Book ID: CBB001221153

Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art (2011)


Grosz, Elizabeth A. (Author)

Duke University Press

Publication Date: 2011
Physical Details: viii + 264 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

In Becoming Undone, Elizabeth Grosz addresses three related concepts---life, politics, and art---by exploring the implications of Charles Darwin's account of the evolution of species. Challenging characterizations of Darwin's work as a form of genetic determinism, Grosz shows that his writing reveals an insistence on the difference between natural selection and sexual selection, the principles that regulate survival and attractiveness, respectively. Sexual selection complicates natural selection by introducing aesthetic factors and the expression of individual will, desire, or pleasure. Grosz explores how Darwin's theory of sexual selection transforms philosophy, our understanding of humanity in its male and female forms, our ideas of political relations, and our concepts of art. Connecting the naturalist's work to the writings of Bergson, Deleuze, and Irigaray, she outlines a postmodern Darwinism that understands all of life as forms of competing and coordinating modes of openness. Although feminists have been suspicious of the concepts of nature and biology central to Darwin's work, Grosz proposes that his writings are a rich resource for developing a more politicized, radical, and far-reaching feminist understanding of matter, nature, biology, time, and becoming.


Description A feminist analysis of Darwinism.

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Authors & Contributors
Hamlin, Kimberly Ann
Roberta Visone
Weissman, Charlotte
Travis, Anthony S.
Stott, Rebecca
Sharp, Patrick B.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Laboratorio dell'ISPF
Journal for General Philosophy of Science
Filosofia e História da Biologia
University of Texas at Austin
W. W. Norton & Co.
University of Chicago Press
Odile Jacob
Dartmouth College Press
Natural selection
Sexual selection
Human evolution
Science and gender
Darwin, Charles Robert
Wallace, Alfred Russel
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Blackwell, Antoinette Louisa Brown
Weismann, August
Wagner, Moritz
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
20th century
Great Britain
United States
South America

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