1st Edition

The Phenomenal Woman Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity

By Christine Battersby Copyright 1998
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    Christine Battersby rethinks questions of embodiment, essence, sameness and difference, self and other, patriarchy and power. Using analyses of Kant, Adorno, Irigaray, Butler, Kierkegaard and Deleuze, she challenges those who argue that a feminist metaphysics is a a contradiction in terms. This book explores place for a metaphysics of fluidity in the current debates concerning postmodernism, feminism and identity politics.

    1 INTRODUCTION: FLESHY METAPHYSICS Metaphysics Defined The Five Features `Here There Be Monsters' 2 ESSENTIALISMS, FEMINISMS AND METAPHYSICS Feminine/Female Philosophical Essentialisms: Fighting Back Aristotelian Histories Nomialism and Feminist Anti-Essentialism Beyond Nominalism Essence and Existence 3 HER BODY/HER BOUNDARIES The Body in the Mind Hypothesis One: Idiosyncrasy Hypothesis Two: Repression Hypothesis Three: Female Hypothesis Four: Fin de Millnium Hypothesis Five: Alternative Histories Revolutionary Spaces 4 KANTIAN METAPHYSICS AND THE SEXED SELF Sexing `Persons' Sex and the Transcendental Self Kant and Bodies One and a Half Sexes Kant, Biology and Evolution The Sublime Chasm 5 FEMINIST POSTMODERNIMS AND THE METAPHYSICS OF ABSENCE Modernity and Self-certainty Lacan and Kant Derridean Complications In the Temple of Isis Beyond Deconstruction Different Disruptions 6 ANTIGONES OF GENDER All Done with Mirrors Hegel's Antigone: Opening Scenes Lacan's Antigone: Strophe and Antistrophe Irigaray's Antigone: Identity without Oedipus Philosophy Beyond Dialectics A Queer Antigone A Maoist of the Symbolic Order 7 FLESH WITH TRIMMINGS: ADORNO AND DIFFERENCE Historical Reversals Axial Turns A Different Blind Spot Remembering Nietzsche Of Essence and Lace Trimmings Disrupting Modernities Cynical Critique Bodily Arguments 8 KIERKEGAARD, WOMAN AND THE WORKSHOP OF POSSIBILITIES A Modernized Antigone: `Discipline and Punish' A Singular Subject: The Young Man Woman as Embryonic: Constantin Constantius Woman and Time: Victor Eremita Fake of a Fake: The Fashion Designer Infinitude of Finitudes: Johannes the Seducer Seducer and Seduced Of Echoes and Depths Recollecting Forwards 9 SCORING THE SUBJECT OF FEMINIST THEORY: KIERKEGAARD AND DELEUZE Kantian Sounds/Kantian Sight Productive Echoes Metaphysics in Movement Becoming a Girl Lines of Flight Though the Loophole 10 CODA The Transformative Self `The Terrible Fluidity of Self-Revelation'


    Christine Battersby is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Gender and Genius (1990).

    "...clever and imaginative..." -- Karen Struening, Signs
    "...Battersby's construction in the book is a model of detail and clarity." -- Philosophy in Review/Comptes Rendus Philosophiques
    "The Phenomenal Woman is a startlingly original work of philosophy. In her construction of a new metaphysics, which takes the woman as norm in definitions of self, personhood and identity, Christine Battersby contests the conceptualization of the Kantian subject. Taking the risk of (re)constructive philosophy, she offers a challenge to postmodernist feminisms and their reliance on what she describes as the 'despairing epistemology' of deconstructive postmodernism." -- Margaret Whitford, University of London