauthorityof the Truth of nature. Nature itself becomes a function of a complex network of strategiesof individual, and communities of, scientists and theorists. This is not to suggestthat all of these strategiesare consciousor intentional to all of those who employthem. Feministtheories, on the other hand, can be consciousstrategieswith which to undermineand dissolvethe oppressive"strategy"of patriarchy,one partof which is the constructionof the absoluteauthorityof recalcitrantnature.

NOTES 1. Most of Keller'sargumentsin "The Gender/ScienceSystem,"are attributedto some group of feminist theoristsor another (1987). This makesit somewhatdifficultto extract Keller'sown position. I hope that if this essaydoes not do justice to her position in that article, then at least it will inspireher to clarifyher position. 2. Cf. Keller'ssuggestionthat the feminist criticismscan make science moreobjective(1982, 113). Here she claims that a "feministtheoretic" can distinguishwhat is "parochial from that whichis universal"in the "scientific impulse"(117). 3. I am using "normativescience" to referto how science oughtto be practicedas opposedto how science actuallyis practiced.This distinction is relatedto a distinction made by Kellerbetween the ideology and practiceof science (1985, 17, 48, 125, 173; 1982, 124). 4. At the Dickenson symposium(West VirginiaUniversity April 3, 1987), in responseto a question, Kellermadethe extremelyenlighteningsuggestionthat the problemwhich leadsto oppressionin science is not the adherenceto truth. Rather, the problemis that some voices or theories are merelyignoredor silenced insteadof taken seriouslyand falsifiedthroughargumentor research.This impressiveinsight could providethe answerto many of my problemswith "The Gender/ScienceSystem"(1987b). 5. Keller is making truth claims as a philosopher,not as a scientist; yet she too, is tryingto objectively describethe nature of the Gender/ScienceSystem. 6. It is interestingto note the evolution of Keller'sthoughtson a differentscience. Forexample, in "Feminismand Science," she suggeststhat the differencewithin science can encourageus in our "questfor a differentscience, a science undistortedby masculinebias"(1982, 123, 125). 7. It seems that Keller has some ideas about what she thinks science be and what distinguishesscience fromother disciplines.If, however, we accept her thesis here, it seemsthat there is no normativescience. Rather, science is whateverwe call "science."Would Kellersay that if we start callingpainting "science," that it is science? I don't think that she is willing to accept the implicationsof her argument. 8. Methodswith which to falsifytheoriesare selected accordingto their allegianceto recalcitrant nature. That is, if they are methodswhich producethe truth about nature, they are good. They must confirm truetheories and falsifyfalse theories. 9. For example, she arguesthat contemporaryphysics suffersfrom cognitive repressionbecause its relativismisn't radicalenough (1979). 10. It is interestingto note that although, in her recent work, SandraHardinghas done an extensive categorizationof feminist epistemologists into three categories "empiricist,""standpoint," and "postmoder," she never attempts to classify Keller. In footnotes in The Science Questionin Feminism,HardinggroupsKeller with others whom she identifiesas standpoint, or postmoder, theorists (1986). However, she never attaches one of her three labels to Keller. I will suggestthat perhapsthis is becauseKellerdoesn'tfit neatly into any one of these categories. Keller'ssuggestionthat we can readscience as a text echoes postmodemtheories (Keller 1984). Her post-marxistanalysisof the history of gender bi-polarizationputs her squarelywithin the standpointtheorists(Keller 1986, 61, 64). While her "recalcitrantnature"maybe an empiricist hold-over (Keller 1987b).



11. I am not suggestingmy own alternativeto Keller'sepistemology.Rather, I am suggesting an epistemologyextrapolatedfromKeller'sown model for objects in science. However, I am currently exploring Foucault'sepistemologicalframeworkfor its uses in developing an alternative feminist epistemology.The dynamic-objectview which I attributeto Keller is similar, in some respects, to Foucault'sview of objects (Foucault 1972).


Foucault,Michel. 1972. TheArchaeology of knowledge.TransA.M. Sheridan Smith. New York:Pantheon Books. Harding,Sandra. 1986. The sciencequestionin feminism.Ithaca:Comell University Press. Keller,EvelynFox. 1987b. The gender/sciencesystem:Or, is sex to genderas nature is to science. Hypatia2 (3): 37-49. . 1987a. Dickenson Symposium lecture, West Virginia University, April 3, 1987. . 1985. Reflectionson genderand science. New York: Yale University Press. -- . 1982. Feminismand science in Feministtheory,ed. N. Keohane, M. Rosaldo, and B. Gelpi. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. "Feminism and Science" originallyappearedin Signs, 1981. -- . 1979. Cognitive repressionin contemporaryphysics. AmericanJournal of Physics.47(8): 718-721.


The Gender/ScienceSystem: Responseto KellyOliver EVELYNFOX KELLER

I welcometheopportunity to respondto KellyOliver'scritiqueof mypaperpublishedearlierin thisjournalfor at leastthreereasons:out of respectfor thetradition of intellectualexchangeto whichOliver'sinvitationtacitlyappeals;becausetheissuesareof quitegeneralimportance,evenfar beyondfeministtheory;andout of fifeministtheory,centralto whichI taketo be the delityto thegoalsof contemporary dichotomies. Thiscommitment classical unravelling inspiresme toprotestthecurof renttendencyamongsomefeministcriticsto tacitlyreinforce(oftenunderthename andrelativism theverydichotomy betweenobjectivism whichI of "deconstruction") and othershavesoughtto undermine.Here, as always,the tell-talemarksof such reconstructions are to be foundin the collapseand obliteration oppositional of distinctionsinternalto the categoriesunderquestions.

I welcome the opportunityto respondto KellyOliver'scritiqueof my paper publishedearlierin this journalfor at least three reasons.First, I respectthe traditionof intellectualexchange to which Oliver'sinvitation tacitly appeals: by definition, her difficultieswith my argumentmeritseriousattention, especially to the extent that they are sharedby others. Secondly, the issuesare of quite general importance:neither my own, nor, finally, Oliver's concerns, are restrictedto feminist critiquesof science, but ratherbelong to the larger endeavor of crafting a viable alternative to traditionalphilosophies of science. And finally, my fidelity to the goals of contemporaryfeminist theory, centralto which I take to be the unravellingof classicaldichotomies, inspires me to protestthe currenttendency among some feminist critics to tacitly reinforce (often under the name of "deconstruction")the very dichotomy between objectivism and relativismwhich I and others have sought to undermine. Here, as always, the tell-tale marksof such oppositional reconstructions are to be found in the collapse and obliterationof distinctions internal to the categoriesunder question. To illustrate, I begin by identifyingsome problematicconflations in Oliver's own discussion. Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989)? by EvelynFoxKeller



A central concern of Oliver's appearsto be with the notion of "truth",a term she uses (without quotes) no less than 35 times (not counting footnotes). In fairness, however, it must be said that she invokes the term to characterizemy own claims, demonstratingthat, in the main, she is againstit (truth, that is). But even though, like many contemporaryscholars,I am far fromclear what the wordmeans, I do retain somethingof a "traditionalist's" concern with fidelity to a text. Another way of sayingthis is that, while the difficulty in defining "truth"may be enormous, it is considerablyeasier to identify statements or claims that are untrue, even if triviallyso. Trivially, then, "truth"is Oliver'sterm, not mine. PreciselybecauseI am so uncertain of its meaning, I use the term only once, in quotes, to describenot an attribute of theory, nor of science, but rather, something that many (probably most) workingscientists believe in. In attributingclaims of "scientifictruth" to me (as in, e.g., "she hopes to preservethe integrityof scientific truth"(p. 2), or, "Kellerholds onto the belief in one truth about one nature, toward which science aims"(p. 6); or, "Keller'sassumptionthat there is one nature and one truth about that nature"(p. 9), etc., etc.), Oliver engages in two sorts of conflation at once: first, between my descriptionof the beliefs (or claims) of workingscientists and my own beliefs (or claims), and secondly, between claims about nature and claims about scientific theories (or representations) of nature. Since the first distinction is relativelystraightforward, let me turn to the second for furtherclarification,both about the distinction between the terms "science" and "nature",and about my own particular claims regardingeach term. To be perfectlyblunt, I have not arguedfor, indeed, do not believe in, the "truth"of scientific theories or representationsof nature. I explicitly reject the view of science as "mirrorof nature",and call insteadfor an account of scientific knowledge that does justice to the wide diversityof intereststhat have informedthe constructionof the differentformsof knowledgewe call "scientific".At the same time, however, I also argueagainst an account of scientific knowledge that reduces those forms of knowledge to the interest that inform them. I invoke the term "nature"to refernot to any particular representationsof reality, but to that which pre-existsus as cultural, linguistic beings, and accordingly,that providesa kind of ultimate (although perhaps not "absolute")resistance to the free invention of culturallyspecific imagination. The fact is that not all theories or representationsare equally durable,or equallysatisfying.And an important,even undeniable,aspect of the contractionof scientific theories is their responsivenessto what I call the "recalcitranceof nature."None of this is to say that it is possibleto achieve anythingone could reasonablycall "truth",but only that scientists can and do sometimes discardtheories because of their failureto provide efficacious guidesto the interactionswe engage in with the world I call "nature"-i.e.,

Evelyn Fox Keller


with thosenon-symbolic objectswith whichwe live even thoughthey can neverbe adequately named. In short,I findwoefullyinadequate thoseaccountsof sciencein whichinteractionswith naturehave disappeared altogether(suchas, e.g., Oliver's own on p. 16). Withoutquestion,scienceis a socialendeavor,constructed by humanbeingsin interactionwith each other,with ideologies,theories, culturaltraditionsandeconomicinterests,but it is distinguished frommany othersocialendeavorsby a special"interest" in interactingalsowitha nonsocialworldon whichtheirveryexistenceashumanbeings,withall theirattendantideologies,culture,andeconomicinterests,depends. But there is also another sense in which science is a social enaresocially(orconventionaldeavor-namely,that it, andits practitioners, aredistinguished ly) named.The peoplewe call "scientists" by variouscharacteristics-training,occupation,institutionalaffiliations-andalso,by certaincommitments thatarecriticalto theirself-identification. It is theselatter that I soughtto identifyin my reference(quotedby Oliveron p. 6) to the "shared commitment of scientiststo the pursuitof a maximally reliable(even if not faithful)representation of nature,underthe equallysharedassumption that, howeverelusive,thereis only one nature"(Keller:46). I claimthat suchcommitments, as articlesof faith,alsoserveto distinguish the scientific fromothersocialgroups.ButOliver'sconfusionof mydescription community of suchbeliefswithbeliefsI myselfholdmayin partbe fedbyotherarguments I have madeelsewhere-e.g., that "scientists" sharedcommitmentto the of reliable of to its dependenceon experiand possibility knowledge nature, mentalreplicability and logicalcoherence,is an indispensable prerequisite for the effectivenessof any "scientificventure"(Keller, 1985). In other words,I haveelsewheresuggestedthatat leastsomeof thesesharedcommitmentshaveconsequences forthe efficacyof scientifictheories.I holdto this but wish to note thatsucha claimdoesnot imply,asOliversays, suggestion, that"thenaturepoleof the dialecticmustsilencethe culturepolein normative science"(p. 6). Indeed,despitethe faithof workingscientists,it seems fairlyevidentthat suchsilencingcan neverbe complete. Howeverdiligentscientistsmaybe in executingtheirarticlesof faith,they remain,always,caughtby languageandby culture.Theirnamingsof nature are,andhereI agreewithOliver,alwayslocal,depending"onthe problemto be solved,datato be interpreted, calculations to run,etc."(p. 16). Theyalso aimsof a givenscientificdiscipline-on whatsortof dependon the particular interactionswith (or interventionsin) naturethat scientistsaspiretoward. And this lastformof dependency,the determination of the directionality of scientificpursuits,is inextricably social,economic,andpolitical-involving not onlydiscursivestructures of power,butmaterialonesas well. Although changeable,the influenceof suchstructures is, perhapssadly,inescapable. Thus, if I makethe claimthat natureis recalcitrant,so too mustthe same



