ENDNOTES FOR CHAPTER ONE
1. For a further reference to this debate read ‘Feminism and the Crisis of Rationality’ (Loviband, 1994) New Left Review 207: 72-86 discussing the relationship between the ‘crisis of rationality’ and feminist critiques of dominant Western philosophical conceptions of Reason and Rationality.
2. Michele LeDoeuff (1993) in The Philosophical Imaginary writes about the binary oppositional categories that depend on a latent feminisation of everything deemed other to reason in the construction of philosophical discourse. She writes: ‘...a practical application of philosophy is necessary in order to oust and unmask the alienating schemas which philosophy has produced’ (p. 101), and calls for an alternative model of reasoning based on transference love and relatedness between pupil and teacher reminiscent of the pre-Socratic philosophical tradition. She argues against any philosophy which aims to produce a complete, encircled and self-contained discourse of knowledge truth and reality, and for philosophy that can admit of its own incompleteness. She writes, ‘Here one has the impression of experiencing a new rationality, in which a relationship to the unknown and unthought is at every moment re-introduced’ (p, 128). She writes particularly of the mythos versus logos distinction as a consequence of ‘...a complicity between forms which present themselves as opposites’ (p. 118), and argues for the introduction of a different conception of knowledge, that recognises its own necessity as well as its limitations, and ‘ ... enables us to dispense with the logocentric phallocratic phantasmagoria (ibid). This summarises precisely the position I occupy in relation to philosophical discourse throughout this study. I have chosen to reconstruct, from feminist perspective, psychoanalytic conceptions of knowing that involve relatedness, intersubjectivity, and the affective partiality common in transference love as a model for an integrated, embodied process of acquiring knowledge about the world. No object of knowledge exists uncathected by the knower in this model because all objects of interest contain the affective charge of the knower. I continue to explore and explain this throughout the remainder of this study.
3.There has been a movement within the feminist philosophy of the past decade to deconstruct ‘disembodied’ systems of thought that emphasise transcendence, objectivity and the desirability of emotionally detached conceptions of reason, towards a reconstruction of I embodied I systems of thought that emphasise intersubjectivity, relatedness and the affective investment that underpins the evaluative content of thought and thinking. Examples of this work are cited throughout the first chapter of this study. All argue for the integrated conceptions of mind and body, thought and feeling as a necessary condition of various rationalities over and against a universalist conception of rationality based upon purely mental processes of cognition and abstracted reflection.
I follow this established trend in feminist thinking using a Kleinian psychology of knowledge embodied in the process of sexual becoming.
4. The terms transference and countertransference are difficult to define succinctly. For an extensive object relations account see Racker ( 1968). Whereas Laplanche and Pontalis summarise the meaning of transference thus:
... a process of actualisation of unconscious wishes. Transference uses specific objects and operates in the framework of a specific relationship established with these objects [...] infantile prototypes re-emerge and are experienced with a strong sense of immediacy... transference is acknowledged to be the terrain where all the problems of a given analysis play themselves out : the establishment, modalities, interpretation and resolution of the transference are in fact what define the cure (1988, p. 455).
Countertransference could best be summarised as the analyst’s own unconscious response to the patient’s transference based upon a relation of projective identification. The analyst should use the information gained in this way to aid interpretation, for as Freud remarked: ‘... everyone possesses within his own unconscious an instrument with which he can interpret the utterances of the unconscious in other people’ (1913, S,E. 12, p. 320).
During this thesis when I use the term countertransference I will be using it in a Kleinian sense, as Hinshelwood (1989) describes in The Dictionary of Kleinian Thought.
There are various steps in the history of the Kleinian concept of "countertransference": (1) The importance of the analyst’s feelings as an indicator of the patient’s state of mind; (2) the discovery of a normal form of projective identification which is used as a method of non-symbolic communication; (3) cycles of introjective and projective identifications as the basis of an intrapsychic understanding of the interpersonal transference/ countertransference situation between analyst and patient ; ( 4) the idea of "normal" countertransference; and ( 5 ) the importance of the analyst' s mind above all else as the significant aspect of the patient's environment (1989, pp. 255-256).
