Hypatia 28 (4):767-783 (2013)

Through a close reading of Judith Butler's 1989 essay on Merleau-Ponty's “theory” of sexuality as well as the texts her argument hinges on, this paper addresses the debate about the relation between language and the living, gendered body as it is understood by defenders of poststructural theory on the one hand, and different interpretations of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology on the other. I claim that Butler, in her criticism of the French philosopher's analysis of the famous “Schneider case,” does not take its wider context into account: either the case study that Merleau-Ponty's discussion is based upon, or its role in his phenomenology of perception. Yet, although Butler does point out certain blind spots in his descriptions regarding the gendered body, it is in the light of her questioning that the true radicality of Merleau-Ponty's ideas can be revealed. A further task for feminist phenomenology should be a thorough assessment of his philosophy from this angle, once the most obvious misunderstandings have been put to the side
Keywords Merleau-Ponty, Butler, phenomenology, gender, sexuality, body
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12040
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References found in this work BETA

How the Body Shapes the Mind.Shaun Gallagher - 2005 - Oxford University Press UK.
Undoing Gender.J. Butler - 2004 - Routledge.

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Citations of this work BETA

“The First Man Speaking”: Merleau-Ponty on Expression as the Task of Phenomenology.Anna Petronella Foultier - 2015 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 46 (3):195-212.

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