The Info List - Phallogocentrism

--- Advertisement ---

In critical theory and deconstruction, phallogocentrism is a neologism coined by Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida
to refer to the privileging of the masculine (phallus) in the construction of meaning. The word is a portmanteau of the older terms phallocentrism (focusing on the masculine point of view) and logocentrism (focusing on language in assigning meaning to the world). Derrida and others identified phonocentrism, or the prioritizing of speech over writing, as an integral part of phallogocentrism. Derrida explored this idea in his essay "Plato's Pharmacy".


1 Background 2 See also 3 Notes 4 External links

Background[edit] In contemporary literary and philosophical works concerned with gender, the term "phallogocentrism" is commonplace largely as a result of the writings of Jacques Derrida, the founder of the philosophy of deconstruction, which is considered by many academics to constitute an essential part of the discourse of postmodernism. Deconstruction
is a philosophy of "indeterminateness" and its opposing philosophy, "determinateness". According to deconstruction, indeterminate knowledge is "aporetic", i.e., based on contradictory facts or ideas ("aporias") that make it impossible to determine matters of truth with any degree of certitude; determinate knowledge, on the other hand, is "apodictic", i.e., based on facts or ideas that are considered to be "true", from one perspective or another. The phallogocentric argument is premised on the claim that modern Western culture
Western culture
has been, and continues to be, both culturally and intellectually subjugated by "logocentrism" and "phallocentrism". Logocentrism is the term Derrida uses to refer to the philosophy of determinateness, while phallocentrism is the term he uses to describe the way logocentrism itself has been genderized by a "masculinist (phallic)" and "patriarchal" agenda. Hence, Derrida intentionally merges the two terms phallocentrism and logocentrism as "phallogocentrism". The French feminist thinkers of the school of écriture féminine also share Derrida's phallogocentric reading of 'all of Western metaphysics'. For example, Catherine Clément and Hélène Cixous
Hélène Cixous
in "The Newly Born Woman" (1975) decry the "dual, hierarchical oppositions" set up by the traditional phallogocentric philosophy of determinateness, wherein "death is always at work" as "the premise of woman's abasement", woman who has been "colonized" by phallogocentric thinking.[1] According to Cixous and Clément, the 'crumbling' of this way of thinking will take place through a Derridean-inspired, anti-phallo/logocentric philosophy of indeterminateness. See also[edit]

Phallic monism


^ Hélène Cixous
Hélène Cixous
and Catherine Clément, "The Newly Born Woman", trans. Betsy Wang. Theory and History of Literature, Volume 24 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 65.

External links[edit]

Biases of the Ear and Eye - Logocentrism Jacques Derrida : The Perchance of a Coming of the Otherwoman. The Deconstruction
of Phallogocentrism from Duel to Duo, Carole Dely Revue Sens Public

v t e

Critical theory


Frankfurt School Freudo-Marxism


Critical vocabulary Binary opposition Dominant privilege Phallogocentrism Reconstructivism


Archetypal literary criticism New Historicism Technocriticism

Critical ...

applied linguistics cartography criminology design discourse analysis ethnography geography geopolitics historiography international relations theory language awareness legal studies management studies medical anthropology pedagogy practice psychiatry psychology race theory security studies social thought technical practice