Irigaray's Ecological Phenomenology:towards an elemental materialism

Stone, Alison (2015) Irigaray's Ecological Phenomenology:towards an elemental materialism. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 46 (2). pp. 117-131. ISSN 0007-1773

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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.

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Journal Article
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Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology
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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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22 Aug 2014 12:24
Last Modified:
28 May 2023 02:31