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Michèle Le Dœuff

(b. 1948)


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(1948–)

Frenchfeminist philosopher and playwright. A less well-known member of the small group of thinkers collectively known as French Feminists, Le Doeuff's work is more exclusively philosophical than her better-known peers Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva. She is best known for the collection of essays Recherches sur l'imaginaire philosophique (1980), translated as The Philosophical Imaginary (1990), which according to her most important commentator Elizabeth Grosz comprises her key project. The concept of the imaginary Le Doeuff proposes should not be confused with Jacques Lacan's concept of the same name. Grosz identifies three separate components to Le Doeuff's concept: it refers in a loose sense to imagery (texts), to the image (the opposite of the rigorous concept), and psychoanalysis (Freudian rather than Lacanian), specifically the repressed. A specialist in early modern English thought, she has written on Francis Bacon, Thomas More, and William Shakespeare.

Further Reading:

M. Deutscher (ed.)Michèle Le Doeuff: Operative Philosophy and Imaginary Practice (2001).E. Grosz Sexual Subversions (1989).


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