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Divine LoveLuce Irigaray, Women, Gender, and Religion$
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Morny Joy

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719055232

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719055232.001.0001

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Cartesian meditations

Cartesian meditations

(p.36) Chapter 2 Cartesian meditations
Divine Love

Morny Joy

Manchester University Press

In Luce Irigaray work there are two distinct treatments of Descartes' ideas. Irigaray introduces the topic of women—a subject that was notably absent from Descartes' own deliberations. In the first essay, she aligns herself with interpretations that associate Descartes' suspension of bodily connections and impulses with the suppression of women. At the same time, her deconstructive mimetic reading of Descartes also seeks to establish a site for women. Women are featured as an instance of otherness that initiates an experience of the passion, wonder, which is nominated by Descartes as a primary passion. Irigaray employs her construct of sexual difference with telling effect. For Irigaray, wonder, as a passion, is inextricably linked with love and the divine. Irigaray does not make any explicit connections between her two essays, though she does recommend that Descartes needs to be reread in the light of his work on the passions.

Keywords:   sexual difference, suppression of women, otherness, Descartes, cartesian mediations, love

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