5. Martin Jay's book Downcast Eyes (1994) charts the rise and fall of ocularcentrism in the West. I wish to tie this in with the phallocentrism of classical psychoanalysis. He writes,
The development of Western Philosophy cannot be understood...without attending to its habitual dependence on visual metaphors of one sort or another. From the shadows playing on the walls of Plato’s cave and Augustine’s praise of the divine light to Descartes’s ideas available to a "steadfast mental gaze" and the Enlightenment’s faith in the data of our senses, the ocularcentric underpinnings of our philosophical tradition have been undeniably pervasive, ...modern Western thinkers in particular have built their theories of knowledge even more resolutely on a visual foundation (Jay, 1994, pp. 186-187).
And Bergson wrote that ‘The mechanism of our ordinary knowledge is of a cinematographical kind’ (Bergson, 1919, pp. 322-323, emphasis in original).
Taking this ocularcentrism into psychoanalysis Freud wrote:
... the first step in the phallic phase... is a momentous discovery which little girls are destined to make. They notice the penis of a brother or playmate, strikingly visible and of large proportions, at once recognise it as the superior counterpart of their own small and inconspicuous organ, and from that time forward fall a victim to envy of the penis (Freud, 1925, p. 245, my emphasis),
And Irigaray wrote :
The contract, the collusion between one sex/organ and the victory won by visual dominance therefore leaves woman with her sexual void, with an "actual castration" carried out in actual fact. She has the option of a "neutral" libido or of sustaining herself by "penis-envy" (Irigaray, 1974, p, 48 emphasis in original).
Martin Jay's important book Downcast Eyes charts the denigration of ocularcentrism in twentieth century French thought, however, I wish to contend that the epistemological supremacy of vision retains its cultural dominance in the West, even if our intellectual avant-garde have long since questioned its validity. The domination of the visible world over the non visible is explicitly assumed in Freudian thought, as the above quote illustrates. In everyday life, the maxim 'seeing is believing' sums up our common-sense attitude to how we most reliably acquire information about our world. We inherit this disposition from, as Jay demonstrates, a Western philosophical tradition which elevates sight, particularly our continuing cultural reverence for Enlightenment beliefs and the rational certainty of the positivist scientific method. The ultimate principle of verifiability of given evidence is its visibility, and this implicitly underpins our ‘common- sense’ attitude to the world. The Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid said, in his study An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (1801) ‘Of all the faculties of the five senses, sight is without doubt the noblest’ (p. 152).
It remains the case, that everyday common sense attitudes support the Enlightenment belief in the epistemological supremacy of information accredited to only one of our five senses, which exists largely unquestioned outside of philosophically-minded intellectual circles, I hope to demonstrate that the reasons for this are tied up with patriarchal ideologies of gender and conservative theories of sexual difference which underpin a phallocentric psychic economy. Such a psychic economy fetishises sight, and compulsively reasserts the epistemological supremacy of vision, which forms the backbone of a culturally dominant patriarchal positivist model for making sense of the world. The phallocentric fetishising of visual information is an important component of a dominant structure of feeling (Williams, 1977) which most of us in the West employ when making everyday choices or judgments we refer to as based on ‘common-sense’. Such a psychic economy can tolerate a general common-sense acceptance of sexual equality but as Irigaray has argued cannot recognise sexual difference.
6. Intentionality is a phenomenological concept that I shall use throughout my argument and one which needs further definition.Something can be described as ‘intentional’, A Historical Introduction to Phenomenology (Sajauna, 1987), when it comprises of a ‘mental act or mental state’ which is directed meaningfully to the other. A mental act is directed towards an externally present object, e.g., ‘I see a cat’, whereas a mental state is not directed towards an external object, e.g., ‘I want a cat’ (when there is no external object present to the speaker) . In both instances the cat is part of the content of the intentionality, but only in the former, in the mental act, is the cat an object of intentionality. In the mental act the cat is perceived and conceived, is both object and concept, in the mental state the cat is conceived only. The cat is only a concept.
