Luce Irigaray

Luce Irigaray

Luce Irigaray (born 1932 Belgium) is a French feminist, philosopher, linguist, psychoanalytic and cultural theorist. She is best known for her works "Speculum of the Other Woman" (1974) and "This Sex Which Is Not One" (1977).


Irigaray received a Master's Degree from the University of Louvain (Leuven) in 1955. She taught in a Brussels school from 1956-1959. She moved to France in the early 1960s. In 1961 she received a Master's Degree in psychology from the University of Paris. In 1962 she received a Diploma in Psychopathology. From 1962-1964 she worked for the "Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique" (FNRS) in Belgium. She then began work as a research assistant at the "Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique" (CNRS) in Paris.

In the 1960s Irigaray participated in Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic seminars. She trained as and became an analyst. In 1968 she received a Doctorate in Linguistics. In 1969 she analysed Antoinette Fouque, a leader of the French women's movement. From 1970-1974 she taught at the University of Vincennes. At this time Irigaray was a member of the "École Freudienne de Paris" (EFP), a school directed by Lacan.

Irigaray's second Doctorate thesis, "Speculum of the Other Woman," was closely followed by the termination of her employment at Vincennes University.

In the second semester of 1982, Irigaray held the chair in Philosophy at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Her research here resulted in the publication of "An Ethics of Sexual Difference", establishing Irigaray as a major Continental philosopher.

Irigaray has conducted research since the 1980s at the "Centre National de Recherche Scientifique" in Paris on the difference between the language of women and the language of men. In 1986 she transferred from the Psychology Commission to the Philosophy Commission as the latter is her preferred discipline.

In December 2003, Luce Irigaray was awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature "honoris causa" by the University of London. From 2004-2006, Irigaray was a visiting professor in the department of Modern Languages at the University of Nottingham. As of 2007, she will be affiliated with the University of Liverpool.

In 2008, Luce Irigary was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by University College, London.

Contributions to feminist theory

Irigaray is inspired by the psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jacques Lacan, the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas and the deconstruction of Jacques Derrida. Her work aims to reveal a perceived [ masculinist] philosophy underlying language and gestures toward a "new" feminine language that would allow women to express themselves if it could be spoken. Irigaray's work also challenges what she calls phallogocentrism, noting that society’s two gender categories, man and woman, are in fact just one, man, as he is made the universal referent, and therefore working towards a theory of difference.

Irigaray's aim is to create two equally positive and autonomous terms, and to acknowledge two sexes, not one. Following this line of thought, with Lacan’s mirror stage, Lacan's theory concerning forms of "sexuation", and Derrida’s theory of logocentrism in the background, Irigaray also criticises the favouring of unitary truth within patriarchal society. In her theory for creating a new disruptive form of feminine writing (Écriture féminine), she focuses on the child’s pre-Oedipal phase when experience and knowledge is based on bodily contact, primarily with the mother. Here lies one major interest of Irigaray's: the mother-daughter relationship, which she considers devalued in patriarchal society. In the realm of Feminist theory, Irigaray is one of the most prominent figures of what is sometimes misleadingly [cite book |first=Robin. |last=Morgan |year=1984 |title=Sisterhood is Global |publisher=Anchor Books |location=New York |id= ISBN 0-385-17797-6 |pages= pp. 234-235] called French feminism, alongside Julia Kristeva and Hélène Cixous.

There is an extensive body of literature critiquing and engaging with the philosophy of Luce Irigaray, including Margaret Whitford's "Luce Irigaray: Philosophy in the Feminine" and her edited collection of essays "Engaging With Irigaray". Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, in their book "Fashionable Nonsense" used Irigaray has a poster-child example of someone they claimed misused scientific terminology and misapplied scientific concepts.


*"Speculum of the Other Woman" 1974, (Eng. trans. 1985)
*"This Sex Which Is Not One" 1977, (Eng. trans. 1985)
*"And the One Doesn't Stir without the Other" 1979, (Eng. trans. 1981)
*"Marine Lover: Of Friedrich Nietzsche", 1980, (Eng. trans. 1980)
*"Elemental Passions" 1982, (Eng. trans. 1992)
*"Belief Itself" 1983
*"The Forgetting of Air: In Martin Heidegger" 1983, (Eng. trans. 1999)
*"An Ethics of Sexual Difference" 1984, (Eng. trans. 1993)
*"To Speak is Never Neutral" 1985, (Eng. trans. 2002)
*"Sexes and Genealogies" 1987, (Eng. trans. 1993)
*"Thinking the Difference: For a Peaceful Revolution" 1989, (Eng. trans. 1993)
*"Je, tu, nous: Towards a Culture of Difference" 1990, (Eng. trans. 1993)
*"I Love to You: Sketch for a Felicity Within History" 1990, (Eng. trans. 1993)
*"Democracy Begins Between Two" 1994, (Eng. trans. 2000)
*"To Be Two" 1997, (Eng. trans. 2001)
*"Between East and West" 1999, (Eng. trans. 2001)
*" The Way of Love" 2002

ee also

* Feminism and the Oedipus complex
* Hélène Cixous
* Julia Kristeva
* list of deconstructionists
* Strategic essentialism


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  • Luce Irigaray — (* 1932 in Belgien) ist eine französische feministische Psychoanalytikerin und Kulturtheoretikerin. Ihre bekanntesten Werke sind Speculum, Spiegel des anderen Geschlechts (1974) und Das Geschlecht, das nicht eins ist (1977). Inhaltsverzeichnis 1… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Luce Irigaray — (née en 1930) est une linguiste et psychanalyste féministe française. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Travaux 3 Bibliographie 4 Liens internes …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Luce Irigaray — Este artículo o sección necesita ser wikificado con un formato acorde a las convenciones de estilo. Por favor, edítalo para que las cumpla. Mientras tanto, no elimines este aviso puesto el 28 de mayo de 2011. También puedes ayudar wikificando… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Irigaray — Luce Irigaray (* 1930 in Belgien) ist eine französische feministische Psychoanalytikerin und Kulturtheoretikerin. Ihre bekanntesten Werke sind Speculum, Spiegel des anderen Geschlechts (1974) und Das Geschlecht, das nicht eins ist (1977).… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Irigaray — Irigaray, Luce …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Irigaray, Luce — born 1932?, Belgium French feminist psychoanalyst and philosopher. She examined the uses and misuses of language in relation to women in such works as Speculum of the Other Woman (1974), which argues that history and culture are written in… …   Universalium

  • Luce — /loohs/, n. 1. Clare Boothe, 1903 87, U.S. writer, politician, and diplomat. 2. Henry Robinson, 1898 1967, U.S. publisher and editor (husband of Clare Boothe Luce). * * * (as used in expressions) Irigaray Luce Luce Clare Boothe Luce Henry… …   Universalium

  • luce — /loohs/, n. a pike, esp. when fully grown. [1350 1400; ME < MF lus pike < LL lucius] * * * (as used in expressions) Irigaray Luce Luce Clare Boothe Luce Henry Robinson * * * …   Universalium

  • Irigaray, Luce — (1939– ) Belgian feminist theorist, whose work explores the construction of sexual difference in western philosophy and psychoanalysis. Irigaray was educated at Louvain, and has taught in Brussels and Paris. Her early work in linguistics… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Irigaray, Luce — (n. ¿1932?, Bélgica). Filósofa y psicoanalista feminista francesa. Examinó los usos y abusos del lenguaje en relación con la mujer en obras como Speculum: espéculo de la otra mujer (1974), donde sostiene que la historia y la cultura están… …   Enciclopedia Universal