claim be made for the fact of culture. Science is born and developed out of the interactionbetween these two kinds of constraints. It may not be possible for feminists (or anyone else) to "tell the truth" about science, any more than it is possible for scientists to "tell the truth" aboutnature. Nonetheless, it is possiblefor feministsand other critics to take on the obligationof avoiding"untruths"aboutscience as best they can, comparableto the obligationthat scientiststake on in relationto nature. In possible contradistinction to Oliver (p. 18), I obviously feel this to be important-primarily out of respect for the participantsof the culture we seek to describe. But there is a political point here as well. Those of us who believe change is possible, and who are committedto effecting that change, will inevitably worry about the danger of forfeiting what opportunitieswe might otherwise have through the loss of credibility. Oliver seems to think that feministscan reclaim the scientific project by abandoningits "allegianceto nature."I would say that in doing so, they can only hope to effect discursive strategiesfar removedfrom the scientific endeavor-indeed, abandoningthe pursuitof science to the social and discursivestructuresof power that presently exist. Fortunately,however, feministsdo have anotherchoice: they can enter into the scientific project, reclaiming"allegianceto nature"to effect strategiesbetter suited to human, and to feminist, goals. Judgingfromsome of the remarksin the last partof Oliver'spaper,it is possible that our differencesmay not finally be quite irreconcilable.But in making her argument,she has set up somethingof a fictive opponent, deforming much of my own argumentand even manyof my wordsin an effortto createa sense of opposition considerablygreaterthan what may really exist.


on GenderandScience.New Haven:Yale Keller,EvelynFox. 1985. Reflections University Press. . 1987. The gender/sciencesystem:Or, is sex to gender as nature is to science? Hypatia2(3): 37-49. Oliver, Kelly. Keller'sgender/sciencesystem. Hypatia,this issue.


DoingJusticeto Rights CARL WELLMAN

On the very first page of the chapter entitled "WrongRights"(originally publishedin Hypatia,Winter 1987) in her challenging and perceptivenew book, The Grammarof Justice, ElizabethWolgast asserts "Although it is a powerfuland usefultool, still the schema of rights is sometimesunfit for the uses we make of it" (28). I heartilyand completelyagree. Still, one wonders just when the appeal to rights is inappropriateand why. Wolgast explains that three kinds of problemscan arise when rights are invoked too freely. The firstproblemconcernsthe applicationof rightsto people, for example hospital patients or young children, who are not in a position to exercise them because they are too weak to claim their rights against those upon whom they are dependent for medical or parentalcare. It is true that the importanceof rightsconsistsprimarily,althoughnot exclusively, in the freedomand control they conferon the right-holder.Therefore, they do impose an active role on their possessorand do lose much of their value when he or she is not in a position to exercise this freedomand control effectively. This is often true of patients and childrenfor the reasons Wolgastexplainsso convincingly. Still, a right-holdermaybe only temporarily incapableof exercisinghis or her rights. One should rememberthat the definingcore of any claim-rightis a double-barreledclaim, a claim to the performanceof some correlativeduty or to remedyfor nonperformanceof this duty. Wolgast acknowledgesthis, but addsthat this remedyis "no remedyat all" (35). Now it is not true that an ex postfactoremedyis no remedyat all. To be sure, it does not directly solve the practicalproblemof the maltreatmentof patients by preventing it. But it does do something, often too little and too late, to repairthe damagedone by such maltreatmentand may indirectlyhelp in some measureto remind physiciansof their responsibilitiesto their patients and to motivate them to provide competent treatment when it is needed. Wolgastarguesthat when we invokerightsin the case of patientsor dependent children, our moral focus is wrong. She recommendsthat we deal with

Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter1989)? by CarlWellman



medicalmalpracticeand the abuseof childrenby lookingto the responsibilities of doctorsand parentsratherthan the rightsof patientsand children. However, rightsdo not focuson the right-holderratherthanthe responsible party.Although it is true that everyright is possessedby some right-holder,it is also and equallytrue that every right holds againstsome second party.The language of rights presupposessome possible confrontation to which any specified right is relevant. The practicalsignificanceof any right is that it conferssome sphereof dominion upon the firstpartyin face of some second partyin a potential conflict of wills. Therefore,rightsby their verynaturefocus upon second-partyresponsibilitiesas much as upon first-partyexercise. It is even more to the point to note that rights also involve third parties, personsin a position to intervenein any confrontationbetween the firstparty and the second partyof the right. Bystanders,includingsociety itself, arepermitted or even requiredto side with the possessorof a right and to act to prevent the violation of any right by a second party. Thus, it is simplynot true that rightslose all their value in the handsof the relativelyweak. In point of fact rightsare especiallyvaluableto the disadvantagedbecausethey providea basis for the intervention of third partiescapableof overcomingthe imbalance of powerbetween, for example, patient and physicianor child and parent. If my conception of rightsis correct, or even close to the truth, this first problemis genuine and serious, but not alwaysinsurmountable. The second problem concerns people in situations that vitiate other assumptionsimplicit in the application of rights, as the situations of women and fetuses do. Presumablythese are assumptionsbuilt into the Hobbesian model of social atomism. One alleged assumption is that moral rights belong to atomic individuals-separate self-containedpersonsessentiallyindependentof other individuals and of their social relations. But a workingmother, whose right to a maternity leave is highly controversial,is not a social atom. Realistically,maternityleaves areneeded becausechildbirthis exhaustingand because a newbornbaby and its mother need care. In part it is the child's needs that dictate that its mother shouldn'tworkfull time just afterits birth. But if we introduce the mother-child complex into the argument, we lose the frameworkof individualrights. (p. 40) Apparently, to debate the justice of mandatedmaternityleaves in the languageof rights is wrong becausethe situation of the workingmother invalidates the social atomism presupposedby the languageof individualrights. The language of rights does presupposesome sort of individualism, for everyright is possessedby some individualright-holder.But these individuals need not be social atoms-self-contained, independentand isolatedpersons. Indeed, for reasonswe have alreadyexplained, any individualcapableof pos-

Carl Wellman


sessingmoral rights cannotbe a social atom. This is becausethere are three roles implicit in the very concept of a right-that of the firstpartywho holds the right, the second partyagainstwhom the right holds, and the thirdparty who might intervene in any confrontationbetween the right-holderand the second party. Farfrom assumingthe existence of atomic individuals,the assertion of any right presupposesa social nexus in which individualsinteract and stand in essentiallysocial relations. A second assumptionbuilt into the model of social atomismis that all human beingshave equalrights.Justas any two atomsof carbonor hydrogenare indistinguishable,so any two atomic individualsare essentiallysimilar.Since all personsare equal by nature, their moral rights must be equal also. Unfortunately,the appeal to equal rights does not alwaysassure,or even advance, the cause of justice for women. Consider the "equalrights"guaranteedto women who have committed substantialparts of their lives to raising a family and managinga home, and who then need to work. The theory saysthat they have equalrightsto a job, an equalopportunity in a free, competitive labormarket.The imageoperating here is that of similar units-men and women of all agessimilarlysituated,and in that case fairtreatmentwouldbe identical treatmentof them all. A woman is discriminatedagainst and paysa penaltyfor her sex only if she is denied a job when otherfactorsareequal. But if we supposeher situationto be as I have describedit, then other factorsare not equal. (p. 39) Since workingmothers are not to be equatedwith the males againstwhom they compete for jobs, it is wrong to look to their equal rights as a guide to how they ought to be treated. Let us proceedwith caution, for there is a mixtureof truth and falsehood here. It is essential to recognizethat an individualpossessesany right by virtue of possessingthe relevant status. For example, it is as a citizen of the United States that I have the right to participatein its elections and as a memberof the APA and I have the right to submita paperfor the programof its Pacific Division. Now it is usually assumedthat all human beings are equallyhuman. This seems to imply that every individual-parent or child, man or woman-has equal human rights. If the justice of affirmativeaction programsis to be decided by an appeal to specificallyhuman rights, then it would appearthat the second problemof concern to Wolgast is genuine and serious. I would add, however, that one must distinguishbetween equal rightsand rights to equality. Equalhuman rights may imply unequaltreatmentfor human beingsbecauseof the definingcontent of some specificrights. The UniversalDeclarationof HumanRightsaffirmsthat all humanbeingshave an equal



right to an adequatestandardof living, includingmedicalcare. Now it might requirea higher income to providean adequatestandardof living in an inflationary economy than in a society with a lower cost-of-living index. Similarly, since differentindividualswill need very differentkinds and quantities of medical care to maintain or returnthem to reasonablygood health, their equal human rights to necessary medical care will imply unequal medical treatment.Thus, the assumptionof equal humanrightsneed not ruleout different treatmentfor differentlyconstituted or situated human beings. Even more to the point is the observationthat not all our moralrightsare rightswe possessas human beings. It is entirelypossible, indeed quite probable, that women possessa moralright to affirmativeaction programsin employment by virtue of some status, or complex of statuses, other than their humanity. Perhapsas membersof a society they have a right to their fair share of the advantagesand other goods distributedby its economic system. Perhapsas mothersburdenedwith the majorshareof the social responsibility of raisingchildren, they have a right to compensationfor the employment disadvantagesimposedby this responsibility.I honestly do not know where the truth lies here. But I am confident that the equality of human rights, even if granted, does not necessarilyimplythat special treatmentfor women is unjust. It may turn out that affirmativeaction programsfor women are justicizedeither by the definingcontent of certainspecifichumanrightsor by unequalmoral rights of other species. A third assumptionof social atomism is that individualsare autonomous agents, beings capableof the rationalpursuitof their interests.This assumption is vitiated by a very common way of looking at the situationof the pregnant woman. The debate about abortion also shows the inadequaciesof a theoryof rightsin regardto reproduction.It is a subjectof serious debatewhetherthe fetus is an autonomousindividualwith equal rights. If so, then it has all the rightsof any personand should be able to claim its rightsagainstits mother-to-be.But how can we imagine such a thing? (p. 41-42) The problemis not our lack of imagination;it is the wrongnessof ascribing moral rights to the human fetus. It is a mistake to attributerights to the fetus. Such attributionsare not false; they are meaninglessbecause a semantical presuppositionof the languageof rightsis that right-holdersarerationalagents. But why do rightspresupposethis?Not simplybecauseonly a rationalagent can claim its rights,for not all rightsare claim-rights.The existenceof liberty-rights, power-rightsand showsthe need for some moregeneralexplanation. even immunity-rights There are, in fact, two explanations adequate for a general theory of rights-a macroexplanationand a microexplanation.A right is a complex

