Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Adamiak, M.
Being otherwise: On the possibility of a non-dualistic approach in feminist phenomenology
(2022) Technoetic Arts, 20 (1-2), pp. 11-25.

DOI: 10.1386/tear_00078_1

This article reflects on the current philosophical tendency to construct non-dualistic subjectivity models in response to the criticism of the traditional authoritarian human subject. Following thinkers such as Emmanuel Lévinas, Michel Foucault or Jacques Derrida, the literature has largely identified traditional metaphysics based on dualistic hierarchies as the major source of violence. Perceiving phenomenology as a method that focuses on the concepts of the lived experience and situatedness, I combine this approach with the feminist calls for dismantling the hierarchical relationship of subjectivity to the world. I draw on the concepts of Sonia Kruks, Linda Martin Alcoff, Sara Heinämaa, Judith Butler, Bonnie Mann and Johanna Oksala to inquire how dualism-overcoming phenomenology can be applied to feminist thought. I focus in particular on the approach that Oksala outlines in her book, Feminist Experiences: Foucauldian and Phenomenological Investigations, where she proposes a transcendental view on feminist experience. Intriguingly, she understands transcendental as situated – historically, culturally and politically. Consequently, my final question concerns the possibility of combining the two usually conflicted approaches: transcendental and historical regarding the fundamental phenomenological distinction between the empirical and the transcendental.

Author Keywords
gender; lived experience; metaphysics; situatedness; subjectivity; transcendentalism

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