Synopses & Reviews
The influential philosopher and theorist Luce Irigaray has been faulted for giving more importance to sexual difference than to race and multiculturalism. Penelope Deutscher's eagerly awaited book, the first to focus on the scholar's controversial later works, addresses this charge. Through a learned critique of these lesser-known writings, the book examines Irigaray's claim that the politics of feminism and multiculturalism are intrinsically linked. The volume also serves as a clear and comprehensive introduction to her entire corpus.
In her recent works, Irigaray promotes sexual difference as the philosophical basis for legal, political, and linguistic reform. Deutscher explores this approach and in particular Irigaray's view that the very notion of difference is culturally "impossible."
Taking this concept of impossibility into consideration, Deutscher evaluates Irigaray's contributions to contemporary debates about the politics of identity, recognition, diversity, and multiculturalism. In a balanced discussion, she considers the philosopher's work from the perspective of fellow critics including Michele Le Doeuff, Drucilla Cornell, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler, and Charles Taylor.