Thought Feeds on Disparities

Thought Feeds on Disparities

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

French philosopher Helene Cixous wrote her impressive work “Sorties” in 1975, in which she examines the contrasts that often determine the way we think about the world.

According to Cixous, another factor determining the history of thought for centuries is our tendency to divide the elements in our world into opposite pairs such as culture/nature, night/day, head/heart. Cixous argues that these pairs of elements always enter into an indirect hierarchical order, and this order is always supported by a tendency in which one element is identified with masculinity to be seen as dominant and superior, with activeness, and the other element or weaker side with femininity and passivity.

Cixous believes that the authority of this hierarchical model of thought is beginning to be questioned by the burgeoning feminist thought. She questions what the consequences of this change might be, not just for our philosophical systems, but for our social and political institutions as well. But Cixous is the one who refuses to play the binary opposition game with victors and losers as the structural framework for our thinking. Instead, she imagines “millions of as yet unknown mole species” burrowing under the majestic structures of our worldview. But what will happen when these structures begin to collapse? Cixous doesn’t say that. It’s like she’s telling us that we can’t make any predictions, that all we can do is wait and see.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook