The aim of the project is to examine the diverse paths and manners of establishing the female subject from the perspective of the philosophy of difference. The philosophy of difference is an alternative philosophical enterprise in virtue of which the ...
The aim of the project is to examine the diverse paths and manners of establishing the female subject from the perspective of the philosophy of difference. The philosophy of difference is an alternative philosophical enterprise in virtue of which the presuppositions of the philosophy of identity, such as dichotomy of mind and body, the superiority of reason to affect, masculinity as the representative of human subjects, and atomic individualism. In addition, the philosophy of difference challenges the methodology based on rationalism, objectivity, and neutrality as the ideals of theoretical inquiry. Hence, the philosophy of difference attempts to reveal these presuppositions as the fictitious and mythical notions embraced by essentialism, rationalism, and male-dominant ideology. In particular, in light of the female subject, the philosophy of difference envisages the subject as an social and political agent crossing over the boundaries of internal and external scopes and interweaving the network of human subjects by dynamic interaction and solidarity. In the process of creating itself and other subjects, the feminist subject presents an integrative picture of mind and body, individual and society, nature and culture, existence and value, and male and female.
As is well-known, the post-modernist and post-structuralist discourses strongly criticise the metaphysics of the philosophy of identity. However, these criticisms still seem to share some of common assumptions about reason and affect, societal values and colonist ideology, patriarchal world view, which can be summed up as being reason-centered. By contrast, the philosophy of difference attempts to contest the male-centered and reason-centered philosophy from the feminist perspective. At the same time, it develops the philosophical discourse in the context of the East-Asian Yin-Yang theory. Specifically, it pays attention to the epistemological and cultural particularity of female experience. In pursuit of the main theme of the project, we examine the features of dynamism and mutual-reciprocity sketched by the traditional Yin-Yang theory and criticize its serious limitations. As an alternative interpretation of the concept of mutual-reciprocity, we maintain the possibility of ‘in-between’ which refers to the multifarious and diverse dimension of differences and solidarity between human subjects, created by dynamic interactions between them.
As a representative theory of difference in the Western philosophy, Hegelian philosophy can be considered to have some merits in that it shows the dialectic and dynamic interchange between individuals and between individual and society. Despite those merits, Hegelian philosophy is bound with the serious limitations that should be due to its overarching and ambitious programme to integrate the whole history under the World-Spirit. Therefore, we look at Deleuze's ontological account of nomadic individuals and find a way to supplement it with the notions of moral responsibility and solidarity.
In addition to ontological inquiry of difference, we examine the features of ideal male subject presented in Odysseus, a representative mythical figure, by taking the method of mythology analysis. Odysseus shows the image of a self-sufficient, rational, and superior subject, which is ‘incidentally’ male-figure. Contrary to that, ‘Princess Bariddaigy’ is portrayed as a heroine who overcomes personal sufferings and has no grudge over ill-treatment and betrayal of her parents, and finally succeeds in establishing her ‘feminist’(male-female-integrating) identity as embracing other human subjects.
Finally, we present the female subject as an aesthetic category through the prism of gender category. We also examine the internal structure of emotion narrative of female subject and characterize the individual style of female autobiography as the stepping-board of creating and building her own identity.