When we make the conventional distinction between reality and fantasy, we understand the phenomenologists mental act, as engaged with reality, the mental state as engaged with the world of fantasy and imagination. However, for the phenomenologist both mental acts and mental states are objectively real, in that both are intentional qualities of the intersubjective relationship, and accessible to analysis (this is of course the task of the psychoanalyst as well). For phenomenologists, the concepts of inner and outer are thrown into question, as is the epistemological drive to penetrate the metaphysical core of reality ‘out-there’. (I agree with Luce Irigaray's argument that this drive to ‘penetrate’ reality is phallocentric, an example of the gendering of theories of knowledge, of which Western philosophy remains unconscious).
I shall use the phenomenological concept of intentionality throughout my exploration of Klein' s sexuate psychology of knowledge, which I shall argue is a necessary consequence of the a-priori affective responsiveness of human beings.
7. For Bion the whole process of accurate comprehension of psychic objects (all objects are psychic for Bion because they all present themselves to our consciousness) is dependent upon a receptive state of being akin to making one' s self available to the other as a container. This act of intuitive apprehension of reality enables a form of access to psychic objects that remains as free as possible from interference by psychic defence mechanisms. This calm, receptive frame of mind is the ideal state of being for the psychoanalyst who is about to go into a session with a patient. Being able to cultivate this state of being in the world is, I would suggest, akin to being able to cultivate the ‘negative capability’ referred to by Keats. This is an ability to exist amidst contradictions without any irritable reaching after fact or reason, which Keats understood as an essential component of the creative process. Similarly, for Bion an ability to contain ambivalence is the creative spur to thoughts and thinking. This is explored in some detail in Chapter 2.
8. Phenomenological intuitive analysis entails a very different process to that described above. For the phenomenologist von Hildebrand (Owens, 1970) human beings communicate affective responses intentionally, their intentional responsiveness to common values bonds them together intersubjectively.
Values are perceived affectively, and the phenomenologists task is to analyse this situation intuitively -- through the act of making fine, systematic distinctions. When phenomenologists speak of ‘intuiting essences’ of acts or objects, they do not mean that such essences flash into view with a moments intellectual attention. Intuition is a form of philosophical labour that is dialectical. Owens writes of von Hildebrand:
‘He progresses slowly, attempting to describe and distinguish different levels and dimensions of interpersonal relationships in order to arrive at the essence of each type’ (1970, p. 116). I believe that this philosophical practice has much in common with psychoanalysis.
9- Susan Issacs statement in 'The Nature and Function of Phantasy' (1948) sums this up from a Kleinian perspective as follows : ‘Adaptation to reality and reality-thinking require the support of concurrent unconscious phantasies- Observation of the ways in which knowledge of the external world develops shows how the child' s phantasy contributes to his learning’ (pp. 112).
Fact and value, thought and feeling all have a common origin - in phantasies. This position implies that a sexuate embodied process, that is open ended, rather than a closed and self-contained systematic function is the basis of learning and creative thinking. That is why I am interested in appropriating a Kleinian psychology of knowledge for a feminism of autonomy.
10. There is an ongoing debate as to whether psychoanalysis as a clinical practice can properly be defined as a science, or whether it would be better defined as an hermeneutic art. My own view favours the latter definition, which implies that psychoanalysis involves the intuitive art of interpretation, rather than the scientific mediation of intrapsychic and object-relational processes.
