Symposium 17 (1):273-299 (2013)

In 1755, Lisbon was destroyed by an earthquake whose aftershocks were felt across Europe. One of the less well-known responses to this abyssal event is that offered by Kant in his three essays on earthquakes and their causes. According to Irigaray, Kant's concern with an earth that moves is not incidental, but central to the emergence of his critical project. The goal of this paper is to trace a line from Kant's earthquake essays, through his later writings on the sublime, to Irigaray's critique of the Kantian project and her positive re-appropriation of a matter that moves, a well as the sublime figure of the abyss. I will suggest that, in her work, the abyss is transformed from a rupturing cleft into a shelter for sexuate difference, and from a site of terror into a space for wonder.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 1917-9685
DOI symposium201317114
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