Carl Wellman


structureof Hohfeldian positions that as a whole confers, if it is respected, freedomand control upon its possessor.Since only a rationalagent is capable of possessing either freedom or control, only a rational agent can possess rights.The elements out of which any right is constitutedare Hohfeldianpositions, especiallyliberties,powers, claims, and immunities.Since only a rational agent could conceivablyexerciseeither a libertyor a power, it is meaninglessto attributelibertiesor powersto any being other than a rationalagent. And since only rationalagentscan be significantlysaidto possessthese essential partsof any right, only rationalagentscan be said to be right-holders. Now I do not believe that the humanfetus is a rationalagent. Therefore,I agreewith Wolgast that is is wrongto debate the justice or injusticeof abortion on demand in terms of the conflict between the rights of the pregnant woman and the rightsof the fetus. To be sure, the humanfetus is a potential rational agent. But all that this implies is that the fetus has the potential to acquirerights, not that it now possessesthose rightsit will come to have as its capacitiesfor rational choice and action graduallydevelop. The second problem that can arise when rights are invoked too freely is that they are attributedin situationsthat vitiate the presuppositionsof the languageof rights. This does happen when rights are ascribedto human fetuses. I am not convinced, however, that there is any conceptual confusion in debatingthe justice of mandatedmaternityleaves or preferentialaffirmative action programsfor women in termsof individualrights. In my view, this second problemis very real, too often ignored,but not presentin all the situations where Wolgast imagineswrong rights. The third problemthat can arisewhen rightsare invoked too freelyhas to do with the attempt to justify the condemnation of offenses whose moral wrongnessis perfectlyclear and unequivocal. Wolgast asks why we feel impelled to appealto some right wheneverwe deal with a wrongfulact or practice and surmisesthat we imaginethat rightsarepriorto and morebasic than the duties with which they are correlated.Thus, rightsproliferateas we seek justificationsfor every condemnationof wrong action. How should we solve this problem of the proliferationof wrong rights? Wolgast suggeststhat we should recognizethat it is often unnecessaryto justify our judgmentthat certain sortsof acts are morallywrong. "Callingmurder wrong is here like calling a certain color red, that is, what justifiesus in using these terms is that the word means what it does" (p. 47). Unfortunately, the analogybetween moralattributionsand color attributessuggested here does not hold. The justificationof my assertionthat my pen is red may well come to an end when I show you the color of my pen. This is becausewe learnand teach the meaningof the word"red"by ostensive definition so that in the end, as in the beginning, the word"red"just means thiscolor. But we do not learn or teach the meaning of the expression"morallywrong"by ostensive definition. It is closer to the truth, althoughnot the whole truth, to



say that we learn the meaningof the word"wrong"by being told why this or that act is to be condemned. Therefore,the chain of reasonsnever stopswith the judgmentthat some act is wrong, and moralcondemnationsalwaysstand in need of some justification. How, then, can we avoid the proliferation of wrong rights? Although Wolgasthas not solved this problemfor us, she has diagnosedits sourcecorrectly. We are tempted in fartoo many instancesto justifyour condemnation of some wrong act by assertingthat it violates some duty correlativewith some prior right. The beginning of wisdom is the recognition that not all wrongacts violate duties. It may be morallywrongfor me to refrainfromdoing a favorfor a friendor to refuseto give some of my sparecash to a destitute strangereven though I have no duty to do favorsfor anyone or to provide charity to this individual. Our wisdom increaseswhen we realize that not every duty is groundedin a correlativeright. Some duties are relativeduties, duties to some right-holder.Forexample, my duty to repaya loan is correlative to and groundedin the creditor'sright to repayment. But absolute or nonrelativeduties do not reflectany correlativeright. Thus, my duties to develop my talents and to refrainfromtreatingmy cats cruellyare not owed to any identifiableright-holders.Accordingly,only underspecialcircumstances could one plausiblyattempt to justify the moral condemnationof an act by the appealto some violated right, only when the act is wrongbecauseit violates some duty imposedby that right. In other cases the invocation of a right merely adds to the proliferationof wrong rights. In the end, then, I accept more than I rejectof Wolgast'sdiscussionof the third problemthat can arisewhen rightsare invoked too freely. Although it is not true that the justificationof the condemnationof wrongacts is often unnecessary,it is true that the appealto rightsis often irrelevantto any such justification. What conclusions should we draw concerning Wolgast's treatment of rightsin TheGrammarof Justice?There arewrongrightsor, to speakless enigmatically, there are wrong uses of the languageof rights. The invocation of rights is often ineffective when the right-holderis not in a position to exercise his or her right actively and fully. It is meaninglessto ascriberightsto individualswhose natureor situationinvalidatesthe semanticalpresuppositions of the languageof rights. A proliferationof unrealor irrelevantrightsresults when we attemptto justifyevery condemnationof wrongaction by appealing to some right violated. By identifyingthese problemsand warningus of their import, her treatment of wrong rights makes an importantcontribution to moral theory and applied ethics. At the same time, Wolgast has not defined the boundariesof these wrong usesof the languageof rightsaccuratelyor explainedfully in exactlywhat ways and for what reasonsthese invocationsof individualrights are mistaken.To achieve this we need a more adequatetheory of the nature and groundsof rights.



Carl Wellman'scommentson "WrongRights"are those of a sophisticated rights theorist, and I find them both astute and welcome. Since my paper didn't supportto give a sustainedand generalattack on rightsor expound a theory of rights (for which it is not nearly scholarly enough) and since Wellmanwouldnot defendthe widestapplicationssometimesmadeof rights, it's possiblefor us to be in much agreement.He is reassuringlyin sympathy with the overall thrust of my argument,towardincreasedwarinesswith respect to the invocation of rights, and sharesmy uneasinesswith some of the troublesomeexamplesthat I cite. On specifics,both of us supportdifferential rights for pregnant women; neither of us wants to grant that fetuses have rights;we agree that rights are spoken of much too loosely and more care in their use is in order.Our disagreementsnonetheless concern importantissues that need to be carriedfurther. What I argueis that certain applicationsof rightssuggestthat we need to use more common sense, and should keep one eye on their suitabilityto any given kind of injustice. My broadestclaims were that (a) we have a reflex tendency to deal with wrongs in termsof violations of rights; (b) this tendency reflectssome of the assumptionsof atomism;and (c) we do this partlyin the belief that a reasonfor wrong is alwaysneeded, and a violated right appears to supply such a reason. I offered a few instances where addressinga wrongby referringto a right seems to me illogical and incongruous.Let me turn now to the main disagreementsbetween Wellman and me. 1) On the connection of rightswith atomism, I do not say that it is one of entailment-that rightsfollow fromthe assumptionsof atomism,those of the independence, autonomy, equalityand competitivenessof individuals.And obviouslyatomism doesn't follow from rights:you needn't be an atomist to hold a doctrine of rights, though without atomismthe theory would be very different. What I said was that "individual rights is a natural adjunct to atomism,"meaning that there is a logical affinity between the languageof rights and these assumptions' (1987, 28). Individualrights fits neatly with atomism'sassumptionof human independenceand equality, and supportour preferencefor rightsthat are equal. Wellman shows his attachmentto equal Hypatiavol. 3, no. 3 (Winter 1989) ? by ElizabethWolgast



rightswhen he defends the idea that equal rightsneed not be the same; but this seems a cover up for the admissionthat some rightssimplyare different, and how equality accordswith that is still unclear to me. 2 I arguethat atomismnaturallyleadsus to talk aboutpeople as autonomous individuals,without the bonds of blood and blind commitmentand geography which are not undertheir control. The fact that real humanshave many bonds of these kinds does not show that atomismhas no effect on our thinking, as Wellman suggests.What it may show, as I propose, is a gap between model and reality that badly needs addressing. 2) In responseto my assertionthat rights imply the opposition of two unconnected parties, the one pressingher right againstthe other, Wellman argues that on the contrary,for rights to exist there must be a third partywho "is in a position to intervene . .. Bystanders,includingsociety itself. . . are permittedor even requiredto side with the possessorof a right and to act to preventthe violation of any rightby a second party."Instancesare the way a patient'srelative or patient advocatecan pressa patient'sclaim in herbehalf, or the way an adult may advocate the rights of a child, or a public attorney prosecute a violator of rights. Such possibilities show that rights are not atomisticcreaturesand that there are remediesto rights-violationswhich do not fit the two confrontingparties-model. I grant certainly that a third partymay take a hand, helping to press the claim of one personagainstanother. But even this usuallyrequiresthe third partyacting in thenameof the one wronged,acting in her place, in her stead, which is preciselywhat atomismdictates. So the imageunderlyingWellman's helpful referee, the setting in which the dialectic of rights functions, is still that of confrontingindividuals."Society"in the abstractor the "socialnexus" of which a personis partarenot requiredto defenda person'srights.And if sofromthe pateralisciety did take this role, it's role wouldbe indistinguishable tic one that atomismand rightstheoryareboth designedto avoid. The practical use of rightsis a do-it-yourself craft,and those engagedin it need to be both free and capableto practiceit. The incompetentand helplessrequiresupplementarymachinery;and the questionis why we shouldinsist in thatcase that we are dealingwith individualrights. If someone is needed to be concerned, e.g., with respectfor patients,why not startwith the medicalcommunity? 3) I find Wellman'smost interestingcriticismto be his objection to my argument that some wrongsdo not need justification. He quotes my assertion that calling murderwrong is like calling a certain color red where a further justificationcan't meaningfullybe given. He agreesthat this is true normally of our use of red, that " 'red'just means this color." But we do not lear or teach the meaning of the expression "morallywrong" by ostensive definition. It is closer to the truth . . . to say that we learn the meaning of the word



"wrong"by being told whythis or that act is to be condemned. Thereforethe chain of reasonsnever stops with the judgment that some act is wrong,and oral condemnationalwaysstand in need of some justification. If justifications never stop with the judgment that some kind of act is wrong-e.g. murderis wrong-then there mustbe a whole languageunderlying the languageof morality;and this would be disanalogouswith the language of color which does not rest on anything further.And are we to suppose that the more fundamentallanguageis a languageof rights?That would suggestthat masteringthe terminologyof rightswas fundamentalto learning the languageof moralityand wrongdoingin general. But that flies in the face of our experience. Moreover,it seems to implythat a languagewhich did not referto rights (as ancient Greek is said not to) would necessarilyrelate to a differentmorality,one which restedon a differentfoundation. But this also seems counter-intuitive. What proof is there that some justifyinglanguageis fundamentalto the languageof right and wrong, justice and injustice?Perhapsonly our desireto givejustifications,our insecurityin the face of the question, "whydo you say that?".But as Wittgenstein said, the difficultthing maybe to startat the beginning and not try to go furtherback. In the last two chaptersof The Grammarof JusticeI try to show how the languageof morality,and moralityitself, really are learned-and may fail to be learned. I arguethat it is moral condemnation that forms the bedrockupon which justificationsstand, and not the reverse.Thus the languageof right and wrongis more fundamentalthan that of justifications,as it formsthe beginningof moraltraining.Demandsfor justificationscome later and sometimes, when facetious, need to be rejected ratherthan answered. Here my responseshows how deep and complex issuesare the issuesraised by Wellman'scritique, for I have had to take as context my entire book, The GrammarofJustice,ratherthan the limitedessayon rights.HoweverI believe with Wellman that the theory of rightsand the rest of our moralvocabulary are so connected that short answersto the importantquestionsare impossible, and any good answersare very hard to come by. I believe that critiques like his help advance the cause of workingsuch answersout. NOTES 1. The Grammarof Justice(Ithaca, N.Y.: Corell University Press, 1987), p. 28. 2. As it was when I wrote Equalityand theRightsof Women(Ithaca, N.Y.: Corell University Press, 1980), see especiallyChapter II.