11. This point is also made explicitly from a feminist perspective by LeDoeuff and Goldenberg. Donald Meltzer also makes this point in The Kleinian Development by arguing that Melanie Klein's epistemology implies that nothing can be known objectively, because everything that is known carries an intersubjective, affective charge, which invests it with meaning. This process has its origins in the infant' s earliest relationship to the mother 's body, which is initially omnipresent to the child, and representative of its entire environment. As interpersonal separation ensues the child' s object cathexes widen to include objects other than the mother’s body, but both the intrapsychic and intersubjective processes involved in knowing remain formatively rooted in the earliest experiences of our initial nurturing environment. Bion (1963 ) argues that these ‘primitive processes’ or phantasies are the basis of thoughts and thinking that as adults we take to be evidence of knowledge about the world. This summarises the position I take throughout my argument. Bion also remarks that neo-positivist concepts of objective reason are a matter of epistemological convenience that serve to satisfy the desire for feelings of satisfaction, rather than admitting the existence of ambivalence and contradiction which would lead to undesirable feelings of frustration. See the section on Bion in Chapter 2 of this study for a discussion of this.
12. I should elaborate on what mean by ‘appropriate contexts’. I believe empirical methods are useful tools of analysis in the study and research of non-human processes. However, any study of human beings, i.e., the human sciences, the humanities, needs the complementary approach that accounts for the intersubjective inferences that mediate communication between human beings, even if this communication is based on an intertexual encounter, rather than an embodied, face to face encounter between persons. This means that deconstructions and reconstructions of meaning will always carry the affective charge of a whole society of object cathexes that invest given propositions or arguments with meaning at the level of phantasy. The less conscious the scholar or researcher of these inevitable processes the less rigorous the eventual result. The premises and phantasies of the researcher will be unconsciously invested in the results which will then be construed by the respective intellectual community as an 'objective' truth. This is an act of hubris, based on a phantasy of omnipotence, that denies the limitations of human conscious awareness of the world, As such, from a Kleinian perspective, this type of ‘knowledge’ could be termed ‘paranoid schizoid’ knowledge (R.M.Young, 1995), whereas a form of knowledge that admits of its partiality and limitation would be 'depressive' knowledge, i.e., more realistic.
13. For a further discussion of this read R.M.Young (1977) ‘Science is social relations’, Radical Science 5: 65-129.
14. This term is borrowed from Teresa Brennan (1993) History After Lacan.
The ‘foundational fantasy’ as she terms it, is the fantasy of woman as commodity that contains the split-off psychotic projections of the Western capitalist phallocentric symbolic order. She argues that this fantasy is implicit in Lacan' s and Klein' s work. I shall borrow this term but use it slightly differently as my argument will demonstrate. Here, I use the term ‘foundational fantasy’ to indicate the implicit presence of the phallocentric psychic category (both in phantasy and discursively) of the ‘feminine’, as container of the phallocentric category of the ‘masculine’ contained. This is a simplification of the term as Brennan uses it.
15. Genevieve Lloyd' s book demonstrates the omnipresence of dichotomous sexual philosophical metaphors throughout dualist accounts of mind and body from Plato to DeBeauvoir. In defence of this exercise she writes :
Bringing the male-female distinction to the centre of consideration of texts in this way may seem to misrepresent the History of Philosophy. But philosophers, when they tell the story of Philosophy' s past, have always done so from the perspective of their own preoccupations, shared with their non-philosopher contemporaries - pressing questions which were not central to the philosophers they were explicating (1984, p. 110).
16. The term sexuate is an Irigarayan term which I use throughout this study. She uses the term to denote the specific sexual ‘genre’ or ‘genealogy’ of the subject. A ‘sexuate’ positioning in relation to the law for example would be able to admit of the specific sexual genealogies of differently sexed subjects, who presently do not achieve parity under phallocentric Law. The ocularcentrism of the Law makes it difficult for women to prove rape for example, as much of the evidence this has occurred rather than seduction is not available for ocularcentric examination, This is because the Law has evolved from a phallocentric genealogy, which affords no recognition of women's specific sexual subjectivity and therefore maintains women’s invisibility under such a Law.
