By Elizabeth Grosz

ISBN-10: 0822350718

ISBN-13: 9780822350712

In turning into Undone, Elizabeth Grosz addresses 3 similar concepts—life, politics, and art—by exploring the consequences of Charles Darwin’s account of the evolution of species. demanding characterizations of Darwin’s paintings as a sort of genetic determinism, Grosz exhibits that his writing unearths an insistence at the distinction among average choice and sexual choice, the rules that control survival and popularity, respectively. Sexual choice complicates average choice via introducing aesthetic components and the expression of person will, wish, or excitement. Grosz explores how Darwin’s thought of sexual choice transforms philosophy, our knowing of humanity in its female and male varieties, our rules of political family, and our ideas of artwork. Connecting the naturalist’s paintings to the writings of Bergson, Deleuze, and Irigaray, she outlines a postmodern Darwinism that is familiar with all of lifestyles as kinds of competing and coordinating modes of openness. even if feminists were suspicious of the suggestions of nature and biology important to Darwin’s paintings, Grosz proposes that his writings are a wealthy source for constructing a extra politicized, radical, and far-reaching feminist realizing of topic, nature, biology, time, and becoming.

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Extra resources for Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art

Sample text

An insect ethics is as elaborate and developed as forms of insect taste and insect discernment; to accompany any insect ethics there is also an, or indeed many, insect aesthetics, as well as insect pleasures, insect desires, insect forms of life, and insect modes of intensification. Darwin implies that the di√erent morphological and social structures that regulate species life, that privilege certain organs and activities, suggest a certain kind of ethics, aesthetics, and technics, or at least the rudimentary materials for such forms of organization.

Bergson explicitly denies his position is vitalist to the extent that vitalism assumes a finished and distinct living individual whereas in his view life assumes a continuous, never ceasing relation of change. ∞∂ But if the individual is never distinct from or stands over and above the ongoing processes of its development and aging, then any postulate of a vital force will extend well beyond the living, into the intimate connections the living have with the deleuze, bergson, and life 33 nonliving and, paradoxically, into the very heart of materiality itself.

Life, that excess within matter that seeks to extend matter beyond itself and its present forms, is not the ‘‘origin’’ of the virtual but rather one of its modes of actualization, the potentiality of matter itself, insofar as matter is the material of life as well as nonlife. I propose here to explore Deleuze’s rather scattered and enigmatic understanding of the concept of life by linking it to the thick strand of Bergsonism that runs through his writings. ≥ It is as if this notion has already been too overworked; it is either too mired in a biologism that reduces it to a unique type or organization, to organs and their cohesive functioning in organisms, or it is a concept that has been absorbed by phenomenology, which separates the human from the animal and from its given objects even as it tries to reconcile them within experience.

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