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DifferencesRe-reading Beauvoir and Irigaray$
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Emily Anne Parker and Anne van Leeuwen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190275594

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190275594.001.0001

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We Have Always Been Materialists

We Have Always Been Materialists

Beauvoir, Irigaray, and the Specter of Materialism

(p.114) Chapter 4 We Have Always Been Materialists

Anne van Leeuwen

Oxford University Press

This essay revolves around a basic question: What is the relationship between twentieth- century French feminism and materialist politics? More precisely, what is the place of materialism in the works of Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray, or in what sense are the philosophies of Beauvoir and Irigaray “materialist” ones? I take up this set of questions vis-à-vis the “new” materialism of Marx—a materialism that destroys the classical philosophical opposition of idealism and materialism in order to think the subject of politics. I seek to show that it is precisely this subject that we find in its nascent form vis-à-vis the work of Simone de Beauvoir and Luce Irigaray in twentieth-century French feminism—the subject of materialist–feminist politics.

Keywords:   Beauvoir, Irigaray, Marx, Lacan, materialism, psychoanalysis, structuralism

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