Dichotomy: Feminist Phenomenological Analysis

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While the dialectic may itself have disturbing implications for feminist phenomenology, there are also some meaningful problems with its methodology. The first of these problems is that it is conclusively incapable of explaining the complexity of phenomena.12 Being and Nothingness are never diametrically opposed in the act of perception, but are rather constituted and heavily intertwined in moments of presence and absence. The initial relation of one to the world, is one of ecstasy, of an entanglement and a perceptual faith; there is a core ambiguity between touching and being touched in one's own body, that opens up this ambiguous absorption into being.13 Borrowing from Gestalt psychology, Merleau-Ponty argues that this pre-reflective world…show more content…
Rather than one person being an object, and another being a subject, pre-reflective experience reflects a lacuna of subjectivity and objectivity between each person. The level of phenomenological experience, however, is one in which a shift in perspective, or of one of the parts, leads to a shift in the whole. This experiential shift therefore allows the possibility of change, without an absolute negation needing to take place. Embodied experience and its hyper-dialectic therefore is not one of continuous struggle, but an opening for intersubjective…show more content…
In the terms of the "bad dialectic", every new event, one is placed in the dichotomy between the in-itself and the for-itself, with no opportunity for a lived past.27 Each moment of this movement from for-itself to for-itself, nihilates the past and allows change to take place.28 In order for change to take place, and for this change to be meaningful, there needs to be some temporal unity, in which are decisions are not just isolated moments; this is precisely what the hyper-dialectic allows.29 The present moment is not simply an opening for a division between the for-itself and in-itself, but perceives both the immediate future and the immediate past.30 It follows from this that we can conceive of a future that is also simultaneously attending to the past; a notion of a project of progressive social change becomes possible while at the same time recognizing the previous temporal moments that make our current project conceivable and possible. It is therefore possible for the feminist phenomenologist to conceive of a notion of future that does not destroy the

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