Book Reviews

Feminismand Methodology. By SANDRA HARDING. Bloomington:Indiana University Press. 1987. Nash Margaret SandraHarding'smost recent anthology, FeminismandMethodology, comprises an excellent collection of essaysfocusing on feminist approachesto theory and researchin the social sciences. Feministinquiryhas changed not only the questions and problemsthat social science raisesand addressesbut also the very way we conceptualizeknowledgeand the possibilityof it. The essaysin this text illustratein diverseways these shifts in theoreticalunderstandingand social practiceand exhibit the breadthof feminist social analyses and their impact acrossdisciplinaryboundaries.Hardinghas selected ten influentialessayswhich span the last fourteenyearsand include a rangeof social science disciplines (psychology, sociology, history, political theory, economics and jurisprudence). Hardingframesthis selection of essayswith an introductionand a conclusion that addressthe issues of methodology and epistemologyrespectively. What guidesher approachis considerationof the question, "What has been responsiblefor producingthe most widely acclaimed feminist social analyses?"(vii). The temptation has been to appeal to a method of feminist inquiry. Against this, Harding argues that there is no distinctive feminist method. Her reasonsfor eschewing the recourseto method are several. The methodology issue is wrongly posed. It conflates research methods, methodologies, and epistemologieswhich in turn generatesmore confusion than clarity and mystifies the really distinguishingfeaturesof feminist research. By unravelingthe distinct meaningsof these termsand the activities they referto, Hardinghopes to sharpenour abilityto decipherthese factorsin the essayswhich follow and to enable us to understandhow these factorsinteract. Such an understandingcreatesa spacefor both toleratingand explaining pluralismwith respect to feminist inquiry.Hardingproposesthree (nonexhaustive) features that the best research exhibits. These include: using women'sexperiencesas a resource,both to generateand to informthe problems for research;providingexplanationsfor womenwhich meansthat the researchis designedto answerquestionsor to highlight issuesthat women want and need to understand;and placing the researcherin the same criticalplane as the subject matter under investigation which means including in one's analysisthe presuppositions(gender, race, class, etc.) that constitute one's Permissionto reprinta book review from this selection may be obtained only from the author

Book Reviews


for perspective.Thesefeaturesandnot a "feministmethod"areresponsible forceof feministresearchandthe concomitantimplosionof the explanatory traditionalsocialtheory. To varyingdegreesall the articlesin thiscollectionexhibitthe abovefeaturesthoughthey differwidelyin how theyobtainevidenceandwhatthey arerepresented. countasevidence.Feministsof diversepersuasions The contributorsincludeJoanKelly-Gadol,MarciaMillmanandRosabethKanter, CarolynSherif,CarolGilligan,JoyceLadner,DorothySmith,BonnieDill, Heidi Hartmann,CatharineMacKinnon,and Nancy Hartsock.Harding and situateseach of the selectionsin a way brieflyintroduces,summarizes thatis veryusefulforextendingthe critiqueand/oranalysisthatthe author's workbegins.WhileI do not intendto commenton eachselection,it is imin the portantto note that, thoughmanyof thesearticlesoriginallyappeared worksandessentialreadingforthose seventies,theyarestillgroundbreaking enteringthe terrainof feministsocialanalysis.The critiquesof the methodologicaland theoreticalbiasesthat guideresearchin history,sociology,and psychology(Kelly-Gadol,Millmanand Kanter,Sherif)are excellent for traditional andchangeswhat showinghowfeminismundermines assumptions The perspecival natureof knowledge getsviewedasin needof interpretation. and the genuine sense of objectivity that such an acknowledgement engendersis especiallyemphasized by Ladner,Smith,andDill. A welcome additionherewouldbe LugonesandSpelman's jointwork("HaveWe GotA for You! Feminist Cultural andThe Demandfor Theory Theory, Imperialism 'TheWoman'sVoice'" (1983), whichconcretelyexploreshowto workout the authorizing of women'sexperienceswithouterasingcultural,ethnic,racial, or classdifferences.The problemof how to writetheoryandof what even constitutestheoreticalinquiry,which Lugonesand Spelmanaddress wouldcontributeto the epistemological discussionwithwhichHardingconcludesthe book.BothMacKinnon's andHartsock's essaysareconcered with the of the knower but justifying engagedposition groundtheirepistemological standpoints differently. The tensionswithinfeministtheoryareperhapsmostnotablewithrespect to epistemology andthe justification of knowledgeclaims.Hardingcoinsthe term'transitional to that she laepistemologies' referto two epistemologies bels "feministempiricist" and "feministstandpoint". This is a goodwayto characterize the statusof theseepistemological positionsanda goodwayto avoidthe tendencyto forcecommitmentsinto one campor another.But moreimportantly,as Hardingsuggests:"Perhapseverylegitimatemodem is transitional" anddynamicnatureof (186). The transitional epistemology the knowerandthe knownwouldseemto leadus to sucha conclusionandI thinkHardingis rightto leaveopenandunresolvedthe contradictions and the tensionsbetweenthesetwo 'transitional the traditional epistemologies', ones undercritiqueand the feministpostmodemist critiquesof the unitary



feministperspectiveimpliedby the 'transitionalepistemologies'.Clearly, the 'transitionalepistemologies' have empoweredwomen and have broadened our understandingof social relationsand the possibilitiesfor changingthese. I am not surethat there is as much conflict between some of these epistemologies and the postmodernists' critique as Harding suggests. While the postmodernistcalls into question the universalizingclaims to truth, objectivity, etc., groundedin unified theories and selves, such skepticismregarding the old terms of discourseserves the interestsof those carvingout locations previouslyunseen and thwartsthe imperialistclaims of the omnipotent seer. Harding'scounterto the postmodemcritic that "it is prematurefor women to be willing to give up what they never had" ignoresthe obvious rejoinder:In what sense can one be said to give up somethingif they never had it? Desires can be deceptive as well as modifiable.The longed for object may be the archaic lost object of desire that no one has ever had. Rather than continue questing for power masked as objectivity, legitimated by totalizing truth claims, the feministpostmoderist chooses to subvertand delimit it. I do not think that such a projectundercutsthe desireto know or to authorizeour experience. as well This text is very readable,and will be accessibleto undergraduates as graduatesand useful in a varietyof courses. REFERENCES

Lugones,Mariaand ElizabethV. Spelman. 1983. Have we got a theory for you! Feminist theory, cultural imperialismand the demand for 'The Woman'sVoice!' Hypatia1, publishedas a special issueof Women'sStudForum6(6): p. 573-581. ies International Women's Place in the Academy: Transformingthe LiberalArts Curriculum. Edited by MARILYNR. SCHUSTER and SUSAN R. VAN DYNE. Totowa, NJ: Rowan & Allanheld, 1985. The Impact of Feminist Research in the Academy. Edited by CHRISTIE FARNHAM. Bloomington, IN: IndianaUniversity Press, 1987. MonicaHolland Women'sPlace in the Academyand The Impactof FeministResearchin the Academytogetherprovidea progressreporton feminist scholarshipin the academic world. The first is about how some educatorshave begun transforming traditionalliberalarts curriculainto curricularesponsiveto the needs of women studentsand informedabout the feminist researchbeing done in traditional disciplines.The second book focuseson the state of feministresearch in these disciplines and the impact this researchhas had on their assump-

Book Reviews


tions, methodological precepts and directions. The primaryvalue of these booksfor feministphilosophersis that they give us a chance to comparenotes with feminists in other disciplines. By helping us see the largerpicture for women'sscholarship,these books can help us place ourselvesas teachersand researchersin the largercontext of a communityof feminist scholars. They thereby help us formulate strategiesfor teaching, doing research, and the largerinstitutionalprojectof reassessingtraditionalliberalartscurriculaand the missionsof institutions of higher education. Women'sPlacein theAcademyis interestingand fun to read, in partbecause it's a "how to" book. Schuster and Van Dyne have collected reportsfrom feministscholarsin differentdisciplineson how they have madetheir courses and/ortheir institutions'curricularesponsiveto the rapidlygrowingbody of feminist scholarship,and how they have heightened awarenessof the white, male, elitist biases entrenched in the traditionalcurriculumand disciplines. The contributionsfall into four categories:(1) assessmentsof the abilitiesof coeducationalinstitutionsand women's institutionsto meet the educational needs of women students;(2) commentson the relationbetween Blackstudies and women'sstudies;(3) reportson intra-and inter-institutionalattempts to reshapecurriculain responseto the needs of women and minoritystudents; (4) reportson how scholarshave transformedparticularcoursesin response to feminist and Black scholarship,and in responseto the need to examine pedagogyfrom a perspectivesensitive to feminist and racial concerns. One of the recurringthemes is the inclusionof genderas a categoryof analysis. Though we don't get any quick answersabouthow to createwomen-oriented courses,we do lear from the experiencesof people who have experimentedwith, and to varyingdegreessucceededin, includinggenderas a category of analysis in particularcourses. We find descriptionsof how people have developed courses in American literature,French literature,political science, communication,philosophy, and biology. Since the only way to effect institutionalchange in the curriculumis throughreorientingparticular courses, these contributionsconstitute the core of this book. As is the case with most anthologiesthough, the qualityof the contributionsis mixed. But overall, the papersare sufficientlyinformativeto warranta carefulreadingby anyone interestedin largescale curriculumtransformationor anyone feeling isolated in her attempts at feminizingtraditionalcourses. TheImpactof FeministResearchin theAcademydoes not makefor light reading; it requiresa substantialcommitmentfrom the reader,primarilybecause the papersin it describethe impactof feminist researchfromwithinthe disciplines. Though jargonis never a problem,I don't imagineany readerwill feel at home in the wide rangeof disciplinesrepresented.None of the papersdeals directly with the impact of feminist researchon philosophy, but there is plenty to interest a feminist philosopher. Because feminist research has tended to be inter-disciplinary,there is a lot of overlap between the disci-



plines surveyedand our own. Also, many of these scholarsinsist that whole structuresof inquiryand theorizingmust be revampedbefore the traditional disciplinescan begin to accommodatefeminist questionsand answers.One example of a distinctly philosophical issue arisingfrom the essays is the repeated invocation of Thomas Kuhn'snotion of the paradigmshift. One has to wonderwhether Kuhn'smodel is as adequateto the needs of the academic feminist movement as it is commonly taken to be. Another interestingmethodologicalaspect of the book is that a disagreement almostsurfacesover whether what is wrongwith much of the "masculine" canon is that it is too objective or not objective enough. Carol Nagy Jacklin and Ruth Bleier suggest that we can rid the traditionaldisciplines (some of them? all of them?) of their androcentricbiasesby consideringmore information-information concerningwomen and arisingfrom women'sexperiences-and by more carefullychoosing (or at least makingexplicit) our assumptions.They seem to hold that the structureof the investigatoryenterprise is sound, though not all relevant informationis currentlybeing considered. Carol Christ, on the other hand, insists that the "ethosof objectivity" shouldbe rejectedin favorof the "ethosof eros and empathy."Christ thinks the full emotional force of the personalmust be broughtto bearon methods of inquirybefore feminist concerns can really be addressed.This disagreement poses questions for feminist methodology that are perhapsbest addressedby philosophers:Is there a method of feminist inquirythat underlies feminist inquiriesin the differentdisciplines?If so, is it what Christ calls the "ethosof eros and empathy"?Can the personalbe heeded too much in a feminist inquiry?Isn't this last question especially troublinggiven the commitment of feminist researchersto presentingwomenkindas the highly diversified group it is? Although these essaysstressthat a great amount of feminist researchhas been done, no one seems readyto claim victory. The following conclusions are explicit in some essaysand implicit in others: (1) Feministresearchhas of most traditionaldisciplines. As a had little influence on the mainstreams rule, feminist subfieldshave developed. (2) Consequently,feminist research has not had much impacton the content of introductorycoursesor their textbookssince these function as introductionsto mainstreams.(3) The ultimate impactof feminist researchin the academyawaitsa new generationof scholars, educated in departmentswhich are sensitive to feminist research.

