Alison Stone offers a feminist defence of the idea that sexual difference is natural. Providing a novel interpretation of the later philosophy of Luce Irigaray, she defends Irigaray’s unique form of essentialism and her rethinking of the relationship between nature and culture.
Introduction: Luce Irigaray and the nature of sexual difference; 1. Re-reading Irigaray: realism and sexual difference; 2. Judith Butler's challenge to Irigaray; 3. Nature, sexual duality, and bodily multiplicity; 4. Irigaray and Hölderlin on the relation between nature and culture; 5. Irigaray and Hegel on the relation between family and state; 6. From sexual difference to self-differentiating nature; Conclusion: reconciling duality and multiplicity.