17. This statement follows the tradition of the Frankfurt school who established the discipline of critical theory as an alternative to philosophically monolithic conceptions of ‘apolitical’ truth, fact and reality which they believed sustained a 'bourgeois morality’ . This alternative means of analysing the world ( read ‘culture’) allows for evaluative distinctions because for critical theorists all bodies of knowledge are intersubjectively sustained by ideological perspectives. The point is for the intellectual, the scholar, the researcher, the critic, to be aware of and avow such commitments before endeavouring to analyse any cultural product, so that ideological perspectives are also available for scrutiny. Following on in this tradition I have endeavoured to avow my commitments to afford the reader the opportunity to evaluate my politics as well as my process of argument throughout this study - which is a cultural product like any other text.
In Martin Jay’s study of the Frankfurt School The Dialectical Imagination (1977) he argues that Horkheimer denied the ‘reification of individual and society as polar opposites’ (p. 56) which led him to deny the mutual exclusivity of subject and object in philosophy and worked to undermine neo-positivist methodologies and philosophies. From a Frankfurt School perspective, neo-positivist absolutism can be traced as a by-product of capitalism, which stresses ‘the precedence of duty to the totality over personal gratification,...to such an extent that the latter was almost completely neglected’ (p. 57). The result of this denial of subjective investment in cultural endeavours led to the undermining of the importance of the revolutionary, visionary avant-garde, and the expansion of the mass culture industry which serves as an effective palliative for this dearth of individual creativity. Much of the work of the Frankfurt school was involved with the analysis of the mass culture industry to show just how effective it was (and, arguably still is) at achieving this aim.
18. This point refers to an old debate central to Western philosophy - the ‘is-ought’ debate based on Hume’s naturalistic fallacy (1777). David Hume observed that in moral philosophy thinkers usually proceed from is / is not factual observations, to build an argument based on moral justifications or, ought/ought not statements. Hume argued that there is a logical barricade between these two sets of propositions, which implies that he believed observational, empirical and factual statements were value-free. For Hume, descriptive statements (facts) could not be used to justify prescriptive statements (values).
However, the work of psychoanalysts like Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, and critical theorists like Horkheimer mentioned above, reveal that value laden phantasies and/or ideologies underpin all factual observational statements, which are arrived at intersubjectively. ‘Facts’ are not objectively real phenomena to be distilled from a process of subjective reflection whose aim is to alienate the self from the emotional evaluative drives of the body in order to better know the object. The latter may be an attainable experience but this is achieved through the exercise of a phantasy of disembodied access to omnipresent eternal Laws, rather than the exercise of ‘objective’ reason. For a further discussion of the naturalistic fallacy see Burton F. Porter Deity and Morality With Regard to the Naturalistic Fallacy (1968). He argues that ‘The ought is distinguished from the is as the ideal from the actual’ (p. 169). His theistic perspective may not be in vogue but his discussion of Hume' s work is clear and outlines the debates concisely.
19. For a full account of Irigaray’s epistemological and ontological critique of phallocentrism in Western philosophy see Margaret Whitford’s critical appraisal of her work in Philosophy in the Feminine (1994). Whitford writes,
. . . we can see Irigaray’s interpretation of the truth in philosophy: as a function of the castration complex, it is an endlessly repetitive gesture of blocking women's subjectivity in order to protect an endlessly threatened economy which is a fragile barrier against an unthinkable death and dissolution...the logos itself has a phantasmatic structure; the logos too is implicated in phantasies that is has to repress : "Socrates is dreaming... but he does not know it, does not want to know it... he no longer sees what he no longer sees (nature). This double negation founds the order of philosophy as such" [AM: 106] ... So long as women support castration anxiety, men retain an unsymbolised and unconscious nostalgia for that original proximity, which means they block women' s attempts to emerge as subjects, i.e., as women who are not just for-men (pp.117-119).
It is this repression of all that is ‘other’ to the ascending ‘masculine’ subject of the phantasmogoric, phallocentric, psychic economy that is Western philosophy, that Grosz is attempting to bring to philosophical consciousness using Irigarayan strategies. I shall use Grosz' s pared down autonomous feminist strategies for evaluating and appraising Klein and post- Kleinian theory in the remainder of this study.