Irigaray's critique of the phallocentric subject's implicit dependence on the maternal-feminine “outside” is compelling. Her postulation of nonhierarchical sexual difference gives the relational world of woman specificity and Irigaray brings the subject's worldview to earth as merely the relation of the male human to the world. But the focus of her transvaluation remains largely anthropocentric; and she maintains too many aspects of the privilege of the subject's sovereignty as proper to male subjectivity. I suggest that, we need to extend Irigaray and to think sexual difference beyond the human. Drawing from Elizabeth Grosz, Gilles Deleuze, Henri Bergson and Jakob Von Uexküll, I argue that we need to think life beyond the constitution of the organism as the continuous enmeshment of different milieus. Sexual difference is a force of differentiation that articulates relationships between organisms and organs as crucial aspects of many milieus that make up the Earth. Along with the sexually differentiated aspects of milieus, there are rhythms of difference constitutive of milieus that are not sexed. The first section of the essay describes Irigaray's conceptualization of sexual difference between humans. Then I turn to her engagement with the status of nonhuman animals in “Animal Compassion.” I suggest her approach in this essay is too anthropocentric and move to a discussion of Uexküll's thinking on milieus as a way to extend the concepts of difference and sexual difference into posthuman contexts. The essay concludes by reading Irigaray's concept of difference with Deleuze and Bergson.
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DOI 10.1080/00071773.2014.960744
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An Introduction to Umwelt.Jakob von Uexküll - 2001 - Semiotica 2001 (134).

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