In Mary Rawlinson (ed.), Engaging the World: Thinking After Irigaray. SUNY Press. pp. 115-134 (2016)

Perry Zurn
American University
In this paper, I argue that a) Cartesian wonder is properly interpreted through Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and that b) when Cartesian wonder is explicitly reinterpreted through Irigaray’s ethics of sexual difference, it must be considered in the mode of écriture. To support these two contentions, this paper unfolds in five parts. I begin by giving an account of Cartesian wonder and an account of Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and the ethics of sexual difference. After showing how Cartesian wonder is best read as part of the phallic economy, I turn to develop Cartesian wonder and Irigarayan wonder differently, in the mode of écriture [writing]. In order to do so, I first establish that Cartesian wonder, by virtue of its status as a precondition of rational discourse, is aroused through written things, and then I explore how Irigarayan wonder might best be considered between written entities, between two books as bodies. I thus read Descartes out from Irigaray, then back into and through Irigaray.
Keywords Irigaray  Descartes  Writing  Gender
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