The Subject of Critique: Ricoeur in Dialogue with Feminist Philosophers

Annemie Halsema


This paper aims to show the relevance of Ricœur’s notion of the self for postmodern feminist theory, but also to critically assess it. By bringing Ricœur’s “self” into dialogue with Braidotti’s, Irigaray’s and Butler’s conceptions of the subject, it shows that it is close to the feminist self in that it is articulated into language, is embodied and not fully conscious of itself. In the course of the argument, the major point of divergence also comes to light, namely, that the former considers discourse to be a laboratory for thought experiments, while the latter consider discourse to be normative, restrictive and exclusive. In the second part, the possibility of critique and change are further developed. Ricœur does not rule out critique, rather interpretation includes distanciation and critique. Finally, his notion of productive imagination explains how new identifications become possible.



Self, Critique, Change, Irigaray, Butler

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Copyright (c) 2013 Annemie Halsema

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