Thresholds of touch
revisiting the mat(t)er of the body in the work of Luce Irigaray
Keywords:Irigaray, body, religion, matter, sexual difference, psychoanalysis
This article introduces Irigaray’s notion of sexual difference as a pre-discursive, irreducible difference that is the possibility of desire and the condition of relation to the world. Couching Irigaray’s bodily language within her linguistic psychoanalytic and ethical frameworks for critiquing metaphysics, this article revisits the question of ‘body’ in Irigaray’s work in relation to the pre-discursive ‘materiality’ of sexual difference. By holding Irigaray’s theory of sexual difference together with her critique of metaphysics, the author asserts that beyond the language of immanence and transcendence, the materiality of Irigaray’s pre-discursive sexual difference constitutes the ‘stuff’ of radical alterity.
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