Notes on Contributors

SANDRA BARTKY is an associate professorof philosophy and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currentlya Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College where she is completing an essay collection entitled FemininityandDomination:Studiesin thePhenomenology of Oppression to be publishedby Routledge in 1990. JUDITH BUTLERteaches philosophyat George WashingtonUniversity in Washington, D.C. She is the authorof Subjectsof Desire:HegelianReflections in TwentiethCenturyFrance(Columbia University Press, 1987) and is currentlycompletinga manuscripton the politics of genderidentitytheoryto be published by Routledge in 1989. She has written articles in continental philosophy, Frenchfeminism, and poststructuralisttheory. NANCY FRASER teaches philosophy, comparativeliteratureand theory, and women'sstudiesat NorthwesternUniversity. She is the authorof Unruly Practices:Power,Discourse,and Genderin Contemporary SocialTheory(Universityof Minnesota Press). DIANA J. FUSS is assistantprofessorof Englishat PrincetonUniversity.She is the author of a forthcoming book on feminist theory called Essentially Speaking(Routledge, 1989) and she is currentlyat workon a book on gay and lesbian theory, tentatively titled, The ThirdSex. MONICA HOLLAND is doing doctoralwork in philosophyat IndianaUniversity, Bloomington. She is interestedin issuesin epistemology,philosophy of mind and feminist theory, and is writing a dissertationentitled "Emotion and Belief: ExpandingOur Theories of Knowledge."She has workedas the editorial assistant of Nous, and is currently the editorial assistant of the Journalof Philosophical Logic. NANCY J. HOLLAND is associateprofessorof philosophyat Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Californiaat Berkeley.She has publishedseveralarticleson contemporary French philosophy and recently completed a manuscriptthat comparesthe usefulnessof Anglo-Americanand continental philosophyfor doing feminist theory. LUCE IRIGARAY holds doctorates in literature, linquistics, and philosophy. She is trained as a psychoanalyst.She is a directorof researchat the Centre Nationale de la RechercheScientifiquein Paris.Her workcenterson



artsand language.She has written numerousworks, of which two are translated into English:Speculumof the OtherWomanand This Sex WhichIs Not One. Another, "The Ethics of Sexual Difference,"is undertranslation.Her and a collection on Levinasedited articleshave appearedin Signs,Paragraph A. Cohen. Richard by EVELYNFOX KELLERhas worked in theoretical physics, molecular and mathematicalbiology, but she is perhapsbest known for her two books, A Feelingfor the Organism:The Life and Workof BarbaraMcClintock(W.H. Freeman, 1983) and Reflectionson Genderand Science (Yale Univ. Press, 1985). She is currentlya memberof The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and has just joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. SARAH KOFMANteaches philosophyat Paris1-Sorbonne.She has written eighteen books of which the following deal specificallywith questions pertaining to feminism:L'Enigmede la femme(1980), translatedas TheEnigmaof Woman (Comell University Press, 1985); Le respectdes femmes (Galilee, 1982); Aberrations:le devenir-femme d'AugusteComte (Flammarion,1978); de Derrida in Lectures cloche" (Galilee, 1984); "Baubo,perversionthe"Qa in et la scenephilosophique et fetichisme" Nietzsche (Galilee, 1986). ologique Kofman'sfirstbook, L'Enfancede l'Art, was recentlytranslatedas, TheChildhoodof Art (ColumbiaUniversityPress, 1988). Her last two booksare Paroles suffoquees(Galilee, 1987), a reflectionon concentrationcamps, and Conversions, le marchandde Venisesous le signede Sature (Galilee, 1988). ELEANORH. KUYKENDALL,who holds a Ph.D. fromColumbiaUniversity, is chair of the philosophydepartmentand coordinatorof the linquistics program,SUNY College at New Paltz. From1979 to 1981 she wasdirectorof the Parisphilosophyprogram,SUNY New Paltz, in affiliationwith l'Universite de ParisIV (Sorbonne). DOROTHYLELANDteaches philosophyat PurdueUniversity, where she is directorof Purdue'sDoctoral Programin Philosophyand English. Although most of her publications have been in mainstream German and French phenomenology, she is looking forwardto doing more work on feminist issues. MARGARETNASH received her Ph.D. in philosophyfrom the University of Massachusetts,Amherst. She is currentlyan assistantprofessorof philosophy at SUNY Cortland. Her philosophical interest include continental philosophy, psychoanalysis,philosophy of the social sciences and feminist philosophy.

Notes on Contributors


ANDREA NYE teaches philosophyand feminist theory at the Universityof Wisconsin-Whitewater.Her most recent publishedpapersexplore the intersections of feminism and philosophy of language, with special emphasison poststructuralism.She is the authorof FeministTheoryand thePhilosophies of Man, (Croom Helm, 1988) distributedby Routledge, Chapmanand Hall. KELLYOLIVERis currentlya visiting assistantprofessorof philosophyat Miami University of Ohio. She receivedher Ph.D. fromNorthwesternUniversity in 1987. Her dissertation,is entitled "Woman'sVoice, Man'sLanguage: A Reading of Gender and Languagein Nietzsche." MARGARET A. SIMONS is an associate professor of philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville,and editor of Hypatia.She is currentlyworkingon a book on Beauvoir'sphilosophy. JANE MARIE TODD has taught French, comparative literature, and women'sstudies at Miami University of Ohio, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Reed College. She has published articles on Rousseau, Derrida, Freud,de Man, Genet, and on feminist theory. CARL WELLMANis the Hortense and Tobias Lewin DistinguishedProfessor in the humanitiesat WashingtonUniversityin Saint Louis.His two more recent books are WelfareRights(1982) and A Theoryof Rights(1985). He is a vice presidentof the internationalassociationfor philosophyof law and social philosophy and serves on the editorial boardsof Ethicsand Archivfur Rechts-und Sozialphilosophie. ELIZABETHWOLGAST is professorof philosophyat CaliforniaState University, Hayward.A graduate(B.A. and M.A.) of Corell University, and of the University of Washington (Ph.D.), she is the author of Paradoxesof Knowledge,Equalityand theRightsof Women,and recentlyof The Grammarof Justice.

Announcements Call for Papers:Iyyun a PhilosophicalQuarterlypublishedin Hebrew since 1946 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalemannounces that as of Vol. 38, 1989 it will publish two additional issues in English each year. Iyyun will accept articles and critical studies in all areas of philosophy, irrespective philosophical school, style or method of inquiry. Papersshould be sent to E.M. Zemach, Editor, Iyyun, The S. H. BergmanCenter for Philosophical Studies, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,91905, Israel. The May, 1989 issueof the American PhilosophicalAssociation'sFeminism and PhilosophyNewsletter,edited by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone and Nancy Tuana will focus on Feminism, Sexuality, and the Body. The issue will be devoted to investigationsof the relationshipof feminismto the sexual body, feminismto the technological body, feminismto the clinical body, feminism to the visual body, feminism to the social body (the body as social subject/ social object), feminismto the felt body, feminismto the reproductivebody, and so on. The focus will be on the concrete flesh and bone body, but in different guises, settings, and/or with specific emphasis. For this issue the Newsletterisseeking:(1) Essays(no more than 10 pages); (2) Book reviewsof related works; (3) Relevant bibliographies of philosophical interest; (4) Curriculardiscussions and suggestions regarding the use of materials on feminism, sexuality, and the body in philosophy courses. All submissions must be limitedto ten manuscriptpages. Essaysshouldbe submittedin duplicate with the author'sname on the title page only. The deadlinefor submisto Nancy Tuana,Arts and Humanisions is January1, 1989. Send manuscripts Texas at of Dallas, Richardson,TX 75083-0688. ties, JO 3.1, University The September,1989 issue of the American Philosophical Association's Feminismand PhilosophyNewsletter, edited by Laurie Shrage and Nancy Tuana, will focus on Feminism and Aesthetics. Submissions on feminist literarytheory, film criticism, art criticism, and feminist theories of art and aesthetic judgment are welcome. Also welcome are book reviews, literture surveys, ideas for mainstreamingfeminist aesthetic theory in philosophy courses,and short commentarieson (1) the writingsof women aestheticians, (2) the politics of art reception and production, (3) feminist aesthetics and theories of meaning and representation.All submissionsmust be limited to ten manuscript pages. Essays should be submitted in duplicate with the author'sname on the title page only. The deadlinefor submissionsis May 1, 1989. Send manuscriptsto Nancy Tuana, Arts and Humanities, JO 3.1, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson,Texas 75083-0688. The futureissuesof the American PhilosophcalAssociation's Feminismand PhilosophyNewsletter will focus: (1) open issue: All topics welcome. (2) feminismand moral theory. (3) feminismand the environment.



Callfor Papersfor 1990 BerkshireConference:The 8th BerkshireConference on the Historyof Women, "CrossingBoundariesin FeministHistory",will be held on June 7-10, 1990, at Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Submit proposals in Triplicateby February1989 to Jane Caplan, Departmentof History, BrynMawrCollege, BrynMawr,PA 19010, or Nancy Cott, American Studies Program, 1504A Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520. Furtherdetails availablefrom either. The National Women's StudiesAssociationwill hold its 1989 conference, "FeministTransformations,"at Towson State University in Baltimore,June 14-18, 1989. Brill'sStudiesin Epistemology,Psychology,and Psychiatryis devoted to the publicationof recent philosophicalworksin these disciplinesand, especially, in the aeas in which these disciplines intersect. Such works may be of contemporaryor historical interest, and of theoretical or practicalsignificance. But they are related in their treatment of philosophical issues and problemspertainingto ourunderstandingof the humanmind, its acquisition, validation,and use of knowledge,and the conditionsunderwhich such acquisition, validation, and use are or should be regardedas rational.Should you wish to submita manuscriptfor this series,pleasewriteto: E. J. Brill,attention ElisabethErdman,P.O.B. 9000,2300 PA Leiden,The Netherlands. Aunt Edna'sReadingList-a monthly reviewof feministbooks is a brief,down to earth review with an emphasison connecting feminist readerswith the works of authorswho usuallydon't receive mainstreampublicity. Included are books of feminist theory, social commentary, internationalaffairs,and lots of novels and just good reads. Also inlcudes orderinginformationfor hard-to-findbooks. Subscriptionsare $10.00 a year; a free sample copy is availablefromAunt Edna'sReadingList, 2002-H-27 Hunnewell, Honolulu, HI 96822. BookSubmissions Sought:One foundingmemberof the groupJewishLesbian Daughtersof Holocaust Survivors,an internationalnetworkingand support group, seeks submissions for an anthology of writings by Jewish Lesbian Daughters of Holocaust Survivors. Tentatively titled "The Hour of the Rooster, The Hour of the Owl", from a prose-poemof the same name, this collection will include poetry, photos, b/w art/graphicsand short stories all focused around life of a Jewish Lesbian Daughter of Holocaust Survivors. Fiction, historical fiction, biography,autobiographyand other appropriate styles will be considered.Forfurtherinformationplease write:JLDHSBook, P.O. Box 6194, Boston, MA 02114 for more information.



