Social Construction, Roving Biologism
, and Reasonable Women: A Response to Professor Epstein.
The author concludes that language gender ideologies are at the same time founded on ideologies of biologism
and evolutionism, and ideologies of faith, family, and nation, but also intertwined with them, so it is not possible to interpret them separately.
Quoting from Heidegger's 1942-43 seminar on Parmenides, Agamben refers at this moment to "the oblivion of being" that lies at the bottom of biologism
of the nineteenth century as "a monstrous anthropomorphization of the animal and a corresponding animalization of humanity" (Agamben 58).
In the fourth and fifth chapters he aims to clarify the distinction between biologism
and bioaesthetics in more detail.
The idea of "support" invokes the classic ground-grounded relation, immediately inviting further transcendental terms that now invade Agamben's account: "For in Kojeve's reading of Hegel, man is not a biologically defined species, nor is he a substance given once and for all; he is, rather, a field of dialectical tensions always already cut by internal caesurae that every time separate--at least virtually--'anthropophorous' animality and the humanity which takes bodily form in it." (25) Whereas on the surface this is indeed a disavowal of the kind of crude foundationalism that would simply posit ahistorical substances or biological substrates in a respective essentialism or biologism
, it has in fact merely repeated the same kind of transcendental logic on a more subtle level.
We can have a ruthlessly self-consistent system, like Hitler's biologism
or Stalin's Marxism, but it will not be human.
But this biologism
plays little role in what follows: it would have sufficed for him to note they are important.
Constructivism versus Biologism
in Explaining Gender.
(11) Recent scholarship interprets Nietzsche's will to power as an alternative evolutionary mechanism to Darwinian natural selection, while still locating Nietzsche within the movement of 19th-century "biologism
." This biologism
included the search for natural explanations in ethics, psychology, aesthetics, and other traditional areas of philosophical inquiry.
Fictive notions of difference between men and women can be found in theories such as essentialism or biologism
that suggests an individual has a "true nature" or essential core identity.
Accusations of biologism
or essentialism plague contemporary theoretical debates, which are marked, particularly in the Anglo-American context, by a predominant investment in matters of "gender" over those framed around "sex" and sexuality (the shift from Women's Studies to Gender Studies departments in the U.S.
I am a little mystified by their implied biologism
, by the idea that traceable origins or conception determine the identity of anthropology.