Things to Think About

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This being a blog about non-rationality, I wanted to finish off my last couple of entries with some non-scholarly thoughts. While I'm contemplating what form that's going to take, I wanted to point out some more scholarly-type issues which I won't have time to thoroughly discuss this semester. Since they add to the whole non-rational matrix, though, I am jotting down some notes for further investigation and questioning:


  • affect: How do affective experiences contribute to our non-rational experience of the world? I cite, in the bibliography, a good paper by Margaret Olivia Little which outlines the Enlightenment compartmentalization of reason vs. affect, and the ethical possibilities of affect.

  • queer possibilities: Are there queer critiques of rationality that take a different tack from feminist critiques? They may not differ from feminist writing on the subject, since Enlightenment binaries relied more overtly on sexual difference than on sexual orientation; however, what about those who don't fit neatly into sexual binaries at all? While some of my writing here has grouped transfolk (for example) in with all that is not-male/rational, that isn't necessarily quite right either. Would a trans critique of rationality look like Anzaldua's mestiza consciousness, or could it act differently?

  • children: Are children non-rational, or pre-rational? Women and children are traditionally often lumped together as less-than-rational; if we are critiquing the teleological narrative of rationality from a feminist perspective, then does that leave us open to children's ways of thinking as well? In another post, I co-review Kathryn Bond Stockton's The Queer Child and her idea of growing sideways. To our repertoire of thinking like a cubist or thinking across borders, could we also add "thinking sideways"?

1 Comment

I really like all of the questions that you offer here. I think they draw upon and expand many of the issues we discussed in class this semester. Your questions raise more questions for me: What is the relationship between affect and reason? Can we think that relationship in ways that don't reinforce rigid binaries and hierarchies? What would that look like? Could children be rational--but maybe a different form of rational? Does thinking sideways enable one to think outside rationality? Does it enable one to expand/transform/twist rationality in new ways--to create new worlds of rational meaning (a la Lugones)?

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This page contains a single entry by Sophie published on April 19, 2010 11:33 AM.

Eight Women Philosophers: Not Finding What Isn't There was the previous entry in this blog.

The Erotic's Non-Rational Potential is the next entry in this blog.

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