Elemental Passions has given us an insight into a new way of thinking, using images of fluidity which reconfigure sexual difference and thereby subvert the rigidity of the binary logic of traditional philosophy and psychoanalysis. The female subject who struggles to become in Elemental Passions is not a subject in isolation. Lips are characteristic of women for Luce Irigaray from early in her writings, and continue to play a central role in the imagery of Elemental Passions. The significance of Irigarayan lips lies in the fact that although two lips are not one, neither can they be neatly separated into two; they certainly cannot be construed as binary opposites. Irigaray suggests that the flower is an image with multiple resonances for woman in relation to man. Irigaray suggests that the flower is an image with multiple resonances for woman in relation to man.
This chapter presents interpretive synopsis of Luce Irigaray's Elemental Passions. Elemental Passions consist of fifteen chapters. It introduces key events in the relationship between you-man and I-woman. You-man has responded to I-woman's invitation to a mutually empowering love rather than a love which controls and consumes. Elemental Passions presents a meditation on the element of fire. It is full of references to flame, the sun, the sky, the clear horizon, flashes of lightning; and their contrasts: night, darkness, shadowy enclosure. In Speculum, Irigaray gives a reading of Plato's myth of the cave which reveals its implicit gender connotations. In language reminiscent of Speculum, Irigaray suggests that even when they come out of the cave, Plato's prisoners have to impose binary categories of thought in order to cope with reality. Elemental Passions offers a meditation on the nature of time, space, infinity and movement.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book focuses on sexual difference, the difference between men and women and argues that this difference has not been sufficiently recognized or acknowledged within Western thought. It considers the centrality of binary logic for Western philosophical thinking exemplified by Parmenides, and shows how Luce Irigaray appeals to Empe-docles to destabilize the hegemony of the binary system and to introduce the idea of a fluid logic. The book also considers the same binary system with its implicitly male subject in its psychoanalytic manifestation. It revisits the rigid binary systems of philosophy and psychoanalysis and also shows how these fields of thought could be enriched by intellectual and subjective formation that is forever fluid.
This chapter discusses Luce Irigaray's uneasy relationship with the psychoanalytic theory of Freud and Jacques Lacan, an uneasiness which mirrors her relationship with the trajectory of Western philosophy, which she both appropriates and tries to destabilize. In 'Female Sexuality', first published in 1931, Freud argues that boys and girls develop along the same lines until their third year. Irigaray criticizes Freud for making woman's reproductive capacity the most central aspect in his account of female sexuality. Like Freud, Lacan distinguishes various phases in the development of subjectivity. For Lacan woman's role is to enable man to experience oneness, self-recognition. The chapter presents Irigaray's critique of both Freud's and Lacan's interpretations of the Fort!Da! game and shows how she starts her development of a female language from their accounts.
This chapter presents a critique of Luce Irigaray's method and her claims regarding the development of a female subject. Irigaray argues in This Sex Which Is Not One that women are in a unique position on the borders of patriarchy. The question of difference among Irigaray's possible addressees is closely related to her choice of discussion partners. Moreover, it is not surprising that since Irigaray pays attention chiefly to male thinkers, the primary difference she sets up between herself and her dialogue partners is sexual difference. In terms of Irigaray's intentions, as evidenced both in Elemental Passions and throughout her other writings, there is little to indicate that she herself thought of 'I-woman' as a signifier for difference itself. The barriers that divide can be replaced by fluid boundaries that allow for mutuality between subjects with multiple differences.
This chapter shows how Luce Irigaray reaches back to alternative sources of philosophy as she looks for the conditions for the emergence of the female subject. It also shows the grip of rigidity on Western philosophy since its inception and points out its consequences with regard to subjectivity and power. Philosophy has operated with a rigid binary system of logic ever since its inception in ancient Greece. Everyone agrees that Parmenides had an enormous influence on the development of logic. However, there is disagreement on how this influence should be evaluated. It is the awareness of the use of power and efforts to mastery which accompany the construction of dichotomies that lie at the heart of feminist critiques of binary logic. The Pythagorean table of opposites, which was developed in the sixth century BCE, is an early articulation of a binary system.
In this study, the various aspects of the way the Jews regarded themselves in the context of the lapse into another religion will be researched fully for the first time. We will attempt to understand whether they regarded the issue of conversion with self-confidence or with suspicion, whether their attitude was based on a clear theological position or on doubt and the coping with the problem as part of the process of socialization will be fully analysed. In this way, we will better understand how the Jews saw their own identity whilst living as a minority among the Christian majority, whose own self-confidence was constantly becoming stronger from the 10th to the 14th century until they eventually ousted the Jews completely from the places they lived in, England, France and large parts of Germany. This aspect of Jewish self-identification, written by a person who converted to Christianity, can help clarify a number of
The attitude to women who convert to Christianity was different from the attitude described above, and extremely complex. There are almost no descriptions of women converting voluntarily. On the other hand there are discussions concerning women who were forced to convert. The discussion that we perceive as a Halakhic discussion is in fact an intellectual discussion that is particularly special.