Psychoanalysis

The Antigone Complex: Ethics and the Invention of Feminine by Cecilia Sjöholm

By Cecilia Sjöholm

What if psychoanalysis had selected Antigone instead of Oedipus? This publication lines the relation among ethics and hope in very important philosophical texts that concentrate on femininity and use Antigone as their version. It indicates that the idea of female wish is conditioned by way of a view of ladies as being susceptible to excesses and deficiencies in terms of moral norms and principles. Sjöholm explains Mary Wollstonecraft's paintings, in addition to readings of Antigone by way of G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Luce Irigaray, Jacques Lacan, and Judith Butler.

This booklet introduces the idea that of the "Antigone complex" to be able to light up the imprecise and multifaceted query of female wish, which has given upward push to the fascination of generations of philosophers and different theoreticians, in addition to readers and spectators. while the publication argues for a idea of hope that's intrinsically regarding ethics. the moral query posed via Antigone, and explored within the publication, is: what determines these activities that one needs to do, in place of those who one should do?

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Extra info for The Antigone Complex: Ethics and the Invention of Feminine Desire (Cultural Memory in the Present)

Sample text

We know very little about Sade’s sexual activities, Beauvoir notes, probably because he only wrote his fantasies down, without acting them out. 20 But he would never desire a woman. 21 His ideas of freedom may seem like a call to pursue pleasure under any circumstances, but it is a call founded only on false ideas of reciprocity. A suspicious gap persists between the call for freedom for ourselves and the inability to recognize freedom as essentially belonging to the other. What is so worrying for Sade is that we can never fully objectify or subject our neighbor.

And like the heroine, Wollstonecraft tried to kill herself after he left. The women in her novel betray themselves and each other. 61 But she does not simply blame her female figures for their failures; beyond the descriptions of female weakness, we may reconstruct another argument. It can be shown, contrary to most moral philosophers of her own time, that women are moral agents precisely because they continue to fall into humiliating forms of submission. Failing to claim a causal link between submission and outer conditions or make them victims of circumstance, she views them as moral agents.

Wollstonecraft’s women do not take pleasure in their abuse. Like Justine, however, they continue to fall into the traps of seduction, abuse, and violation. While their humiliation may be conditioned by their difficult circumstances, Wollstonecraft never blames their initial fall into such traps on external causes. She understands the social conditions that lead to their errors, but she does not simply explain their actions through these conditions. Even when her women are forced by economic difficulties and abusive husbands or lovers, their submission is ultimately independent of authorities or physical difficulties.

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