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Between East and West (European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism) Paperback – April 15, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0231119351 ISBN-10: 0231119356
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Editorial Reviews Review

Between East and West is an attempt to rediscover meaning for Western philosophy and culture by looking outside the Western tradition. Luce Irigaray's passionate intellect is in evidence throughout the book, which she envisions as "a quest for myself, for the world, for the other, beyond illusions, beyond lies." Irigaray, probably the foremost feminist philosopher in France, attempts to "reground" both individuality and community. To do so she examines the experiential aspects of Eastern philosophy, particularly the yogic tradition.

In the original elements of Indian philosophy, Irigaray finds a mythic-philosophic wellspring of ecological and sexual harmony that is predicated on a respect for difference. Ultimately, she wants to show that certain elements of pre-Aryan Indian thought allow us to reconstitute ourselves as individuals and refound our communities. And according to Irigaray, the stakes are high: "Political agendas ... need new formations, perspectives, words and logic," she writes. And if we don't find them, the 21st century "risks being nothing but a pitiful decline of the human species." --Eric de Place --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

What happens when a distinguished French feminist philosopher and psychoanalyst takes yoga lessons? Irigaray gets some shocks and some good ideas, too. She chafes at the male sexist attitude of some yoga teachers and concludes that "patriarchal censorships and repressions" encroached upon a once healthier aboriginal tradition in India. Irigaray also believes that the differences between men and women can play an important role in the emergence of the love that is our best hope something quite possible within an Eastern tradition that understands its resources (Western misunderstandings, including Schopenhauer's, take a beating here). She comes to believe that breathing is a way of focusing the body and that the idea of shared breath is more fundamental than the idea of exchangeable words. Most readers will not be persuaded that, for instance, there is a difference between male and female breathing, but this is a fresh look at the need for East and West to get together, and Irigaray's notion of a community without gender wars is important. Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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