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1. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Alyson Cole, Kyoo Lee Coeditors’ Introduction: Retro I: Return Forward
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2. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jessica Locke, David M. Peña-Guzmán The Groundlessness of Philosophy: Critiquing the Identity of a Discipline
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This article criticizes the equation of “philosophy” with “Western philosophy” that became a common feature of Western philosophical historiographies starting in the eighteenth century and that has, over the course of the last two centuries, become an identity-constituting force in academic philosophy. The essentially Anglo-European identity of modern-day academic philosophy has serious implications, shaping our perception both of what counts as philosophy and of who counts as a philosopher. To counter the racism that lies at the heart of this identity, we go beyond recent calls for the expansion of the philosophical canon and advocate a more radical position rooted in the unconditional embrace of what we call the groundlessness of philosophy. Since there are no necessary conditions that can effectively delimit the domain of philosophy, philosophy is essentially groundless. It has no transhistorical essence and thus cannot be either logically, historically, or geographically circumscribed. To illustrate this groundlessness, we use the Buddhist non-self doctrine as a heuristic to encourage academic philosophers to let go of the need to find a universal, permanent ground for philosophy to stand on. This ethical gesture has the potential to ameliorate some of the problems that plague the discipline today.
3. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jami Weinstein Vital Philology: On How to Foil the Immanent Extinction of Critique
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Using the motif of the hipster to consider the arrival of the concept “Anthropocene” into the orbit of critical theory, this essay establishes the grave existential consequences that issue from the infatuation with, and rapid, uncritical uptake and circulation of, concepts in a philosophical market overcome by neoliberal pressures. These epistemic habits align with political commitments that unwittingly controvert the original intents of critique—and this paradox requires remediation. This essay, thus, argues for a recalibration of epistemic praxis by reclaiming a retro, critical, vital form of philology—figured as both a scholarly practice and a way of life. The hope is to counter the stultifying force of the late-capitalist praxis of commodification, consumption, and hyper-production of concepts spawned by the fatal lure of progress narratives and the fetishization of innovation and originality they entail. Accordingly, we might resolve the tension between habits and politics and account for vital differences and resistances not revealed by the mutation of critique inherent in contemporary strategies. Thus, not only might epistemic politics evolve, but critical theory may also avert extinction by revitalizing it as a dynamic life practice.
4. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Tuhin Bhattacharjee Antigone/Mother: Second Death and the Maternal in Lacan and Cavarero
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Both Judith Butler and Lee Edelman—in spite of the many differences in their respective positions—see Antigone as an anti-natal figure who disrupts social order by refusing to perpetuate the heteronormative cycle of reproduction and reproductive futurism. In this essay, however, I will argue that in resisting what Jacques Lacan calls the “second death” of her brother, Antigone emerges in the maternal position precisely through her power both to suspend and to allow (re)generation. If the fantasy of “second death” is to push back generation to the realm of nothingness—an absolute extinction of the cycle of life—Antigone refigures this “nothingness” of ex nihilo as the maternal body in all its traumatic fecundity. Reading Lacan’s Antigone alongside Adriana Cavarero’s feminist explication of the Demeter myth, and resituating Lacan’s notion of “second death” in the light of Cavarero’s “birth-no-more” would, I hope, serve to enrich our understanding of the sexuate dimensions of Antigone’s desire. I shall also engage with the writings of Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and Emanuela Bianchi in order to imagine a queer maternal politics that has place both for the mother and the child, even as it resists resorption into the normative logic of reproductive futurism.
5. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ruthann Robson An Epistemology of the Envelope
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Using the retrospective form that is memoir, this creative essay explores the retro practice of letters-in-envelopes in the context of epistemology, especially interrogating how knowledge is situated in time and in gender. The topics that reverberate in the essay include instructions for selecting and addressing envelopes; Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Purloined Letter,” with its interpretations by Derrida and Lacan; Heidegger’s influential Being and Time, as well as his problematical life; the logical “paradox of the two envelopes”; and cross-dressing in the Civil War by women soldiers and perhaps by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. What binds this disparate material together is the narrator’s struggle to accomplish a feminist knowing, in which what is in plain sight is not hidden, even while both preserving the past and relegating it to the indecipherable retro.
6. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Mieke Bal Moments of Meaning-Making I: A–C
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The three short pieces below are the beginning of an alphabetically ordered series of entries which, together, will constitute a non-subject-centered autobiography. Professional memories are merged with personal ones. To underline the fragmentary nature of memory I call them “vignettes.”
7. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Robert Kyriakos Smith, King-Kok Cheung Rereading Hisaye Yamamoto and Ty Pak after Black Lives Matter
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This essay is a co-authored retrospective reflection on two essays by King-Kok Cheung, written shortly after the 1992 Los Angeles uprising, on Hisaye Yamamoto’s “A Fire in Fontana” and Ty Pak’s “The Court Interpreter.” Cheung’s work focused on how Yamamoto and Pak represent African American-Asian American relations in terms of their mutual oppression under white supremacy. The present essay suggests that in rereading “A Fire in Fontana” and “The Court Interpreter” in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Movement, we gain new insights into what Yamamoto’s and Pak’s texts uncover about the intersection between the myth of the model minority and anti-Black racism.
8. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Hannah Nahm Model Minority (Tres)Passing in the BLM Age: Asian Stereotypes as Subversive Strategy for Combating Anti-Blackness in Yamamoto’s “A Fire in Fontana” and Ty Pak’s “The Court Interpreter”
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Refracted through the lens of the current BLM movement and the resultant exposé of the longstanding history of anti-Blackness, this essay reexamines two narratives grounded in the historical junctures of interethnic racial turbulence: Hisaye Yamamoto’s “A Fire in Fontana,” spanning the 1945 racist murder of a Black family by arson to the 1965 Watts uprising, and Ty Pak’s “The Court Interpreter,” a fictional tale closely mirroring the 1991 Latasha Harlin murder case and the ensuing 1992 Los Angeles unrest. This essay foregrounds the trope of passing to imagine Asian model minority stereotype as a kind of (tres)passing that can potentially expose and explode instances of anti-Blackness both within interethnic communities and in the larger dominant culture.
book reviews
9. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Christine J. Cuomo Pedro J. DiPietro, Jennifer McWeeny, and Shireen Roshanravan, editors, Speaking Face to Face: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones
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10. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ellie Anderson Linda Martin Alcoff, Rape and Resistance
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11. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sanna Karhu Estelle Ferrarese, editor, The Politics of Vulnerability
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12. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Nica Siegel Bonnie Honig, Public Things: Democracy in Disrepair
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13. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Sinnreich Corine Pelluchon, Nourishment: A Philosophy of the Political Body
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14. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Margarita Rosa Alys Eve Weinbaum, The Afterlife of Reproductive Slavery: Biocapitalism and Black Feminism’s Philosophy of History; Camisha A. Russell, The Assisted Reproduction of Race
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15. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Alyson Cole, Kyoo Lee Coeditors’ Introduction
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16. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
MD Murtagh The Firstness of Sexual Difference: Charles Sanders Peirce, American Pragmatist and Incorporeal Feminist
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A metaphysical strand of C. S. Peirce’s American pragmatism resonates deeply in potential alliance with “incorporeal feminism”: a transcontinental philosophy with origins in Luce Irigaray’s ethics of sexual difference. A psychoanalyst trained by Lacan himself, Irigaray analyzes the unconscious of various philosophical systems, revealing dualism as an underlying phallic structure. In the dualism between idealism and materialism, she explains, the terms become sexually coded: idealism, paternal-masculine; materialism, maternal-feminine. Incorporeal feminism does not merely invert the roles, but radically reimagines the relation between them, postulating the ideal as a maternal condition of possibility for birthing the material into existence; not separate substances but the inseparable activity of materiality making itself. For Peirce, ideas act; and though he was by no means a feminist, his metaphysics lend at least three insights to incorporeal feminism: (1) an alternative to dualism in the trichotomic categories “firstness, secondness, and thirdness”; (2) an evolutionary cosmology where the material universe is a gestating embryo within a womb; and (3) an objective idealism: a model for addressing the dilemma of when sexual difference begins. Within “firstness,” sexual difference is ideal; an incorporeal activity pre-existing and latently imbuing materiality to varying degrees, ultimately expressing itself in certain life-forms as bodily differences.
17. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Jana McAuliffe She’s Making Profit Now: Neoliberalism, Ethics, and Feminist Critique
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This paper engages television comedy to critique the ethical values that are amenable to neoliberal capitalism. First, I explore the co-optation and containment of feminism as a collective social change movement by postfeminist and neoliberal cultures. I show how self-reliance and resilience become legible as classed, raced, and gendered values packaged for feminine, neoliberal women. Next, I address the specific challenges that neoliberal biopower poses for ethical values as they have been traditionally understood. I then argue that comedy is a particularly effective medium through which to consider the generation of resistant values that can support feminist collectivity. I develop a provisional protocol for engaging ambivalent media and read two scenes from TV comedies focused on the femininity of class-aspiring or class-privileged women. This critically exposes what kinds of values might counter the co-optation of self-reliance and resilience. I conclude that cultural performances of femininity not only codify neoliberal values, they also are a resource for generating resistant feminist values inasmuch as they present intentionally frivolous modes of living. Within such a culture frivolousness becomes viable as a mode of everyday ethical commitment that can disrupt the negative impact of neoliberal biopower.
18. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
James Sares The Schizoanalysis of Sex: Toward a Deleuzean-Guattarian Sexual Ontology
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Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalytic project has been understood to be antithetical, or at best indifferent, to any project of sexual ontology. Against these dominant views, I argue for an interpretation of the schizoanalytic project that does justice to the differentiation of beings—particularly the human being—according to distinct forms of sexuate morphology. I claim that, although it is largely absent in Deleuze and Guattari’s writings, we can read this kind of determinate sexual difference into their project at both the organic stratum of the organism and the alloplastic stratum of human signification and meaning. Given its importance in structuring bodies and organizing generational reproduction, I consider how sexual difference is the historical condition of possibility for alloplastic subjectivity. Nevertheless, I argue that the innovative features of Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalytic project emerge from their recognition that neither the organismic structure of sexual difference nor its social and personal representation is static. As such, reading sexual difference into the schizoanalytic project not only supplements Deleuze and Guattari’s work but also opens possibilities for developing a sexual ontology that recognizes the dynamic embodiment of individuals without denying the structural reality of sexual difference (particularly, for the human being, as male/female).
19. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Ann J. Cahill Vocal Politics
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Feminist theory has produced a robust literature on embodiment that explores phenomena such as maternity, mobility, ability, and aging. However, the field has produced surprisingly few analyses of the bodily phenomenon of voice; references to voice in the context of critical theory are almost entirely metaphorical in nature, a relegation that obscures the philosophical relevance of voice as embodied phenomenon. Using insights garnered from the fields of sound studies and musicology, I argue that contemporary feminist theory should address the social, political, and ethical meanings of the bodily, material phenomenon of vocality. Specifically, I argue that vocality is better understood as intervocality, that it is an existentially significant aspect of identity, and that it is implicated in systematic inequality and social relations (both individual and structural) in meaningful ways. I critique Adriana Cavarero’s approach to vocal justice, demonstrating that it does not sufficiently take up the challenges of intervocality. The article concludes with some preliminary remarks regarding a conceptualization of vocal justice.
20. philoSOPHIA: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Edith Jeřábková, Francis McKee The Princess Fainted on the Spot: On Ester Krumbachová’s Dark Tales
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