Non-Fiction Books:

Textures of Light

Vision and Touch in Irigaray, Levinas and Merleau Ponty


Paperback / softback

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Textures of Light by Cathryn Vasseleu
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Textures of Light draws on the work of Luce Irigaray, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas to present an outstanding and ground breaking study of the vital importance of light in Western thought. Since Plato's allegory of the cave, light and the role of sight have been accorded a unique position in Western thought. They have stood as a metaphor for truth and objectivity and the very axis of modern rationalism. More recently however, this status has come under significant criticism from continental and feminist thought which has stressed the privileging of subjectivity and masculinity in such a metaphor. Textures of Light clearly shows the ambivalent role light plays within philosophy. Cathryn Vasseleu challenges current interpretations of Luce Irigaray as a theorist of touch by presenting her as a philosopher of vision. She also draws upon Merleau-Ponty's anti-Platonic claims for the corpreal and social context of the visual. There is also a fascinating discussion of Levinas' insistence that light is 'first experience.' Throughout, the tension between vision and touch is carefully and clearly explored to present a challenging interpretation of how these often antagonistic concepts can be combined to develop a new theory of the visual within philosophy.
Release date NZ
February 5th, 1998
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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