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‘Bodiless Bodies’: Perception and Embodiment in Kant and Irigaray

Author(s): Laura K. Green

Journal: Perspectives : International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy
ISSN 2009-1842

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Perception | transcendental | space-time | dwelling | sexuate difference

This paper begins with a brief analysis of Immanuel Kant’s account of perception in the Critique of Pure Reason, and analyses Luce Irigaray’s critique of Kant in Speculum of the Other Woman, in order that we may better understand the position Irigaray adopts with regards to the notion of embodied ‘perception’ – a key theme in her recent text To Be Two. Part II examines Irigaray’s argument in An Ethics of Sexual Difference, with particular reference to themes of ‘dwelling’, ‘embodiment’ and ‘space-time’. By denying the body representation within discourse, Irigaray argues that the Kantian transcendental subject conceals sexuate difference and buries the ‘feminine’. Hence perception is not conceived as an ethical relationship between two embodied subjects, but as one of knowledge between a transcendental subject and an ‘object’. This enterprise is intended to lend clarity to Irigaray’s vision of embodied subjectivity and alterity in her later works.
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