Browsing Towson University Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies by Issue Date
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ItemSingularity in Beauvoir's The ethics of ambiguity(Wiley Blackwell, 2015-03) Parker, Emily; Towson University. Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesThough it has gone unnoticed so far in Beauvoir Studies, the term 'singularity' is a technical one for Simone de Beauvoir. In the first half of the essay I discuss two reasons why this term has been obscured. First, as is well known Beauvoir has not been read in the context of the history of philosophy until recently. Second, in The Ethics of Ambiguity at least, singularité is translated both inconsistently and quite misleadingly. In the second half of the essay I attempt to demonstrate the importance of this term in The Ethics. The will to disclose being is the will to disclose the singularity of the other, whether human, land, sky or painting. Ambiguity, which Beauvoir distinguishes from absurdity in Camus, is an image suggesting this necessarily mutual disclosure of singularity. ItemAnthropocene and elemental multiplicity(Duke University Press, 2017-03-01) Jones, Rachel; Parker, Emily; Towson University. Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesOur hope in the present essay is to provide a figure for thought in response to what Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer first named "the Anthropocene." Our interest is not in providing a substitute for this concept, but in offering an alternative way of approaching the vast political-ecological work currently being attributed to it. We want to question the images of impending global catastrophe, the glorifications of human abilities to overcome such quasi-apocalyptic conditions, and the ironic celebrations of our 'natural' resilience and technological prowess that are woven through the calls to responsibility and action which characterize Anthropocene discourse. We draw our approach from a critical reading of the work of Luce lrigaray. lrigaray's project is part of a genealogy of feminist thought that predates the emergence of Anthropocene discourse and offers a sustained critique of the concepts of both Nature and Man. We share serious concerns about the limitations of lrigaray's project with regard to race and het eronormativity. However, we find her work helpful because of the way it combines two key strands: first, a critique of what she calls the hom(m)ogenizing logic of the One, whose refusal of difference(s) is as much an ecological as it is a political disaster; and second, a critical analysis of the hylomorphism which, she argues, has informed western conceptions of political life and of the larger ecological life of which the political is a part. ItemPrecarity and elemental difference: on Butler’s re-writing of Irigarayan difference(Sage, 2017-06-01) Parker, Emily; Towson University. Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesIt is widely accepted that Judith Butler’s work represents a fundamental departure from that of Luce Irigaray. However, in a 2001 essay, Butler suggests that Irigaray’s work plays a formative role in her own, and that the problematization of the biological and cultural distinction that Irigaray’s notion of sexual difference accomplishes must be rethought and multiplied rather than simply rejected. In this essay, I place the notion of precarity in the work of Butler alongside that of sexual difference in Irigaray, to show how together they seek to address violence to certain bodies through an approach that is at once ecological and political. I show that Butler’s concept of precarity has deep, largely unappreciated, roots in the work of Irigaray. Butler explores precarity as bodily multiplicity in ways that pluralize Irigaray’s own ethics and politics of difference. Butler is, in other words, rewriting sexual difference as precarity. ItemOn the body and the human-ecology distinction(State University of New York Press, 2018) Parker, Emily; Towson University, Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesReading Fanon yields a critique of a concept that he did not himself explicitly criticize, but which his project in effect renders deeply problematic, “the body.” I therefore question this concept in the present as it suggests a supposedly generic body whose meanings and therefore intuitions and fears are also denied. I argue that reading Frantz Fanon after Bruno Latour, it is possible to understand where “the body” as a concept comes from: “The body” becomes the meaning of the modern political precisely in its exclusion of “ecology.” If for Latour, modernity means the attempt to purge culture of nature and thereby to exacerbate natural disasters precisely in this effort, for Fanon, modernity is Manichaean: Moderns (wielders of colonial power) seek to purge humanness of all things ecological, including bodily difference, which threatens the political and ecological distinction. “The body” is far from a benign figure of speech. It pretends to a genericity that is in fact nowhere to be found on earth. “The body” is a distinctly modern legacy, evidence and fuel of modernity’s planetary alienation. ItemHuman as double bind: Sylvia Wynter and the genre of “man”(Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018) Parker, Emily; Towson University. Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesSylvia Wynter's philosophy of sociogenesis is an implicit response to a double bind instituted by conceiving of humanity in what she calls generic terms. Either one is human and measured by a morphology that privileges an implicit whiteness, masculinity, cis-ness, hetero-ness, symmetry, and ability, or one is a biological organism without necessarily having recourse to the recognition humans share with each other. Wynter addresses this double bind in arguing first that what is political has in fact always had ecological implications. Bodies denied in politics are in fact of great consequence for politics. This implicit morphology of the genre “Man” has always included the presumption that “Man” can and does act unilaterally. And second, Wynter addresses the double bind in her reading of Fanonian sociogenesis. There is no generic body, as Wynter reads Fanon. The way in which a body is regarded, given the “sociogenic principles” of a political context, is an indistinguishably biological-political matter.