Cut of the Real

Cut of the Real: Subjectivity in Poststructuralist Philosophy

Katerina Kolozova
FOREWORD BY FRANÇOIS LARUELLE
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/kolo16610
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  • Book Info
    Cut of the Real
    Book Description:

    Following François Laruelle's nonstandard philosophy and the work of Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell, Luce Irigaray, and Rosi Braidotti, Katerina Kolozova reclaims the relevance of categories traditionally rendered "unthinkable" by postmodern feminist philosophies, such as "the real," "the one," "the limit," and "finality," thus critically repositioning poststructuralist feminist philosophy and gender/queer studies.

    Poststructuralist (feminist) theory sees the subject as a purely linguistic category, asalways already multiple, asalways alreadynonfixed and fluctuating, as limitless discursivity, and as constitutively detached from the instance of the real. This reconceptualization is based on the exclusion of and dichotomous opposition to notions of the real, the one (unity and continuity), and the stable. The non-philosophical reading of postructuralist philosophy engenders new forms of universalisms for global debate and action, expressed in a language the world can understand. It also liberates theory from ideological paralysis, recasting the real as an immediately experienced human condition determined by gender, race, and social and economic circumstance.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-53643-1
    Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD: GENDER FICTION
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    FRANÇOIS LARUELLE

    THE REINTRODUCTION of gender (an old notion from biology and the natural sciences) into the margins of sexuality has functioned as a redistribution of givens and interests; it has opened up [libéré] the field of thought at the same time as it has introduced confusions and polemics into it. Gender has become the new scene [lieu], the new enclosure [enceinte] that is necessary to think, and the problematic that is possible to work through once again. Katerina Kolozova boldly takes her place in “gender studies” with a look toward what I call nonphilosophy. Her work is all the more interesting...

  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xx)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-12)

    One of the trends that has marked the past half decade in twenty-first-century continental philosophy is the emergence of several new forms of philosophical realism that are habitually (and perhaps problematically) put under the single label of “speculative realism.”¹ This trend signals the need in twenty-first-century continental philosophy to traverse the postmodern or poststructuralist limits of thought. Paradoxically, “speculative realism” sees its limits in precisely the alleged “limit-lessness” of thought it proclaims. Namely, it limits the ambition and desire of philosophical thought in three ways: (a) by contemplating the endless “chain of signification”; (b) with the critical theory of the...

  6. 1 ON THE ONE AND ON THE MULTIPLE
    (pp. 13-50)

    Adherence to a determinate theoretical horizon provides one with the comfort and safety of philosophical certainty. It is a twofaced certainty established by the hybridization of the transcendental (or thought) and the real: the comfortable sense of unshakability in one’s philosophical knowledge and the safe sense of “knowing the reality.” Even when the proclaimed truth of reality is one of constant mobility, transformation, and instability, the stabilized truth of the reality forms a securely established reality from which one is reluctant to be sundered. It is that stability which one risks losing through a decision to “radicalize” one’s critical position...

  7. 2 ON THE REAL AND THE IMAGINED
    (pp. 51-78)

    The dichotomy of “sex” and “gender” and the still prevailing ways in which it works within the contemporary theories of gender are the reflection, or rather, the expression, of another dichotomy that belongs to the family of several grand couples of opposing concepts inherited from the metaphysical tradition. Poststructuralist theories of gender from the last decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first perpetuate the classical metaphysical binaries in spite of the consensually shared goal of transcending or doing away with meta-physics altogether. Postmodernism’s method of surpassing metaphysical thinking has consisted in the philosophical decision of not...

  8. 3 ON THE LIMIT AND THE LIMITLESS
    (pp. 79-102)

    Our postmodern era defines itself as such on the basis of its pretension to having transcended the relevance of some old metaphysical notions, which have been habitually reduced to the Cartesian philosophical legacy and its language. These are not only concepts that ought to be seen as having been proven redundant for the postmodern considerations of the world (in the Laruellian sense) or the universe(s) of humanity. It also seems that, apart from acquiring the status of methodological and ontological redundancy, they have also become anathema on “moral grounds.” Namely, they have become “bad words”: the one and the real...

  9. 4 THE REAL TRANSCENDING ITSELF (THROUGH LOVE)
    (pp. 103-130)

    The two perhaps most influential thinkers of today’s French philosophico-theoretical scene, Alain Badiou and François Laruelle, agree in their devotedness to the project of reclaiming the thought of the radical. Furthermore, the goal of reintroducing the relevance of the instance of the real for the contemporary theories of the human and humanity is another feature they have in common. Still, there are fundamental differences between the two theoretical projects. Badiou’s project is radically philosophical, whereas Laruelle’s is radically non-philosophical. Badiou subscribes to the metaphysical tradition of Platonism, whereas Laruelle rejects in advance any philosophical decision. Nonetheless, they do share the...

  10. 5 THE REAL IN THE IDENTITY
    (pp. 131-154)

    How are we to think our situatedness within an identity, such as that of a “woman” (or any other identitary subjection) while observing one of the main principles of François Laruelle’s non-philosophy, situating the thought in correlation with the real? Or, to rephrase the question, how can we think the problems of identitary subjection while escaping the vicious circle of the philosophy thinking itself ? Namely, conceptualization in relation to another conceptualization, detached from the reality of what is subject to the particular process of generating truth. How can we produce truths that establish a relation of fidelity to the...

  11. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 155-156)
  12. NOTES
    (pp. 157-172)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 173-178)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 179-184)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 185-188)