NationalNewsletterfor DisabledLesbiansAnnounced:Submissions,Contributions sought. A unique effort to link disabled lesbians nationally (and possibly internationally) has begun. "Dykes, Disability and Stuff" is one answer to the dearth of communication between membersof this sizeable community. "Dykes, Disability & Stuff" will be a readers'forum and is expected to address the gamut of concerns women dealing with chronic disabilitiesare thinking about. Contirbutionsof art/graphics,news, discussions and letters should be sent to "DD&S", P.O. Box 6194, Boston, MA 02114. Subscriptionsfor this start-upquarterlyareavailableon a slidingscale from $8-20 +. For (print) sample of first issue send SASE. Brailleand tape copies of the premiereissuewill be availablefree throughthe courtesyof the Women's Braille Press, POB 8745, Minneapolis, MN 55408. The Universityof Iowa WomenAgainstRacismCommitteeannounces that on April 6-9, 1989, they will sponsor their first national conference entitled "Parallelsand Intersections:A Conference on Racism and Other Formsof Oppression."For more informationplease contact: Women Against Racism Committee, c/o Women's Resourceand Action Center, The University of Iowa, 130 N. Madison Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. Callfor papers:Papersare soughtfor an anthologyof CriticalFeministEssaysin the Historyof WesternPhilosophyto be publishedby the SUNY press in its "FeministPhilosophy"Series. The anthologywill have two partsone addressing ancient Greek philosophyand the other Modem philosophy. Papersfor the firstpartshouldfocus on some aspectof Plato'sor Aristotle'swork. Papers for the second part should focus on some aspect of Cartesianphilosophyor Hobbes', Locke's, Hume's, Mill's, Rousseau's,Kant's, Hegel's, Marx'sand Nietzche's work. Critical overviews of a philosophical field or trends and their developmentsduringthe two periodsare also welcome. Send proposals, draftsand inquiriesto: Bat-Ami Bar On Departmentof Philosophy, SUNY College at Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126. Callfor papers:A special topics issueof GENDER & SOCIETYwill focus on physical and psychological violence against women and children. We are particularlyinterestedin papersshowingthe systemicinterrelationshipof the variousformsof violence, the impactof institutionalviolence, and the threat of violence as a means of social control over women and children. We welcome interdisciplinarysubmissionsand are especially looking for articles dealingwith women and childredof color or fromworking-classbackgrounds. Reports of research grounded in a structuralanalysis of violence against women and childrenarewelcome, but this issuewill not be limited to articles writtm in standardacademic style. Experientialdata, poetry, drawingsand photographs, used as illustrative material in analytic pieces or as separate



submissionsare also welcome,but we cannotacceptfiction. Deadlinefor submissions: July 1, 1989. Expecteddate of publication:December1990. Pleasesend five copies and a $10 submissionfee. ALLSUBMISSIONS SHOULDBESENTTO:JudithLorber,Editor,Dept.of Sociology,CUNY GraduateCenter,33 West42 Street,New York,NY 10036. 38: Italian-American Call for papers:SisterWisdomIssue Lesbians,Guest Editor:Rose Romano.All workshouldbe submittedin duplicate.SASE MUST BE ENCLOSED.Pleasemarkenvelope-Att:RoseRomano.Deadline:Februry15, 1989. Callfor papers:The Departmentof ReligiousStudiesin The Universityof South Floridais pleased to announce a new publicationsseries, USF IN RELIGION& PUBLICPOLICY,whichreflectsthe MONOGRAPHS educationaland intellectualdirectionsof the Department.Manuscripts between10,000and 25,000 wordsin length(that is, longerthana journal articlebut shorterthana book)areinvitedforconsideration by an internationaladvisoryboard.We areinterestedin manuscripts whichdescriptively or normativelyanalyzethe interrelations betweenreligionsandsuchpublic ethics;politics;issuesof policydomainsas: culture;socialand professional peace and war;science and technology;economics;ethnicity;women's issues;humanrights;church-state relations;andforeignanddomesticpolicy. should be rigorousanalyticallyand in conformancewith Manuscripts standard We seekmanuscripts scholarlystyle. dealingwitha varietyof issues and whichreflectthe diversityof religiousand culturalcontextsin which or engage.The policyissuesarise.Manuscripts maybe eitherdispassionate are in an occasional of the first which series, monographs published appeared during1986. Callfor papers:Second InternationalConferenceon Ethicsand Development.EconomicCrisis-Ethics-DevelopmentAlternatives.Place:UniversidadAutonomade Yucatan,Merida,Yucatan,Mexico.Date:July2-8, 1989. Sponsors:Interational DevelopmentEthicsAssociation(IDEA)& UniversidadAutonomade Yucatan.SuggestedThemes:AuthenticDevelopment:EndsandMeans.AutonomyandAusterity:NationalSovereignity andthe IMF.LatinAmericanDebt:Whatis the Solution?Poverty-focused VersusExport-ledDevelopment.Agricultural Alternativesand Authentic Development.Democracyand DevelopingSocieties. Sex Equalityand Authentic Development. Ecologyand SustainableDevelopment:The MexicanCase.StateandMarket:Rolesin AuthenticDevelopment.U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., and LatinAmericanDevelopment.NationalDevelopment andRegionalPeace:CentralAmerica.LatinAmericanValues:Obstaclesor Aids to Development? The GapBetweenRich andPoor:Explanations and



Solutions. Is There a Moral Right to Development?Human Rights Versus BasicNeeds. DevelopmentEthicsand Ethnocentrism.Development, Liberation, or Revolution? Development Ethics: Religious or Secular?Deadlines: Abstracts:February28, 1989; Papers:April 30, 1989. Inquiries,Abstracts, and Papers(3 copies) should be sent to: David Crocker,IDEA, Department of Philosophy, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523 USA. The Institute for Women's Policy Reaearch(IWPR) is a recently formed independentnonprofit researchinstitute dedicatedto conductingand disseminatingresearchthat informspublicpolicy debatesaffectingwomen. IWPR seeks to bridgethe communicationgap between scholarlyresearchers,state and federalpolicymakers,and advocates. In its firstyear, IWPRhas focussed on economic justice issues affecting women (welfare reform, family and medical leave, and child care). Projectedareas of researchinclude health care and internationalrelations. In all its work, IWPRseeks to addressissues of ethnicity, race, and class as well as genderby recognizingthe full diversity of women's situations. For further informations, contact: Institute for Women's Policy Research, 1400 20th Street, NW Suite 104, Washington, DC 20036. (202) 785-5100. Rita Nakashima Brock Wins $5000 Women's Studies Award. Crossroad/ Continuum is presenting its first annual Women's Studies Award to Rita Nakashima Brock for her work Journeysby Heart: A Christologyof Erotic Power. The Crossroad/ContinuumWomen's Studies Award, to be given annually in May, is designed to encourageand rewardoutstandingscholarship and other writingin Women'sStudiesvitally importantto literatureand the arts, to psychologyand social thought, and to spiritualityand religious studies. A suitablecandidatefor the awardwould include any manuscriptin Women's Studies, widely defined, to be publishedas a scholarlymonograph or a general tradebook for seriousreadersunder the Crossroador Herder& Herderimprintsfor religiousstudiesand spirituality,or underthe Continuum or FrederickUngar imprintsfor literatureand the arts, psychologyand social thought. The AdvisoryCommittee for the Award includesSusan Thistlethwaite, Professorof Theology and Culture, Chicago Theological Seminary; JosephineDonovan, Professorof English, Universityof Maine;and Elizebeth Rechtschaffen,Vice President,The OmegaInstitute, Rhinebeck.Journeysby Heartwill be publishedin November. Formanyyearsnow mentorshiphas been used by businessto promoteindividual development of job-related competencies. More recently, formal mentorshipprogramshave increasinglybecome a part of education, as one way of achieving increased student learning and excellence. Recently a broad-basedMentoringAssociation was formed.The Association, housed at



Western Michigan University, Office of Special Program, is devoted to national and international promotion of the mentorshipconcept: through annual conferences, continuing professionalconsultation and training, the furtheranceof researchin the area, as well as the developmentof a Mentoring Association Journal and other publications. For more information, contact: Kipling D. Forbes, P.O. Box 3565, Mansfield, OH 44907. (419) 756-1717. The ElizabethCady StantonFoundationannounces a new fund, the Corinne GuntzelMemorialFund, to supportprojectsand researchin women'shistory. Named for Corinne Guntzel, a much-loved feminist scholar, teacher, and organizer, the Guntzel Memorial Fund is now accepting applications for awards. Any project in women's history research or education may be submitted.Proposalsmay relateto the teachingof women'shistoryin schools and colleges, to public programsfor out-of-schooladults, or to basic research and publicationof scholarlymaterials.Affiliation with an academicinstitution is not required,and we hope that a broad range of people will apply. Awardswill range from $250 to $500. For more information,contact: Harlene Gilbert, c/o The ElizabethCady Stanton Foundation,Box 603, Seneca Falls,New York13148. Deadlinefor applicationsis February15, 1989 (Susan B. Anthony;s birthday). The first awards will be made during women's history month, March 1989. Societyfor Womenin Philosophy.For informationon membershipin regional divisions which include programannouncement and a subscriptionto the national SWIP Newsletter, as well as a subscriptionto Hypatia,contact: PacificSWIP:ExecutiveSecretayRita Manning, UC San JoseState, San Jose, CA 95192. TreasurerRuth Doell, San FranciscoState University, Dept. of Biological Science, 1600 HallowayAve., San Francisco,CA 94132. MidwestSWIP:Excutive SecretayJean Rumesy, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point, Steven's Point, WI 54481. Treasurer Carol Van Kirk, 1401 N. 58th St. Omaha, NE 68106. EasternSWIP:ExecutiveSecretayLibbyPotter, Dept. of Philosophy,Harverford College, Haverford, PA 19041. Co-Executive SecretaryJoan Ringelheim, Apt. la, 150 W. 74th St., New York, NY 10023. TreasurerJana Sawicki, Dept. of Philosophy,Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. The Directory of Women in Philosophy is available from the Executive Secretaryin each division. Cost is $2.00. Callfor papers:Society for Women in Philosophy,MidwestDivision. Spring Meeting:March 17-19, 1989, IndianaUniversity, Indianapolis.Papersin all



areasof Femnist Philosophyare welcome. Please send one copy (two if you can manageit) to either: Chris Cuomo, 91 DairyLane, Verona, WI 53593. Carol A. Van Kirk, Department of Philosophy, 301 Gordy Hall, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701. Deadline for submission:January10, 1989. Informationregardinglocal arrangementswill be mailedto SWIP membersat a date closer to the time of the meeting by the local arrangementschair, Anne Donchin of IndianaUniversity, Indianapolis.Partof the programwill be devoted to discussionof SarahHoagland'snew book LesbianEthics-Toward New Value (forthcoming, December 1, 1988). If copies are not available throughyour local feminist bookstore,you can obtain a copy fromthe Institute of LesbianStudies, P.B. Box 60242, Palo Alto, CA 94306, or, for faster service, by sending a check ($14.95 plus postage) to: SarahLuciaHoagland, Departmentof Philosophy,NortheasternIllinois University, 5500 St. Louis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625. The SecondAnnual LesbianSeparatistConferenceand Gatheringwill be held June 15 through 18, 1989 near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The four-dayconference will provide LesbianSeparatiststhe opportunityto exchange ideas, present papers, participate in workshops and discussions, play, expand Separatistnetworksand sparknew friendships.The sliding scale registration fee of $85 to $150 covers everything,includinglodgingand meals. A limited numberof workexchange slots are available. Formore information,contact: BurningBush, P.O. Box 3065, Madison, WI 53704-0065, USA. ERRATA:The Editorregretsthe typographicalerrorsthat occurredin volume 3, number2 of Hypatia.In ClaudiaCard's,"FemaleFriendship:Separations and Continua," the sentence beginning on line 8, page 124, should read as follows: Her central chaptersare two case studies, the medievalEuropeanconvent, especiallyprior to the thirteenth centuryrule of enclosure, and the nineteenth and early twentieth-centuryChinese vegetarianhouses and spinsters'houses createdby women who refusedmarriage,women to whom she refersas "marriageresisters,"citing as groundbreakingthe researchof MarjorieTopley'sPh.D. dissertation,University of London in 1958. The final line is missingfrompage 131, of MarilynFriedman's,"Individuality Without Individualism:Review of Janice Raymond'sA Passionfor Friends." The final sentence on page 131 and the first sentence on page 132 should read as follows: Convent life "at its best"featureswhat Raymondconsidersan "instructive tension between individuality and community." "Individual



growth"and "personalachievement" are balanced with "community purpose"and "cooperativewell-being." The editorsgratefullyacknowledgethe contributionsof the following scholars in readingmauscriptsfor Hypatiaduring 1987-1988. Annette Baier Asoka Bandarage ElizabethBeardsley Joanne Beil-Waugh Joann Benson Susan Bordo MarilynBoxer ClaudiaCard Arlene Dallery Natalie Z. Davis Sarah Deats Nancy Frankenberry MarilynFriedman Charlotte Frisbee MarilynFrye Diana J. Fuss MoiraGatens Joan Gibson LisaJardine NarrerlO. Leohane Eva FederKittay Noretta Koertge Annette Kolodny

