Enlightened Women: Modernist Feminism in a Postmodern Age by Alison Assiter

By Alison Assiter

This can be a daring and arguable feminist, philosophical critique of postmodernism. while supplying a short and obtainable creation to postmodernist feminist notion, Enlightened Women is additionally a special defence of realism and enlightenment philosophy.
the 1st half the booklet covers an research of a few of the main influential postmodernist theorists, corresponding to Luce Irigaray and Judith Butler. within the moment part Alison Assiter advocates a go back to modernism in feminism. She argues, opposed to the present orthodoxy, that there could be a contrast among "sex" and "gender".
for college students attempting to decide their approach in the course of the maze of literature within the zone of postmodernist feminism, Enlightened Women is a concise advisor to modern notion - in addition to an intensive contribution to the talk.

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He would argue, for example, that no biological event can have an unmediated effect on the formation of the subject, because the influence of this event depends on the way in which it is interpreted, and this in turn is conditioned by the intersubjective relations into which the subject enters. Drawing on Hegel’s master-slave dialectic in The Phenomenology ofMind,32 Lacan argues that it is only through the recognition of the desire of the other that the self gains a sense of self. Self-consciousness, according to Hegel, emerges out of the cycle of desire and its satisfaction.

Instead of claiming, as many have done, that language comes into being as a means for expressing needs, Rousseau argues that it is not needs but passions that give rise to the first vocal utterances: ‘fruit does not appear from our hands: we can eat it without speaking; and one stalks in silence the prey on which one would feast. ’15 Rousseau’s text is a logocentric one, for Derrida, in this sense: (a) individual units of meaning appear to be fully intelligible on their own, without recourse to any other concept; and (b) utterances seem to be meaningful directly and intuitively, without presupposing any system of utterances.

Yet he accepts some basic Freudian categories. He retheorises the Freudian Oedipus complex. Unlike Freud, however, he has no truck with a biological and developmental account of sexuality. Sexual drives are always analysed by Lacan through the mediation of linguistic processes. Lacan analyses sexuality through the ‘discourse’ of the analysand in the process of analysis. It is the sexuality about which the analysand talks in which Lacan is interested. Again, like Hegel, and like Rousseau too, Lacan begins this retheorisation with the experience of physical need.

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