Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Philosophy

Editor-in-Chief: Harman, Graham


Covered by:
DOAJ - Directory of Open Access Journals
ERIH PLUS

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2543-8875
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Return to the Repressive: Re-thinking Nature- Culture in Contemporary Feminist Theory

Deborah Goldgaber
Published Online: 2018-11-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0018

Abstract

In “History of Sexuality” (Vol I.) Foucault argued that repression is the wrong model of power, understanding it in exclusively negative terms, as external to the body it constrains and inhibits. Power may also be positive, productive, and constitutive of the body and its possibilities. Thus, an adequate account of the relation between cultural forces and the body, Foucault argues, must challenge the “repressive hypothesis” (RH). Contemporary feminist accounts of the body are structured by this same oppositional view of power Foucault assumed: to call on Rosi Braidotti’s distinction, discursive (cultural) forces are either negative or repressive (potestas) or positive and empowering (potentia). In this paper I argue that this opposition forecloses several possibilities for thinking the morphogenetic role of culture. In particular, it assumes wrongly that repressive relations cannot be productive.

Keywords: Repressive Hypothesis; Foucault; Barad; Braidotti; Haslanger; Discursive Construction; Power; Wittig; Iris Marion Young; New Materialism; Embodiment; Gender

References

  • Amedi, Amir, Lotfi B. Merabet, Felix Bermpohl, and Alvaro Pascual-Leone. “The Occipital Cortex in the Blind: Lessons About Plasticity and Vision.” Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol 14, Issue 6 (2016), 306 - 311.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.” In Belief, Bodies, and Being: Feminist Reflections on Embodiment, edited by Deborah Orr, 120-147. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Barad, Karen. Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Berressem, Hanjo. “matter that bodies: gender in the age of a complex materialism.” Gender Forum 2 (2002). http://www.genderforum.uni.koeln.de/mediating/btm.html.Google Scholar

  • Braidotti, Rosi. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming. New York: Polity Press, 2002.Google Scholar

  • Braidotti, Rosi. “A Theoretical Framework for the Critical Posthumanities”. Theory, Culture & Society 0:0 (2018), 1-31.Google Scholar

  • Butler, Judith. “Foucault and the Paradox of Bodily Inscriptions”. Journal of Philosophy 86: 11 (1989), 601-607.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”. New York: Routledge, 1993.Google Scholar

  • Canguilhem, Georges. The Normal and the Pathological, trans. Carolyn R. Fawcett & Robert S. Cohen. New York: Zone Books, 1991.Google Scholar

  • De Beauvoir, Simone. The second sex. New York: Vintage Books, 1952.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.” In Nietzsche. edited by John Richardson & Brian Leiter, 139-164 Oxford: University Press, 1984.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality. Volume One: An Introduction. New York: Vintage Books, 1980.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. “What is Enlightenment?” In The Foucault Reader, edited by Paul Rabinow, (32-50). New York: Pantheon Books, 1984.Google Scholar

  • Foucault, Michel. “Politics, Philosophy, Culture: interviews and other writings 1977-1984” Edited by Lawrence D. Kritzman, 111-124. New York Routledge, 1988.Google Scholar

  • Hamilton, Roy H. and Alvaor Pascual-Leone. “Cortical plasticity associated with Braille learning.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2:5 (1998), 168-174.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Haraway, Donna. Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.Google Scholar

  • Haslanger, Sally. “The Sex/Gender Distinction and the Social Construction of Reality.” In Routledge Companion to Feminist Philosophy, edited Ann Garry, Serene J. Khader, Alison Stone. New York: Routledge, 2017.Google Scholar

  • Kirby, Vicki. Telling Flesh: The Substance of the Corporeal. New York: Routledge, 1997.Google Scholar

  • Kirby, Vicki. Quantum Anthropologies: Life at Large. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.Google Scholar

  • Malabou, Catherine.What Should We Do with Our Brain?. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Sadato, Norihiro. “How the Blind ‘See’ Braille: Lessons From Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Neuroscientist 11 (2005), 577-582.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wendell, Susan. The Rejected Body: Feminist Philosophical Reflections on the Disabled Body. London: Routledge, 1996.Google Scholar

  • Wilson, Elizabeth. Gut Feminism Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Wittig, Monique. “One is not born a woman.” In The Essential Feminist Reader, edited by Estelle B. Freedman, 359-367. New York: Modern Library, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Young, Iris Marion. On Female Body Experience: “Throwing Like a Girl” and Other Essays. Oxford: University Press, 2005.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2018-06-14

Accepted: 2018-07-31

Published Online: 2018-11-10

Published in Print: 2018-11-01


Citation Information: Open Philosophy, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 245–255, ISSN (Online) 2543-8875, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opphil-2018-0018.

Export Citation

© by Deborah Goldgaber, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in