EleanorH. Kuykendall William McBride MaryMahowald Diana T. Meyers Julie Murphy MarilynMyerson Andrea Nye Judith Ochshom Onora O'Neill Christine Pierce MaryVarey Rorty KathrynRussell KristineSchrader-Frechette Stephanie Shields Linda Singer Christina Sommers MaryEllen Symmons MaryAnne Warren JuanitaWilliams MargaretWilson TerryWinant BeatriceZedler

SubmissionGuidelines Hypatiasolicits paperson all topics in feministphilosophy.We regularlypublish generalissuesas well as special issueson a single topic, or comprisingthe proceedingsof a conference in feminist philosophy. All papersshould conform to Hypatiastyle using the Author/Datesystemof citing references(see the ChicagoManualof Style). Papersshould be submittedin duplicatewith the author'sname on the title pageonly for the anonymousreviewingprocess. The HypatiaBook Review Section aims at increasingthe visibility and readershipof books in feministphilosophy.At present,three generalbook review guidelineshave been developed: 1. To promote dialogue between books, reviewersare asked to discuss, when possible, more than one book in feminist philosophy. Several books might be clusteredarounda theme, or a single book might be highlightedand its relation to other books in feminist philosophy might be mentioned in brief. 2. Book reviewersare asked to discussthe majorclaimsof the book(s) reviewed and to present the reviewer'sown reflections. 3. Book reviews will be either Short Reviews or Review Essays: ShortReviewswill be two to three text pages, that is, three to fourtyped double-spacedpages in length. ReviewEssayswill be approximatelyeight to twelve text pages,or ten to twenty typed double-spacedpages in length. Books which will be the subjectof Review Essaysshouldbe proposedin advanceto the Book Review Editor. For furtherinformation,contact the HypatiaBook Review Editor:Jeffner Allen, Departmentof Philosophy, SUNY Binghamton, Binghamton,New York 13901.

Back IssuesAvailable

Volume1, Number1, Spring1986 Antigone'sDilemma:A Problemin PoliticalMembership,by ValerieA Hartouni,Women Wider,How Philosophersin the Ancient GreekWorld;Donningthe Mantle,by Kathleen ManyFeministsDoes It Take to Makea Joke?:SexistHumorandWhat'sWrongwith It, by MerrieBergmann,The Politicsof Self-Respect:A FeministPerspective,by DianaT. Meyers,PreparingThe Wayfor a FeministPraxis,by AndreaNye, RomanticLove, Altruism, andSelf-Respect,by Kathryn PaulyMorgan,OppressionandResistance;Fry'sPolitics and Reality,by ClaudiaCard,Comment/Reply,by LauraM. PurdyandNancyTuana Volume1, Number2, Fall 1986 Motherhoodand Sexuality, edited by Ann Ferguson,Motherhoodand Sexuality:Some FeministQuestions,by Ann Ferguson,Foucaultand Feminism:Towardsa Politicsof DifContraChodorowandDinnerstein,byJanice ference,byJanaSawicki,FemaleFriendship: Woman:Revealedor Revelled?,by CynthiaA. Freeland,The FeministSexualRaymond, ity Debate:Ethicsand Politics,by CherylH. Cohen,Feminismand Motherhood:O'Brien vs. Beauvoir,by ReyesLazaro,PossessivePower,by JanetFarrell-Smith, The Futureof Mothering:ReproductiveTechnologyand FeministTheory,by Ann Donchin,Shoulda FeministChoose a Marriage-Like Relationship?,by Marjorie Weinzweig Volume2, Number1, Winter 1987 ConnectionsandGuilt, by SharonBishop,WrongRights,by Elizabeth Wolgast,Througha GlassDarkly:Paradigms of Equalityandthe Searchfora Woman'sJurisprudence, by Linda J. Krieger,Is EqualityEnough?,by Gale S. Baker,The Logicof SpecialRights,by Paul Green, PregnancyLEave, ComparableWorth, and Concepts of Equality,by Marjorie Weinzweig,Women, Welfareand the Politicsof Need Interpretation,by NancyFraser, The FeministStandpoint:A Matterof Language,by TerryWinant,BodiesandSouls/Sex, Sin and the Sensesin Patriarchy: A Studyin AppliedDualism,by SheilaRuth,Improper Behavior:ImperativeforCivilization,by Elizabeth Janeway,The New Men'sStudies:From FeministTheoryto GenderScholarship,by HarryBrod Volume2, Number2, Summer,1987 and Loving Perception,by MariaLugones,Sex-Role Playfulness,"World"-Travelling, and Degradation,by Judith Stereotypesin Medicine,by MaryB. Mahowald,Pornography M. Hill, Do Good FeministsCompete?,by VictoriaDavion,A (Qualified)Defenseof Liberalism,by SusanWendell,The Unit of Language,byAndreaNye, The Lookin Sartreand Rich, byJulienS. Murphy,How Badis Rape?,by H. E. Baber,On Conflictsand Differences Among Women, by LuisaMuraro,The Politics of Women'sStudiesand Men's Does ManningMen'sStudiesEmasculate Studies,by MaryLibertin, Women'sStudies?,by HarryBrod,Celibacyand Its Implicationsfor Autonomy,by CandaceWatson Volume2, Number3, Fall, 1987 FeministScholarshipin the Sciences:WhereAre We Now and When Can We Expecta TheoreticalBreakthrough?, by Sue V. Rosser,The MethodQuestion,by SandraHarding, The Gender/ScienceSystem:or is Sex to Genderas Natureis to Science?,by EvelynFox Keller,Can ThereBe a FeministScience?,by HelenE. Longino,Le sujetde la scienceest-il sexue?/Isthe Subjectof Science Sexed?by LuceIrigaray,translatedby CarolMastrangelo Bove,UncoveringGynocentricScience, by RuthGinzberg, JustifyingFeministSocialSci-



Traence, by LindaAkoff,John Deweyand EvelynFox Keller:A SharedEpistemological dition, by LisaHeldke Volume3, Number1, Spring,1988 Introduction,by NancyTuana,Science, Facts,and Feminism,by RuthHubbard,ModelPotter,The WeakerSeed:The Sexist Bias ing the GenderPoliticsin Science, by Elizabeth of ReproductiveTheory,by NancyTuana,The Importanceof FeministCritiqueforContemporaryCell Biology,by The BiologyandGenderStudyGroup,The Premenstrual Syndrome:Dis-easingthe FemaleCycle, byJacquelyn N. Zita,Womenand the Mismeasure of Thought,by JudithGenova,Dreamingthe Future,by HilaryRose,FeministPerspectives on Science, by Barbara ImberandNancyTuana,ReviewEssay/ACriticalAnalysisof SandraHarding'sTheScienceQuestionin Feminism,byJacquelyn N. Zita Volume3, Number2, Summer,1988 Dyke Methods,by JoyceTrebikot,Recipesfor TheoryMaking,by LisaHeldke,Working TogetherAcrossDifference:Some Considerations,by UmaNarayan,DoesWomen'sLiberationImplyChildren'sLiberation,by LauraM. Purdy,Womanas Metaphor,by Eva FederKittay, Anarchic Thinking, by Gail Stenstad,Poems, by Uma Narayan,Poetic Politics:How the AmazonsTook the Acropolis,byJeffnerAlien,ReviewSymposium:FemaleFriendship: WithoutIndiSeparationsandContinua,by ClaudiaCard,Individuality vidualism:Review of JaniceRaymond'sA Passionfor Friends,by MarilynFriedman,ReForum:WelfareCutsand the Ascendanceof MarketPatrisponse,byJaniceG. Raymond, On Nancy Fraser's"Women,Welfareand archy,by MarilynFriedman, Comment/Reply: the Politics of Need Interpretation,by BruceM. Landesman,DesperatelySeekingApproval:The Importanceof DistinguishingBetweenApprovaland Recognition,by Linda TimmelDuchamp,Competition,Recognition,and Approval-Seeking, by VictoriaDavion, BookReviews:Genderand History:The Limitsof Social Theoryin the Age of the Family, by LindaNicholson(KathrynS. Russel),Philosophyand FeministThinking,byJean Grimshaw(JaneDuran),LesbianPhilosophy:Explorations,by JeffnerAllen, Sexes et parentes, by LuceIrigaray(EleanorH. Kuykendall),Intercourse,by AndreaDworkin(MelindaVadas),Women'sWaysof Knowing:The Developmentof Self, Voice andMind,by andJillMattuckTarule Clinchy,NancyRuleGoldberger, MaryFieldBelenky,BlythMcVicker (MonicaHolland) Back issueseach: $10/indiv. and $20/insti. JournalsManager,IndianaUniversityPress, 10th and MortonStreets, Bloomington,IN 47405.











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Editedby MorwennaGriffths and MargaretWhitford The essays in this book introduce to

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Womenin World Religions Arvind Sharma, ed. This is a book by women about women in thereligionsof the world. It presents all the basic facts and ideological issues concerningthepositionofwomeninthemajorreligious traditions of humanity: Buddhism, Christianity,Confucianism,Hinduism, Islam, Judaism,Taoism, and tribalreligions. The phenomenological approachused in this book is unque, as is the presentation from not only an insider's perspective, but a feminine one as well. $12.95 paperback. 302 pp.

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DIALOGUE Canadian Philosophical Review/Revue canadienne de philosophie Vol. XXVII, No. 2, Etc/Summer 1988 Articles The LiberalTradition,Kant, and the Pox


Kant's Liberalism:A Reply to Rolf George / LESLIE GREEN

Liberalism,Kant, Pox: A Reply to Rolf George / GRAEME HUNTER

Systeme et rupturechez Hobbes I GILBERT BOSS

Maximizing,Optimizing,and Prospering / JORDAN HOWARD SOBEL

Une critiquede l'interactionnisme d'Eccles



Redacteurfrancophone:FrancoisDuchesneau,D6partementde philosophie, Universit6de Montreal,C.P. 6128, succ. A, Montreal,Quebec H3C 3J7

Egoicity and Twins / ROGERSMOOK Not Quite By Accident / FREDERICK ADAMS and BERENT ENC

CriticalNotices/Etudescritiques Forgotten Vintage I R. E. TULLY

Le problemede la culpabilit6en psychanalyse/ GHYSLAIN CHARRON Wilson's Defense of the D-N Model I JONATHAN


Intervention rendus Book Reviews/Comptes BooksReceived/Livresrequs editor: Michael English-language McDonald,Departmentof Philosophy, Universityof Waterloo,Waterloo, OntarioN2L 3G1




THOUGHT Recent years have seen a revitalized classical liberalism emerge in the works of Austrian-school economists, Public Choice theorists, and such seminal figures as Hayek, Popper and Nozick. Too often, however, this liberalism has been mutually isolated from other intellectual traditions. Critical Review ends this isolation, bringing individualistic social theory into contact and conflict with such tendencies as Marxism and post-structuralism;in its pages, the new liberalism is developed, challenged and tested by rigorous debate spanning every discipline in the social sciences and humanities. Forthcoming in Critical Review: * at the welfare state * individualism * hermeneutics & 90 Hayek Austrian economics * Keynes & Keynesianism * democracy * feminism * CriticalLegal Studies * socialism * structuralism& poststructuralism * Barry * Bauer * Buchanan * de Soto * Epstein ? Gellner * Habermas * Hayek * Lavoie * Lomasky * Minogue * Mises * Nozick * Popper * Ravenal * Rothbard * Sampson * Sowell ? Szasz ...








