Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger (The Constructs
Irigaray, Mary Beth Mader (Translator).
French theorist Luce Irigaray has become one of the
twentieth century's most influential feminist thinkers. Among her many
writings are three books (with a projected fourth) in which she
challenges the Western tradition's construals of human beings' relations
to the four elements-earth, air, fire, and water-and to nature. In
answer to Heidegger's undoing of Western metaphysics as a
"forgetting of Being," Irigaray seeks in this work to begin to
think out the Being of sexedness and the sexedness of Being.
This volume is the first English translation of L'oubli
de l'air chez Martin Heidegger (1983). In this complex, lyrical,
meditative engagement with the later work of the eminent German
philosopher, Irigaray critiques Heidegger's emphasis on the element of
earth as the ground of life and speech and his "oblivion" or
forgetting of air.
With the other volumes (Elemental
Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche) in Irigaray's
"elemental" series, The
Forgetting of Air
offers a fundamental rereading of basic tenets in Western
metaphysics. And with its emphasis on dwelling and human habitation, it
will be important reading not only in the humanities but also in
architecture and the environmental sciences
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By Seido Yoshinaga. Irigaray argues that the pretence
of (so-called) hetero-sexual society is a mere alibi covering the fact of a socio-cultural
practice of hom(m)o-sexuality. The exchange of women not only smooths the working of men's
relations with one another, but also stimulates the exchange of other "wealth"
among groups of men. According to Irigaray, Levi-Strauss, on this very point, is surely
right in observing that society would fall into disorder without the exploitation of
women. In a patriarchal society only women serve as exchangeable "commodities,"
while men are "exempt from being used and circulated."
By Sean McDaniel. In his book "Capital" Marx
attempts to explain the hidden underpinnings of the capitalist economic system, and to
reveal the rather illusionary nature of the relationship between the materiality or
utility of a thing, and its perceived "value" in a capitalist society. In her
book "The Sex Which is not One," Luce Irigaray argues that there is another
similar system that pre-dates and is probably a requirement for capitalism, and yet
remains independent of capitalism, that being the subjugation of women as a commodity to
men. While for Marx capitalism is a only a stage in the larger process of the evolution of
economic systems, for Irigaray
"from the very origin of private property and the patriarchal family, social
exploitation occurred [. . .] [A]ll the social regimes of "History" are based
upon the exploitation of one "class" of producers, namely women" (173).