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Sleights of Reason

Norm, Bisexuality, Development

Mary Beth Mader

Publication Year: 2011

Demonstrates the dramatic interplay of elements that comprise the concepts of norm, bisexuality, and development. A brilliant and original reimagining of sexuality, this book examines how concepts lend themselves to power/knowledge formations, and offers a robust synthesis of insights from Foucault and Deleuze to extend those into a proposal for a conceptual next step for imagining the structures of sexuality as eros. Many contemporary French philosophers make incidental use of the notion of a ruse. Its names are legion: ‘duplicity,’ ‘concealment,’ ‘forgetting,’ and ‘subterfuge,’ among others. This book employs Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the concept to describe three specifically conceptual ruses, or sleights, that make up part of the conceptual support for the concept of sex. These are the sleights associated with the concepts of norm, bisexuality and development. Mary Beth Mader argues that concepts can trick us, and shows how they can effect conceptual sleights, or what she calls sleights of reason.

Published by: State University of New York Press

SLEIGHTS OF REASON

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-viii

The work of many contemporary French philosophers of note makes incidental use of the notion of a ruse. Its names are legion: duplicity, concealment, forgetting, and subterfuge, among others. This book employs Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of the concept to describe three specifically conceptual ruses, or sleights, that make up part of the conceptual support for the concept of ‘sex.’ These...

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

For making me fortunate, I have many people to thank. Among them are my generous current and former colleagues in the University of Memphis Philosophy Department, whose gift to me was to let me go on my merry philosophical way. You can see, and so can they, the result of that liberty now. Should it occasion any regrets, their gravity would be utterly alleviated...

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CHAPTER ONE. The Sleight of Reason

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pp. 1-41

Thought daily encounters motive to investigate further the operative ontologies of the social category of sex. Certainly, the social category of sex, as an attribute said to qualify human bodies, is an instrument central to the history of human domination. But whether or not to affirm the category, or which versions to affirm, continues to puzzle many. In fact, a number ...

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CHAPTER TWO. Sleights of the Norm

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pp. 43-69

Michel Foucault’s arguments for the importance of the modern social technology of the norm have received much scholarly attention. But in most cases a philosophical explication of the supposed novelty of the norm on the level of its very basic conceptual operation is lacking. This chapter offers analysis of and speculation on the conceptual operation of statistical measure as a ...

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CHAPTER THREE. Sleights of Bisexuality

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pp. 71-85

What exactly could be so deplorable about the “binary machine” of bisexuality? Freud’s thought on sexuation contains in exemplary form some of the confounding conceptual problems produced by this internalization of the binary machine of sex. For this reason, his writings are a useful source from which to clarify the specifi c failings or risks of this internalization. Problems with the...

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CHAPTER FOUR. Sleights of Development

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pp. 87-105

This chapter on development and its sleights consists of four parts. The first part treats a sleight of historical development, using the example of Harriet Taylor Mill’s progressivist historical philosophy. The second part treats the work of Freud and identifies some sleights of biological development in his thought. The third part presents some of Deleuze’s relevant thought on ...

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CHAPTER FIVE. Conclusion

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pp. 107-122

The inspiration for the inquiry at the center of this book originates in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. Both, famously, write about sexuality, moving the discourse on that topic away from many important and canonical ways of conceiving of it. They differ in their approaches to the topic. Yet one wonders whether on some aspects of it they might not ...

NOTES

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pp. 123-135

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 137-142

INDEX

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pp. 143-148


E-ISBN-13: 9781438434339
E-ISBN-10: 1438434332
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438434315
Print-ISBN-10: 1438434316

Page Count: 158
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1
Series Title: SUNY series in Gender Theory
Series Editor Byline: Tina Chanter