The National Women's Studies Association's new quarterlyjournal of interdisciplinary,multicultural,feminist research EDITOR:MaryJoWagner, The Ohio State University Reflecting two decades of feminist scholarship emerging from and supporting the women's movement, the NWSAJournal will publish scholarship which continues to link feminist theory with teaching and activism. The Joural will raise critical and challenging questions in women's studies for the decades ahead. INFORMATION FORAUTHORS Manuscripts,25-35 pages long and an abstract and separate cover sheet with the author's name and institutional affiliation, should be submitted to MaryJo Wagner, Editor,NWSAJournal,Center for Women's Studies, 207 Dulles Hall,230 West 17th Avenue, The Ohio State University,Columbus, Ohio 43210. We cannot consider material previouslypublished or that which is underconsideration elsewhere. Manuscripts, including endnotes, must be double-spaced and submitted in duplicate. Style should be in accordance with that for the humanities; see A Manual of Style, 13th ed. (Chicago: Universityof Chicago Press, 1982). Submissions will be returned to authors who include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. CALLFOR PAPERS Readers are encouraged to submit manuscripts writtenfrom an interdisciplinary perspective or that which, although specific to a single discipline, retains broad implications. The Journal particularlyencourages articles by and about women of color, research analyzing class issues, scholarship examining non-Western cultures, and research focusing on feminist pedagogy. Articles must be written from a feminist perspective and in accessible language and style.

NWSA JOURNAL Order Form O Please send me a personal subscription at the special NWSAmember rate beginning with Volume 1, No. 1 ($15.00) O Please send me a non-memberpersonal subscription @ $28.50 D Please send me an institutional subscription at the special NWSAmember rate beginning with Volume 1, No. 1 ($20.00) D Please send me a non-memberinstitutional subscription @ $65.00 D Please send me a sample issue for my review D Please send me Informationfor Authors (Note: All subscriptions must be prepaid. For subscriptions outside the U.S. and Canada, please add $12.00 for postage and handling. Payment must be made in U.S. currency.) Name Address



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Returncoupon to Ablex Publishing Corporation* 355 Chestnut St. * Norwood, NJ 07648

NEW FROM Visualand OtherPleasures By LauraMulvey This collection of essays by Mulvey,a filmmakerand Britain'sforemost feminist film theorist, provides an outline of an intellectual era withinthe changing context of feminism and film cultures from the 1970s to the 1980s. Theoriesof Representationand Difference

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MotherRussia TheFeminineMyth in RussianCulture ByJoannaHubbs "... should be read by all [those]

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TheSeparateWorldsof ThreeSouthAfricanWomen

Editedby ShulaMarks The roots of modern Apartheidare exposed through the painfuland revealing correspondence of three very differentSouth African women-two black and one "liberal" white-from 1949 to 1951. Although the letters speak for themselves, the editor has writtenan introduction and epilogue which tell of the tragic ending to this rivetingstory. cloth $27.50 paper $9.95

Bronti Emily StevieDavies

By Recent trends in feminist criticism have ascribed to EmilyBronte a specifically feminine "anxietyof influence." This new study, however, posits an EmilyBrontewhose writing remainsjoyously free from the debilitating effects of male cultural traditions. Key WomenWriters


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Philosophical Review

A QuarterlyJournal Edited by the Sage School of Philosophy

October 1988

A Post-Verificationist The Limitsof Intelligibility: Peacocke Christopher Proposal ................. The PictureTheoryof MentalImages ............ Michael Tye .................................... Aristotleon Temperance....... CharlesM. Young 220 GoldwinSmith CornellUniversity Ithaca,New York14853-3201 U.S.SubscriptionRates: $12.00per yearfor students, the retired,and the unemployed $20.00per yearfor other individuals; $6.00per single issue $34.00per yearfor institutions $9.00per single issue

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Canadian Philosophical Reviews

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en Philosophie Editors: RobertBurch, Universityof Alberta RogerA. Shiner,Universityof Alberta J.N. Kaufmann,Universitedu Quebec a Trois-Rivieres A bi-lingualbook-reviewjournalfor publicationsin academicphilosophyand for theoreticalwork in other fields of interest to philosophers. Appr.550 pp. per volume, reviewing appr.275 books within 7-10 months of publication. Twelveissues per volume: Institutions: Cdn$78.00 (Canadian);US$72.00 or Cdn$88.00 (Non-Canadian) Individuals: Cdn$40.00 (Canadian);US$36.00 or Cdn$50.00 (Non-Canadian) Cdn$28.00 (Canadian);US$25.00 or Cdn$36.00 (Non-Canadian) Students:

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A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies EDITEDBYNAOMISCHOR& ELIZABETH WEED

New from IndianaUniversityPress and the PembrokeCenterof BrownUniversity d i f f e r e n c e s is a journal of cultural studies that focuses on how concepts and categories of difference-notably but not exclusively gender-operate within culture. Situated at the intersection of cultural studies

andfeminism,d i f f e r e n c e s providesa unique forumfor an examinationof discursivepracticesand politics. d i f f e r e n c e s will be publishedthreetimes

a year beginning in the fall of 1988. One or more issues a year will have a special thematic focus. Volume 1, number 1: Life and Deathin Sexuality: ReproductiveTechnologiesand A I D S with articles by Linda Singer on bodies-pleasures-powers Janice Doane & Devon Hodges on the Baby M Case Rosi Braidotti on organs without bodies Thomas Laqueur on paternity's return Rayna Rapp on reproducing politics Avital Ronell on contamination and philosophy Simon Whatney on AIDS and racism and more Subscriptionsare $20 pervolumeto individuals,$40 to institutions.Foreignsubscribersadd$5 forsurfacepost.Tosubscribeor to receive furtherinformation,includingbulkorderdiscounts, writeto: JournalsDivision IndianaUniversityPress 10th & MortonStreets Bloomington,Indiana47405





WOMEN'S STUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM WOMEN'SSTUDIES INTERNATIONAL FORUM is a bi-monthlyjournal designed to aid the distributionand exchange rA, ... of Women's Studies research from many disciplines and from around the world. The policy of the journalis to establish a feminist forumfor discussion and debate and to account for and value culturaland political differences. The journalseeks to critiqueand reconceptualize existing knowledge, and to examine, and re-evaluatethe manner in which knowledge is produced and distributed,and the implicationsthis has for women's position. Subscribers to WSIFalso receive Feminist Forum, a news and views supplement which appears in each issue with information on forthcomingand recent conferences, currentresearch, new Women's Studies publicationsand Women's Studies centers.



Special issues for Volume 11, 1988 (supplied to subscribers

of WSIFas partof their regularsubscriptionand also availableto non-subscribers): * Feminism in Ireland, edited by AilbheSmythe * 'In a Great Company of Women': Nonviolent Direct Action, edited by Berenice A. Carrolland Jane E. Mohraz SUBSCRIPTIONINFORMATION ISSN:0277-5395 Volume 11, 1988 Published six issues per annum Annual Rate (1988) US$115.00 US$218.50 Two-yearRate (1988/89) Personal Rate (1988) US$ 40.00 Student Rate (1988) US$ 20.00 A special rate is availableto NWSAmembers.

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diacritics a review of contemporarycriticism Debra Castillo, Editor

Diacritics is the preeminent forum for contemporary literatureand critical theory. Fostering speculation and debate, each issue examines innovative and seminal modem criticism. Upcoming issues include "Money" and "BeyondPragmatics."

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aN Editor: Ann Kibbey, University of Colorado In the Springof 1988, the Universityof Texas Press introducedGenders, an journalfocusing on gender issues. Genders is the firstjournalin interdisciplinary the humanitiesto make theoriesof gender and sexualityits focus. Now in its first year of publication,the journalcarries essays on art, literature,history,and film that relatesexualityand gender to political,economic, and stylisticconcerns. GENDERS2 (Summer 1988): Jonathan Dollimore, DifferentDesires: Subjectivityand Transgressionin Wilde and Gide. Wendy Kozol, Madonnasof the Fields:Photography,Genderand 1930s Farm Relief. Lou Ratte, A DangerousAlliance:Anglo-IndianLiteraryCriticismand Bengali LiteraryProduction. Peter Lehman, Inthe Realmof the Senses: Desire, Power,and the Representationof the MaleBody. Susan Bruce, TheFlyingIslandand Female Anatomy:Gynaecologyand Power in Gulliver'sTravels. Doris Sommer, Sab C'est Moi. James Saslow, "AVeilof Ice Between my Heartand TheFire":Michelangelo's Sexual Identityand EarlyModer Constructsof Homosexuality. GENDERS3 (Fall 1988): Nancy Armstrong, TheGenderBind:Womenand the Disciplines. Anne Herrmann,The Transsexualas Andersin ChristaWolf's"SelfExperiment." Claire Kahane, Questioningthe MaternalVoice. Womenand Shame. InderpalGrewal,SalmanRushdie:Marginality, Lisa Tickner, Feminism,ArtHistoryand Sexual Difference. Wayne Koestenbaum, Privilegingthe Anus:Anna0. and the Collaborative Originof Psychoanalysis. Authorsin forthcomingissues include:LindaNochlin,CarolineBynum,Jacques Derrida,Neil Hertz,and MaudEllmann.

in March,Julyand November. Genders is publishedtriannually $11 $8, Institution Single copy rates:Individual Foreignpostage, add $1.50 $30 Yearlysubscriptionrates:Individual$21, Institutions Foreignpostage, add $3 Universityof Texas Press Journals, P.O.Box 7819, Austin, Texas 78713




PHILOSOPHY S AND LITERATURE DENIS DUTTON, editor University of Canterbury,New Zealand

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SEMIOTIC EditedbyDeanMacCannell &JulietFlowerMacCannell The AmericanJournal of Semiotics, the quarterlyjournal of the Semiotic Societyof America(SSA),includes criticalessaysthat examine the theoryand method of semiotics and their practical, political, and other implications and tendencies, and the theory and methodsof academicdisciplines from the standpoint of their relationship to semiotics. The AmericanJournal of Semiotics is published by Indiana University Pressin April, September(a double issue) and December, and offersa discountedrate to students. Volume 6 (1988/89)will include two thematicissues:the semiotics of pornographyand Africansemiotics in America.

The Semiotic Society of America The SemioticSocietyof Americais a professionalorganization devoted to fosteringresearch,teaching, and other forms of information disseminationin the field. Rights andprivilegesof membershipin the SemioticSocietyof Americainclude a subscription to the AmericanJournal of Semiotics; participation in annual meetings and in election of SSA officers;receipt of the Semiotic Scene, the newsletterof the SSA, which includes announcementsof upcoming national and international events of interest to semioticians; and discounted purchase of the Proceedingsof the annual meeting. Subscriptions are $25 per volume (4 issues) to individuals, $40 for institutions. Regular membership in the SSA is $30, $40 joint, $20 for students, and $30 for joint student. Foreign subscribers add $5 for surface post. Further information, including bulk order discounts, is available from:

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