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    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 46 (2), 2015, © Informa Plc

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Irigaray's Ecological Phenomenology: towards an elemental materialism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>14/04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology
Issue number2
Volume46
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)117-131
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/02/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This article provides an interpretation of the ecophenomenological dimension of Luce Irigaray's work. It shows that Irigaray builds upon Heidegger's recovery of the ancient sense of nature as physis, self-emergence into presence. But, against Heidegger, Irigaray insists that self-emergence is a material process undergone by fluid elements, such as air and water, of which the world is basically composed. This article shows that this “elemental materialist” position need not conflict with modern science. However, the article criticises Irigaray's claim that men and women inhabit radically different sexuate worlds. Although this claim has some phenomenological basis, ultimately it is undercut by Irigaray's own elemental materialism, which implies that sexuate difference colours our perception but does not cleave it down a radical difference in kind. We can therefore accept and develop Irigaray's contribution to ecophenomenology without her insistence on radical sexuate duality.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 46 (2), 2015, © Informa Plc