Back to search

DIV-INT-Annet internasjonalt samarbeid

MSH: The Freedom of the Other. Ethical Consequences of Irigaray's Conception of Sexual Difference

Awarded: NOK 10,000

The project "The Freedom of the Other. Ethical Consequences of Irigaray's Conception of Sexual Difference" investigates possible alternative conceptions of freedom from within an ontological-ethical perspective as articulated by Luce Irigaray. The projec t argues the ontological relevance of sexual difference in relation to the ethical question of freedom. As Ellen Mortensen points out, Irigaray stands fairly alone in her emphasis of the importance of the ontological in relation to feminist thinking.My p roject, both in its focus on the notion of freedom, and in its emphasis on the ontological in relation to the ethical, thus differs from what have been the most prevalent approaches within a lot of feminist thinking. The notion of freedom is commonly rela ted to the political domain of society. Aristotle famously relates freedom to the capability to make decisions, be in control and have knowledge: We are free and responsible for our actions only to the degree that we are in control of them, know what we are doing and possess the capability to make decisions. The present project will discuss a different conception of freedom. Instead of looking at freedom in relation to the individual that acts, and be concerned with the freedom of a subject in relatio n to her actions, the focus will instead be placed on the freedom that a subject allows for the Other, and thus relate freedom to the responsibility in relation to the Other. According to Irigaray the relation towards the Other represents a fundamental le vel of the ethical, which needs to be grounded in an ontology of sexual difference. That is to say, the normative ethics concerned with the arbitration between, for example, the right of several different individuals, is grounded on a more fundamental, or ontological-ethical level. Following Irigaray, this project is concerned with the notion of freedom at the fundamental ontological-ethical level concerned with the relation to the Other.

Activity:

DIV-INT-Annet internasjonalt samarbeid