Emma R. JonesNov 13, 2023
Being as Relation in Luce Irigaray
Palgrave Macmillan 2023
Many scholars have struggled with Irigaray’s focus on sexuate difference, in particular with her claim that it is “ontological,” wondering if this implies a problematically naïve or essentialist account of sexuate difference. As a result, the ethical vision which Irigaray elaborates has not been taken up in a robust way in the fields of philosophy, feminism, or psychoanalysis.
By tracing the notion of relation throughout Irigaray’s work, Being as Relation in Luce Irigaray (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023) identifies a rigorous philosophical continuity between the three self-identified “phases” in Irigaray’s thought (despite some critics’ concerns that there is a discontinuity between these phases) and clarifies the relational ontology that underlies Irigaray’s conceptualization of sexuate difference – one that always already implies an ethical project.
Jones demonstrates that an understanding of Irigaray’s Heideggerian inheritance – especially prominent in her later texts – is essential to grasping the sense of the idea that sexuate difference is ontological – it concerns Being, rather than beings. This book further develops potential applications of this ontological notion of a “relational limit” for the fields of philosophy, feminism, and psychotherapy.
Emma R. Jones is a psychotherapist in private practice in the San Francisco East Bay Area. She was educated at the New School, the University of Oregon, where she earned her PhD in philosophy; and the California Institute of Integral studies, where she earned her clinical degree. She is the author of several articles engaging the work of Luce Irigaray as well as phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and ancient Greek philosophy.
Helena Vissing, PsyD, SEP, PMH-C is a Licensed Psychologist practicing in California. She can be reached at email@example.com. She is the author of Somatic Maternal Healing: Psychodynamic and Somatic Treatment of Trauma in the Perinatal Period (Routledge, 2023).